I originally got started with Our Broomfield in 2013 when they needed pictures and help with their website. My wife AnnMarie had already been involved with Our Broomfield, and she was expressing frustration over how much money people wanted to charge for photography and web design. At the time, Our Broomfield was just a handful of concerned parents and citizens, without a budget, trying to educate all of Broomfield as to what fracking was, and trying to prevent it from entering Broomfield. I volunteered to take photographs and donate them. I asked for locations of wells, and then went out for the day to take pictures. I came back with pictures, a headache, and a spotting nosebleed. I was furious. I asked how I could help. And that’s the beginning of what brought me here.
I started participating with Mom’s Demand Action in early 2014, after working with Laura Fronckiewicz on the “Our Broomfield” ballot initiative 300 for the moratorium on fracking in Broomfield, CO. My introduction to Mom’s Demand Action was to create Valentine’s cards, each with a mass shooting written on the card, that were to be used at our protest at the State Capitol. There were so many mass shootings that by the time we got to the State Capitol, we needed to create more cards and update the numbers on our posters.
I first met Shannon Watts and Tom Sullivan in October of 2014 when there was a new Mom’s Demand Action office opening in the Denver Metro area. I met up with both of them again this year, after the publication of Shannon’s book “Fight Like A Mother”. Shannon was doing a speaking and book signing event at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. While she was speaking, Tom Sullivan had quietly joined the back of the room. This was the same day it was announced the recall effort against Tom Sullivan was going to be dropped. It was wonderful to meet them again, and share the story of our first meeting five years early, and how far everyone had come. I was able to get pictures of the event, and took a moment to get Shannon and Tom in a picture after she signed his copy of the book.
Shannon Watt’s & Tom Sullivan 2019
Shannon Watts & Tom Sullivan 2014
I’ve been an ally of LGBTQ Rights for several decades. Part of the Pride Celebration is to participate in the Visibility Marches. To give open support to the LGBTQ Community and to Celebrate the day of Inclusion, Visibility, and to Honor other Human Beings. This year, in Boulder, was the biggest Visibility March yet! I marched proudly with my entire family. Below are some of the highlights from the Boulder Pridefest.
U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse, Rep. Matt Gray, and Councilwoman Guyleen Castriotta had a service town hall, where residents worked with our elected officials to help stock items for Broomfield FISH. The second half of the gathering was a brief update from the federal, state, and local governments, followed by a Q&A.
Broomfield FISH is a vital community resource, providing food and financial assistance to Broomfield County residents in need. Services include a thriving food pantry, transportation assistance, rent and utility assistance, and other services. Serving approximately 6,000 people each year.
I had the privilege of taking pictures at the Taskforce Denver Homeless Back to School Block Party for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or near homelessness. The services that were provided included free veterinary care, haircuts, medical clinic, laundry services, community resources, school supplies, food, SNAP, employment services, and more.
Human dignity is so easily taken away from us. So many of us, at one point or another struggle. As an affluent community, there is a social and moral responsibility to assist those in our community that are struggling. Small gestures of kindness and caring go a long way in momentary restoration of our human dignity. I found the experiences of the day to be profound, moving, and at moments emotionally overwhelming.
Broomfield has no homeless program. None. We use the resources of Boulder and Denver when people who are experiencing homelessness need shelter or temporary housing. We can change that.
BOULDER, Colo. – A Boulder County judge on Friday granted a motion to re-open a case over the fracking ban in Longmont, leading to the possibility that an injunction on the ban could be lifted and setting up perhaps a precedent-setting court fight.
The activist groups Colorado Rising and Our Longmont filed the motionearlier this month, asking District Court Judge Nancy Woodruff Salomone to lift the injunction stopping Longmont from enforcing the ban after the passage of SB19-181 this spring, which gave local municipalities more control over oil and gas development.
Salomone ordered the case to be re-opened but did not weigh in on the activists’ requests to lift the injunction, according to court records. The Longmont fracking ban was approved by voters in 2012 but overturned in 2014 and 2016 court decisions.
“We are excited that the District Court ordered this case be reopened,” Colorado Rising attorney Joe Salazar said in a statement Friday evening. “This is an important first step in the long fight to protect Longmont residents and the environment from the harm associated with fracking activities. We stand with Longmont residents to reinstate their voter-approved fracking ban.”
The oil and gas industry and state regulators pushed back against the activists’ motion, saying SB19-181 never intended to outright ban oil and gas development.
Longmont voters approved the ban in 2012 with about 60% of voters supporting the measure.
Salazar, who is a former state lawmaker, said earlier this month that SB19-181 should allow for the reopening of the case and reinstatement of the fracking ban because it allows local governments to have control over oil and gas development within their jurisdictions. He says the law does not explicitly say that cities or counties could not outright ban fracking in order to protect people’s health, welfare and the environment.
Longmont voters approved the ban in 2012 with about 60% of voters supporting the measure. Our Longmont, a group of residents opposed to fracking, was the main driver behind the ballot measure that outlawed fracking within city limits.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Top Operating Company and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) sued to block the ban from going into effect, and the Boulder District Court agreed in 2014, saying that the ban was not in accordance with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act or the COGCC’s rules.
The court wrote at the time that it should be up to the legislature or another court to make the decision.
Longmont Residents Move to Lift Court Injunction on Oil & Gas Ban
Local control granted by SB 19-181 allows the 2012 voter-enacted law to stand
Join Colorado Rising and Longmont residents for a press conference on the matter today at 1 pm at the Colorado State Capitol in Room 0107.
LONGMONT, COLORADO — Today, Colorado Rising, on behalf of Our Longmont, filed a motion to reopen the City of Longmont v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n case in Boulder District Court. This is a first step to lift an injunction by the Colorado Supreme Court prohibiting the implementation of Article XVI of Longmont’s Charter which bans fracking within the City of Longmont.
In 2012, Longmont voters overwhelmingly approved the charter amendment (Article XVI) to ban fracking within the city. At the time of the passage of Article XVI, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act (the “Act”) was much different than today.
The oil & gas industry wasted no time in bringing a lawsuit against the City of Longmont to challenge the will of voters. In May of 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court prevented the City of Longmont from enforcing its charter amendment. The Supreme Court held that the Amendment was in “operational conflict” with and preempted by state law. Thus, the Court prevented Longmont from enforcing Article XVI. Amendment XVI remains in Longmont’s charter.
This past spring, the Colorado General Assembly passed SB 19-181, which is considered a sea change in regulating oil and gas operations in the state. This sea change reinforced local government land use authority, provided local governments greater control over oil and gas operations, and eliminated preemption of state interest from the Act, among other things, making Longmont’s charter is no longer in operational conflict.
In light of the new law, Our Longmont will ask the Boulder County District Court to lift the injunction and allow the City of Longmont to enforce its voter-approved Charter amendment.
Michael Bellmont, Resident of Longmont and defendant said of the motion, “In truly bipartisan numbers, voters overwhelmingly approved a ban in 2012 that the Supreme Court later said was trumped by state law. The law has changed and now the charter amendment needs to be enforced to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our residents. We deserve public health and safety…we voted for it…and we deserve our voices to be heard and honored.”
Attorney Joe Salazar, Executive Director of Colorado Rising said, “SB 19-181 in no way stops local governments from enacting a ban on fracking. Considering the climate crisis and Longmont’s already failing air quality largely due to oil and gas extraction in Weld County, a ban is reasonable and necessary to protect the health and safety of Longmont residents. SB 19-181 granted local control to Colorado communities and Longmont has the right to exercise its self governance through implementation of their charter amendment.”
Dr. Detlev Helmig, Fellow and Associate Research Professor at the Institute of Alpine and Arctic Research (INSTAAR) at CU-Boulder said of the already failing air quality in Longmont, ”Our measurements have shown concentrations of oil and gas-related pollutants in East Longmont were at a minimum on average 2-3 times higher than in most other large US cities. Longmont’s oil and gas-related pollution exceeded the levels seen in all of the 28 major urban comparison areas. Based on the known wind patterns, these pollutants are presumably coming into Longmont from the active oil and gas drilling and fracking in Weld County.”
Please contact Anne Lee Foster, Communications Director for Colorado Rising, to interview defendants in the suit.
The key political partnership of the Millennial left was born over noodles. Saikat Chakrabarti met Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at Potjanee, a Thai restaurant near his apartment in the West Village, in March 2017. She was looking to get into politics; he was helping fund people getting into politics through the Justice Democrats, the progressive political action committee he’d co-founded that year.
The result has been a viral sensation: a House freshman with more than 4.9 million Twitter followers; a call for a “Green New Deal,” which has become a rallying point for young activists; and—from the cages on the border to the committees on the Hill—a serious powering-up of congressional oversight. This has made Ocasio-Cortez the leader of a movement, not just a congresswoman. Chakrabarti, for his part, has been much more than Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff—he’s become the chief strategist of a generational insurgency. But the political establishment has now trained its fire on their collaboration.
In June, the speaker and her best-known freshman clashed when Nancy Pelosi caved to Republicans and moderate Democrats and agreed to pass an emergency-aid package, skewed heavily right, for the southern border.
The move horrified members of the progressive left—it was bad politics, they thought, typical of their elders’ timidity, and worse still, little in it would help the child migrants in what Ocasio-Cortez had called “concentration camps” on the border. Their pushback against it, which included tweets by Chakrabarti, outraged the party leadership.
This has made Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, until now little known, a political target. Maureen Dowd branded Chakrabarti “the real instigator” in The New York Times, and Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff and Chicago mayor, labeled him “a snot-nosed punk.” But the backlash is about much more than either of them. What is happening is a containment operation against the Millennial left.
In some ways, my politics overlap with Chakrabarti’s—the Harvard-educated tech millionaire who was a founding engineer at the online-payment company Stripe before volunteering to work for Bernie Sanders—but we have no shortage of disagreements. What we unquestionably share, though, is a Millennial perspective.
We’ve both seen successive promises made by the Boomer elites go horrifically wrong. If you are our age—he’s 33 and I’m 31—the great events that shape your worldview are not a series of Western triumphs, but a succession of spectacular failures. Our formative experiences were the Iraq War, the 2008 financial crisis, and the election of Donald Trump. That makes it hard to defer to a veteran like Pelosi on strategy, when her generation has racked up so many failures.
The Democrats are experiencing a clash of generations. As in all such clashes, each side thinks the other is delusional. When the Millennial left looks at the establishment, it sees leaders senescent with decades in the House, blindly clinging to bipartisan civility that no longer exists, unable to view men like Mitch McConnell as their opponents and not their colleagues, and believing that white voters are the only path to victory in 2020. The Millennials see themselves as the realists here.
The Boomer establishment thinks the opposite, rubbishing the frustrations of the Millennials as naive follies. They see the squad—the name the four freshman congresswomen endorsed by the Justice Democrats, all progressive women of color, have chosen for themselves—on a trajectory that loses the party the white voters it needs to win in 2020. Dismissing talk that minority turnout can make the difference, they want these young representatives to know their place and quiet down.
Both sides insist the party’s midterm victories validate their approach. And with projections that back up both strategies, the approach to 2020 is up for grabs. But, as if Pelosi were determined to prove she was past her prime, she chose to have this fight over the migration crisis—where the new left sees compromise as not only morally abhorrent, but also politically pointless.
The Millennial left believes that Republicans are pursuing a scorched-earth policy on the border: deploying the Army in electoral theatrics, invoking conspiracy theories centered on George Soros, and painting all Democrats as open-borders fanatics. They took that approach in 2018, and are trying it again in 2020. Why compromise—here?
Pelosi’s attacks backfired, harming both moderates and leftists. What began as an intra-party fight over a bill has morphed into anti–Ilhan Omar chants of “Send her back” at a Trump rally, a development as alarming as it was predictable—forcing the party moderates to stand by Omar’s side.
And yet it was obvious that Trump would hijack any division. Or at least, it was obvious to anyone who fully recognizes how far American politics has changed since Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel first came to Washington.
In this fight, Saikat Chakrabarti’s wunderkind biography has been turned against him, especially by moderates who have typically favored a softly-softly approach to Silicon Valley. Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, and spent his youth participating in calculator competitions before working at a hedge fund and then a series of start-ups in San Francisco. Perhaps that made him a tempting target for Pelosi, as Big Tech replaces Big Oil as the left’s most-hated industry. But after making his fortune, Chakrabarti rejected Silicon Valley’s ideology in favor of backing antitrust reform and tax increases—volunteering for Sanders in 2015. This is when his generational insurgency began.
Justice Democrats is not the first attempt of this “snot-nosed punk” to remake Democratic politics. Chakrabarti’s initial project, Brand New Congress, was launched in 2016 with other veterans of the Sanders campaign. It didn’t lack for ambition. The group wanted to “recruit over 400 extraordinary ordinary Americans to challenge both Democrats and Republicans in congressional primary races across the country in order to replace almost all of Congress in one fell swoop.” In the end, Brand New Congress recruited just 12—and only Ocasio-Cortez prevailed.
The frustrations of that experience—the country was just too polarized—spurred Chakrabarti to help create the Justice Democrats in January 2017. In place of Brand New Congress’s failed model of bipartisan change, the Justice Democrats declared that they were “working to change the Democratic Party from the inside out.” And that meant an aggressive approach. “Challenging incumbents in primaries is the best way to make them start to listen to people over corporate donors,” the group declared. And, like the successful insurgent groups that transformed the Republican Party, it branded itself as openly radical.
Which brings us to the bigger accusation: They should not be doing this. Sitting Democrats should be respectfully left alone. “They should stop attacking us,” as one House Democrat told CNN. But from the party’s point of view—not the politicians’—I’m not convinced.
Progressive America is overdue for a generational replacement. The unexpected boomlets behind Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg and the Twitter sensation who is now Chakrabarti’s boss reflect an unsated hunger for Millennial politicians. When Pelosi sniped that a “glass of water” could have won Ocasio-Cortez’s district, her dismissive tone revealed how little she understood the dynamics of the Queens representative’s appeal.
Partially, this is because the United States of politicians like Trump, 73; Joe Biden, 76; Bernie, 77; and Pelosi, 79, is starting to feel like a gerontocracy. And this is striking compared with Europe, where Emmanuel Macron is only 41, Boris Johnson is 55, and Matteo Salvini and Pedro Sánchez are 46 and 47, respectively.
This Congress is among the oldest in history. The average member is 58 in the House and 62 in the Senate, with party leaders nearly a decade older. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is 80. This aging cohort, on too many occasions, has shown itself not fit for purpose on 21st-century issues.
The cringeworthy performance of 44 senators last April trying to hold Mark Zuckerberg, 34, to account was what convinced me we need more Chakrabartis on the Hill—regardless of party—not fewer of them. Senator Orrin Hatch, then 84, used his time to ask the Facebook CEO how he sustained a “free” business model. (“Senator, we run ads,” Zuckerberg replied.)
The party establishment should not be offering jobs for life and a career-protection service. Primary challenges are not new. Nor are the numbers here an unprecedented takeover: The Justice Democrats are currently endorsing just five challengers, and only seven of them are incumbents in the House.
In fact, it was a young challenger who’s responsible for the Democratic Party’s greatest recent electoral success. Barack Obama’s failed challenge to Bobby Rush in the 2000 congressional primary shouldn’t have seen him blackballed. He was 47 when elected president, and his youth played a major role in his candidacy, which saw a Democrat elected between John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, who were both in their 60s when they were the party’s nominees.
But if the strategy isn’t novel, what about the policies the Justice Democrats are advancing?
They are less red than meets the eye. In Europe and across the rest of the Anglophone world, virtually no one would see Medicare for All as radicalism. Not only do British Conservatives and German Christian Democrats support public health care, but the Green New Deal vision of state-led investment reminds me of the politics of my mid-century conservative heroes, including Harold Macmillan and Charles de Gaulle. And, further back, even Alexander Hamilton.
Cleary For Broomfield Kickoff Party!
Date: August 4, 2019
Where: The Broomfield Crescent Grange – 7901 W 120th Ave, Broomfield, CO 80020
We are so excited & proud to formally kickoff the campaign for Broomfield City Council Ward 3. Come on down to The Broomfield Crescent Grange to celebrate with Chris & AnnMarie at one of the many gems of our Broomfield Community. This is a family event with light fare food, a coloring activity area for kids, and Live music. Mix and mingle with friends, family, advocates, and various supporters from all over Colorado. Come learn about the plans Chris has for Broomfield and how he will go about working to implement them.
Please visit the facebook events link, confirm if you are able to go, and please give my page a “like”. Thank You! https://www.facebook.com/events/2373128233005968/
Special Guest Speakers
Specializing in zero and low energy efficient and sustainable commercial and residential properties, Susan was a Commissioner for the Fort Collins Housing Authority. She also served on the CSU Institute for the Built Environments. She leads high performance teams, including the one that created the first DOE Zero Energy development in Colorado, and was the 2016 and 2018 DOE Housing Innovation Grand Prize Award Winner and 2017 and 2019 award. Susan is currently the CFO of Solaris Energy LLC, a solar developer providing solar to non-profits, universities, municipalities and Indian tribes.
Robert has explored ways to serve the community and has served in the following organizations that he felt resonated with him. Robert has been an active Big Brother since 2014. He serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado Board of Directors, and is on the Board Finance Committee and the Board Diversity Outreach Committee. Robert served on the Human Rights Campaign Colorado Steering Committee and Project Angel Heart. Robert’s mission is to ensure that all people have a safe place in this world and to know they are not alone.
Guyleen was elected to represent Ward 5 on Broomfield City Council in 2017. She decided to run for office because she recognized that women and minorities were underrepresented in all levels of government. She’s always wanted to be an agent for positive change and doing what’s right. She believes we are put on this earth to help one another, to being of service to our community and taking action to improve the lives of others.
AnnMarie, my wife and partner in life, has been a longtime outspoken advocate for Broomfield and Colorado. Participating in multiple advocacy groups since 2013, and worked to bring various ballot measures to the voting booth such as 300, 301, and 112. She has been recognized for her work, and has appeared in various magazines and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal.
Musical Guest – Randy Bonnom
With long roots in the era of folk, Randy is a nice, casual throw back to folk roots with a kind, authentic presence not often found in contemporary music. Enjoy the visuals of the lyrics, the catchy musical phrases, and don’t be surprised to find yourself humming the tune later…
You Can find Randy on the web at:
You Can Find His Single Here:
Broomfield hosts several events throughout the year that benefit local charities, support the arts, featuring local breweries, food trucks, and bands. It’s a great chance to meet others and to visit different booths that highlight some of the best of Broomfield. This year marks the fourth annual BrewHaha, which takes place at Arista Park on Saturday June 8.
Here are some of the highlights from the 15th Annual Out Boulder County Garden Party. Every year, Out Boulder County honors three outstanding members of our community with the Clela Rorex Allies in Action Award, Jack and Jean Hodges Big Hearts Award, and the Ignite and Inspire Youth Leadership Award.
In celebration of Pride Month, Boulder’s popular Pearl Street Mall proudly displayed rainbow flags in local shops. Three Pearl Street crosswalks were painted with rainbow colors. I had the opportunity to go with my daughters, use the painted crosswalks, listen to the different speakers as they raised the first pride flag next to the state and federal flags.
“The rainbow has become a symbol of universal love and equality for all, as well as the hard-fought struggles that have occurred in the LGBTQ+ movement over decades. We are delighted to be a part of this effort to showcase Boulder’s pride,” said Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder. “The partners who are working with us to make this happen are amazing. It is truly a community effort.”