Category: Culture

Denver Climate Strike with Greta Thunberg

I had the unique experience of being on the stage and taking pictures of the Denver Climate Strike on October 11, 2019. It was incredible, it was emotionally overwhelming, it was one of those experiences that when reflected upon, still makes my eyes tear up. I went to see Greta Thunberg speak in person. Greta has inspired the global youth to speak up and speak out about our current Climate Crisis. Adding to the gravitas and magic of the day, Native Elders led the Ceremony with Traditional songs, Native youth spoke, Earth Guardians,, and Mother’s Out Front were all present. The painted handprint across their faces was to bring awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement.

Thank you all again for an amazing day.

American Solar Jobs Eclipse Fossil Fuels

Clean energy jobs in California now outnumber jobs in the fossil fuel industry five to one, a new study has found, an increase driven by the state’s ever-expanding renewable energy and climate laws.

More than 512,000 people are employed in jobs related to clean energy  — from installing solar panels to building electric cars — making the state home to 1 in 7 such jobs in the United States, the study found. Those numbers are expected to grow further in the coming years, as California further ramps up efforts to address climate change.

“The clean energy industry is a large and growing part of our economy, certainly here in California, but nationally as well,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs, a non-profit group with offices in San Francisco and San Diego that compiled the data.

“With the right policies, we can keep these clean energy jobs growing in red states, blue states, purple states,” Keefe said, “and in every county in California from Humboldt to San Diego.” 

The study was based on an annual survey of businesses called the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, a snapshot of the energy industry that in the past was put out by the U.S. Department of Energy.

But the survey was discontinued after President Trump took office in 2017. In recent years, the report has been compiled instead by two non-profit groups using the same methodology, the Energy Futures Initiative, and the National Association of State Energy Officials.

Among the study’s findings for California:

  • Statewide, there were 512,934 jobs in the clean energy industry in 2018. Those included jobs in renewable energy, like installing solar and wind power, building electric and hybrid vehicles, doing energy efficiency work in buildings, manufacturing clean fuels and building battery storage projects.
  • That same year, there were 89,059 jobs in fossil fuel industries, including drilling jobs at oil and gas fields and offshore platforms, oil refinery work and mining jobs, but not attendants who work at gas stations or the stations’ convenience stories.
  • Nearly four in 10 solar jobs in America are in California.
  • The only state with more clean vehicle jobs than California is Michigan.
  • The top counties ranked by total clean energy jobs are Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Clara, San Diego, San Francisco and Alameda.

Growth was largely flat last year compared to the year before, the study found. California’s 2018 clean jobs total was just slightly up from its 2017 total of 512,233 clean jobs. The reason was a 7.5 percent dip in solar industry jobs, which industry officials say was in part a result of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese-made solar panels, which increased the costs for U.S. homeowners considering installing solar on their roofs.

That trend is expected to change this year, Keefe said, because California regulators have passed new rules requiring all new homes constructed after Jan. 1, 2020 to either have solar panels on their roofs or be powered from electricity from a solar farm.

“We’ll start to see that swing back in the other direction very soon,” he said.

As the Earth continues to warm, California has ramped up its clean energy laws. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law requiring 60 percent of the state’s electricity to come from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2030 and 100 to come from “carbon-free” sources, which can include nuclear and large hydro-electric dams, by 2045.

This year, 34 percent of the state’s electricity is generated from renewable energy, according to the California Energy Commission. The state’s greenhouse gas emissions peaked in 2004, and have fallen roughly 15 percent since then. By the end of this year, more than 1 million homes in California will have solar power on their roofs.

And the highways are greening. There are now more than 500,000 electric vehicles on the road in California, more than any other state.

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Mom’s Demand Action: Shannon Watts & Tom Sullivan

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

The Millennial Left Is Tired of Waiting

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.

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Kickoff Party!

Cleary For Broomfield Kickoff Party!
Date: August 4, 2019
Time: 1-3pm
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!


Special Guest Speakers

Susan McFaddin

Susan McFaddin, PhD, LEED-AP, CEM, HERS-Associate

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 Edwards

Robert Edwards

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 Castriotta

Guyleen Castriotta

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 Cleary

AnnMarie Cleary

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

Randy Bonnom

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:

Rainbows Over Pearl

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.”

What is Progressive?

What does it mean to be progressive? That seems to be coming up a lot lately, and for good reason. Anyone who is old enough to remember what the democratic party was doing in the 1960s and 1970s knows what it means to be progressive. This is not a new way of being, this is a return to our roots of recent history. 

Progressives gave us civil rights, voting rights, the creation of medicare, and put a man on the moon. Progressives looked at the world and enacted legislation to make life better. 

Progressives have intellectual curiosity. They are keenly aware of history, technology, and they measure those aspects against what could be done. Seeking creative solutions that offer the possibility of making life better for as many as possible. Solutions that promote sustainability. Solutions that make the world a better place than when they found it. Solutions that considers future generations and offers a better future. Progressives do not need to experience a particular hardship, to be able to empathize with the hardship of another.

Some people fear the word progressive. Or rather, they fear the meaning they have attached to the concept of what it means to be progressive. But when you actually start talking to people who express those fears, you learn how progressive we all really are. We really do want to see science and medicine advance. We do want to have enough food on our table. We do want to see our children and grandchildren thrive. We want a place worth living in, with a future that has potential. We do want to be able to breath the air while watching a sunset. All of those wants are within a progressive philosophy. 

Being a progressive involves intellectual honesty. Looking at what works, what doesn’t work, and having the courage to acknowledge what isn’t working. In acknowledging what isn’t working, you now have the freedom to address it. Researching, asking questions, finding data, speaking with experts, then making the best possible choice — using data to inform your opinion. 

We are now in the 21st century. According to the global scientists, we have 11 years to change how we have been doing things. Broomfield has the chance to show the rest of the Front Range what can be accomplished. We have enough options, enough off-the-shelf technology, and enough of an annual budget, to move the city forward. If we keep doing things as they’ve been done, with some of this ways anchored in the 1880s, we will not make it.

Mediocrity will not win the day. Hanging on to choices from the 1880s will not win the day. Having the courage and intellectual curiosity, to utilize and implement the best choices in technology and information, that’s what is means to be progressive.

Christopher Cleary is a Broomfield resident and candidate for city council in Ward 3.

Click here for original article.

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Cleary Launches Social Media

In preparation for the upcoming City Council election, after announcing his run and filing with the city, Christopher Cleary launched his social media accounts.




Other Posts:
We Know Better, Let’s Do Better
Efforts Squandered On Vintage Practices
Swearing In Ceremony
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2019 Election Begins

Efforts Squandered On Vintage Practices

I am tired of city council members that thoughtlessly squander months of people’s time, energy, and resources, only to string along their constituents, teasing a vote that the council never had any intention of making. The same council members, time and again, string constituents along, not in favor of their constituents, but in favor of industry. 

The American oil boom started in 1859. We do not currently rely on the tools, technology, and wisdom of what was available in 1859. That would be ridiculous. So why are we emotionally attached to an industry that began before the Civil War, before women could vote, and when slavery was legal? 

Technology and scientific development, since 1859 have given us choices we never thought possible. We now have enough consumer-based technology that with a World War II style national effort, we could convert the entire nation to renewables in one year. One Year. 

In 2016, solar and wind became cheaper than traditional fossil fuels, according, to a new report from the World Economic Forum. The ridiculous, ongoing, false equivalence argument, of we can either have power or nothing, is now the mantra of the ignorant. That feeble argument has no place within the 21st century technological advancements. 

Why remain beholden to an industry, that by all rights, were it not propped up with subsidies and Wall Street, would have gracefully ended with the turn of the last century.

All of this time, energy, money, and resources should not be squandered supporting a sector that will be gone within our children’s lifetime. We need to focus on what will preserve, protect, and propel us firmly into the 21st century, and in a way that does not ruthlessly and permanently destroy our land, air, water, and health. 

Christopher Cleary
Broomfield Resident

Click here for original article

Other Posts:
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2019 Election Begins

We Know Better, Let’s Do Better

Often, when the city council has study sessions, they will kick out the very people who are specialists in the field of what the ‘study session’ is supposed to examine. I was at the session regarding bees. The council did not meet with the entomologists, and the kicked out the local bee keeper, when it came time to discuss factual research. 

That same logic has been applied to fracking, regarding the dismissal of scientists and peer reviewed data. Greg Stokes, when presented with peer reviewed data by a research scientist, being visually disgusted by the research opposing his personal feelings, called the research “junk science” and summarily dismissed the scientist. Let that sink in for a moment. 

When presented with a specialist in the field of study that the council session is examining, council dismissed the specialist. They dismissed the very specialists that could answer every question, Especially when the information the specialist had, could have informed the decision making process of the council. 

This has been an ongoing issue with the council. Especially when the data is in direct opposition to the council’s ‘belief’ or ‘feelings’ regarding the matter. 

Councilman Greg Stokes is great at bullying, but not when it comes time to standing for anything meaningful. We see it in meetings, his responses on social media, and even in his email responses. I sent Stokes a picture of a fracking well that blew up, (do a quick internet search for “fracking explosion”). One tank was 150 feet in the air.

He spent the next four emails fighting about the press calling it a fracking explosion. He expressed no concern for the people, or the dangers of fracking wells, but argued about the semantics. Council emails are catalogued. My email was sent April 19, 2015, feel free to look it up. It also has pictures of the explosion.

Eight years ago, fracking marketing people came in and people did not have enough knowledge to dispute the marketing lies. 

Now, Broomfield residents are armed with knowledge, data, facts, and studies (31 peer reviewed studies Now we know the extent of damage fracking causes to the land, air, water, and people. 

Now, there are peer reviewed studies from NASA, NOAH, USGS. The list of damages from earthquakes to stillborn babies. We inevitably need to move to renewables. It’s no longer a question. It needs to happen in our lifetime. 

Where would the state be, if all the time, energy, and money, spent on preventing the inevitable move to renewables, had been channelled into creating renewables in the state? Colorado could be leading the nation in renewables and true energy independence. 

Maya Angelou used to say “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” 

We now know better. The council knows better. Now it’s time to do better. 

Christopher Cleary is a Broomfield resident

Click here for original article

Other Posts:
Efforts Squandered On Vintage Practices
Cleary Launches Social Media
Swearing In Ceremony
What Is Progressive
2019 Election Begins