#BoulderPriorities Survey of Progressive Policy Preferences

In November of 2021, the people of Boulder elected a progressive supermajority overturning 40 years of PLAN-Boulder county rule. This historic shift in the balance of power of the City Council represents a new path forward for the City. Now the difficult job of governing starts. While the election provided a strong mandate for the type of change our people want, the specifics of policy were not on the ballot.

I, Henry Koren, a private citizen of Boulder created this survey. My priorities are my family, my business and my community. I am a supporter of Boulder Progressives, and the Boulder Cooalition who I distributed literature for in October. I am affiliated with Bedrooms Are For People, but have not coordinate the creation or analysis of this survey with any local groups. While this survey’s policies are unabashadly partisian, I pledge to represent the opposition to these policies as best as I reasonably can.

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Continue reading #BoulderPriorities Survey of Progressive Policy Preferences

Stop Sacrificing Climate to Perpetuate the Status Quo

Two years ago I wrote about how Boulder’s Sustainable Future is at Stake in November’s Election, and the 2021 election that concludes on November 2nd is no different. The initiatives we adopt and the city council we elect will change the path of our city.

Many of my fellow townsfolk, who probably did not vote with Donald Trump, seem to be on the same page as Trump and the GOP when it comes to urban planning. As Nationalists spent four years fighting against immigration, Boulder Localists have been fighting for decades to defend our suburban lifestyle by limiting affordable housing and defending exclusionary zoning. Localists often say they support affordable housing somewhere, just not near them, and not whatever housing initiatives happen to be under consideration, such as: CU South, Alpine-balsam, 311 Mapleton, Palo Park, Celestial Seasonings, East Boulder, etc.

Boulder instead heavily relies upon over 60,000 migrant workers who on a daily basis commute to town to work and serve the privileged residents of this city. Not just low-income service workers, but many middle-income folks. They have little choice but to congest our streets and pollute our environment with their vehicles. This is not a sustainable arrangement. This is why the Sierra Club supports Urban Infill Development to create walkable communities that don’t rely upon long-distance car travel. The Sierra Club’s position has upset Localists because it flys in the face of their defense of suburban sprawl.

Continue reading Stop Sacrificing Climate to Perpetuate the Status Quo

Trumpism Must be Destroyed

When Trump came down the escalator and said that Mexicans were rapists and murderers, that should have been the end of his campaign. Trump is an incompetent racist misogynistic xenophobic liar and cheater. He has no ethics or morals and he has destroyed the respect the world once had for our nation.

It saddens me that my daughters knew that someone like him is our leader. While he is in office there can be no pride in our country. He has brought nothing but shame to our nation.

Trump’s policies have directly harmed my family. The Trump tax cut did very little to reduce our tax burden. I’m in the business of exporting software and equipment for testing cameras. China is one of my major customers. What Trump did to hurt my business by instigating a trade war with China did orders of magnitudes more damage than I got from the tax cut, My company has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of sales because of Trump’s Sinophobic aggressions. Important customers were driven to my foreign competition.

We are a nation of immigrants. My wife is an immigrant from Iran. Our Persian family in Iran have been harmed by his sanctions. My dream was to visit my grandmother in law in Iran with my kids so they can meet their great grandmother. His travel ban makes that impossible. Reneging on the Iran nuclear deal was a stupid move which makes the middle east a more violent place. The Persian people are wonderful, and harming them with sanctions accomplished nothing.

By the time the election comes, there will be over 230,000 who have died from COVID-19. So many lives could have been saved if we had a good leader. All it would have taken was listening to the science on masks. The dead cannot vote. Who will speak for them?

Climate change is real, the science must not be ignored. All lives don’t matter until black lives matter. Women’s rights are human rights; we must not allow victims of sexual assault to bear the product of their rape. The rights of LGBTQ+ people and their families must be defended. Nobody should be bankrupted by medical bills.

We cannot allow fascists who have desecrated our flag to continue their reign. It is time for the true American patriots to fly against the winds of voter intimidation and voter suppression to spectacularly and undeniably repudiate this ugly period of our history.

Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Boulder’s Sustainable Future is at Stake in 2019’s Election

This article was published as a guest opinion in the Daily Camera on Oct. 11 2019 under the title “Beware of false environmentalism in Boulder”. Please support local journalism!

Let’s consider Boulder’s city council candidates and how they feel about growth. The candidate’s positions fall on a spectrum of wanting intelligent growth, not wanting growth and some who would like to shrink Boulder, eliminate jobs, and preserve the town for the privileged elites who’ve made it here. Anti-density politicians who claim to care about the environment are the most hypocritical drivers of city policy.

In the decade I’ve lived in Boulder, my small business has grown to twenty people. Not all of us can afford to live where we work. There are some who consider my business to be part of the problem. But being lucky enough to live in Boulder has transformed my preferences, from tolerating being stuck in my car for hours a day, to finding the benefits of choosing to ride my bike rather than drive. Many of my currently commuting co-workers would like to be able to live like this.

Continue reading Boulder’s Sustainable Future is at Stake in 2019’s Election

Boulder YIMBY vs NIMBY: finding common ground

There is some common ground between Boulder YIMBY and NIMBY: the dislike of vehicular congestion. The division arises from their principle areas of concern (highways vs streets) and what the optimal solution is (density vs exclusion).

Now that I live in the city limits, there is one more young-ish YIMBY who will be voting for smart re-zoning, inclusive housing policies which will increase density and enable more folks across the front range to live close to where they bike or walk to work.

Continue reading Boulder YIMBY vs NIMBY: finding common ground

Don’t Let The Internet Get Blacked Out – Stop The PIPA And SOPA Legislation

The Protect-IP act in the senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House are dangerous legislations that can have a destructive affect on the Internet.

SOPA and PIPA would endanger the internet as we know it.  It can endanger the operators of URL shorteners.  It will endanger user generated content.  It will push the internet underground into fragmented dark nets which will make anti-piracy detection and enforcement more difficult.

I’m proud to have the representation of Jared Polis in the House, where the bill seems to have been recently shelved.   Jared recently discussed the issue on Reddit. I’m lucky to have him as my congressman.  However, the PIPA remains alive in the Senate.

Here’s what Jared Polis recommends you can do to influence the opinion of your representative or senator:

 “in order of impact from most to least:

1) Show up at a town hall or talk to them in person, check their schedule w their office
2) phone call, ask for the Legislative Associate in charge of the issue
3) Snail mail
4) email
5) post on their facebook wall or tweet them
6) sign petition”

My Colorado senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet recently withdrew their support for PIPA because exactly this kind of action.  Don’t believe that you can’t make a difference!

Hank Williams Jr.: You Don’t Know What An Enemy Is

Sadly this kind of rhetoric is not so uncommon from my fellow countrymen:

Williams remarks about how Senator Boehner’s golf match with President Obama was like Hitler playing golf with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is politics at its ugliest: rattling the sabers for a second civil war.

I say on behalf of the veterans that fought in WWII.
I say on behalf of the Jews whose lives were snuffed out in the Nazi concentration camps.

Hank: You don’t know what a real enemy is.

Guest Blog: Hamiltonian vs. Madisonian Constitutional Interpretations Of General Welfare

My inquiry as to the meaning of “general welfare” in the constitution garnered a huge amount of discussion on both Google+ and Facebook. Among other insightful responses, the following post by Mila Jacob Stetser bears repeating:

The Constitution was written over two centuries ago and is an actively re-interpreted and occasionally amended document. The Supreme Court exists specifically to interpret the Constitution within the context of modern situations that are not always clearly covered or even conceived of under the original language of the document as written. Health insurance didn’t even exist for almost another 100 years after the Constitution was ratified, so it stands to reason that the ‘founding fathers’ had no concept of it at the time.
Continue reading Guest Blog: Hamiltonian vs. Madisonian Constitutional Interpretations Of General Welfare

Battle Of The Cross-Post Flame Wars: Google+ vs. Facebook

I know some people hate people who cross post to different social networks, and I’ve seen threats to un-follow people who do, but whatever, that’s how I roll.  Today, I posted the same thing to Facebook and Google+:

I’m no constitutional scholar or supreme court justice. But Article 1 Section 8 of the constitution says that congress has the power to provide for the general welfare of its citizens. To me, the individual health insurance mandate seems to fall under that clause.

Facebook post:

http://www.facebook.com/henry.koren/posts/10100413231352884

Google plus post:

https://plus.google.com/114211481371943139895/posts/9qGDWepRZsf

This forked into two separate but heated discussions… Continue reading Battle Of The Cross-Post Flame Wars: Google+ vs. Facebook

Donald Trump Eviscerated By Seth Meyers At White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

This is some amazingly funny stuff here:

Part two… Continue reading Donald Trump Eviscerated By Seth Meyers At White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner