My connection to climate change

I came to my own sense of commitment to working on climate changing by riding a bicycle as many places as possible. Over about five years, I tried to ride my bike more and more for transportation needs while still having the safety net of having a car. Once I began to reach my limit of how little I could drive — bottoming out at about 2,000 miles a year — I realized I needed to think about what was holding me back further. I bought into the neighborhood EcoPass program to give me another way to get around. I put studded tires on my bike in the winter to get through the icy months. After another year of careful analysis and working to overcome my fears — lack of mobility and the risk of unreliability — I committed fully by selling my car and getting around by just using alternate means of transportation.

Boulder's commitment on Climate

Like many in our community, I’ve supported moving to municipalize our energy system. I voted for the measure in 2011 and have supported continuing the effort as a current candidate for city council. But two major outcomes last week have changed my thinking — the partial rejection of Boulder’s application to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and Xcel’s proposal to move to 55% renewable energy by 2026. Given Colorado’s regulatory burdens for Boulder to municipalize, the economic benefits of municipalization have fallen to the extent that I no longer believe funding municipalization is in the best interest of the city. We need to move forward with a strong local strategy to meet our climate goals.

We can take further action to reduce the city’s carbon footprint as outlined in Boulder’s Climate Commitment to reduce all emissions 80% by 2050. Whether the utility occupation tax to continue municipalization passes or fails, I will push forward aggressively on our best options to meet our climate commitment. The effects of not combating climate change are massive. We have a responsibility to put our limited resources toward the most effective long-term solutions and continue to push forward on Boulder’s climate goals.

You can read my full statement on continuing municipalization here.

Reducing Emissions from Transport

The next largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Boulder comes from transportation. I support Boulder’s progressive Transportation Master Plan as a part of our goal to meet the city’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions from all sources 80% by 2050. One of the best ways to reduce transportation impacts on our environment is to live close to work and services that you need. I support policy that helps people live closer to where they work with options to reduce their carbon footprint as well as reducing pollution from our air and waters. I will also support increased access so Boulder continues to lead in moving to new green transportation technologies.

I support:

  • Pushing for RTD EcoPasses city-wide

  • Increasing access to electric-charging stations, ride-sharing, and autonomous vehicles

  • Giving options for people to reduce single-occupancy car trips

Reducing Emissions from Development

Boulder’s residential and commercial development make up the remaining large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. As the city continues to evolve, we must continue to lead in making our homes and buildings as efficient as possible.

I support:

  • Allowing more flexibility to re-use existing and historic buildings

  • Encourage space and energy-efficient building design

  • Continue to strengthen Boulder’s building and energy codes

  • Improve housing options that reduce water, energy, and food waste per capita

  • Ensuring new development is bike and transit friendly