former city council women Angelique Espinoza Spin doctor for Boulder Chamber blogs and blabs:
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This month I have a lot to share with you on what’s happening with the potential ballot issue on forming a City owned power utility (municipalization). And I am particular proud to announce that we are the first Chamber of Commerce in the state to come out in support of the Bright Colorado Initiative for statewide education funding.
We are also excited to relaunch a couple of popular event series, the Global Business Forum, and the program “formerly known as” Climate Leaders. Check out our upcoming online naming contest!
Your membership helps the Boulder Chamber engage on your behalf to ensure a strong local economy. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any ideas, concerns and suggestions to help make Boulder the best place to do business.
Public Affairs Manager
303-442-1044 xt 122
In This Issue
BBI Sponsorship Opportunities
Municipal Power Utility Closer to Ballot
Chamber Endorses Bright Colorado Initiative for Education
City Council Race, On Your Marks…
Quick Links To Ongoing Issues
CITY OF BOULDER:
Floodplain Ordinance(Critical Fac. and Mobile Pop.)Planning Board Meeting August 4th
Capital Improvements Plan
Affordable Housing Task Force
Other Hot Topics
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The Boulder Business Insider
Issues, Decisions and Events Affecting the Boulder Area Business Community
July 28, 2011
Boulder’s Energy Future is Your Business’s Future: What You’ll See On the Ballot
Correction: In June’s issue I jumped the gun by saying we would see two competing items on November’s ballot. Since then, an Xcel franchise with an innovative wind purchase agreement has come on and off the table. Council is still considering amendments to the proposed ballot language which, if voters approve, would authorize the City to pursue forming a municipal power utility to replace Xcel. Whatever happens, the results will determine your future energy rates.
The Chamber convened a small policy working group of business people, both supportive and skeptical of municipalization, to provide specific recommendations for the proposed ballot language. Main themes were proportional representation of ratepayers on a depoliticized governing board with decision-making power, competitive regional rate parity, a cap on bonding authority, and specific “off-ramp” triggers.
Council was mixed in their response to these recommendations and will vote on these and other details at the August 2nd Council Meeting, which begins at 5 pm and will be televised on Channel 8 in Boulder. If you have something to say to Council on this, you can sign up from 4-5 pm at the Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway, or during the public hearing on the item. Get up to speed with materials and videos available at www.boulderenergyfuture.com. Businesses constitute over two-thirds of Boulder’s energy users and the Chamber will continue to advocate on their behalf.
Boulder Chamber First in State to Endorse Bright Colorado Initiative for Statewide Education Funding
When the Boulder Chamber Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the Bright Colorado Initiative 25, which would provide five years of increased funding for K-12 and Higher Education in Colorado it became the first Chamber of Commerce in the state to do so. “Boulder has been somewhat less impacted by statewide cuts in education,” said CEO Susan Graf. “But our neighboring communities have suffered a lot. We felt it was important to support this stopgap measure to protect the economic vitality of the whole state.”
“Our board had concerns about the tax impact and expressed the need for more education reform” added the Chamber’s Public Affairs Manager, Angelique Espinoza. “With [Senate Bill] 191 passing last year, though, we agreed progress was occurring and that a five-year return to 1999 tax levels was a worthy investment. It fit with our policy agenda statement that supports education as fundamental to our mission.”
Boulder’s State Senator Rollie Heath proposed Initiative 25, and said he did so because he believes Colorado’s recent cuts to education funding are unacceptable. “It’s short-changing our most important resource for the future – our kids and young adults,” said Heath. “Also, you can’t separate education and economic development, especially in today’s knowledge-based economy. We think it’s worth it, and we are thrilled that the Boulder Chamber thinks so too. We really appreciate their support on this important issue.” For more information on the Initiative, visit www.brightcolorado.org
Relaunch of Two Popular Event Series Last evening we relaunched our popular Global Business Forum series with a visit from the Global Business Team from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. They gave us some great information about upcoming grant opportunities for companies looking to open new export markets for their products. A Big Thanks to Caplan & Earnest for sponsoring this series. If you’d like to get on the mailing list for upcoming monthly events, please send me an email with Global Business Forum in the subject.
In August we’ll also be relaunching a series formerly known as Climate Leaders. The new series continues our partnership with the City of Boulder’s EnergySmart program to offer businesses tips and best practices for energy and cost efficiency. The new focus will be to address the specific needs of particular business sectors. Check for details, coming soon on the Chamber website. Don’t miss out on the naming contest for the program!
Boulder City Council Race Almost Underway From August 2nd to August 22nd, aspiring City Council candidates will be garnering the 25 Boulder voter signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot. Five Council Members are up for reelection, Crystal Gray, George Karakehian, Lisa Morzel, Susan Osborne, and Ken Wilson. It seems likely that one or two may choose not to run. This means we may see a crowded field vying for the “open” positions and to unseat the incumbents. Check with your favorite Council Member or potential candidate to see if they are having a “signing party” at the Municipal Building in August.
The City is offering three trainings for potential candidates and committees. Check here for details. For many years aspiring local candidates for public office have come to the Chamber for its College of Political Knowledge series to learn about the realities, best practices and legal requirements of running a successful campaign. An archive of invaluable takeaways is available to anyone interested in becoming a candidate or campaign manager. Contact Angelique Espinoza at 303-442-1044 xt 122 for details.