Letters: Dec. 1, 2022


Nicole Speer for Mayor Pro Tem 

On Dec. 1, Boulder City Council will be appointing its Mayor Pro Tem. Every year a new council member ascends to the position, appointed by fellow council members. The selection process is vague, and in my opinion is based on allyship, at the time of the vote, and sometimes based on seniority. 

All the job requires is a commitment to be on the Council Agenda Committee for one full year and to help staff navigate our council priorities throughout that year, and to stand-in for the mayor when he or she is unavailable. Because there are no specific criteria and requirements beyond the ones aforementioned, I believe the Mayor Pro Tem should be someone who embodies the values of our Boulder community of diversity and inclusion. Someone who strives to engage communities that are not often part of the process. Dr. Nicole Speer is the only Mayor Pro Tem candidate thus far who I have seen consistently go out into the unhoused, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ community to support their efforts.

We are at a unique time in our history, in which the leaders of the community are expected to lead with empathy and equity. Our community members have empowered us to be courageous and to create the community of our ideals. A community that is people centered—which includes Black, brown, working-class whites, and LGBTQ+ people. Additionally, beyond merely including them we must ensure that they are also reflected in leadership and are at the forefront of the work that we do. Dr. Nicole Speer doesn’t just support the cause of LGBTQ+ people, she is a member of that community. As a council, we have so often publicly claimed our desire to promote and protect the rights of marginalized communities, however, without giving them a seat at the leadership table, our claim is merely hypothetical and illusory, at best.

In reflecting, I will not claim that voting for one LGBTQ+ colleague for Mayor Pro Tem is in any way protecting or promoting the rights of the entire LGBTQ+ community, but in the wake of everything that has been happening in our community and around the state, we have a duty to stand with our LGBTQ+ friends in the community and to ensure they have a seat at the leadership table, especially when they are qualified. To that end, I hope my fellow council colleagues will join me and take this opportunity to showcase their values and stand with Dr. Speer. 

Junie Joseph, current Boulder City Councilmember and Representative-elect for House District 10. 

Support a fossil-free CU

As an Environmental Engineering Masters student focusing on air quality research at CU Boulder, the effects of the fossil fuel industry on the air we breathe plays a major role in my personal connection to the Fossil Free CU movement. By investing millions in fossil fuels, CU is complicit in the disproportionate health impacts experienced by communities across the Front Range of Colorado as well as the climate impacts felt across the world. This goes against the diversity, equity and inclusion that the CU System supposedly prides itself in. How am I supposed to be inspired as an environmental researcher if my University doesn’t hold itself to its own standards of boldness and innovation as a climate and sustainability leader? I will be supporting the Fossil Free CU campaign at the climate strike this Friday, Dec. 2 to call upon the CU System to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in a just climate future for students and generations to come!

Helena Pliszka/Boulder