Letters, Sept. 23, 2022


Vote for Janice Marchman in Colorado Senate District 15

Representation is on the ballot this midterm election cycle given the new redistricting maps. In fact, educating the electorate on the maps is a big concern as many Boulder County voters do not realize they are in a new district. This is particularly true in Senate District 15, which now includes western portions of Boulder County, where Janice Marchman is challenging Sen. Rob Woodward, who represented the prior version of the district.

Mrs. Marchman is a formidable candidate. As a middle school math teacher, former school board member in the Thompson School District, and mom, she is a regular person pledging to run on a value-based platform to provide real representation for the entire district. This district comprises 28 distinct communities, five school districts, and three counties. She is committed to personally visit each one to learn the local needs, concerns and desires.

She has strong Colorado values — protecting the environment, enshrining women’s rights, reaching for equity, promoting strong public education, creating good jobs, extending quality health care, and expanding affordable housing. She will bring her teaching and working experience to the Capitol to bring a reality not currently voiced and certainly not exhibited by Mr. Woodward’s record, such as his votes against expanding rural broadband and the Reproductive Health Equity Act.

Senate District 15 deserves a representative who listens to constituents, holds town halls and votes our shared Colorado values. In 2022, please vote for the candidate who will provide real representation of Senate District 15: Janice Marchman.

Lisa Lesniak/Boulder

CU Boulder Business Econ 101

Behind the University’s current buy and build (acquisitions and development) boom is simple arithmetic: It is making money hand-over-fist on its various rental assets and needs to turn it over into projects to make more money. Lowering student costs for tuition, fees, housing, cafeteria food, or increasing salary for faculty and staff would be counterproductive. It is Business Economics 101. 

Robert Porath/Boulder

Government is the villain

Why is the rent so damn high, and why do we have a housing crisis? One word can summarize what caused high rents and the housing crisis: government. The government is the villain.

Government programs artificially pump up the demand for housing while at the same time government policies choke off the supply of housing. That can only lead to soaring prices.

The government stimulates demand via the home mortgage income tax deduction, FHA and VA guaranteed loans, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, artificially low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve, rent control, and rental assistance. Pouring more money into the housing market results in higher prices.

The government chokes off housing supply using zoning, growth limits, height limits, occupancy limits (for reasons other than safety), open space purchases, absurdly byzantine and expensive building permit process, ridiculous and expensive building code requirements, other land use restrictions, tariffs on imported construction materials and major home appliances, rent control, and severely limited construction worker immigration.

Want affordable housing? The only path to affordable housing is separating government from housing altogether. Put the villain back in chains where it belongs. Then build, baby, build!

Think of the jobs that will be created by building much more housing.

Some critics will say if we free the housing market from political controls, there will be more traffic congestion (widen the damn roads!), views will be blocked (people should be deprived of housing so you can enjoy the view? How callous is that?), water demand will increase (conserve, pipe in water from where it’s plentiful, and farm in less arid places), and increased pollution, which can be addressed without creating a housing crisis. All of the criticisms are minor inconveniences compared to being priced out of housing.

Freedom is the answer to high rents and the housing crisis. Government is the problem.

Chuck Wright/Westminster

Email: letters@boulderweekly.com