Friday letters: Glenwood development, no Peak Health, Boebert perspectives, and the filibuster
Housing plan too much
I have lived in Glenwood Springs for over 30 years. Sometimes I think we forget we live in a very confined canyon. To the west is South Canyon and to the east is Glenwood Canyon, and we all know what issues those present: fires, accidents, road closures due to weather, etc.
It is no one’s fault, it is the environment we are presented with. If Interstate 70 was not running through our community maybe we could afford to pack more people in, but let’s face it, we have limited space and limited resources.
And we need the tourists that I-70 brings us. Sure, we can allow someone from outside our community to come in and build housing and gain the financial benefits from it, but can we support these 600-plus people with water, schools, roads, fire protection, sewer facilities, and on and on?
How many people can this space hold safely? (Tough questions for the P&Z, thank you for your work on this.)
If you build it they will come; no matter how much you build, they will come. It’s a beautiful and safe place to live, but if you allow so many people to be packed into a finite space there is no quality for anyone and “the beautiful and safe place to live” is no longer a beautiful, safe place.
Peak Health deal fell through
I am very disappointed to let you know that after months of work on behalf of our community, Peak Health Alliance will not be coming to Garfield County in 2022.
We were very successful in recruiting a new insurance carrier whose preliminary rates were indicating at least a 15% premium reduction from what is currently available.
However, Colorado law requires that at least one of the county’s hospitals participate in the carrier’s network to ensure access. Despite initial progress, both hospitals ultimately refused to participate. As such, the status quo prevailed.
This is a very sad outcome for Garfield County.
On behalf of the Garfield Board of County Commissioners and Peak Health Alliance, I appreciate your support of our efforts to improve and lower health insurance premiums. Please let us know if you want to be kept up to date on any further developments.
Garfield County commissioner
Good Boebert perspectives
Thanks to The Colorado Sun, Post Independent, The Aspen Times, Steamboat Pilot, Vail Daily, Durango Herald and the other Swift-owned newspapers in the 3rd Congressional District for their series of articles on how independent voters view the status of Rep. Lauren Boebert. These articles provide a bird’s-eye view of independent voters in the 3rd Congressional District.
According to the June 1 article, 84,384 active voters did not cast a vote in this 2020 election or in this race. It also reported that 133,599 voters total, including inactive voters, did not vote in this election or this race. Nationally, there are estimates that over 80 million voters did not vote in the general election of 2020.
What do these numbers say about the two major parties? The answer is that Americans are forced to vote for candidates from the party voter prison of the Democrats and Republicans. The two major parties control America’s election system. Look at Congress today. The Democrats and Republicans are doing little or nothing to help the American people. There is no $15 an hour minimum wage, no Medicare-for-all, no paid leave, and the list goes on.
The political gridlock in Washington, D.C., is permanent. We need to change this status quo.
How do we change the status quo? We need independents to run for office. Right now, thousands of American voters are leaving the Democratic and Republican parties. By 2022, both in Colorado and nationally, registered independents could grow to 50%. Nationally, registered independents hit 50% in January.
With the growing number of registered independents, it would be interesting to see how independent candidates would compete in the 3rd Congressional District as well as the rest of Colorado. Perhaps my proposal for an Independent Voter Caucus in 2022 would give us a clue.
Co-founder, Western Colorado Independent Voters; co-chair, National Election Reform Committee
End the filibuster
Year after year, we see politicians in Congress make promises about what they can do for constituents like me. And year after year, the progress is usually less than we hoped for.
The solution is clear: It’s time to get rid of the filibuster — a Senate rule that allows a minority of senators to block any piece of legislation.
Democrats have introduced some great bills that would help a vast majority of Americans. Right now, the Senate is deciding whether to pass the For the People Act, for instance, a big reform bill that addresses everything from making voting more accessible and streamlined to getting rid of corruption in government. But the fate of the For the People Act is uncertain as long as it can be filibustered by senators like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.
And that’s only one bill. Imagine all the progress that’s being held up in Congress because the filibuster stands in the way.
For me, for my community, and for communities like mine all across America, I’m asking senators to do away with the filibuster once and for all.
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