Mark Wallach: Racial equity plan: Setting the record straight
In Saturday’s edition of the Daily Camera, in a discussion of the city’s draft racial equity plan, one of the members of the Camera’s Community Editorial Board, Bill Wright, attributed to me a position which is precisely opposite to what I have publicly expressed. Mr. Wright suggested that I viewed the city’s height limitations and greenbelt as policies that exacerbate racial inequity.
That was entirely and precisely inaccurate. In fact, I was the member of the City Council who most vociferously opposed the inclusion of that suggestion in the document, an opposition in which I was joined by several of my colleagues.
So once more, and for the record, let me state the following: Our height limitations and greenbelt reflect our strong environmentally progressive values, and I support them completely. Those are the policies that originally drew me to Boulder, and they are why I live here.
I do support the balance of the draft racial equity plan, but not the language that suggests that these core policies of Boulder are responsible for enhancing racial inequity. Can I be any clearer?
As a member of the council, I am more than happy to be held accountable for any position that I take, or to be criticized for any of my numerous mistakes (and I probably make more in a day than most readers do in a week). Criticism is an essential part of the democratic process.
However, it is a bit disheartening to have a member of your Community Editorial Board take me to task for a position that I have not taken, and which is the reverse of my publicly stated views. A bit more care in the editing of these comments would have been greatly appreciated.
Dan Moore: Library loans: Prospector was valuable service
I was dismayed to learn that as of Dec. 11, the Boulder library had pulled out of the Prospector Interlibrary loan system. Prospector allowed Boulder residents holding library cards to borrow, free of charge, from 39 libraries across Colorado and Wyoming. Interlibrary loans are now limited to local libraries who participate in the Flatirons Library consortium.
While we can still borrow from those local libraries, Prospector membership allows for access to a far wider selection of books. Many times in the past, I’ve searched for a new or niche book and found zero results within the local network, but saw multiple copies available in Prospector. These books opened my eyes to new ways of thinking.
After contacting the library, I was told this change was due to COVID-19-related budget cuts. While I understand that every government department needs to adjust to changing city budgets, Prospector membership opens a world of knowledge to Boulder residents. I’d respectfully ask the City Council to restore funding for this as soon as possible.
Trace Baker: Gym restrictions: Making the best of the situation
In the Open Forum section of the Dec. 20 edition of the Boulder Daily Camera, Jim Merlo wrote, “Based on data from the governor’s office, only one out of 686 health clubs across the state has been linked to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.”
I don’t doubt the statistic, but have to ask this question: Would the number be different if the state had not imposed restrictions?
I maintain my gym membership, even though I have not visited the facility since March. I participate in three classes, delivered by Zoom, each week.
True, I don’t have the range of equipment available at the gym, but the trainers can see me and correct my form when necessary. I receive benefits from my membership, and contribute to the survival of this business.
Tom Thomas: COVID-19 vaccine: Setting a good example
Rep. Ken Buck recently announced that he will not accept a vaccine for the coronavirus. He claimed that it is his right to make this decision. Were he a private citizen, many would judge him correct. But he is not.
Failing to inoculate himself not only puts him at risk (a consequence he has the right to accept), but it puts at risk others who may contract the disease from him. Even as a private citizen, this “freedom” to endanger others is constrained, for example, in the general requirement for children to be vaccinated before attending school.
Yet Buck is a public figure and by his announcement, he further publicizes and politicizes his destructive choice. There are those who because of his position and the limelight he enjoys, will be influenced to imitate him, to their own and the community’s harm.
Buck may be relying on excellent medical care in the event he contracts the virus, perhaps by virtue of his position. This care is not afforded to everyone in our society, including many of those who may put themselves at risk by following his example. Further, he may fill a scarce ICU bed, depriving someone else.
A member of our society has a responsibility to avoid causing harm to others. Sometimes this is expressed in law and other times by custom or the dictates of morality. As a person who enjoys exalted status and power by virtue of his position, Mr. Buck has volunteered for an additional obligation, to set a good example for the rest of us.
I can recall times when this responsibility was taken seriously, and voters rightly considered this in the next election. Today, I am not sure why we bother to keep the word.