More Issues

Open Space: Preservation, Use and Dogs

Boulder has beautiful nature to enjoy. Literally 360 degrees of it. Now that we have it, what do we do?

We use it. We preserve it. These are both important. To what extent? Preservation of species is extremely important. Humans are responsible for the extinction of hundreds of animals. Let’s do our best to stop this process.

That said, where species endangerment is not at risk, let’s enjoy our nature. Whether that means hiking, biking, skiing, tubing, kayaking, etc, let’s ensure these activities can be done responsibly and safely where open space allows. Let’s allow this city’s high dog population to run free wherever dogs being off leash does not threaten the safety of others. Let’s show that perceived threat and actual threat are different; let’s provide opportunities for dogs to prove that they are child-friendly, and allow them to be off leash in more places.

Arts

One of my favorite days of the month is when the Rad-ish Collective hosts its monthly wine, tea and poetry open mic. I love getting this chance to share my poems or songs and to hear other’s art. The Rad-ish Collective is able to host its event off donations from attendees, but not all venues can do this. Some venues have much higher costs associated with productions, especially productions involving performers, set and prop designers, costume and makeup designers, light and sound crews, custodial crews, ticket salespeople, refreshments and other merchants, landlords or property managers, the list goes on! Every person involved in a show adds a unique element, and every contributor deserves compensation, while prices for shows still need to be affordable so that more people can enjoy them. To help with this, I support the city’s partial funding of BMoCA and the Dairy Center for the Arts. I would be excited to see more city-sponsored art, including performances and artistic displays in public spaces.

Education

I believe that empathetic, nonjudgmental, strengths-based, discussion-focused education is vital to the success of children. I continue to pursue early childhood education because preschool, when people are building the most connections in their brains other than infancy, is the easiest time to build skills. Children who are accepted as who they are and encouraged to be more have been shown to be more successful in life.

Things children need to learn:

  • that they are valued, no matter their academic skills or looks
  • empathy and social interaction
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • diversity is normal and valuable
  • actions have impacts; when someone is hurt they may have damaging impacts, when people feel valued impacts are positive
  • that they have power; consent is empowering

Programs like SPAN and MESA’s Peers Building Justice need to be expanded. Every school should be asking for healthy sexual education classes that give space for discussion of concerns, acceptance of views different from the teacher’s or society’s, and learning consent.

Children become the most successful when they are valued for efforts and given the opportunity evaluate their own efforts and come up with their own sense of value.

Teachers working on the above issues and excelling in teaching children the above lessons deserve to be valued, accepted, and sought out in Boulder. Schools working on the above lessons deserve to be rewarded for such efforts. Boulder has no budget for education; each department (such as OSMP, or library/arts) has its own budget, which can be divided for some educational component related to that department. Money needs to be spent on effectively working with children to guide them into responsible adulthood. The following reports support my claims about education:

Studies and textbooks:

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302630

Gartrell, Dan. A Guidance Approach for the Encouraging Classroom. Vol 6. Wadsworth Publishing: 2013.

More reader-friendly:

http://www.upworthy.com/researchers-studied-kindergarteners-behavior-and-followed-up-19-years-later-here-are-the-findings?g=2&c=ufb1

http://www.naeyc.org/blogs/prevent-bullying-focus-early-childhood

Safe(r) Spaces

Lots of people are discriminated against (often inadvertently) in everyday society. We need public spaces designed for people who face discrimination; LGBTQ+ populations, nonmonogamous communities, people of color, anyone who finds support within their community that they don’t necessarily find outside of spaces specifically designed for people of shared identities.

#ResistTheKragle

I really don’t like encouraging people to be more tapped into media, but the Lego Movie gave me a new view of how my hometown operates. Unfortunately, we have a case of the Lego Movie happening right here in Boulder. Here’s a quick synopsis in reference to the hashtag I created: some outlooks in Boulder seem to be that change is bad and that Kragle, a metaphor for keeping things how they are, is good. My favorite song lyric, from Bonobo, is: “Seasons change; it won’t ever be the same“. The most important thing for Boulder is that the change is creative and inclusive.

Please do not buy any products based on what I am about to write: the Legos in a Lego set can be made to make that set, but when they’re combined with other Lego sets they can make a broader scope of things. The Kragle is the glue that is used to keep the pieces in their original intention forever. We could rearrange the pieces and use innovation to come up with solutions to problems that didn’t exist when the original set was designed, but they exist now. Boulder needs innovative solutions. Please join me; #ResistTheKragle.

This website is supported by Cha Cha for Boulder Council.