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Letter to the editor: Why the attack on Colorado Rising, Salazar?

"Because the city of Longmont is not fighting to uphold a valid charter amendment, the organization that proposed the amendment, Our Health Our Future Our Longmont, retained Joe Salazar with Colorado Rising to use the new legislation SB-181 to reinstate the ban. "

We all get a request for a donation sometimes when we don’t want to give. We throw it in the recycle bin or delete it from our email. Councilmember Waters didn’t do that recently. Instead, he decided to start a public outcry against Colorado Rising and the executive director, Joe Salazar, in an op-ed last week. Why would you do that?

Does he have a personal bias against Joe? He refers to him as “a former state legislator who lost a primary election race for attorney general.” In reality, Joe is an advocate for the environment who served two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives, is a civil rights attorney, is executive director of Colorado Rising, and is also a well-respected leader in the Hispanic community. In 2019 he received the Democrat of the year award from the Colorado Democrats. 

Why does he feel a need to refer to Colorado Rising “well-intended?” Does he think that organizations that work tirelessly for the environment shouldn’t be respected? This is very dismissive to the residents of Longmont who voted for a charter amendment in 2012 that bans fracking within the city. It is also dismissive to those of us who realize that fracking is adding pollution to our air, which causes health issues and is hastening climate change.

Why is Longmont not defending the charter amendment? Waters states that “Longmont taxpayers have already done more than their share (defending) the 2012 fracking ban.” Because the city of Longmont is not fighting to uphold a valid charter amendment, the organization that proposed the amendment, Our Health Our Future Our Longmont, retained Joe Salazar with Colorado Rising to use the new legislation SB-181 to reinstate the ban. I don’t see why Waters feels that Salazar is costing the city when the city should be supporting the charter amendment passed by the citizens.

Does Waters think there is a time frame for ballot initiatives and charter amendments to be valid? Evidently, eight years is his time frame. So, do those who voted approval of 30-year leases for city property, only get eight years?

So, again it is time to ask: Why would Waters fight against reinstating the ban? Is someone, maybe a developer, wanting to get at mineral rights they retained that are now in city limits?  

Michael Bellmont, Karen Dike, Judith Blackburn,
Our Health Our Future Our Longmont board members




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