In a nutshell: The City should continue to address social justice needs through direct support to those who require it.
The City of Boulder has a critical role to play in the provision of local social services in the interest of social justice. Traditionally in Colorado, counties take the lead in receiving and disbursing funds for Medicare, Medicaid, housing assistance, and other social services.
Boulder has historically buttressed these county services through direct aid to those in need, principally by directing funding to existing social service agencies. We also provide funding to affordable housing projects, including partnering with Boulder Housing Partners, Thistle Communities, Habitat for Humanity, Attention Homes, and other organizations. In addition, the Human Services department provides direct grant funding to a host of local non-profits, including EFAA, Bridge House, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Mental Health Partners, and many others. Finally, the City provides direction around the coordination of services between these non-profits, its police force, and the municipal court system. This is all as it should be in a progressive, wealthy city like Boulder.
I believe Boulder’s most pressing human/social service needs are: effectively addressing homelessness; delivering culturally sensitive support to ethnic minority community members, especially considering the national political landscape, and preparing for an aging population. I believe we need to continue to increase the amount of affordable housing in the City, expand support for the homeless in collaboration with non-profits, and protect and advance the safety of all residents. In addition, the City must address the increasing difficulty that middle-income individuals and families face when it comes to affordability in Boulder.