QUALITY OF LIFE

Boulder Chamber Guiding Principles

The Boulder Chamber advocates for a vibrant economy in balance with investments and polices that are consistent with our community’s social, cultural, and environmental values. These policies should result from good governance principles that sustain Boulder’s unique, creative, and livable character while promoting cultural diversity and inclusiveness.

The Chamber is committed to Boulder being a welcoming place for all members of our community, which is why we value diversity, inclusiveness, and equity as fundamental in all aspects of public policy. Attracting and retaining a diverse workforce is critical to innovation and competitiveness; this is why, in addition to issues of fairness and equity, Boulder must become more welcoming and inclusive. As an essential element of the quality of life in our community, we have a strong expectation that all policy decisions continually address the ongoing challenges of affordability and income inequality.

Issue Areas And Positions

Public Involvement and Stakeholder Engagement

Encouraging meaningful public participation and proactive stakeholder engagement, including the perspective of Boulder business owners and their workforce, should be a standard element of a collaborative decision-making dynamic within our community.

Diversity and Inclusivity in Leadership

The Bottom Line: The Boulder Chamber advocates for diverse leadership and representation that can provide a balance of perspectives on local boards, committees, and governing institutions. That is one of the goals of the Leadership Fellows program that we produce in collaboration with the Community Foundation Boulder County. We are pleased with the program’s partnership amongst Boulder County and other participating government and civic entities that advocate for similar inclusive leadership development initiatives across our community.

Financial Management and Capital Improvements

Operating budgets and capital investments need to account for, and prioritize, essential infrastructure improvements and services, including those that increase public safety and resiliency in the event of floods, fires, or other natural events. The City of Boulder should clearly delineate capital funding for critical infrastructure projects, as funding for essential City priorities should not continually be dependent on the passage of supplemental funding initiatives or assessing additional costs solely to businesses when the benefits are shared across the community.

The City of Boulder should move in a direction that will encourage budget and spending efficiency through comparisons to peer cities and/or best practices. Further, the City should identify reserve allocations that may be available for higher priority expenditures. City Council should incorporate the use of performance metrics in its review of critical service delivery.

Sustained Sales Tax Revenues

A high quality of life is maintained by ensuring we have sufficient revenues for adequate city services. The most significant revenue mechanism that funds our City budget, capital improvements, and essential services is sales and use tax revenues. We must take proactive steps to ensure policies are in place that safeguard our competitiveness in the face of increased regional competition and other factors that lead to loss of sales tax revenue. We must proactively support retail services and other tax generating opportunities such as special events and arts and culture programs and venues that are enjoyed by visitors and residents alike and benefit many of our local businesses.

Visitors and Tourism

The Boulder Chamber unequivocally welcomes visitors to our community and appreciates the economic contribution of tourism. Visitor spending is key to funding everything from open space and parks to police and fire services. Not only does the tourist economy generate a considerable amount of revenue for essential services, but it also provides many of our residents with jobs. Conventions and other business-related tourism/visits contribute to innovation and the global competitiveness of the university, federal labs and our primary industries. Additionally, the survival of many local businesses and our arts and culture sector depends on visitors and tourism. City Council must continue investing in the Convention and Visitors Bureau’s leadership role in promoting the Boulder experience — which in turn supports our economy and adds to the quality of life we experience as residents and for our those doing business in Boulder, our guests, friends, and visitors.

The Bottom Line: We support investment in our tourist economy that encourages visitors to enjoy Boulder.

Livable Neighborhoods

The Boulder Chamber supports the type of community planning initiatives that create compact, affordable, walkable/bike-able, mixed use, high quality connectivity for our neighborhoods and residents. We support the continued investment in neighborhoods across Boulder that improve their vibrancy and safety.

Arts and Culture

A strong arts and culture sector is a key contributor to Boulder’s economic and community vitality. The Boulder Chamber encourages programs and planning that increase access to arts and culture in neighborhoods throughout the city and engage the business community.

We support the creation of art districts, affordable studio space, live/work housing options for artists, and spaces for arts and culture uses such as retail, display, community art, maker-spaces, and performance venues as specific elements to be included in community planning and financing.

Sustainability and predictability are needed for arts and culture grants as well as for library services; creating a 1% for the arts program tied to municipal capital projects is one example, among others, for how to establish a stable source of funding.

The City of Boulder should explore more stable funding mechanisms for library services, including the exploration of a regional library district or some other revenue-sharing model that recognizes the draw to Boulder’s library services from across Boulder County.

Social Safety Net and Human Services Programs

The Boulder Chamber will collaborate with local leaders, organizations, and governments to advocate for a sustainable safety net of services to meet critical needs of many members of our community and help sustain a thriving workforce.

Federal and State Healthcare

The Boulder Chamber supports efforts to engage a wide array of stakeholders with multiple perspectives in the ongoing dialogue to improve our health care system without interrupting coverage to those that desperately rely on it or creating periods of unpredictability for our providers. The Boulder Chamber advocates for greater transparency in the cost of health care, including costs for services and prescription drugs.

Public Safety

Public safety is relevant to the stability of a good business climate. In Boulder County, our law enforcement is doing a remarkable job and our leadership should focus on making infrastructure improvements that keep our citizens and business areas safe. This approach aligns with the values, priorities, and character of Boulder County’s businesses and residents. A focus of public safety should be on crime prevention, offender management, flood mitigation infrastructure, and other community safety elements.

Related Issues of Importance

  • Open Space: Support the preservation of Open Space as a community asset that appropriately balances conservation initiatives and recreational uses.

  • Homelessness: Work in partnership with community leaders and partnering organizations to support initiatives that address the impacts of homelessness on the community.

  • Public Engagement: Support the principle of greater inclusivity in public policy decision making within the City of Boulder, as recommended by the Public Participation Working Group.

  • Cultural Vibrancy: The Boulder Chamber supports programs that maintain our community’s social and cultural vibrancy for the benefit of all residents and as a critical tool for attracting and retaining a high- quality, diverse, and creative workforce.

  • Equitable Access: Easy physical access to amenities such as parks, open space, arts and culture, and shopping also contributes to the quality of life of residents and should be considered in parking and transportation planning.

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