Thanks, Dave [Anderson]. A major victory by DSA-NY, the New York Renews Coalition, which led the successful four-year campaign to pass the 2019 New York Climate Law (CLCPA), is a more comprehensive model for a statewide Green New Deal, vital while Congress is gridlocked. NY Renews is a broad coalition of some 360 organizations, including major unions and environmental groups, but also people of color community groups, faith and social justice organizations, including several [Democratic Socialists of America] chapters.
The Build Public Renewables Act was part of a legislative package NY Renews pushed this year, with mixed results. The DSA-led Public Power NY campaign did most of the work to get BPRA through the legislative gauntlet.
NYR’s principles of Unity (nyrenews.org/partners) are implicitly socialist, [in my opinion]. For example:
“2. We recognize climate change represents a serious threat to all and especially to vulnerable people such as workers, people of color, seniors, youth, and the poor. Governments at all levels need to act now because the warming planet puts prosperity out of reach for far too many.
3. We understand that unchecked corporate power jeopardizes a sustainable future. We support democratic and public control of the energy and finance sectors so that private interests never compromise the health and well-being of workers and our communities.
4. We can address both the climate crisis and the inequality crisis with the same set of policies. As the impacts of climate change mount, the crises of inequality and democracy will continue to grow.”
— Mark Schaeffer / Albany, NY
‘BOUTIQUE’ STUDENT HOUSING
[The property at] 2700 Baseline is a proposed “boutique” student housing project at the corner of 27th Way and Moorhead. Just what constitutes “boutique” student housing I discovered in attending a meeting at such a facility owned by the publicly traded American Campus Solutions.
In the lobby was a bank of Apple computers, multiple TV screens, and ping pong and pool tables. A swimming pool was behind the building. The meeting was intended to sway opinion in Martin Acres that the project would be a community asset in creating a park along Moorhead from Skunk Creek through the defunct car wash and Nick’s Auto. Boulder Gas, Grease Monkey, the abandoned Wendy’s and Baseline Liquor would be replaced by a student dormitory with the amenities of a private club. Traffic flow for the businesses on 27th Way and Moorhead currently is surprisingly fluid with multiple entrances and exits, but access and parking look to be a nightmare for the new building.
Having spent my sophomore year in the Lazy J Motel on Euclid Avenue and subsequent years in a succession of rooms in private homes on the Hill, the revelation of such a cocooned campus life was startling. Student housing in Boulder is a competitive and lucrative business with “in locus parentis” carried to an extreme. The site is zoned for neighborhood friendly retail and Martin Acres is designated single family residential, but our landlord-friendly City Council and libertarian Governor Jared Polis, in promoting unbridled development and density, are poised to run roughshod over such distinctions.
Resource conservation and affordable housing are of no concern in this project. Displacing four long-standing businesses for luxury housing and a small patch of greenery does nothing positive for the neighborhood.
— Robert Porath / Boulder
I loved reading Dr. Rick Knight’s recent article suggesting that ecological restoration could be a new form of outdoor recreation (Writers on the Range, “Restoring the land can feel like a lot of fun,” June 29, 2023). As the executive director of Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (WRV) — a Colorado nonprofit that engages volunteers in land restoration — I am obviously biased, but I would endorse the idea that this work can be a lot of fun!
At WRV, we say we have a dual mission. It’s succinctly described by our tagline: Healing the Land, Building Community. While Dr. Knight focused on the first part of that (thanks to Dr. Knight for acknowledging our work), I’d like to emphasize the importance of the second.
As social creatures, humans need community for plenty of reasons. In fact, recent research concludes that social connections are as basic as our need for food, water and shelter. But social connections also give life meaning and make it fun. Volunteers on WRV projects build relationships with the land, with themselves and with one another. It’s this last example that makes ecological restoration fun; you don’t do it alone but with others who care about the land. If you care about the land and like to have fun outdoors, join a WRV project this summer: wlrv.org
We trust you’ll have a good time!
— Katherine Postelli, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers / Longmont