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Letters to the Editor: Elaine Dannemiller: Public safety: The most important issue

Elaine Dannemiller

10.20.2021

Read the original article and full Letters to the Editor section in the Daily Camera


Elaine Dannemiller: Public safety: The most important issue


I’m not a single-issue voter. Of all the important issues in this election, none is more important to me than electing Council members who support compassionate enforcement of the camping ban.


Every candidate will tell you that they don’t want to see Boulder’s public spaces used for illegal camps. But only a few have the courage to state publicly that they support enforcement of this law. Those are the candidates who’ll get my vote: Steve Rosenblum, Tara Winer, Michael Christy, and Mark Wallach.


Failure to enforce the camping ban has an immediate, direct, and negative impact on all of the other issues: public safety, the environment, and the ability to provide housing support for long-term residents of the county. Unsanctioned camping has brought chaos to so many other cities. Denver recently closed Civic Center Park. How many cities need to serve as a cautionary tale?


There are many shelter and housing solutions to explore; unsanctioned camping should not be one of them.


Too many solutions are conceived from the heart but don’t live in reality. Who will secure a “no-questions-asked” shelter? How? I’d like to see a serious answer before I’d ever support one because in reality they can be dangerous. What will the opponents of the camping ban do when a camper says “no, thanks” to every solution? It happens.


We are in dire need of in-patient rehab and mental health facilities. Mental health experts are already accompanying our police for homeless outreach. Assistance is offered with every camp clearing. You can’t push pause on the camping ban until there is a perfect solution for every unhoused person. It’s dangerous for everyone.


Vote for the four candidates who prioritize public safety. They have the experience, will, and intellect to tackle all of the other important issues.


Elaine Dannemiller

Boulder

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