11_28_23_AM_headlines John Kelin
Denver City Council Postponement
Denver City Council postponed the second half of its weekly meeting last night, after pro-Palestinian demonstrators disrupted proceedings.
The Denver Post says the demonstrators took over the City Council chamber, protesting the Global Conference for Israel scheduled to take place in the city this week.
The demonstration, during the meeting’s public comment section, lasted nearly two hours, with protestors pleading with council members to hear them out. None of the members stayed, and Council President Jamie Torres told the Post she couldn’t tell how long the demonstration would go on, leading her to postpone the meeting.
Also during public comments last night, speakers urged city council to pass a resolution in support of a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip conflict.
Pro-Palestinian groups are expected at this week’s Global Conference for Israel, and the Post says their aim is to shut it down.
Denver Salvation Army Contract
Earlier in last night’s meeting, the City Council approved a $10 million contract with the Salvation Army. The contract will allow the group to operate a 450 bed shelter for unhoused people, through the end of 2024.
The Denver Gazette says that agenda items city council couldn’t get to because of the postponement will be addressed at its meeting next week.
President Joe Biden is due in Colorado today. His itinerary includes stops in the Denver area, where he’ll attend a fundraiser, and in Pueblo, where he’ll visit the C.S. Wind Factory.
Biden’s two-day visit is a rescheduling of an October visit that was canceled, as the president focused on the escalating crisis in the Middle East.
The White House calls the visit part of Biden’s “Investing in America” tour, spotlighting his Inflation Reduction Act. That, and other elements of his economic agenda, are meant to encourage investments in clean energy industries and create good-paying jobs.
The C.S. Wind Factory, a beneficiary of the Inflation Reduction Act, is the world’s largest wind turbine power manufacturing plant.
Governor Jared Polis is expected to attend tonight’s Denver-area fundraiser.
This will be President Biden’s second trip to Colorado this year. He gave the commencement speech at the U.S. Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs on June 1st.
Three New DPS Board Members
Also today, three new members of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education will be sworn in.
John Youngquist, Marlene De La Rosa, and Kimberlee Sia all won seats to the Board in this month’s election. Each of the incoming Board members are supported by a pro-charter school group, according to Colorado Politics.
The local teachers union, meantime, supports each of the current board members, including two who did not win re-election.
Colorado Politics also reports that more than $1.3 million was spent on the school board election, most of it from “dark money,” that which is spent by groups not legally required to report the source of their funds.
BoCo Public Health Cuts Proposed
Boulder County Commissioners are expected to vote on the 2024 budget next week, and a portion of the county’s public health funding may be on the line.
The Boulder County commissioners plan on cutting about 18% of the county’s portion of funding that goes toward Boulder County Public Health. This could impact public health programs and staffing.
Boulder Reporting Lab said that Boulder County Public Health was the only agency recommended by commissioners for spending cuts.
County funds make up just about a third of the agency’s overall $27 million budget. State fees for service and grants make up the rest.
In addition to preventing the spread of communicable diseases, the public health agency implements state laws around air and water quality. It also heads a home visitation program aimed to improve child and family welfare.
The county commission is scheduled to vote on a 2024 budget on Dec. 5. Residents can submit written comments ahead of the vote.
CO Ballot 14th Amendment Appeal
The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals to a District Court Judge’s ruling that allows Donald Trump to remain on the Colorado presidential primary ballot.
Arguments in the appeal are scheduled in Denver, one week from today.
A lawsuit brought by six Colorado voters challenging Trump’s qualification for the ballot argued that the former president violated the U.S. Constitution’s 14th amendment with his involvement in the January 6 2021 insurrection in Washington. The judge rejected that argument, ruling that while Trump did engage in insurrection, the 14th amendment does not apply to the presidency.
Lawyers on each side of the case will have one hour to present their arguments.
Boulder Power Outage
Power has been restored to Xcel Energy customers in Boulder, following an outage affecting about 1700 homes and businesses.
Power went out just before noon yesterday, and most of it had been restored by 12:30, according to the Daily Camera, citing an Xcel Energy map.
The outage affected traffic lights at numerous intersections.