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Take a Stand Against Fracking at Union Reservoir!

By John Bigger
President, Longmont Area Democrats

As many of you know, major oil interests have descended upon Longmont to take advantage of the hydrolic fracturing (fracking) “opportunities” available thanks to mineral rights below and adjacent to Union Reservoir. On Tuesday, November 15, a large group of concerned, passionate citizens presented their concerns to Longmont’s City Council. As large as this group of citizens is, it is not nearly large enough to fight the moneyed, big oil interests.

 We need YOUR help!

 

Get educated, get involved and get going, Longmont! 

  1. Get educated!

Learn the facts surrounding the many dangers inherent in the practice of hydrolic fracturing:

http://www.earthworksaction.org/hydfracking.cfm

http://www.rodale.com/fracking-2

 Two documentaries you MUST see:

  1. Get involved!

Watch this space for announcements of events in theLongmontarea.

  1. Get going!

With big oil interests fighting to destroy our natural resources, there is no time to waste. Hoping for the best won’t cut it – we need your help!

Join us!

 

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Support the New City Council

By John Bigger
President, Longmont Area Democrats

In the aftermath of another city election cycle, it is critical that we, as Longmont citizens, unite in support of our newly elected and existing city council members. Whether we like it or not, we aren’t going to agree on everything. In fact, many of us will find more disagreement than agreement with one another, but it’s this ideological diversity which allows a community to better serve the whole of its populace rather than catering only to any one faction. As Longmont continues to grow and become increasingly diversified, it will transform itself and provide an even greater variety of opportunities for citizens and business interests. Attempting to squelch diversity will only serve to further divide our community while contributing to the deterioration of Longmont’s ability to effectively serve the needs of its citizens.

Regardless of political persuasion or ideology, it is incumbent upon each of us to work together in the years ahead in order that we may better serve the whole of Longmont and to maximize its potential as a truly a great city!

To that end, we would like to extend our congratulations to the following candidates who earned election night victories on November 1:

  • Dennis Coombs, Mayor
  • Sarah Levison, At-Large
  • Brian Bagley, Ward 1
  • Bonnie Finley, Ward 3

Please join us in supporting these newly elected/re-elected public officials as well as current city council members Katie Witt, Alex Sammoury and Gabe Santos.

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LAD News and Notes

 – By John Bigger, President, Longmont Area Democrats

Longmont City Council/Mayoral Election

LAD does not formally endorse Longmont city council or mayoral candidates, however, we urge you to please VOTE in the upcoming city election, which will be conducted entirely by mail-in ballot. Please note that the voter registration deadline is October 3 and that ballots will be mailed to voters on October 7. You can check your voter registration info here: https://www.bouldercounty.org/government/elections/pages/voterinfolookup.aspx

In addition to voting, please consider getting involved with your candidate of choice by donating money, volunteering to knock on doors, attending events and anything else which may be needed. You can contact the candidates’ campaigns through their respective websites.

Longmont City Council/Mayoral Forum

If you missed the candidate forum (and, judging by the packed house, it seems that very few of you did!) which was held at the Longmont Progressive Center on September 7, you can catch video of the event, either by clicking on the YouTube link on this page (see post-event announcement below) or by tuning in to Longmont Channel 8, which has graciously offered to air a replay of the forum.

Special thanks to the candidates who were in attendance (John Daniels, Paul Tiger, Brian Hanson, Suzzanne Painter, Dennis Coombs, Sarah Levison, Ron Gallegos and Sean McCoy) and to moderator John D’Amico.

New House District Lines Finalized

The newly redrawn state house districts have now been finalized (pending approval by the state Supreme Court) and I’m happy to say that our voices played a significant role in a positive overall outcome. Longmont and Boulder County Dems and progressives showed up in droves to the committee hearings held in August and September and spoke out against a reapportionment proposal which would have divided Longmont’s Latino community while segregating the heart of downtown Longmont from the rest of the city. Fortunately, the committee listened to reason and redrew the lines to ensure that the disputed areas would not be separated from the rest of Longmont in Deb Gardner’s House District 11.

This is a huge win for all of us and the impact of your efforts cannot be overstated. Thank you for speaking out, either in person or by email!

You can view the new maps here:

New Colorado HD Maps

LAD Membership Drive

2011 has witnessed significant growth in LAD membership and, in an effort to maintain our momentum heading into the 2012 campaign season, we will be conducting a fall membership drive. Keep an eye on this space (and your email) for more details on how you can get involved with the most powerful and effective grass roots organization in Longmont.

LAD Film Series

Throughout 2011, we’ve enjoyed impressive interest and attendance for our monthly film series, which is held on the third Wednesday of each month at the Longmont Progressive Center (723 Main St.). The following films have been screened thus far in 2011:

  • Gasland
  • Inside Job
  • When Kids Get Life
  • 8: The Mormon Proposition
  • Daniel Ellsberg: The Most Dangerous Man inAmerica
  • Freedom Song
  • 9500Liberty
  • Playing For Change (Sept 21)

The LAD Film Series is free and features spirited, thought-provoking discussion. Join us!

Freecyclin’

Most are probably aware of Freecycle, the Yahoo group which allows you to avoid contributing to landfill population, but for those who are not familiar, it is a great way to offload things that you are no longer using but which still have some life. Personally, I hate throwing things out, especially when someone else might be able to fix, restore or otherwise use my refuse. It’s free and easy to use and you can find out more info here: http://groups.freecycle.org/BoulderFreecycle/description .

If nothing else, it beats huckin’ a couch with a hand-scrawled “free” sign out onto your front lawn, hoping someone might happen by and take it off your hands.

 

Until next time…

“One defeats the fanatic precisely by not becoming a fanatic oneself, but on the contrary by using one’s intelligence.” – George Orwell

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City Council/Mayoral Candidate Forum a Huge Success!

The year’s first City Council/Mayoral Forum took place at the Longmont Progressive Center this evening and featured questions covering a wide variety of topics posed to eight of Longmont’s candidates. 73 citizens (not including candidates) packed 723 Main for the standing room-only event moderated by John D’Amico.

Questions focused on such topics as affordable housing, small business climate, downtown and mall development, Latino-based issues, train noise and others. Due to the impressively sizable number of questions submitted online and in person at the event, not all questions were able to be addressed.

Candidates in attendance included:

  • Sean McCoy (Ward 3)
  • Ron Gallegos (At Large)
  • Sarah Levison (At Large)
  • Dennis Coombs (Mayoral)
  • Paul Tiger (Ward 1)
  • Suzzanne Painter (Ward 1)
  • Brian Hanson (Ward 1)
  • John Daniels (Ward 1)

Bonnie Finley (Ward 3) and Brian Bagley (Ward 1) were unable to attend due to prior commitments and current Mayor Bryan Baum and Council candidate Heath Carroll (At Large) declined their respective invitations to participate in the forum.

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LAD News and Notes

– By John Bigger, President, Longmont Area Democrats

Longmont City Council/Mayoral Candidate Forum

Just a reminder that the candidate forum will be taking place on Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30 pm and will be held at 723 Main St. We are in the process of amassing questions for candidates from a variety of sources and we welcome your submissions. Please send questions that you would like to ask candidates directly to me for consideration.

LAD Booth at the Longmont Farmer’s Market

Beginning on Saturday, July 27, the Longmont Area Dems will host a booth at the Longmont Farmer’s Market. We’ll be distributing literature, recruiting members and basically spreading the LAD vibe. Please feel free to drop by and say hi.

Mike Foote Announces CO HD12 Bid

On Thursday, Mike Foote formerly announced his candidacy for the CO HD12 seat, currently occupied by Matt Jones (who is running for the CO Senate district 17 seat). You can learn more about Mike by visiting his official site: http://www.mikefoote.org/.

I’ve met with Mike a few times and I am quite impressed by his experience, energy and leadership potential. As a Deputy District Attorney under Stan Garnett, Mike has prosecuted a number of high profile cases in Boulder since 2004 and has been a key to the success of the Boulder DA’s office.  He has been especially successful in prosecuting white collar criminal cases.

A resident of Lafayette, Mike spends a significant amount of time in Longmont getting to know the community and its needs. In fact, I bumped into Mike and his family this evening at Longmont’s Festival on Main St.

CO State Reapportionment Hearings Continue

Speaking of house districts, the next CO Reapportionment Commission hearing will take place on September 1 at 6:00pm in Broomfield at the Broomfield City and County Building(1 DesCombes Drive) and this will be your last chance to voice your concerns to the commission in person.

If you can’t make it to the September 1 meeting, you can email the committee at reapp2011@state.co.us to voice your concern over the currently proposed district mapping (6001).

Protesters Outnumber Right Wing Rally Attendees

This past Wednesday, the anti-Obama/anti-Dem organization “Americans for Prosperity” ambled into town and set up shop at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, attracting twenty or so vaguely interested individuals who passively listened to the usual fear-driven turgidity.

Also in attendance were approximately fifty progressives who showed up in force with signs and energetic lungs and proceeded to drown out what little enthusiasm had managed to dribble its way into the picnic shelters.

The signature “Americans for Prosperity” bus, expected to arrive at some point during the “event”, was a no-show. Rumor has it that it collapsed under the weight of its own artillery of half-truths, hypocrisy and comb-over cream, but this has not been confirmed.

Tax-Happy Republicans?

As you’ve likely heard, Congressional Republicans have recently spoken out against extending the payroll tax cuts, claiming that said cuts have done little for the economy and do not represent the sort of “economic stimulus” that is so desperately needed to right the country’s economic ship. In fact, Paul Ryan, a previous ardent supporter of these very same payroll tax cuts (twice!) during the Bush years, now dismisses the cuts as nothing more than a “sugar high” for American workers. This is the same guy who, along with his fellow Republicans on The Hill, claimed that the very same payroll tax cuts would provide the country with much needed economic stimulus in 2001 and 2008.

Seriously.

Meanwhile, if you will recall, it was these same Republicans who argued that last year’s extension of the Bush’s tax cuts was absolutely critical for this nation’s economic recovery. You should expect to see the same fight at the end of this year as the Republicans go to bat for yet another extension of the Bush tax cuts – those cuts which have served this economy so well since their implementation.

 

Until next time…

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” 

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Food & Water Watch Fair Farm Bill Potluck – 8/26 at 723 Main

Come to 723 Main St. on 8/26 at 6:30 pm for a potluck and discussion about how to make our food system more sustainable and just.

 

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LAD News & Notes


 – By John Bigger, President, Longmont Area Democrats

Welcome to the first in what will be an ongoing series of columns on the LAD site dedicated to news and issues relating to the Longmont Dem/progressive community. As the summer winds down and election season heats up, it is critical for our community to be engaged and galvanized in order that we may continue to effect Longmont’s continued evolution – politically, socially and intellectually.

As always, I welcome your feedback and ideas!

 Longmont City Council/Mayoral Candidate Forum

On Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30pm, The Longmont Progressive Center (723 Main St.) will host its first ever candidate forum. If you attended the forum which was hosted by LAD at FRCC in 2009, you can expect a similar format with this year’s LPG-hosted event. The forum will be emceed by a local resident with no ties to the Longmont political community and will feature a variety of topical questions for all candidates in attendance.

Please plan to attend and learn more about local Longmont issues and candidates.

 Matt Jones Announces State Senate Bid

Current HD12 State House Representative Matt Jones (D) announced this morning that he is running for the CO State Senate District 17 seat currently held by term-limited Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D). Having volunteered for Matt’s HD12 campaign, I have gotten to know Matt well and I am quite excited about the prospect of having Matt represent our senate district. Matt brings a wealth of experience, having served multiple terms in the state house, and his demonstrated ability to “reach across the aisle” for support on critical bills has established him as a very successful Representative.

We look forward to working for Matt on his bid to succeed Brandon Shaffer, who is seeking to unseat freshman CD4 Rep Corey Gardner (R) in 2012.

 Boulder Reapportionment Hearing Recap

Monday’s (8/15) state house district reapportionment hearing provided few fireworks, but plenty of ardent support fromLongmontand Boulder County Dems. The meeting, held in a standing-room only conference room at CU’s UMC, was hosted by the committee charged with defining new state house and senate district boundaries and was chaired by HD12 Rep Matt Jones. The committee is comprised of five Dems, five Republicans and one independent, non-partisan member.

A number of Dem and progressive activists presented key points in opposition to the currently proposed plan (6001). Such topics included the fracturing of the Latino community, segregating the “heart” of Longmont(downtown/main street) from the much larger HD11 and general, politically-motivated gerrymandering.

While the opposing sides in the debate remained mostly civil and respectful throughout, the same cannot be said of one of the committee members, Republican lobbyist Gayle Berry, who literally screamed at a startled fellow committee member who was simply urging Berry to refrain from “cross-examining” citizen speakers.

For information regarding the reapportionment proceedings, please visit WWW.Colorado.gov/Reapportionment.

You are also encouraged to email the committee at reapp2011@state.co.us in order to voice your concern over the proposed district mapping.

 Local Right Wing Longmont Election Tactics

“By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy’s must be divided.”

It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy’s one, to surround him; if five to one, to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army into two.”

– Sun Tzu

 Anyone who is familiar with the basic tenets of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” is familiar with the stated principle that, in order to defeat one’s enemy, said enemy must first be divided. By now, any learned strategist knows this tactic when she/he sees it, yet it continues to be used. Why? Because it can be effective when executed skillfully.

The “other side” has already begun exercising these tactics, seeking to alienate and/or marginalize Longmont’s various Dem and progressive entities in order to gain victory in the upcoming non-partisan city elections.

One such example was brought to my attention today, in fact. A local attack blogger, in a painfully transparent attempt to execute said “division strategy”, devised a fabrication regarding yours truly, implying that I had actually visited his blog site and posted some derogatory remarks in the comments section. He went on to suggest that he had performed a little IP “sleuthing” and had discovered that – lo and behold! – said post was traceable, not only to an iPhone (which I own), but to Longmont Area Democrats. For reference, there is no “Longmont Dems” network entity from which any silly comments could have been posted to his blog. Further, I do not visit his blog. It doesn’t interest me and I’m not interested in reading comments from a guy who does nothing but trash his fellow Longmont citizens. And I most certainly did not post any comments to his blog.

This is but one example of their tactics, folks. Don’t get sucked in. In the weeks leading up to the election, they will say and do anything they can to divide us. Desperate moves such as these began rearing their heads years ago when the longtime Longmont“establishment” began to notice an alarming (to them) growth in the progressive population and movement in Longmont. They didn’t like it and they will do whatever it takes to stem the tide of momentum.

Last Night’s LAD Film: “The Most Dangerous Man in America”

Last night’s edition of the LAD Film Series featured one of my personal favorite documentaries, “The Most Dangerous Man inAmerica: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”. If you were unable to attend and have not seen this film, please do so. It is truly inspirational to learn about a man whose only motivation for putting himself in a significantly dangerous situation was his internal desire to do what was best for his country.

Please join us on the third Wednesday of every month for our film series.

 LAD Growth in 2011

Those of you who have been attending LAD events this year have no doubt noticed a lot of new faces. I am pleased to announce that the LAD continues to grow, feeding off of the continued influx of Dems and progressives intoLongmont. As mentioned above, the times they are a-changin’ (and have been for years!) in this community and we can continue to reap the benefits of the welcome infusion of left-leaning citizens from other parts of the county, state and country. If you let your membership lapse last year, it’s time to get back on board. You’ll see many familiar faces as well as many new ones. We host outstanding programs each month and we boast numerous members who are well-known activists in the community and who can put you to work on various campaigns and causes!

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at723 Main St.,Longmont.

Until next time, I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my personal favorites, Hunter S. Thompson:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” 

 

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Full video of Cory Gardner’s Loveland Town Hall Monday August 8, 2011

Click here to view the YouTube video of the entire town hall.

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LAD Film Series Presents 2011 Oscar-Winning doc, “Inside Job – Wed, April 20

Longmont Area Democrats Film Series presents 2011 Academy Award-winning Documentary, “Inside Job”

Wednesday, April 20

Doors Open @ 6:30 PM
Film Starts @ 7:00 PM

723 Main Street, Longmont

Please join us Wednesday, April 20, for a FREE viewing and discussion of the Oscar-winning documentary “Inside Job”

From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

Please join us for this informative and inspiring documentary. And please bring a friend!

April 20th, THIS Wednesday

723 Main Street

Doors open at 6:30pm – Film starts at 7:00pm

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