May 27, 2022
ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Boulder Enforcement On Camping And Use Of Tents Or Temporary Structures In Public Spaces
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the enforcement of two Boulder ordinances prohibiting overnight camping and the use of tents or temporary structures for shelter or storage of property.
The ACLU argues that even when unhoused people are turned away from the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, especially during freezing nights or dangerous weather, the Boulder police continue to enforce the bans.
According to the ACLU, since last summer, the Boulder Shelter for Homeless has turned away more than 250 people, with two-thirds of them turned away on nights with freezing temperatures.
The group also alleges Boulder in recent years has slashed funding for shelters and has instead allocated resources to criminalizing unhoused people.
The ACLU says its clients are both housed and unhoused Boulder residents and the non-profit Feet Forward, whose staff and volunteers have also experienced homelessness in Boulder.
Police Address Threats And Suspicious Activity Of Youth At Denver Area Schools
As the nation mourns the mass killing of 19 young children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, police throughout the Denver metro area responded yesterday to reports of suspicious activity and threats affecting at least three schools.
Officials placed Denver’s Northfield High School on lockdown early Thursday after receiving a report of an armed student.
Denver police later arrested two juveniles and recovered a paintball gun at the school. According to the Colorado Sun, police declined to release additional information about the suspects.
The Greenwood Village Police Department announced Thursday the agency is investigating a social media message sent by an unknown individual threatening to [quote] “shoot up” Cherry Creek High School.
In response to the threat, officials placed the high school and the nearby Campus Middle School and Belleview Elementary on a secure perimeter, meaning officials locked all exterior doors while classroom activity was happening inside.
According to the Denver Post, law enforcement later decided it was safe to let the high school students go home and to dismiss the middle and elementary school students at their normal times.
In Boulder, police responded to a report by school security at Casey Middle School who noticed two students acting suspiciously.
Police later determined a theft was taking place and officers also found an airsoft gun in one of the student’s backpacks.
In consultation with the Boulder County District Attorney’s office, police said they issued a ticket for theft to a 13-year-old student and did not file charges related to the airsoft gun.
The incident comes a day after Boulder Police arrested a Casey Middle School student who reportedly made shooting threats to the school.
According to a Boulder Police spokesperson, the two incidents do not appear related.
Proposed Affordable Housing Complex In Lafayette Receives Funding From State
The Boulder County Housing Authority announced Wednesday that it has received funding for a proposed building plan in East Lafayette. The medium home value in Lafayette is approaching $700k and the rent is close to $2000 a month. The Willoughby Corner site will provide about 400 new units and allot 100 of those to affordable housing.
The Boulder County Housing Authority says that Willoughby Corner uses Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to fund the plan. Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are a financing tool through which investors fund construction. Investors buy tax credits from developers. That money subsidizes the construction of housing while giving investors a tax break.
BCHA’s affordable homes save residents hundreds of dollars per month in rent and utilities, allowing families to save money for their future.
William Shutkin, a faculty member with the CU Boulder Masters of Environment program, says, “Willoughby Corner is a case study in the best of inclusive, resilient, and sustainable community development.”
The area will include a dog park, walking and biking trails, community gardens, and electric charging stations.
The projected start date is early next year.
Group Warns Of Barriers Impacting The Post-DACA Generation Of High School Graduates
A new analysis released Thursday by FWD.us, an organization working to reform the nation’s immigration and criminal justice systems, estimates that 2,000 undocumented Colorado high school students graduating this spring will encounter even greater challenges than previous undocumented high school graduates because of the cut-off date for DACA eligibility.
The students are likely ineligible for DACA because they entered the United States after June 15, 2007.
The organization says without DACA, the graduates will not have access to work authorization to support themselves and their families and will not receive fair tuition rates, which will severely affect their career and educational prospects.
The organization also argues the barriers will limit the graduates’ abilities to take part in the workforce, grow the economy, and contribute to their communities as the state deals with a labor shortage.
Committee Of Educators Limits Reference To LGTBQ And People Of Color From Proposed Statewide Curriculum
A 35-member committee of the State Board of Education, tasked with making statewide curriculum guidelines for history and civics classes, has removed its previous LGBTQ references in standards for young students along with removing many references to African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Indigenous People, and religious minorities.
According to the Denver Post, the committee has also stripped some LGBTQ references in standards for middle and high schoolers.
The committee’s removal of the references comes in response to public feedback on its November 2021 draft of curriculum guidelines, which initially added language to include the perspectives of people of color and those who are LGBTQ.
While the committee developed the guidelines, committee members also attempted to adhere to legislative requirements including a 2019 state law that requires public schools to teach the experiences and perspectives of Black, Latino, Native American, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.
The Denver Post reports Joyce Rankin, a Republican on the state board of education, also requested many changes from the committee’s November draft and asserted the inclusion of “LGBTQ” and “migration” in history standards for second graders “could be interpreted as indoctrination”.
The committee addressed Rankin’s critiques in a separate 18-page document.
The committee, made up of social studies teachers throughout Colorado, will present its final revisions in June to the state board of education, who will then vote on a final version of guidelines later in the year.