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I have 630 and we do have a quorum. I know that we’re waiting on a couple more board members, but they can join us as we get going. So Good evening, everybody. Thank you for being here. And this is the Thursday, July 9 housing and Human Services Advisory Board meeting. We call the meeting to order. And I at this time invite any public to be heard.
I did not have any requests for anybody to have access to the meeting other than our consultants from route policy, so no public can be heard at this time.
Thank you, Nicole, and thank you for speaking so clearly into your microphone. Okay, then let’s go on to the minutes. The minutes were sent out in advance of the meeting. Yes, Tina.
I just had a correction to the minutes and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to do that now or the procedure for that. So should I tell you what I noticed?
Yes, go ahead.
Okay. So just on my agenda item when I did the presentation on center for people with disabilities, it noted that the minutes note that they assisted about 200 people over the last year over four locations and that number is really 2000 people, not 200 people. Okay, thank you.
Nicole, it looks like you captured that.
Yes, I will correct that.
Okay, thank you. Are there any other corrections to the minutes? Okay, then with that is there a motion to approve the minutes from the last meeting.
I’ll move to approve the minutes
Thank you Dina makes the motion. Is there a second?
Go ahead the second. Okay. Thank you, Jake.
And all in favor of approving the minutes from last month’s meeting. Please say hi or raise your hand. Are we raising? We’re raising hands now? Right.
Okay, I show everybody approving with I assume and with Sorry, I can’t think of the word not voting because you weren’t here at the last meeting. Correct,
Rick. Okay. So
you’ve got all the approvals. Any opposed, please raise your hand. And any abstentions? Please raise your hand.
Well done. Thank you.
Okay, the Motion passes. We’ll move on to the TRG recommendations on habitat funding request. Kathy, are you going to walk us through that?
Yes, I am. Alright.
You have the floor.
Thank you. So Molly provided a memo kind of outlining the TRG meeting, which I listened to while I was driving across Nebraska. So I wasn’t very participatory in the meeting, but I did hear what was going on. So bottom line is the recommendation. We ended up with one application. We started out with two but they, that agency wanted a grant and so they decided to wait until the CDBG funding in the next funding cycle is available that left us with one application for Habitat for humanity’s shoto arm which is a Community Housing Development arm. So they created a Separate sound a whole separate organization, but a separate arm of their, of habitat of the safe Green Valley in order to take advantage of and be eligible for special home funding or special funding under the Home program. And so the home funds provide shoto funding to support small housing development organizations with pre development costs if they need those, or a set aside of funding to help support them each year to give them kind of a leg up. And so they’re not necessarily competing against all the other folks that might compete for home funds. So so they repurpose and started this shoto. And so this is their first application in for funding. They requested 120,000 in total funding. Normally, the consortium sets sets aside, depending on what the allocation is anywhere from about 120 up to 140 or 160,000 each year. So what we will do if this is recommended to move forward is to get with the city of Boulder and see what might be available in total funding for 2020. If anything, otherwise they would wait until 2021. Home funds are available, which would be in January for this project. So the TRG did recommend full funding for this project from the total funds as a grant. They felt that the fact that they were getting to lower income, providing lower income housing opportunities for sale homeownership opportunities, even beyond the 60% area median income that they agree with. To in order for the developer to get their special consideration under the inclusionary housing programs, so they’re really trying to target 55% ami units. So that’s why the TRG felt, even though we have the discussion should have a nonprofit that is providing the affordable housing for a developer be able to receive city funding should knock the developer every fully funding that the TRG in this instance felt because they were going even lower than than what was required under inclusionary housing, that it made some sense to go ahead and fund this. So that’s their recommendation. And that’s pretty much a wrap up of the discussion that they had around that whole issue about the developer versus the city funding these kinds of projects at some point and we can bring it back for further discussion. They would like some some guidance. Or some thoughts around whether or not we should consider projects like this. That’s under the inclusionary housing, or if just getting the fee waivers is sufficient, as far as city funding and save the city funding for 100% affordable projects or others that are not providing the affordable housing on behalf of the developer. So I think what we’ll do is the staff might dogs growling at somebody, staff might put together maybe some options for you all to consider and bring that back to the housing advisory board. To have a discussion about that is kind of what I was thinking. So we could give some direction to the TRG. So I’d be happy to answer any questions about either the application or or that discussion.
Thank you, Kathy. Any questions for Kathy Paulie.
Kathy, partly for everybody else’s elimination Partly for me, this is I would like to say this this
development is the first and I profoundly hope the last
Metro residential Metro district in Longmont for the last 15 years, which was made illegal and we are trying to make it illegal again.
But so there are three parts of it. Part of it is a metro district. And then part of it is the veteran’s village which is the 26 Tiny Homes and then habitat has the eight habitat homes, which are duplexes or they’re called shared something other now anyway,
but just what paired horn paired homes? Yes, I think is the other term.
They’re duplexes. But Anyway, but they’re nicer and bigger and better. This is a really good project from for Habitat. Could you just clarify that there isn’t really any relationship between habitat and the veteran’s village? In other words, habitats not building the veteran’s village Tiny Homes and not sharing. financing. Does that correct?
That’s totally correct. Yeah. The developer developer donated the land or will donate the land to each of the two entities in a separate transaction, two separate transactions, and then each entity. Veterans community project and habitat are then on their own to build their separate developments. As Polly indicated, veteran’s village is 26 units, Tiny Homes and habitats is a total home. So those will become totally separate projects. They’re just on contiguous parcels. Once it gets the land gets to donated to them.
And Kathy, that land is actually going to be property of habitat on one hand and also on veteran’s village. So it’s not they’re not leasing it for 100 years. They’re actually giving it to them.
Yes. There’s a simple title.
Um, first of all, Sorry, I’m late. Um, quick question. I was trying to see this in the documents and I didn’t. Do we have a rough estimate of what the value of that land donation to habitat?
We don’t have it split out between the two. Totally. I don’t think the application in the sources of funds and trying to find it.
Oh, show the 95
Yes, forgive them.
actually that might be just habitats portion. Okay. I think was closer it was probably double that I think with both of them together.
Okay. I I’m asking as a way as a means of thinking about like, what is that donation worth that the developer has made to habitat
as compared to the total cost of their, their development. So thank you.
Council Member Chris Christiansen
I’m when I’m reading down here at the end of this, it says the advisory board question if the 12% inclusionary housing requirement is too high.
I would like to point out that we have worked very, very hard to get it up to 12% and it is not too high. And that is something that everyone In the county pledged to do and boulder has a 20% requirement.
And many of the other places the other cities in the county are also
have pledged or have made it law that it’s 12% requirement. So that’s a county wide decision based upon the Boulder County consortium of cities sponsored summit from about four or five years ago.
Councilmember Christiansen Can you which page Have you seen that on? I’m not sure. Um, I’ve seen the same thing.
So if, Brian This is Karen, I think I think it might have been a reference in the minutes when we were having the discussion at the July at the June meeting. I think it came up as a question if there’s going to be future developments might be coming to us for some gap financing. Then the question was was 12% too high? I think Councilmember Christiansen Is that what you were referencing? Is that note in the minutes?
Yes, that’s right, Karen. It is the
it’s the minutes from the June 11 2020 meeting. Sorry.
Got any other questions for Kathy? Kathy, I have one question. The, if I remember correctly, the home Consortium, the funding rotates every three years. Is that correct? So that Chodos set aside does that also rotate with the current holder of those funds?
Yeah, it does. Although long mine until this point has never had it. shoto so we you know, we Just put ours back into the consortium white pot. Mostly it has gone to habitat have flat earns habitat, who is the toto operating out of Boulder and the rest of the county. So this is kind of exciting that we’ve got a Cheeto again, it’s been a couple of years, but yes, it would cycle with the community. Or if we don’t have anything, it goes back to the consortium.
And this year, it’s boulder who is
so 2020 is Boulder. Yes. So they have control, but they thought there may be something that if their projects not ready to go, we could fund this or partially funded and then the rest of it would be in 21 when it’s our year and or split 2021 funding, so we’ll figure that out. That’s more of a accounting issue. If you guys want to fund this project,
okay. Thank you.
Okay, if there are no other questions, then I think the the question to the board is whether there is a motion to approve the recommendation of the hundred and 20 of funding Habitat for Humanity at 120,000 through the total funds. Is that Kathy, is that correct? Yes. formulation of that. Okay.
Vice Chair Marcin, is that a question?
No, I was gonna make the motion. Mr. Chairman just acknowledged that the TRG asked a lot of really good questions and kind of had the conversation that that had been brought up at the meeting when they were here. And I think what it came down to for the TRG was fundamentally kind of what as Kathy said, we’re talking about low income permanently affordable for sale units that are very hard to Create, and the TRG felt that, you know, it’s a it’s a continuing question that I have about the investments we make in habitat properties because we do very consistently, maybe not over invest. But in terms of on a per unit basis, the amount of money that the city puts into the creation of those units is high, but we get a good product in return. And so the TRG felt confident that it was the right choice. And I thought their discussion was reasonable. And yeah, I will move approval of the TR G’s recommendation.
I move that. Great. Thank you. Is there a second?
Karen Phillips seconds.
Thank you. Any further discussion? Yes, Graham. I’d like to clarify that the motion is with in regards to allocating the money to Habitat for Humanity, not whether or not the developer me The city requirements for affordable housing. That’s a separate question. Right? That’s not we’re not making a vote on that issue. Yeah, that’s my understanding is that simply done the funding of 120,000? Thank you. Yeah. Any other discussion? Okay, all in favor of funding Habitat for Humanity. 220,000 please raise your hand.
Yep. What did I say? 220 420,000.
Just to be clear,
yes. Thank you.
I got that Chair.
Thank you. Any opposed, please raise your hand. And any abstentions? Please raise your hand.
Okay, the Motion passes. And before we move on to the next item, I did want to ask because the last meeting I think was the first First time at least for some I can recall that we’ve had that joint TRG housing and human center Services Advisory Board kind of presentation. Did. Jake, can you speak a little bit to whether the TRG found that to be useful? Or, you know, we didn’t have a discussion on that in TRG, specifically that I can recall? I didn’t, I didn’t feel that there was any objection to it. I don’t think anyone raised any any concerns with it. And I think everyone reasonably would understand the, the reasoning behind it. I can say I certainly found it to be beneficial. I mean, for this group, I guess I would ask the question of, of this group is having heard from habitat Do you feel like it was beneficial? I guess that would be the question is, if this group felt more informed about the vote they just took that would be the ultimate measure of whether it was successful or not. So, Mr. Chair, I would guess that the question is probably his best The rest of the board.
Yeah, thank you. Well, I can certainly say that I found it very useful. I feel like, you know, reading through this packet, I had a much better understanding of what was being asked and what some of the considerations were that we were putting into that. So that certainly helps me feel like I’m being a more responsible board member and making these decisions and these kinds of recommendations. I don’t know if anybody else has feedback on that.
I agree. Thank you. shahida.
Kathy, from your standpoint, was there any staff feedback on that process? Whether it was kind of goofy or felt like the right thing to do or?
No, I think it seemed like it was beneficial. It’s no more difficult or less difficult to,
to structure it that way. I guess then. The main concern would be if we ever got to the point where we were looking at five or six presentations at once, which the TRG does slog through. Whether that makes sense or not or how much time y’all would want to spend doing that if it gets to be alive, but to do one or two made, that seemed like it worked really well.
Okay, good point. So we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Thank you. Yep. Okay, we’ll move on to agenda item five, which is a loan modification requests from Longmont Housing Development Corporation. And Kathy, I think you’re going to lead us to that one as well.
I am so the the memo that was included in your packet pretty much outlined what has happened. This was a loan that we made to the Longmont Housing Development Corporation back in 2015. It looks like I did have a blank in there and didn’t get that filled out but it was a 2015 it was a five year loan. To purchase two acres in the hope of crossing development right across 18th Avenue from the lodge in Hearthstone. So they intended to be able to develop it probably by now and that they their intention was to be able to pay off the loan as they were moving forward with development. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. So this is doing some cleanup work, since the loan was actually due and payable in March. And with everything that has happened, it kind of got a little bit lost. And so we’re trying to get this corrected. The board chair Lh, DC board chair has made a request that this be extended just for a year to march 1 2021, which will allow them some time to decide whether to roll it into a more permanent form of financing, or if they’re ready to move forward with it. There’s also a possible option The city owns some land and wants to put a new fire station out in that area, whether it might be able to do a land swap and put the housing authority in a more prominent position with the land that the city owns doing a swap, that I think it’s a little bit more land that the city owns and less land they don’t think the fire department needs as much. We haven’t fully vetted that as well that was kind of thrown out at the last minute. So this just allows some time to, for them to be able to consider options and be able to move forward one way or the other. So the extension would, we would ask the LDC to go ahead and make their interest payment for this year, and then extend the term to march 1 of 2021 and allow them some time to get their, their plans together for this and come back to us with something else
or pay it off.
Thank you, Kathy. Any questions for Kathy on this extension request? Just a couple from me, Kathy. They, as you noted this, this lapse has not occurred before.
They don’t have a new executive director, do they? Or do they?
It’s Karen envy. Harold in a lot of city staff.
Oh, I see. Okay.
It’s a group effort.
It’s taken three of us to do the job of one person.
This one split the defense Right.
Exactly, exactly. Yes. No, we do not have anyone in position at this point in time. So we’re, we’re working through all these issues.
Actually, the the executive director is is our city manager. So there is a he’s a the executive board member on the Lanai. Housing Authority Board. And that position holds the same level of responsibility as the executive director. Okay, thank you. It would be Harold.
And remind me if this had been developed, what’s the mechanism for repaying that loan?
It would have been tied into the development and so we would have gotten at the time that they closed on the construction loan, we would have gotten paid back.
Okay. At that time.
Yeah. Right. You know, they could also choose to roll it into a more permanent financing situation with the bank as well if they think it’s going to take longer to develop
and is interest accruing on this extension?
Yes. Yes, it’s 2% interest, yeah, 2% interest and they’ve been making interest only payments for all five years and just slipped on the 2021 when it should have been Then do
just one other question in regards to paying interest, you know, when when you don’t plan on paying interest, it becomes a significant expense, although I haven’t done the math to see what the interest on this would be. And that does not pose any kind of financial distress to the organization. Okay, thank you.
Okay, any other questions?
Okay with that, is there a motion to approve the loan modification requests from the Longmont Housing Development Corporation?
Motion to approve. Thank you, Graham. Is there a second?
Thank you, Chiquita.
All those in favor of approving the loan modification requests from the Longmont Housing Development Corporation, please raise your Hands.
Any opposed? Please raise your hand.
Any abstentions? Please raise your hand.
Okay, the Motion passes. Wonderful. Thank you for the background. Kathy. That’s really helpful.
Sure. Thank you.
Okay, we’re on to the Human Services needs assessment focus group.
I don’t know who’s going to lead that discussion.
I will tee it up and then I will turn it over to Jen. Thank you.
Um, so as
policy has been doing several focus groups and is currently working on resident groups. We just felt that it was important that this board get to share. Its its point of view on the Human Services needs assessment as well. They’re also doing some strategic interviews with individuals throughout the community around the human history assessment. And tonight, I think we’re gonna do along with the focus group, they’re also going to share some top line findings that they’re seeing from the human service needs assessment. And I think you will find there are some things that are new that I we have not talked about before, and it’s very interesting. So with that, unless Karen has any wants to add, I will turn it over to Jen and she will need us through the focus group.
Thanks all Oberto. I’m Jen Garner with root policy. Please give me the high sign if you’re having trouble hearing me. or anything like that. And thank you so much for having me with you all tonight and Elgato. Before I dive in, I just want to confirm that I have about an hour of time. Is that what you all were expecting?
Yes. Okay, great.
I always like to make sure just in case so that I don’t, you know, keep you going when you’re watching your clocks. But, um, so as I said, we are in the process of the community engagement phase of our work with you all for the Human Services needs assessment. And not surprisingly, the nature of that has in the way that we’re deploying that has changed quite a bit. But today, we have conducted four focus groups with stakeholders, including organizations that you will fund as well as a broader set of community organizations. And those groups have been designed to address you know, The whole range of human service needs but also focused in on some key topics. We had a discussion that really dug in on self sufficiency and housing, one on health well being nutrition and food, one on Safety and Justice and one on education and skill building. And as Alberto mentioned, we’ve also been doing some more in depth interviews with some of the staff and other folks at organizations to give us a more defined look at certain segments of the population, whether that is seniors or the DACA population or other immigrants. And those are ongoing. We are also collaborating with local organizations to conduct some online focus groups, including one with the center with disabilities. I thought I heard that won’t be a member of your board is with that organization. So we’re really looking forward to that. It’ll be my first closed caption Google Hangout, so it should be pretty wonderful, too. I’ll be at Community Food share dropping off some fliers to invite Longmont residents who are using their services to participate in a focus group. We’ve got one coming up on a Wednesday night, one on a Saturday afternoon. And all of these will be available in English and Spanish, because we do have that capability in house. And Monday, my colleague Amelia is actually moderating a mini phone focus group with monolingual Spanish speakers who have been referred to us by your senior services office, they’re at the city of Long Run. So we’re over the next week and a half going to be deploying the rest of the focus groups. And I’ve just been so grateful for all of the hard work by Roberto in particular, who has really just open lots of doors for us as all of us in this world trying to adapt to the new way of doing things and as he mentioned, I wanted to share with you some of just the real top line findings on what the community has been saying so far about housing and Human Services needs. Particularly for these folks how things have changed since the onset of the COVID pandemic, what they view as ongoing, urgent needs that are, immediately need to be addressed, as well as maybe some structural shifts that they’re seeing in the community and how they would recommend moving forward. So I don’t think it’ll be a surprise to any of you that every single group that we talked about, and all of the people we’ve interviewed so far, their number one priority is doing what they can to keep people stable the house, depending on where the perspective of the individual or the organization. You know, housing stability wasn’t just about preventing homelessness, but really about preventing further mental health difficulties, further employment challenges and really trying to keep people housed in the immediate near term. And then for the longer term solution, really looking at how can the broad members of the Longmont community work to support households to become more self sufficient and stabili housed over over the long haul? And, you know, I think that the real takeaway from all of these discussions is a recognition that Longmont has become a leader in trying to produce as much affordable housing as can be done and in, you know, being a partner in in that in that work. And just the acknowledgement that there’s never enough resources, right. So how can we also help, you know, increase household stability, child care provision was another key issue. And much of the discussion related to child care provision revolves around what will happen to the childcare providers.
If people don’t go back to the office, if
even if they only go back to the office part time, providers work at margins where they can’t survive with just part time kids. And so there’s a real concern that there will be a loss of childcare providers in the community. And that there are disruptions both happening in the town center, childcare center environment as well as around home based care, there’s that additional attendant difficulties there. And then, participants were also quick to point out that telecare was an issue pre COVID. And that, you know, for particularly for the lowest income households, and even some of those on the cost of just getting out of benefits or issues with the 10 of benefits clip that the C cap Studies in Longmont covered only half of the households that applied. Right so even before we were more economically constrained, demand was outpacing supply. And one of the participants who talked about headstart said in a normal year, headstart applications outpace available spots, two to one, and that since COVID, that’s now at four to one for those slots and in their experience that that’s mostly driven by people whose incomes are now headstart qualified. The other you know, real issue that was pervasive across all of our discussions relates to the digital divide, and that as more and more program and service delivery and information delivery is on boarded into online systems, there are issues with lack of internet connections, but also lack of devices and facility with devices right. So That this is a critical deed and that there were challenges prior to the pandemic. There were disparities and access, again, prior to the pandemic, by income as well as by race and ethnicity. And, you know, some of the folks who participated mentioned that, as organizations and partners have been scrambling to onboard technology solutions, there have also been difficulties with language access, as well as with people struggling with how to do things in a digital environment. And that that will be something to pay a lot of attention to, because it touches on so many things, right? Whether that’s, you know, skill building programs moving into online only formats or what’s happening with children’s schools or what happens when kids are back in school but a classmate gets sick. People are back home again, you know, how will that work out?
So that digital divide was
truly at the end of the day almost what people would prioritize as the number one new thing to address was how do we get people connected at the time of our discussion around education and skill building, the extent to which St. Brain public schools were going to open was unknown. And so it in that environment where schools were perhaps not going to be fully opened or where schools would be open part time. The participants really shared a heightened concern about the devastating impacts of continuing to keep children out of schools, particularly as that relates to all aspects of the social determinants of health whether that was parent and caregiver job loss that comes with not being able to count on having their kids in school. What would happen to the childcare center provider environment, the lack of preventative health and dental care. So for a lot of kids in public schools, the one time they see a dentist is when the dentist comes to their school or same thing with vision parents, so forth. So, again, something that maybe isn’t on the broad radar, but that is another service that’s delivered in the schools. And then, you know, I think the biggest issue that’s not related to, you know, normal child development and education, really is that the the folks who work in Child Abuse and Child Abuse Prevention are seeing vastly more severe cases. And they hypothesize that that is because children are not seeing mandatory reporters more quickly or more frequently, which is what happens when they’re not in schools are not going to doctors. And so that was a real I think, you know, they framed it in terms of a clear and present danger to kids and continuing to be locked down. And so, you know, we’ll just keep hoping that they’ll stay reopen. But those were the big issues. One other item related to education that falls into the pre COVID environment is that there were barriers to education access in school district requirements to enroll in January, paperwork and accessing curricula through online portals that are only in English. So even for some of your families who would go to the school district to register that whole polar environment is in English as is, you know, information to help kids with homework and so forth, just sort of in the regular days of doing business. So again, another touch point where the digital divide device issues lack of access and language access, create some difficulties to help support those families with the education and skill building area. I don’t think it will surprise any of you to know that the food pantries and other food prices riders are seeing a huge increase in demand for services as a result of the crisis. But there really was a general sense that at this point, they are comfortable that people who need food have ways to get food know how to get food, that organizations have become creative in terms of how to deliver food to isolated seniors, for example, or other physically vulnerable populations. So, the getting food to people and connecting them isn’t a real crisis point. But I think that you know, there’s real concern about budget and capacity, because so much I think one of the organizations had to actually buy food for the first time but their need was outpaced by their available donations. So I put that in the something to monitor. But in the good news front, at least in many respects, that Organizational incapacity and funding issues are what what they’re worrying about with respect to Safety and Justice, a lot of the discussion focused on domestic violence and child abuse, and then attendant issues associated in the immigrant community where there is a, you know, continuing
reluctance to involve law enforcement in family matters. And with COVID.
Just because there’s an eviction moratorium doesn’t necessarily mean people are staying in homes that they should stay in and so that there are people who are likely not work continuing to stay in unsafe environments, because of COVID. And are having which is an additional impediment to getting to a safer place. And so some of that is layered on by Miss trust. And folks in The height of Family Law area are really seeing a rise in divorce and protection orders, which has additional complications from a human service perspective. And again, you know, there’s mental health care and physical health care, that’s all tied into these issues. And then finally, I would say that everyone agrees that like until you need a resource, you don’t know that the resources available in the community. And so what they and their colleagues and all of your colleagues have likely been seeing is a lot of high volume calls to that once they get an organization who will answer the phone, they get that need addressed, and then it’s, well, can you help me with all of the rest of these other things? So, you know, continued community and outreach to help build awareness of organizations that help people is always useful and the folks that we talked to, you know, really emphasize their their desire to continue to Maintain and strengthen their own connections as organizations to be able to refer the community to the right places and make sure people aren’t falling through the cracks. They also acknowledge that, you know, again, because we can’t go to a building that we think will help us, there can be some additional difficulties that are experienced by people who, you know, have less access to the internet, or by organizations, you know, and information not being put out there in a transparent way. Right. So it’s both we need to help people understand how to use digital tools to find information, but also as the providers of services, being able to look at what what we’re putting out in terms of information and are we easy to find? Does that what we’re putting out there makes sense? and those types of things.
I’ll go to Are there any highlights that I missed going over
talk, totally put you on the spot?
No, I think I think for me the digital divide piece was was not it’s not something we’ve been talking about. But the degree where it’s become even, it was always an issue, but because of the changing landscape, and that, that to me was was was a little new.
So in terms of our discussion, what I’m hoping that we can do is that you all will come into a conversation as you have something to say, if you are feeling like you’re not getting a word in edgewise, you know, give me a wave. I think I’m not sure if you all have chat enabled on this, as well, but that might be another opportunity. But I’d really love to hear just big picture. your gut reaction to those top line findings, the extent to which they include what you’ve been seeing in the community, are their issues or areas Is that that I didn’t raise in this discussion and kind of really open it up to you all in terms of what you really are seeing as the greatest human service needs in Longmont you know today.
Thank you, Jen. So why don’t we open it up to the membership and yes, council member Christianson about
in a discussion that were well, our city manager said the three three of the major problems that people that we have dealing with in this city is mental health, homelessness and substance abuse and I think all those things Are exacerbated by the present situation we have. So, and I think you’ve, you’ve touched on all of those. I am, well, first of all, I would love to be a member of any of these focus groups. I haven’t heard about any of them. And I would love to, you know, be invited. I’m female, I’m elderly. I’m Joe from low income.
I’m kind of,
you know, the whole package. They’re not quite daughter of an immigrant. So, but um, I’m wondering if you’re seeing
and I appreciate the fact that you’re talking about
the problems with child abuse and domestic abuse, which
a third of the people the people who are homeless are homeless because of domestic abuse. So this just This just adds to the problems. And so I’m glad that you’re doing this assessment and doing these focus groups because we need to hear from everybody.
I am wondering
whether you’re hearing
many problems about people talking about an increased use of drugs or alcohol as a as a big problem.
I’m drinking more cocktails than usual.
I just think all of us are a little tired. Now. We were good with this for a few months, but this is going to be a long haul and we have to really decide as a community, how we’re going to deal with this because childcare especially as a problem, it’s nobody can do anything. I don’t think the business can be understands how nobody’s going to be able to do anything or get back to work. It’s both for people who are hoping to get back to work, but also for the essential workers who have no choice at all their their low income to begin with, and then they’re forced to figure out how to deal with their children. They can’t be home to deal with them. And yet, the child care agencies are haven’t are completely stressed out trying to keep alive. I’ve been listening to the early childhood listening sessions. And they’re really, really struggling so I applaud what you’re doing.
Well, thank you all the credit obviously goes to Alberto and Karen and Kathy for leading all of this on with respect to addiction and alcoholism and increase substance use and abuse. Certainly that has come up in all of them. focus groups. I think that providers really feel like their experience thus far is more anecdotal than it is, you know, magnified, but I will let you know that next week, I’m doing a focus group at the recovery cafe. So that will certainly give us a sense of what’s happening in that community. Because obviously, in a tight knit recovery community, they’ll know who’s gone out, they’ll know what’s happening. And so we’ll get a better flavor of that from from people who have actually experienced both addiction and recovery.
I guess that’s
the only bit that I would add to that.
And this is this is Karen and I think for for the our chair in action for Councilmember Christiansen, you know, so this really is your focus group opportunity, and so certainly, yeah, you could be involved in a Different focus groups. But so So Jen gave us, you know, kind of an overview. So that’s the additional information you receive. But we really are, this is really the opportunity for you all to provide your input about what you’re seeing what you’re experiencing your observations around needs. So this is, um, you know, you’re one of your opportunities for participate in, you know, in that focus group effort. So, I just,
I guess I’d like to say that I kind of keep track of the child abuse cases that come into court.
For the county, that’s part of my job. And
at the beginning,
it was a COPPA, it was pretty out of control. People were having their babies in the hospital, they were having babies all over the place
which was really hard to see but
It’s kind of leveled out. We haven’t had as many cases coming in.
I don’t think we’re having as many
successes with getting people sober right now, because it’s just stressful the world.
And if you’re, you know, fragile at all are not stable in your mental health or with your recovery, this kind of thing. Of course everything going on is gonna sidetrack you But I, I’ve been kind of amazed by how little
how few cases we’ve had recently and how they aren’t so
Like they were right at the beginning. And I think community people still do make reports, family, make reports, neighbors make reports, you know, even though it’s not teachers, there’s still plenty of other people that have contact with So I feel like there’s still ways
for those kind of families to come to our attention landlords, different people. So I don’t feel as worried about that, as you might think I would, but I don’t know. I just think the community does a good job of kind of keeping track of to
us. Great, thank you.
What else came to mind as you all kind of were thinking about your own experiences with the organizations you work with. What you’re seeing is nice, I think and made a great point of concrete things have changed from the very beginning of the crisis to maybe how things are going more currently.
Councilmember Christian, send this up, but I before you speak, Polly, I wanted to ask Nicole, is there any reason why Everybody can’t just unmute unless there’s background noise. That’s, that’s confounding it because I feel like the formality of recognition and unmuting. And all that really interrupts the flow of conversation on a topic like this.
So I’ll answer on the technical side of it. Everybody can totally unmute themselves when they’re ready to talk. I don’t think it’s a good idea for everybody to be unmuted the entire time just because of background noise. But as far as calling on people and the flow of it all divert to miss Roni, for that answer.
You were stuck.
Let’s give it a go is.
Let’s just see if it maybe facilitates the flow here.
Are you wanting to sell to unmute.
unmute just let it Oh, just unmute. let your hair down. Go crazy. Unless you really don’t want to like Jake he’s just not gonna do it.
I live right off of Kaufman street
rocks and stuff like coffins right out my window so I will stay muted unless I feel the need to talk.
Okay, thank you.
I see I’ve got two little little ones who are getting ready for bed and they’re like, I’m afraid you’re gonna suddenly hear what sounds like a banshee. Like, actually running through. But
I this is all really
I think it’s interesting to hear the top level information that’s coming out right now. None of it seems terribly surprising to me, unfortunately.
Oh, you were gonna say something I think
just what well For one thing, I’m just wondering what we could do as a group or a city council or something to facilitate the
digital stuff. I know that
you know, there’s a very, there’s a huge problem from people who are low income to be able to first of all afford like a smartphone or an iPad or computer even much less than to be able to afford to pay for the monthly rate. I know that the school system did something. I thought that they gave away iPads for this for school aged kids. I’m not because I don’t have a school aged kid right now. He’s old.
The district does give middle and high school students, iPads. It’s part of the attack. Yeah.
What about the little kids though? Because that’s just that’s just as important as Actually,
they don’t give them
there’s not a one to one program in the elementary schools, and most of them, I do think that the district had them available for essentially checked out.
But it was not, it’s in the middle of high school, I think most of the middle and high schools in St. Green, have capacity to do a one to one with some kind of either a Chromebook or an iPad, or another tablet for every student.
And like that’s part of that they have that when they’re even in person in school is they have access to those devices. And so they made it so that kids could use it, but I think they have to be they had to be returned at the end of the school year. So and for like, summer learning, unless they were actually enrolled in quote, unquote, summer school. They didn’t continue to have access to those devices.
But it would be really, it would really be very, very useful if we could get together as a city,
people who would you know, the Senior Center has some training for those of us who are old and scream Oh my God, I don’t know what it’s
like me I’m always yelling, Sam well,
but their whole families if you can get some of those elementary school kids and also the other kids get their families to have some training that is free that is non intimidating that is in many languages, not just Spanish, but there are other people who there we have a lot of Asians in town we have. Anyway, it seems to me that we could provide this service that would be non intimidating that we could provide as a as a help during this time of coven when everybody’s having these meetings that are online and if people don’t have access to that, then it’s their further cut out of any kind of meaningful civic opportunities or just communicating with their workmates or anything else. And it seems to me that we have enough people, either from the city or from the school system, that have technical expertise that should be able to be providing some of this. And I also am wondering what we can do to help the childcare situation because it’s really awful. You know, speaking as somebody who raised a kid alone, if you’re a single mother, you have to work. You have no choice and you cannot abandon your child because you’re all that kid has. And you are put in such an incredibly stressful position just without COVID And now,
people like people who are saying single parents, and
people who are essential workers there, they are low income, they’re doing service work, they have to leave their children, but they have no place to leave their kids, we have got to figure out something as a city to help this childcare situation because it’s going to be a continuing crisis. And if we start losing childcare providers, which are already in a very, very vulnerable position, they’re very poorly paid. I don’t know what we’re going to do to ever get back on track. So I’m just looking to see if we can think of something that either as as a group here or as a counting group, or as something we can do as a city to help with these issues of childcare and technical assistance for people with digital divide.
Check it out look like you’re gonna get it
I saw you. I know.
Okay. Oh, nevermind. Turn we’ll go to you next. Go ahead Chiquita.
There are several things I agree with
Polly about, you know the single parent, of course I’m, I’m a single mom too. So, but thank goodness my kids are my youngest is 19. So I’m very grateful for that. But also thinking about being a single parent and in not having a job and having your kids at home. Then we go back to the mental health in trying to think about how you’re going to teach your kids when school is in session. You there are so many worries as well not having that income and trying to take care of your kid. So even from that perspective, also within the programs that I work on With, we have a coding program where we had to provide laptops for the kids. And it was a seven week program we had to provide laptops because well, not for the BBs D but for st brain because they did have iPads, but they weren’t able to share their screen and, and participate 100% with the, with the iPad compared to the laptop. So we had that issue. So I ended up giving us giving them not giving but letting them borrow the laptops during the seven week session. And so now we get ready to have summer camp. And so now we now the kids don’t have their iPads at all. So we’re going to give out those laptops and also we have to provide hotspots for some parents as well, so that the kids can participate with the program and I also want to say that a lot of the time A lot of times their siblings will be sitting right there with them learning
laptops as well.
The wonderful thing about our program at the YWCA was that if these students participated in the seven week program, we purchased, what was funded. We gave them a laptop, so we just Yes, two days ago, we, those students, we gave them free laptops. So they were really anxious to get that. So now they’re ready to do what’s next. Now they have a laptop at home, not only for them, you know, their siblings are going to use it. Most likely, if their parents need it, they’re going to use it but then we still have the issue of the hotspots. Um, then I had another one of my other programs we have teenage girls, Latinos and one of them reached out to me and said and asked for assistance for her for their parents. This happened through right after COVID. I had a lot of issues. We gave out food or not food, we gave out gift cards to the kid, the girls, because of now you talking about students that are home with their siblings, and cousins and extended family members that they weren’t used to being home with all day. So how much like you said the food banks are experiencing that need of the community. And then the health care for those undocumented people that cannot know are not receiving health care. I had several of the students reach out to me saying that their parents are experiencing issues with they are afraid to be working. But they have to work there. They’re alien. I mean, they have health conditions and They’re afraid to talk to their supervisors because they don’t want to lose their jobs. So those are some of the issues that you know, these young people are bringing, I mean, we’re talking teenagers are coming to me with these issues. They’re worried about it. And most of these teenagers are also working at Kapolei, or, you know, fast food places, so they bring in an extra income as well. And in the childcare, yeah, I mean, that’s a situation that’s that’s really, really hard. I don’t know how we’re going to tackle that because for the In Home childcare workers, with with the with the virus, what if the virus is you know, in their home, how are we going to make sure that those homes are cleaned properly If that if that income childcare worker decided to go back and do the childcare provide that service, will they have the means to do that? Because of what I hear is very expensive, with all of the equipment that they have to have to clean that home, how long do they have to be closed? 14 days, 14 days without having an income? And then you got a parent who’s saying, Oh, I don’t think I want to take my kid back there. I mean, some parents are gonna lie and say they want to expose to it because they have to work.
yeah, we need to make sure that parents have hotspots that’s not for me, that I’ve experienced. Um, and are we going to provide these these childcare providers, the In Home ones, at least, the equipment that they need to make sure that They can survive. If someone if one of their children, one of the kids are exposed, or they have it, and they have to close down, are they going to be in good hands? So that’s very, very important in order for them to be able to start back up again, and what’s the protocol for that? You know, um, and how are we providing? How are we helping those families besides with food, who are afraid to step forward with issues that they’re having at home? How are we I mean, we’re talking about families who have a household maybe now at home 24 hours a day. Six people, you know, whereas when you have kids at school all day, that’s totally different than being home all day to probably tearing up the house because they’re bored. They have nothing else to do. So What other type of programs that we can provide for these kids? I know these they’re loving the coding program. They’re like, let’s, let’s do this. Let’s stay on longer. So I think we need to have other programs for the, for this for this students. And I agree with Polly as well for the parents. Those are the ones who are not at home skill building, what can they be doing now, if they’re not working, and they’re getting unemployment? What kind of programs we can provide for these parents who are at home, where they can learn some skills virtually. So that when they go back and work for us, they can work on their resumes, and they can have bring take something different to the table. So that’s my two cents times 100. So,
and Karen Phillips has been well,
I think that we’re all very aware of all the problems, you know, and we just need to start working on some solutions. I mean, I think we know that there’s everything That’s, you know,
we all know that.
So I mean, we need to start thinking about
can we find some solutions? I mean, maybe neighborhood groups, I mean, you know, you talk about kids and students and all that, well, there’s older people too. And if people got together in their neighborhood more work, you know, I mean, how do you reach everybody anyway, it’s just somehow getting that neighborhood thing, you know, or your know your next door neighbor and are able to communicate with some kind of neighborhood group, you know, different neighborhoods. I mean, the precinct leader for, you know, one of the political parties, there’s, you know,
areas and groups of neighborhoods that people should share, because I think a lot of people don’t even know who to go to or what program there is, or you know, I just think somehow we can figure out some kind of plan to have neighborhood connection you know cuz in your neighborhood you have old young school kids not school kids single you know everybody so I don’t know you know if you have
you know like being in an HOA you have course nobody ever shows up but they join meetings but you know to have meetings or something where you get together and kind of help each other out, you know, and do it locally real close to each other. So I don’t know but just we just need to find solutions and I don’t know where you start as far as how do we find a solution for this stuff? Anyway.
I think that’s ideal Karen, in all neighborhoods and all communities but it doesn’t work like that. I can say out of the five different states I lived in this is probably the least active state maybe because the color of my skin I don’t know. But all the other states I’ve lived in people would. The community is very active so you know who your neighbors Are you know who not for me since I’ve lived here? So I agree with you 100% I think there should be some type of community wealth building where you have people in the community that check on your, your elderly, how can we get to that point to where you do care about your neighbor, you know,
use in the old days have welcomed, you know, welcome basket, somebody move in the neighborhood, you give them a welcome basket, or you go next door and you give them cookies or, you know, and it’s, of course, that’s a societal thing, but, you know, somehow we need to be able to help each other out and locally, you know, real close to each other.
So, absent a burning desire around a need that we haven’t talked about, I think this is a really nice segue into the second part of the conversation that I hoped we’d have.
Go ahead, Jake.
Yeah, I don’t I if you’re if you’re here, if you’re going to move on, that’s totally fine. I just wanted to add a couple of things. thoughts, because I know that The main focus is in thinking about, you know, what were the needs exist and I just wanted to throw out a cup, a few words that I think about all the time. The first one generally is affordability. And we’ve talked about it on the education side, but specifically affordability and housing. You know, Longmont is a working class community to its core, at least that’s the founding that’s how it has existed. I think reflecting that in, in the Human Services needs assessment in the understanding that I at least from my perspective, you know, my, my great grandparents built a little farm on 66, and then in 1937, and, you know, so I’ve heard stories about others communities evolved and grown and changed. And now as I sit here at 25, I see a very different community than than where our roots are. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just, I worry a lot about ensuring that whether it’s government or whether it’s the nonprofit sector, folks who are serving Human Services needs Recognize affordability in the working class roots of the community mattering. And I when I say working class I working class has such kind of a white lens to it. That that bothers me a little bit. So I’ll, I’ll transition to the second phase, which is the the idea of diverse representation in community and in spaces and community. Right. So organizations that support lifting up voices that aren’t necessarily heard from very often and lifting up.
Folks, do ensuring that folks who are at risk are especially high risk for
you know, for issues in criminal justice for issues in all the different spaces that we talked about. ensuring that those organizations are the ones that focus on the diverse nature of what community actually means. When we talk about neighborhood what we actually mean includes all of our residents. That’s something that I think about a lot. And then just homelessness generally and how we address that challenge. It’s gotten a lot better. I will say it’s not solved. But I think the steps that that’s had been taken, you know, recently I’ve helped in the service fear quite a bit, but there’s still folks that are really struggling and, and finding gaps in the system where they exist, ensuring that everybody who is experiencing homelessness in Longmont has a path towards exiting homelessness is something I think about a lot. And then the last thing that I’ll just mention just for your notes, and I’m sure you’re doing this as you go about this process, but you know, COVID is here and it impacts our life every single day and it makes a big difference. But it won’t hopefully knock on wood. Hope won’t be here forever. And the challenges that we face, especially on on some of the core issues. like making sure that everybody who wants to be a part of this community can be a part of this community in a very active real way. Through affordability, diversity, all the things I’ve talked about, that makes a very big difference to me. And those issues are much longer term than COVID. those problems are much harder to solve, hopefully. Then Then COVID. So I, yeah, I just wanted to say those those couple of things before.
Anyone else? Oh, yes. Please. Danna,
I was just going to add in on the subject of iPads. And it seems like maybe access to those iPads for families and for families with children. Our elementary school did check them out, but they let everybody keep them over the summer that had them checked out and specifically told them, don’t bring them back, keep them over the summer, because I think they recognize that people who check them out obviously had a need for them. So it seems like maybe that’s inconsistent across the schools. And that seems like in some ways, an easy fix to give some access to technology like they’ll be lost and some expenses associated with it. But it seems like an easy fix to give everybody access to those iPads over the summer for all of the schools. And then the only other thing I was going to add, which I thought was interesting and comments about being in this in the court system and not seeing it a huge increase in terms of kids, necessarily. I don’t want to paraphrase you incorrectly and but that the kids going into the system for abuse has sort of tailed dovetailed off. As a foster parent, I can only say that there’s been a lot of discussion in my foster parent groups about how people aren’t getting placements right now that people are, it is pretty common for placements to go down during the summer months anyway, but that they’re not seeing a lot of kids coming in right now more like less than they normally see during the summer. So I think there’s some concern, at least among foster parents, that there’s a lot of kids who are being sort of lost in the shuffle. And maybe the community stepping up more to take care of those kids. And so maybe that’s why they’re not coming into the system. I don’t know. But as a foster parent, I think we’re sort of experiencing a lull in placements.
I’m seeing the same I’m hearing kind of the same things through the Casa program is that there’s,
you know that there’s more, there’s fewer that may have dovetail off, but that there’s still like, there’s maybe kids that are being missed altogether.
not hitting the court system at all. Really?
Caitlin, I’m sorry, which program was that? Was the Casa program. Court Appointed Special advocates? Thank you.
Well, I also think we’ve gotten more creative about
at this time.
It’s so difficult because we weren’t even having parents have face to face visits with their children. So they would have newborns and they wouldn’t even get to hold him after they left the hospital.
And so I think we tried to be really creative to either Really track down which we normally do anyway, family members or put in some really intensive support plans into the family home, which is difficult.
It’s difficult to win those providers can’t actually win. A lot of the providers can’t even go into the homes to support like the families.
So it’s just been, I mean, I can’t even imagine having a child
and not being able to hold the child afterwards, no matter what the problem was.
If I may just add one point on this more generalized question. of, you know, one thing that I worry about is there when we talk about making efforts to connect or just making efforts as individuals. I think that’s really a challenging ask in a time like this where people are just exhausted emotionally and creatively and you know, one of the questions that I have is how can we help create space for people to actually be able to carry through on solutions or, you know, be in that environment where we can actually think creatively because we don’t feel like we’re just under this constant oppression of a worldwide pandemic and the federal government that seems to be, you know, lost control and all the things that are happening right now.
that because I think you as well, like, we can talk about like individual people getting connected in like neighborhoods, but I think that like, what are we’ve got a huge we’ve got a roster of human services agencies that are doing work in our community.
And like, what are the supports that those folks
to continue providing the support or to expand is I think, Jen, you mentioned like, when people can get someone to answer the phone when they need it. Oh, you can help me with this can now you help me with these five other things that are going on? How do we, how do we support our like community service agencies in doing that when it’s not like sort of their core competencies, and making sure that those people aren’t like, Oh, I got help with one thing, but everything else is falling apart. So this one thing isn’t actually going to, like, it might help me for a couple of weeks, but it’s not going to help me get through the next three months.
To me that feels like like, how do we actually make sure that it’s a sustained, and like holistic effort, and not just sort of peppering like one particular solution?
Or like addressing one problem? How do we address sort of like, the web of the concerns for for our community? Because I and I think like I just keep also thinking about like, I hear other parents
in like my kids school who really want to help With things, but then they’re also not in a position to sort of take the place of a social worker, or somebody who can help guide a family through the constellation of services or assistance that they might need. And so, you know, there’s somewhat, you know, well intentioned, but also like, how do we make sure we actually get folks to the finish line of this and not just like, survive, you know, I want, I want to see that we have folks come out of this, who have thrived and not just survived and that goes across like, you know, race, socio economic age, disability, and what does that look like? And how can we help make that happen? So that’s the perfect tee up to the question that I was going to ask which was, say it. three or five years from now, we’re all together in the same room because COVID is a thing of the past. And we’re getting together to celebrate the successes and to really celebrate You know, that long month has made long run and all your partners have made the right investments. So that exactly as Caitlin said, all members of that community, you know, have the opportunity to thrive. If we were in that state and in that place, what will have happened? What would be your signals that, you know, our community is doing well, and we are really supporting and facilitating those social determinants of health.
You know, for me, Jen, I feel like if, if, in three to five years, I looked out and thought, or felt that there was a shift in the way that we think about our neighbors, and about people in the community. And recognizing, for instance, that sometimes people need help and freely Giving that help, you know, rather than retreating into the pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality that the US has lived under for so long, that change in attitude to me would be a really clear indicator of something good coming out of all of this distress.
I think another and I think to follow on to that, like, if we look at in five years and see that, for example, like people who are arrested or have interactions with the police, because of mental health or substance abuse issues, has gone down
by a significant amount. That that is like one way that we could see that we have, we have done what Brian just described, that we have changed sort of how we think about these things, as not things of like, people need to earn help or people need to deserve help, but rather than like as a community, we do this to take care of one another and to build up our entire community. I think that, you know, in terms of like a data point, that to me is a fairly big one.
You know, because that would suggest that, you know, people are getting help and it’s not creating situations where people are in danger and calling the police or the police are alerted and that sort of thing.
I would just say that for me, if in three to five years, were able to confidently say that, you know, more people, probably not ever, you probably will never be able to solve it. But more people than today, who want to live in our community are able to afford to live in our community, have a role to play in our community, both, you know, not just I don’t mean civically, I mean our but are able to sustain themself in our community live comfortably have the resources They need to survive and thrive and feel connected to kind of like we’ve talked about tonight a broader coalition of people in our city who are behind them. And whether that’s neighbors or
They know that long lots of place where, you know, they’re going to be able to make it and do well. And that and that that means anybody, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender identity, class, any of those things, this should be a place in our motto for a long time was you belong in Longmont? There should be a place fundamentally where anybody can make it if they’re willing to, to, you know if they want to
go ahead, Polly. Oh,
what else I would like to see
in the next few years is for us and we have so many
stressful things going on right now. Thank you water.
But what I would like to see is within the next few years if we do not lose this opportunity to actually have meaningful conversations about the marginalization of many, many people in in Longmont that have people who have been marginalized and who continue to be marginalized and I don’t want this
I don’t want the death of George Floyd and so many others to be just a something we forget something we talk about for a little while and then we forget and we don’t do anything about it. want people to be able to whether it’s on a neighborhood basis, like Karen suggested, or as Chiquita said, this is a very, it isn’t a very outgoing community in many ways. I understand what you mean, because coming from the Bay Area, people reacting all the time. There’s a happy balance. But if we don’t have these meaningful conversations, where people who are the elite in our society people who are wealthy, white, Protestant, listen, then we have missed a great opportunity. This is the moment when we need to be having these conversations and keep having open forums where people who are very, very comfortable, listen to the people who are not comfortable, have not been comfortable and are never I’m going to be comfortable until somebody listens to what they’ve experienced. And it won’t happen unless we set up sort of forums or something where we
actually have to listen to the experiences of
black people in our society, Latino people in our society, women, single mothers, the elderly, you know, all the people who and the working class who are the majority of our society, but cannot even afford a place to buy, and never will be able to afford a place to buy as long as their wages stay flat and the cost of housing goes up and up and up and up and up, and we do nothing about it. So I would like us to feel like I would like everybody in this town to feel like they’ve been heard. Not just once. But many times they’ve had the opportunity to speak in an unthreatening way and have, you know, have their say, so that we all listen to each other. That’s what I’d like.
I noticed any other one any other
folks want to jump in there?
Madeline has her hand up.
Oh, sorry, you’re not on my screen. Thank you. That’s fine.
I wanted to go back to what Shakira
was talking about.
And I’ve been listening
to everybody and everybody great points of view. And I can’t help but get back to trying to identify and then create something that is actionable. Now, you know, we can look back and say, you know, this is how it was then. But it’s very different today. than it was then. And so I heard you talk about neighbors in creating a sense of, of neighbor, a sense of neighbor. And many of us don’t know our neighbors, we don’t know. I mean, we may see them wave at them. But in terms of actually knowing them or knowing what their needs are, I don’t I don’t think that that’s a pretty common thing. So what all of that said, what I was thinking about, and I know, usually, we have a lot of services we provide, we have a lot of services that are available, but unless people know about them, and feel that that could include them, in terms of being somewhere they could get help. I don’t think people know that at all. As a matter of fact, I know, a great number of people don’t. And to say, you know, we put it on that website, and we’ve done a great job with that. And we’ve gone beyond that, but what I’ve liked To see us do is come up with something very simple
that will connect
that will communicate that
information to all levels. And all people know we had included it in the utility bills, some information. But I’m just thinking if we could, if we could come up with something, and with all these brilliant minds around the table, I’m sure we can. We talked about going through the churches. There are a lot of groups that have come up as a risk as a result of the murder of George Floyd and other situations like that. So I’d like to see us come up with something put our heads together to come up with something that would address the issues that
She listed several things that are of concern. So if we could somehow
formulate a think tank
to address just even if we just hit three of those, I think we will be making a world of progress. And then we can say, we didn’t just come and talk about it. We came, we did something. So I’m willing to do whatever
anybody comes up with, to help
make that happen. Thank you much.
And I want to be respectful of your time. It’s eight o’clock and I’m not sure if that was the time you all were hoping to end I’m willing to stay in talk as as long as you all are interested but just want to, I guess, algebra two, if you could give us a time check and let me know how you go. Usually precede.
I’ll, I’ll leave it to the chair. He manages the meeting.
Nice pass off. Hello Berto. I appreciate that,
to my knowledge. So we do have another large topic to discuss, which actually is very related to this discussion. And to my knowledge, we don’t have any other business that we need to discuss, which is after that final agenda items. So why don’t we give it 10 more minutes because I think we are on a thread here that will tie directly into the next discussion. And I just want to make sure everybody has had a chance to contribute to this and has been heard. And I’m, I’m looking at my screen. So Dina, I feel like we haven’t really heard a ton and that’s okay. You don’t have to speak You know if you’ve already said everything that you want to I want to respect that. Graham, anything that you would like to add and as well and you’ve already you know, contributed and Chiquita if there’s anything that you want to follow up on since the since the points that you threw in and some of them responded to.
So I guess I’ll misspeak, Mr. Horse.
Okay, now everyone else but not
your grandma. I forgot we’re doing the unmute free for all.
I love everybody’s comments. I you know, I’d second all of them, I think. And they just add three comments that have to do with my own sphere of exposure and a community and one is, you know, I work in the construction industry, which for some reason was deemed essential, and we definitely put that in air quotes and I know that the Those workers struggle with childcare that’s a huge problem even if the works there and they’re saying hey come do the work. They can’t you know if they’re single parent that can make it and that’s so that’s it. I do experience that is a huge issue. childcare, digital divide definitely in the construction industry and I happen to teach some times at brokerage Community College and I know they’re, they’re canceling their in person classes and doing some online stuff and they are working on shoring up the digital divide and providing devices to students who would take classes there, so that they have access to the online learning platforms, which also makes me think that there’s a large facility that is going largely unused. You know, this fall should the city desire to partner for some childcare facility usage stuff. And then if the third sphere I was thinking of is the the identity sphere and the digital aspect affects that as well. You know, a lot of people rely on 12 step programs and organizations for their continued mental health and challenges with addiction and recovery. And, and those have gone on to digital platforms, which creates a, you know, the income challenge there as well. So, I see in my world, the childcare and the digital stuff being the two primary issues. So that’s what I’ve got.
Graham, just a quick follow up, sorry, in terms of seeing the digital divide and construction is that, you know, among colleagues that, you know, that’s also a segment of the population that maybe doesn’t have the same access to devices or facility with devices or how does that play out.
So the industry is ever becoming more reliant on technology for information sharing for producing, you know, schedules and budgets. And
in communicating, you know, who’s going to be aware of doing what, when. And so, you know, you might have a crew of drywallers that kind of gets left out because they don’t have smartphones. Right? Or, or maybe they’re not fluent in English. And so
trying to help that would be good would help.
I’m thinking here about sort of our job as a board, like bigger picture here, in terms of what we should be doing. And there are a lot of services in the community already. So it’s our job to try and help make sure everybody knows about those services. Should we be taking a larger role like I don’t know figuring out grant writing, forget bridging the technical divide and reaching out to some organizations to get working on that. Like, I don’t know how activist we are, I guess is how I’m sort of contemplating this, right? Because Because, you know, like, I know people who are superintendents who work with Apple to get laptops in their in their classrooms, right, and they get grants all the time. So should we be taking a more active role, you know, to be reaching out and trying to get some guidance from somebody like that? Should we be focusing on how we like obviously, we can’t just publish the information on the website and hope people find it. Right. So I guess that’s my thought right now is really focusing on our job as a board and how, what we can do to maximize our impact on the community.
I agree, everybody. I agree. I agree with all of you. And I think it all boils down to what Karen initially said that if we know our neighbors if we know came back. We are If we are inclusive to everyone, then we wouldn’t know what the needs are in our community. But we are not. That’s the problem. That’s one of the problems and Madeline said it, you know, we’re very low. Mine is very resourceful. But if you don’t know that your neighbor is over, they’re in pain and afraid to go to the doctor in their kids as a way of school or whatever. Then what happens to that person? Am I my brother’s keeper? I mean, if we’re going to say we are members, then yes, we are. And so how do we make sure that our community members are taken care of, and then it’s reciprocated, when you take care of someone else and then someone else take care of you. It used to be like that, you know, village we take care about when when a neighbor I remember as a kid and this was in Chicago, when a neighbor Didn’t need someone to look out for out, you know, look at their house when we’ve gone out of town, they excellent neighbor to look out for
one need to help with their kids because they have to go to work guess what a neighbor do?
We have lost that we I think a lot of us as a community have become very selfish people. And that’s why they’re the homeless rapist. You know, we see a huge increase in homelessness. But like Jake said, you know, we’re seeing like, has gone down a little bit here. But how in the world I couldn’t believe the time I was here. I was like, Why are there so many homeless people in Colorado? I couldn’t believe it, you know, um, but, I mean, we have to care for people again, where’s our compassion? Right? Um, I think we’ve lost a lot of that to be honest. And if we decide to be inclusive to all that decide to live here. I think we will care more about our, our community brothers and sisters, and then we all would be in the same boat because we will consider each other as one. But we don’t, because their superiority and inferiority is still there
no matter what.
So there’s some deep rooted stuff that we got to work on ourselves
very much so I just
Can I say one more thing. I, you know,
start respecting you know, we have such a divide in this country and it’s happened made it worse lately but no, we were going to have to embrace the conservative and the liberal people and I don’t know how, how we can come together and respect each other but to be you know, inclusive for everybody. We’re going to have to embrace that, you know, you got those values. Okay, I’ve got these values. Okay, and we still like each other. Bye. It’s not happening. I mean, everybody’s just so, you know, either this way or that way. And they’re mean and I don’t know how, you know, we can resolve that, but maybe by trying to be respectful to other people’s opinion, not agree with them, but you know, I don’t know.
It’s a societal thing. And you know, I don’t know, Longmont could be a little island in the middle of nowhere, but we could probably find some solution to respect and embrace everybody, you know, everybody, but that’s, that’s too much of the world. But anyway, that’s all I gotta say.
I think it’s important that we remove the labels. We just, that’s the best
start. We start by removing the labels and just
address, identify, address the needs and get people comfortable enough. One of the organizations I am associated with is the NAACP boulder bridge Boulder County branch newly formed There are over 400 members now. And there is
a newsletter that goes out and the
the audience is pretty extensive. That’s just 400 members, but the network is way bigger than that. So, I would think that would be being a member of the executive committee. That would be one way, if maybe I could get ideas of whatever you can think of send it to me. And it can be as is, you know, far out
as it as it is, it could be as what brainstorming is, brainstorming is, you know, you go from the sublime to the ridiculous, you bring it on back and you make it make it real.
I’m thinking if we could, that would be somewhere to start where we can say we actually did something, you know, we’re not just talking about it. We tried to reach the folks
so If you
sending it to probably well, if
well, I would be the connection to the NAACP, if that’s how we could get it out. That would be a start. Anybody that wants to send me something, I will
include it and see, can’t we get something that is like to say actionable, and get it in newsletter for August, for the month of August?
I think I’ve gotten 12 minutes from the 10 brains suggested. I’ll
check in with the chair.
Yeah, let’s see. I think this is a good time to bring this particular discussion to a close for the moment. So what I would like to suggest is a three minute break. Either that or you’re going to have to stare at an empty screen on my My end for three. Maybe we should just take a break. So if we could be back in front of our cameras in three minutes. Let’s do that and then we’ll move on to our final agenda item.
Thank you all so much for your time and contributions I’m ever grateful and you’ll be seeing a draft from us in the nearest future. We’re getting something to staff at the end of the month. And if anything else comes up, please feel free to email Roberto or me directly. If you have one of those. I wish I would have said moments. Thank you. Thank you, Johnny.
Her name’s Jen, Garner, guard
Are you doing there Polly? I’m old like you.
I think she took off her ears. Karen so she bought her. Yeah.
I’m in the same boat. She is. Oh, yeah, we know all about that stuff. That technology and all that.
Hey, I gotta say, I’m super impressed with everybody. Like, just in general, you know, in my whole little world, like everybody’s doing super well with all this stuff. Like, my mother in law figured out how to do click lists, like, wow, that’s huge. Great.
Yeah, I’m just glad I can do zoom. You know, okay.
take you out in a little while.
Next time you bring the chair we sit on the bed.
Chair, the chair
This would be Casper, Wyoming.
You’re supposed to be over.
For those of you who are away from your desk, if you hear my disembodied voice, please return to your computers.
Huh? Excuse me. All right. Well done. Thank you. Before we go on, Dina, I wanted to ask you because and I apologize for asking this late in your involvement in the board. Dina or Deanna, or Deanna?
Anna, but whatever.
Yeah, no, thank you. Thank you.
I will remember I want to say Deanna, but then I heard Deena once I’m like, oh, shoot, I’m saying it wrong the whole time. So yeah,
well, it’s a little bit bother me that way, but I can all correct you in the future.
Hmm. Please do everybody else does. Okay. So we are on to our next probably final agenda item, which is a discussion about requesting and responding. And before we jump in, this is clearly a response to a number of things, one of which is the the racism that we’ve seen, and are starting to acknowledge the desire to act as Madeline had indicated, and Madeline, I’m glad you could join us. So I did say this last time that I want you to hear it. I I know that you’ve been carrying the water on the issue of racism, at least related to this board by yourself for a long time. And I’m glad that you know, we’re seeing a shift here and you will have support and we will carry water with you on this issue.
And also, you know, we want to Right, we don’t want to just talk and then forget and do what typically happens when we’re faced with really difficult issues. And I also want to ask that we, we think, as well about, given that this is a, an issue that has been a long time in the making,
going to systems take time to change, which means that in my mind, in addition to acting now, we really need to think about what commitment Can we make to persistent and sustained action that will really continue to push and result in changes over time. Because it’s not it’s not a quick fix. And I think that we’re going to need to make a commitment to the long term as well as jumping in, rather than, you know, trying to figure out what kind of shoes we need to wear before we jump in. So with that just kind of as a framework has everybody can you raise your hand if you’ve had a chance to read the letter that Graeme put together? Okay, so we have a few that haven’t Madeline, did you have a chance to read that letter?
No, I have not. But I will.
my apologies because obviously we I screwed up, and that didn’t get that out until, like five o’clock today. So so we can also pull it up. I think maybe if that would be helpful. I was
wondering that that would be helpful. Thank you, Karen. And I was wondering, Graham, would you mind, it’s not terribly long, and I applaud you for writing it. I think it was very well written. And it’s concise and I think it’s down to the point Would you mind just reading it for us and those who haven’t? Read it?
And and so Nicole just shared on the screen? Mm hmm. Let’s see if
I like, Oh, yeah, sure if you’d like me to.
It’s on the screen and
your Charles Bukowski reading one of your poems.
Okay. Dear Longmont City Council. The housing and human service advisory board, hereby unanimously recommends that council immediately increase the city’s funding of housing and human services by way of transference of 10% of the Longmont police department’s budget. As a board of community members tasked with advising the city council on housing and Human Services needs. We believe this is a good first step towards meeting some of the human service needs that have long been under funded in our community. Moreover, this reallocation unequivocally communicates our city’s values in pursuing a thriving community. For basic human needs are met with compassion and effective care. And not with a show of force. We extended we extend typo gratitude and appreciation for our hard working well intentioned and much needed police force. Simultaneously we recognize that the police department is unnecessarily burdened with serving many different law residences. They are not equipped to effectively help including those suffering from mental health issues drug addiction, homelessness, legal challenges and many other human service deficits. Despite their various beneficial services and necessary presence in our community. The institution of policing is rooted in systemic racism is it and is in need of dramatic reform. It is the belief of this board that these underserved and valued members of our community may be best supported through increased access to the ready and willing nonprofits that are equipped and educated to meet the needs of these populations in Longmont. Properly funding these services will invariably further the goals of the police department by making our community safer. Thus, we strongly believe that our community will grow in positive ways by this reallocation of funding, which may support these underserved lamang community members through access to qualified services offered by local nonprofits instead of through and voluntary participation in the justice system, the police department. Thank you. HS be members.
Awesome. Thank you, Graham. Well done.
Okay, so let’s start with let’s just start with this discussion. A start this discussion with some reactions to Gramps, the letter or the content 10 out, you know, not style and all that, but the suggestion of of that funding switch, Holly.
Um, okay. I first of all, I think this is an excellent letter. I think it is very clear it is.
It’s the moral thing, the moral stance to take.
However, I also am on city council and I’m also very familiar with arc police force which started off well in the 80s. As I think we all know, two young men were murdered by the police on Main Street, and instead of they were Latino, and instead of tearing the town apart, which could very well have happened. the Latino community got together and formed el montay and has worked with the police and the police have worked back We are certainly not, you know, certainly our police force is not perfect, but our police forces work very, very hard to be responsive. And I sent a letter from Dan Ayman who, it’s not just our police. It’s also the because we have public safety. It’s also the fire department and the emergency services who have to be equitable and just in their response to community services. And we have worked very hard to do that. I I would like to read something that Dan Ayman wrote, but maybe we should have another we should have the discussion first. But Dan aim is head of our emergency services. Um,
the thing is that
As we all know,
the funding of mental health and virtually any others.
Social Services has gone down and down and down and down since the 70s. And yet the police are always funded. So if you want these services to be provided, you need to keep funding them through the place to some degree. Because the first time anytime that there’s a downturn, money gets pulled away, right now, what we’re facing in this city is at least a $14 million shortfall this year. We have to take money out of all kinds of services and yet, the Climate Action Task Force wants us to fund a whole bunch of stuff. We want to include we want to increase the funding of this agency See, are this Department of Housing and Human Services needs to be funded much more, much more. You’re right. Absolutely. And what we need instead of taking money away from the police is to fund this agency at a much higher rate. If you want me to read this letter from Dan, amen, it talks about their main diversion programs, our core lead, and the angel initiative. And
I would like to read that at some point, because it explains how how the police force works with these other agencies and how they get grants and get funding from different agencies. So we it’s not as simple as it may appear. A lot of these these programs are funded, not By the sound of long month but by other grants that the police department gets from other agencies or other government agencies and other private agencies to fund things like their ride along mental health partner person for issues when they know they have a mental health problem.
while I’m for increasing the funding for all these agencies, I am not necessarily for pulling money out of the police department, which is already kind of understaffed and has very difficult time funding. Working with homeless
homeless people, mentally ill people, about 40% of what they’re doing is working with mentally ill people.
And they are the they’re the ones who are going to respond because That’s their job. They have to respond to this. So if you pull money away from them what you’re doing for good police department is you’re
making the situation maybe worse. But
I would like to hear this discussion. And then I would like at some point to be able to read the letter that I asked Karen to forward, but it was like,
too late in the day for her.
Thank you, Paulie. We’re going to go to Karen. Before Karen, just one second. If you weren’t, Polly, how long? How long do you think it’ll take to read the letter? Um, right.
Just hold up, maybe two minutes. Okay. Okay. Thank you. So I’ll make I was trying to avoid you having to talk with the multiple fruits so
and did you want to say something as well? Okay. Well Got Karen. Right? I was just thinking, could we ask that 10% of the police budget go toward substance abuse, mental health, and they would have to, because I thought they were trying to get social workers to go with them and that kind of thing where they do not pull money from them, but 10% of their budget goes to that kind of situation. So instead of pulling money, say, Well, you know, why don’t you spend 10% of your funding that you get and spend it toward a mental health? Thank you.
They do. So what if 10% of the police budget
anyone even know what that is?
yet? This letter explains it but yeah, because I think
that a lot of money, but
I don’t know if you all realize that.
I mean, I feel the same way Pauline. Does I think we’re really fortunate? I’m not. This is a national issue and it’s real, and it has to be dealt with. As far as Longmont goes, though, my experience and I’ve worked with these agencies and they are so caring and they do a lot of good work. So, I guess I’m really perplexed about if we put this money from the police budget, into nonprofits what nonprofit is going to take the place of the angel initiative, which is an amazing thing that the Longmont police department does any individual in the city, who is struggling with substance abuse and does not have an active warrant can go into the police department, and they will set them up with inpatient treatment even if it’s in Arizona. Jake
it’s distracting. I just want to get this out.
So anyway, I don’t know any agency in the county that does that. We mental health can’t even do that, or mental health center can’t do that. And so it’s really it’s volunteers, it’s grants. And I’ve known people that have gone in there and gotten received help from them. And it’s changed their lives. And it’s just unbelievable what they can do. Their core program is their crisis outreach and response engagement. And that’s what Paulie was talking about where they have somebody from the mental health center, they have a therapist go out and ride along with them to de escalate mental health issues. And you couldn’t ask for a better service as far as I’m concerned. And I don’t know what the service in the community that would take the place of that. I don’t know if anything The nonprofit’s that we fund would take the place of that that’s therapists basically on the streets helping the police de escalate these situations, which is exactly what we need. And then the third one is the lead, which is the law enforcement assisted diversion. And I’ve known families who work with that program. They have peer mentors. They have case managers and they get into the community, into people’s homes, they’ll go to court with them, they meet with them in the parks, and they they do real social work on and I can’t imagine an agency that we could fund that would do that. Right now. Our mental health center therapists do everything virtually. They don’t need anyone in the park. So I can’t tell you if there’s anyone on the police department who is racist, but I can tell you But what we really want are these programs and I, I think 10 percents probably a sizable amount of money. And I don’t think the taking it from the police department, who in my opinion, have tried very hard in the last number of years to really addressed these issues on the street level.
I don’t think they should be defunded and have that go to agencies that I don’t think can do the same, same work.
And I feel really strongly about it. Thank you. I appreciate that. Jake, we’re going to come to you and first I would like to ask Karen. Karen, do you have a sense of how large the police budget is?
Keep going. I’m scrolling. I’m scrolling in the budget. It’s like a 700 page document. But you keep talking and I’ll have an answer for you.
Caitlin. Do you know how
I pulled up the 2020 budget that shows police services, total budget of $21.5 million a year. Okay.
Public Safety is 53 million. That includes emergency services, fire, police, all public safety
and community health is under a separate line item in the budget that I’m looking at. From police so community health and resilience. It for comparison is 494,000. Okay, so not even into the millions. Okay, thank you. All right, Jake.
I would actually if if Madeline or Chiquita as folks who worked in spaces of who can speak from a different lens have have thoughts ahead of me, I would, I would love to hear them.
Before we go there, Madeline and Shaquille because I want to make sure you both have plenty of time. I do want to just as a matter of parsing intention, and I would like to give Graham also the opportunity to speak to that. There’s two separate issues that were addressed. One is race relations, and the other one is just kind of the culture of policing. Right? So I think that’s something that we’ll probably want to tease a little bit to see what we can do that this was really intended to do and what we want to do so with that, Chiquita Madeline, do you? Well, I’m not I’m not going to ask you, do you, but would you weigh in?
Go ahead. No, I was gonna say you go ahead and go first.
Okay, well, I absolutely do have some thoughts. First of all, I’d like to commend Graham for an A Excellent.
Very, very, very well done.
My concern is kind of out of left field. You we’ve heard
the first thing that was, I think,
thrown around and just totally misinterpreted and misrepresented and really put us on a negative
path was this whole thing you heard? Let’s be fun. Let’s unfollow and let’s get rid of the police. Let’s just take those that money and put it elsewhere. Well, so yeah,
I think that a lot of damage was done. So I think we have to really be clear on what it is we’re we’re asking and and we’re stating
and for that reason, because it has been grossly Just grossly misrepresented. Obviously we cannot do without our
law enforcement force.
So to say we’re going to acid reform, yes. But let’s just keep it straight. That’s what we’re talking about, as opposed to just totally get funding, you know, the entire division. Secondly, I’d like to say, Mike Butler,
most recently retired my Butler
an outstanding job as a leader. Yeah.
And I say that because I remember meeting him personally, but we’ve interacted
kind of through other people. And so most recently, I think he was on a, he and Glenda my sister will have a panel where they addressed allowed the community to question asked them
last week or the week before it anyway,
what I have heard,
or things where he requests things He requires of his officers, anybody who is hired to become engaged in the community in some way. He himself, I’ve heard has walked the streets and he knows he has relationships with people in the community. I mean, he didn’t just send them out to do it. He did it. And then they follow. What an example. I mean, that’s how you do it. So I would say
other than Yeah, I think we
I can’t say I have a perfect answer for you. In terms of, do we
is the police budget, the one that can best afford it? And if that’s the case, then you Yeah, if there’s another source that could do it, and we are a combination of a range of sources that we could, you know, draw from and accomplish the same objective, then perhaps we might want to look at that. But I just want to be clear own and when this goes out and it goes to whatever level of public it may go, let’s just be clear on what it is we saying. And we’re supporting and we’re not in any way suggesting that we defend our police force.
That’s all I can think of right now.
Thank you, Madeline. Appreciate it, Chiquita.
Um, I would also like to thank Graham as well. And I agree with with Madeline in I mean, I agree with you all in your passion and everything that you have. And
is really hard.
It’s really hard for me to I know this. I don’t know if you understand it, but it’s really hard for me to listen to people who haven’t experienced the things that people of color have experienced. So
I get what you’re saying. You don’t you know, if you if you never have to deal with that situation.
Of course, why should you change something that works for you?
That’s a little. Yeah. But when you know that there are issues out there. And what Graham has shown what he’s saying is okay, Jen was here talking about issues that are in this community. We just got through talking about this. Why can’t we have some money to go to those to fulfill those needs? Or how we can we can come back three or five years that is an action that Deanna was saying, what as this board, what can we do to act? He just gave us an example of what we can do to make sure that kids have access to for laptops, the internet device, all of that technical device, mental health.
He just given us that. So you’re saying
you know, I get kind of emotional and not like emotional crying, emotional, but I get passionate about this. Because just as the way in is passionate, and I totally and you, you seen those officers you work with them. You see that thing? That the wonderful people that they are in, you know those programs and I totally 200% appreciate that. But I’m coming from the opposite of that. And Longmont is a great place. You know, is it as inclusive as it should be what we’re talking about, as Jen said, Where do we see ourselves three to five years from now?
Chiquita I’m not saying
I guess I feel a little.
This is a really difficult discussion.
It’s very difficult, and I’m actually pretty amazed that we’re taking it on tonight. Yeah, and you’re right. I have no idea what it’s like to be you just like you don’t know what it’s like to be me.
And I’m not saying that every pool, I guess for me, it’s not so much. I thought that the letter was more about. I think it seems like we’re doing a very third two issues. There’s a letter and what the letter is asking for. And then there’s all of our feelings about the situation and you know, all I can talk about, I can’t talk about what it’s like to be you because I have no idea. I mean, I don’t know what I’m trying to say. But what I can address is that I can address if the Longmont POLICE ARE YOU KNOW, racist or you know what they’re doing out there every minute of the day. I have no idea. But I do know that the people that are homeless and substance abusing and mental have mental health issues that rise to the level where the police are called, are as deserving as these other places programs and they make a huge impact on our, our community because of the things that they can potentially do. And so I think they’ve tried their best to come up with creative ways to address it. And so, you know, if we take it in a bigger context, I guess it’s hard for me like I wanted to go up on Main Street, and demonstrate all this time and I didn’t do it, because I just felt so strongly about the people in the police department has worked so hard to actually create change. So I was very divided about it, and I still am, but for me, like the funding or the level of 10%, which is a huge amount of money.
I just don’t think that’s going to get us where we want to be, which is
to really address what’s some of the stuff that’s going on. On the street, is it going to you know, is it going to address racism?
Well, you know, so I guess I’m confused I guess
well, you know, I think that it Madeline Allah, Allah, He say something, but
I know I understand how you’re confused but you’re talking about a police. I know please, that you know, and know them all. Okay.
Well, I know some of the programs See I guess that’s what I’m saying. I don’t know
all the individuals I don’t know what they’re doing out there.
Right and that’s that’s it. That’s key. You don’t know what they’re doing out there. Right.
You don’t like you said you don’t know who all is racist. I don’t know who all are racist either. I just want the police department to be equitable and be inclusive to all that’s what I want. So for you not marching and you kind of stuck in with My decision for me speaking up is a matter of life and death for me and my people, right? Oh, that’s that’s why I’m not being complicit. I have to stand up because I have black men. I have black sons, who for me for their future I’m worried about so I understand you love this, like this police department and that’s totally fine. That’s you have every right to stand up for what you believe in, as we all do in our own opinions and i have i for me, it’s a matter of life and death. It’s not just an opinion.
So how is taking the 10% away going to accomplish?
Okay, Jake was Jake you go ahead cuz I could keep going,
Jacob. Let’s just do this. Madeline, I don’t know if you were going to respond you there was some utterances from your little frame that I have. So if you weren’t go ahead, and then it’ll be Caitlin and Jake.
Yeah, I like to
have a different perspective as well. And it’s very, very, very real for me when June 2 1981, my 21 year old nephew, senior at Cal State Long Beach was stopped supposedly for speeding doing 47 and a 35 on his way to his new day job between classes will stop the speeding Two hours later. They reported him as having committed suicide.
But in fact, we knew better than that outcome of the case was he it was ultimately ruled that he was killed at the hands of others wild in the possession of the Signal Hill police department.
That and then my
part of my professional background is bribing law enforcement. So
the good men and women that go out and risk their lives every day for the safety of us on at the same time in terms of pulling money, do we say? Uh
yeah, I think there are two separate issues. One. And we we have to. I mean, both APR is important, and one is life or death daily.
I mean, when my grandson comes home, he’s 26. And he says, For the first time I’ve ever heard him say, in 26 years, I’m afraid he stands six. He weighs about 250 and he’s afraid
that’s very hard. So I think Yeah, we need to pull that we need money we need to increase to get to the core of what the letter was the graham road, I say we can be we can maybe suggest be creative in
take a look at who has funding that could possibly be pulled from and combined to accomplish the amount that we need. And yet it won’t impact, adversely impact in those organizations. So much so that it would declare them
So, yeah, and it is a hard subject, but it’s been a hard subject. You know, it’s been a hard subject. The difference is, we’re now talking
we’re now openly talking about it and I say that it’s very easy to me.
Think about how you would like to be treated.
If you were me,
and and how, you know, how would you like to be treated? It’s no different. I want to be treated that way as well. And everybody that looks like me. So it’s really well, it feels complicated or really hard, is really very, very simple. If we could just the golden rule, you know, if each of us would do that, I mean, seriously, do it. I think we would, it would make all the difference in the world. So my suggestion is that if we could have I don’t know who some people look at the those individual budgets and see where where we could pull from maybe more than one just rather than, say the police department. That’s just my thoughts. Sorry, I didn’t mean take that long. Thank you.
That’s fine. Madalyn, thank you. And
I’m really sorry to hear about your now. I can’t imagine how devastating Thank you.
Okay, so we’re going to go Caitlin, Jake, and then Councilmember Christian sending them, Deanna.
Thanks, Brian. Thanks, Madeline Chiquita for your comments and for being willing to share what you feel and sort of being maybe put on the spot a little bit. But I think that the fact that you’re able to share your experiences is really powerful. Um, I had a couple of things to add. And
I think one of the things that I think about when I think about, you know, sort of the calls for defunding police or reallocating funds or thinking about what we do is and described a bunch of programs that work for mental health and for people in crisis. And,
and for me,
the idea behind reallocating friends is to say, we it’s not to say we shouldn’t do those things, but that we shouldn’t Do them with, you know, folks who have guns, like folks who have guns are not the ones who should be doing that. Not that we should not be doing them that we should not be funding them. But that, fundamentally, how do we reimagine providing those services without funding people with guns to do them? And, you know, we, the proposal here was around pushing it to some of our nonprofit partners. But I think that that we have other departments in the city that also provide some some measure of these.
But I think that the idea of like, you know, Paulie mentioned that the police are always funded. And to me, we need to change that narrative. We, and we have to say like, that cannot be where we put our priorities, that the priorities are taking care of our community, and that when there’s a downturn, it’s not that we continue funneling millions and millions of dollars into police forces. They can go and arrest someone who is in mental health crisis, but that we can put millions of dollars into people who can really address those issues. Because the safety of people in our communities like Madeline’s nephew, Madeline Chiquita, like my husband, that cannot depend on whether the one person that comes to their door happens to be one of the people who is good, and who is not going to react, like the safety of our community cannot depend on that. And it shouldn’t depend on that. Because I think that like, I don’t think anyone will tell you that there’s not like good people who are police. But it’s fundamentally, you’re putting something where people can cause you know, long term trauma and death to members of our community under the auspices of safety, and what safety means to different members of our community looks different. I mean, what we heard from Jen and the needs that people are identifying the needs that are community as identifying is not around, we need to lower crime. It’s around. We need to make sure that our kids can go to school we can we need to make sure that people in our community are healthy. And redefining the idea of safety to be something that looks like that instead of having more police and more opportunities for danger to members of our community.
Thank you, Caitlin. Jake.
Thanks, Mr. Chair. And I want to start with a with an apology for my gyrations. And just sitting here and listening. I’m passionate on this topic. As I know, all of us are. And I just want to say I’m very proud to be a member of this board tonight, because this discussion is not going to say it’s out of the scope of what we do. But it is very different from the conversations we have on this board usually, and that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing that we’re stepping outside and asking this question, because we do support the human services sector in this community. That’s what we spend half the year on. Is that question and taking action on that front is really critical for us. So we do have a role to play in this process. I, I’m going to speak on this once and that’s going to kind of be my schpeel. And I want to just talk briefly about kind of my evolution on this because I know it’s going to be out publicly, this video will go out and people you know if anyone is interested, my dad was a cop in the city for 14 years. And growing up when your dad is a cop, and especially when he was, you know, he was undercover for some time and he was he did really hard things. And it was very scary to be the the son of a cop and watch him go out the door every day. The job broke his brain. It shattered him mentally. He dealt with post traumatic stress, he dealt with things that that are unspeakable for most folks because what you see in that job Every day truly is extraordinarily difficult. It is a hard job. But that doesn’t mean we can’t ask hard questions about it. And we can’t as a board, sit here and say, you know, I appreciate what Madeline said about the notion of you know, we there was a mistake in the branding on this conversation about defunding police and for me, as I’ve come and wrestled with this and kind of tried to contrast my lens of experience being the son of a cop, with what I see and what I’m starting to understand. It isn’t about defunding police. It’s about rethinking policing. Fundamentally, it’s about asking, really, what is their job, and what should we be expecting of police. I recognize my Butler in the police department for the last several decades I’ve done an exceptional job. As police departments go. They have the programming that exists is good. The things that are that are happening are good. But I think what what our job is as a board is to ask questions and in this conversation is to say, you know, I took issue with some things I heard about my toe, my take would be no community is exempt from this conversation, no matter how good your police department is, because your police department still exists as part of a broader system of policing. Where I would just ask the question of folks it is, if a homeless person or a person experiencing homelessness is sitting in a park, not really causing problems, maybe being loud, but because they have nowhere to go? Is it really the most equitable solution or the best solution to send someone with a gun to that park to handle that problem? I think the answer is fundamentally No, it’s not their job, to do those things where it shouldn’t be. And I think what we do when we say if we send this letter to Council, what we do is we say as a board, we are committed to asking these hard questions and beginning a conversation about this issue, because it is a systemic problem. And these issues are directly connected funding of policing. And these issues of racial equity that we’re talking about. in America today. 35% of the prison population are people of color, despite the fact that just 12% of of this country is people of color. That’s a discrepancy that can be linked directly to the funding of policing and the way that our criminal justice system functions and how it treats people of color.
If, you know I started grad school this week, and in education and part of the focus of the program is is looking at education through an equity and justice lens. And one of the people who talks the most about this is a woman named Dr. Bettina love and I, she raises the question of being a co conspirator, not just being an ally. Not just saying I’m with you, right? But But what am I willing to do to rile things up as a white male? What am I willing to do to challenge systems and to say, yeah, I’m I recognize that this is a problem and what are we doing in our community to address this problem? So I think what we’re asking ourselves is, are we willing to be coast conspirators? Are we willing to challenge the system that exists? That that is systemically a problem and say that Longmont has done a good a better job, but we’re going to continue to do a better job, because we’re going to take these dollars, and we’re going to put them towards nonprofit programs and ports infrastructure programs that support people who need the most, rather than this continued systemic growth of law enforcement. And that’s, that’s roughly where I’m at is no community is exempt from these questions. I’m very thankful to Graham for writing the letter very thankful, Chiquita and Madeline, for sharing this perspective, I would really ask us to say, to think through what the result of sending this would be. And I think what it would be is we’re going to challenge counsel to think about this question. And if they take on the issue, and they make the change in the budget, that’s wonderful, and I hope they do. But it’s about continuing a conversation. So I’m going to proudly if we make a motion here in a minute, I’m going to proudly support it.
One of the proudest things I’ve done in a long time, so I will leave it at that, Mr. Chair. Thank you.
Councilmember Christiansen and then we’ll go to Deanna.
Okay. You’re good. No, no, no. No.
Nicole, can you unmute Paul, we can hear there you go.
Okay. Don’t you unmuted me and I muted me again.
I would like to hear from Alberto because I, I believe he has another unique perspective. And he’s lived in this community for quite some time. And I think we need to certainly hear from somebody who also has another perspective. I’ve lived in Oakland, California, this is a long time ago, but I doubt that anything’s different. Oakland, Oakland Police Department should be completely eliminated. They’re a bunch of racists swine, top to bottom, every single one I’ve ever dealt with the Denver police department, I don’t think and I live there and that was 30 years ago, too. I doubt that that has changed much. I believe that when you have a bad police department, you need to eliminate that department and start from scratch because there is no way to reform a department that is that is corrupt. And racist top to bottom. I think we look at the Aurora system of the Aurora police and they’re
unbelievable murder of Elijah McCain and
they need to be gone they need to be gone.
But that isn’t exactly what we have here. And so and I think that basically most of the police departments in this country, our systematic racism, it’s or systemic I’m sorry
systemic racism and but
there’s a difference between our passionate disgust with this which is really goes back to the beginning of our Country,
you know, the second amendment
and virtually everything that we have done for 400 years? Well, the second amendment was 200 years ago
was to maintain slave patrols and to make sure that black people
were kept in their place, which was slavery. So this, this systemic problem of racism is real. And this is exactly the kind of conversations we have, and I am quite sure that this, this letter will pass. And I think that’s a good thing. The city council needs to be forced to talk about this, but I would ask you, when this comes up to please, all of you come and speak because otherwise, it won’t go on it needs to be we need to hear everybody’s voice on this.
There’s Difference between
some of the departments that I’ve mentioned the police departments, which I would say are the majority of police departments in this country, because they hire the right the wrong people. And they never hold them accountable, and they don’t train them very well. Think of our department, the Longmont Public Safety Department and the work that they have done. We need to be giving more money to meant to all these problems drug diversion, or drug counseling and help and homelessness and mental health. We need to be giving more money to them rather than taking money away from the department that has really struggled to try to
do the right thing. And that’s my opinion, but I really would like to hear from Alabama. Oh
thank you. So So why don’t we go to Deanna and then Alberto.
So I’m just going to echo what some other people have said in terms of thanking Graham, first of all, for kicking off this conversation. It’s definitely not an easy conversation. It is very challenging for each of us, probably for very different reasons. So thank you, Graham, I really appreciate that we’re having this conversation and again, to thank Chiquita and Madeline for opening yourselves up in this room of us, I think is probably not necessarily an easy thing to do. And I appreciate your vulnerability and discussing these topics immensely. I would say that, also, you know, part of my problem here is that as a white person, I don’t know what it’s like to be a person of color in Longmont. I have no no idea, no earthly idea. I don’t know. There seems to be a lot of discussion about this Police Department being a good police department and that the police chief currently has done a great job which is fabulous, and I’m happy to hear that, but I have no idea if that’s really borne out by people of color. And their actual experiences with this police department. Nor do I know how people with mental illnesses are experiencing this police department, people with addiction issues, homeless people, I don’t know what those experiences are like for those individuals. I think that part of my concern with this letter is that I don’t know that is aggressive enough. To be honest, I think that we need to be proposing that we, I think white people have a tendency to overly study things. So I don’t instead of taking action, and so I don’t want to be doing that or being guilty of that, because we need to fix this or work on fixing this and do it sooner rather than later. But I also feel like we need to be informed by the experiences of the people that actually experience the police department, from groups that I’m not a member of, and that several council members are not members of as well. And so I think the letter should also include a request that counsel does some sort of study. To figure out how people of color are impacted in this community by police department, how people with mental illnesses experiences police department, homeless individuals, I think that my other concern is that I do not want if we shift funding from the police department, I don’t necessarily want things like the angel initiative, etc, to disappear, because let’s be honest, where are they going to cut the funding? They’re going to take it from the social services, provisions, right. So if we’re taking it from there, we have to figure out how to replace those in an effective manner or the council does. And maybe that’s not our job, but I am concerned about just saying take the money. I think we need to communicate to them that they need to take the money from non supportive services, like the angel initiative, that seems to me something like people coming in. That seems to me something that the police are uniquely involved in being able to provide that service to people On the other hand, obviously, I don’t necessarily want the police showing up with guns to interview a homeless guy at the park because he’s loud. But we also have to figure out a way that there are agencies that are able to respond as quickly as the police are able to respond, because practically speaking, that’s who gets called when there are problems. So it’s a huge topic that needs to be addressed. And I do think
I am very much in favor of getting this conversation rolling with City Council and moving it forward. But I do want to communicate that to city council, I would like to I mean, you know, for what that’s worth, communicate to them that I also would like to see them taking a more comprehensive approach to figuring out what’s going on in this community, and how people are experiencing policing in this community. And that’s all
Thank you, Dr. Roberto.
Thank you, Chair. Um, so I have to be you know, I’m a VA On one staff member and not a member of this board, per se. So I have to take that into account. Also staff and I work closely with our Public Safety Department on several projects, including homelessness and how we how we address some things that we are seeing
in that area.
Um, you know, so So with that said, you know, my experience, you know, with Madeline said earlier about Mike Butler, and the work that he’s done in bank to the year before I was with the city, and I was still running the circles program, Mike invited me in and said, Hey, you know, we love circles and what it’s doing and we’d like to replicate that with home office experiencing homelessness. And I told Mike, you know, how hard circles is to run and all the things that that need to happen for it to work well. And, and I said, but I’d be happy to talk to you. And Mike was very receptive to listening to my experience with with that that program. So, I think, you know, I also agree that this is not a single issue. It’s not just the letter. I think it’s broader. It is the policing issue, it is life and death. And it’s also, you know, going back earlier to Jen’s thing, you know, I remember when the when there was a letter sent to a Latino family saying, we don’t want to see your brown kids in our neighborhood. And I thought about, you know, my boys out there riding their bikes and what do I think of them. So it’s both societal, it’s culturally It’s huge. And I’m happy that we’re having the conversation and I think we need to be very thoughtful. About what we’re asking if the goal is to push the conversation and ask council to have it and push the city to have that I can tell you that within within the city, I’m part of a racial inequity group that Harold has started, we went through a training through gear and I’m blanking with gear means right now, Karen, if you remember, I think it’s Government Accountability race. I
don’t know, equity. So governmental. I remember the a per race inequity.
Right. And so even in the city internally in the city, we are working on creating, I can tell you that we’re working
on no action,
governmental action on race and equity. So we are already having those conversations. And then, you know, even before I was with circles when I was working in intercambio, I was part of Dell Mac and I’m not sure if you were They’re yet mentleman maybe it was before you join. But in our work, the first time I worked with Karen was we were working on this project on how do we help people, you know, continue to we had this thing called lifelong learning COMM And it was really about how do we help bridge that digital divide and give people the opportunity to thrive in this community. And l Mac has been doing, you know, for a long time, a lot of good work. So, again, I think that is the goal of this board is to promote this conversation is very, very important life and death conversation. That while it includes policing is much broader than I think that we should do that. I think the board should say we want to do this, and at the same time, I’m not sure if asking for temporary Sent of the police budget, it’s the best way to go forward with that. But I think I think the conversation is important. And one last thing. You know, we have been talking for a long time as a board around how do we push diversity and inclusion. And you know, in the in in the agency that we fund, and we had a chart that we asked people to fill out. We Madeline did amazing work last year reaching out personally to nonprofit saying that she is willing to walk with them and help them. So, you know, how do we take that word to the next level on helping your nonprofits become? Is it something like putting an equity question in the application and really, you know, taking that seriously like how are you nonprofits being equitable as a support. And I’m thinking many of them want to be, but what does it look like? So, lots of issues, lots of different perspectives. And I honor and respect all of them. And I and I do agree that this is an important conversation to have, and we need to have it. And I that’s just my, my perspective.
Thank you, but what there
were 15 minutes after nine. And so I just want to throw a few things out there. One is, as I indicated earlier, I think this is going to be an I hope it’s going to be something that will be regularly in our discussions in our work. When I hear everybody’s comments, so first of all, not First of all, I really First of all, second of all, I hear the passion in people’s opinions and I know that some of that passion is born of, of pain and fatigue and a sense of urgency. You know, when I hear you talking Chiquita about your boys, I, I can only imagine the sense of urgency you must feel to do everything you can right away to make them safe. And I really appreciate you sharing that because i think it’s it’s hard for me to imagine that. So, there’s also in this discussion, there’s a lot of different things that we touch on. So one is how do we fund the human services we know are so essential One is related to how do we address issues of racism in our culture. Another one is related to the police department. How do we address issues of racism in our police department, which has a sense of urgency because there is a in any police department, one mistake can have a tragic outcome, as Madeline, I think gave a very personal example of so you know, that that has a certain weight to it. Then there’s the idea what is our role? Right. So Graham, you put together a letter that I think very effectively puts the board in the role of being a provocateur.
I’m in favor of provoking right and i think it serves the sense of urgency
I also believe that whatever this board does in relation to being a provocateur, let’s say this letter that will serve as a framework for the discussion moving forward. And what I would ask is that that framework be as precise as we can possibly make it without losing a sense of urgency. So that’s to say, I think that I’m not sure that the language is exactly what would be the most productive language going forward to provoke the kind of change that we want because you know, it’s just there’s a few points that are it’s a little bit of we want to while there’s a I think a fair amount of it that that speaks to the police force has Money? Well, essentially, we need funding for these other critical services. And it’s not logical to police forces providing them which I tend to agree with. The other part of it is that the police forces systemically a racist organization. I think both of those are true, but we need to be real careful about what provides provocation we actually what’s going to be the stimulus relative to our outcome. So that’s my own thought I’m I would like the letter, to be the language to be something we are really solid behind and use what Graham put together as that foundation. So my suggestion and it’s just a suggestion as a board member,
although I’m going to
I don’t know if there’s any chair authority I can pull to figure out how this is a possibility. But myself question would be that Madeline, Chiquita Graham and Jake, work together to write that letter, use the draft and specifically write that letter for us to forward to city council and make sure that it is the right point of stimulus. And so what I’m concerned about is something that can be dismissed is not is not the best thing. So somebody says, Well, this is just about defunding the police, then it’ll be dismissed. We want to make sure that it cannot be dismissed and has to be considered and will provoke that change. That’s my only feedback on it. And I my suggestion is that the four of you work together on finalizing that language. And, and then if we it doesn’t need to wait a month if we can call special meeting with enough time to notice it appropriately.
Then let’s do it in a week.
Does I mean I don’t a week still feels relatively urgent to me. I don’t know if that’s satisfying the urgency with which we’re looking at the situation for everybody, but I feel like in a week, we could come together and re engage the discussion, look at the new language and move forward.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I appreciate the My name being included in your thought process. I think there may be other folks on the board who have a different perspective and not just on this issue generally, because, I mean, I, I think I was I understand the concerns about it, but I I was fairly comfortable with it and I feel like perhaps you know, Deana if you would be interested potentially or or you know anyone else on the board who has a driving need to you know who feels that there are issues with the letter more strongly perhaps not that I mean I could make changes and you know, do different things to it but I feel like my additionally I’m very conscious of my lens on this issue. So I’m there are other folks. Deanna would be my thought.
Problem helping out I get I’m jumping Sorry, I jumped over some people who had their hands up. But I guess I’ll just continue doing it since we were informally exchanging ideas. If you want to cut me off, Mr. Chair, feel free. I’m happy to jump in and help out. I also don’t want any other people on this board to feel like we’re asking them to, as you said in the beginning, carry the water for the rest of us, right. So it’s a hard balance between Giving people voice and asking people to do work that maybe they don’t necessarily want to volunteer for. So I guess I’m just expressing my thoughts that. Yeah, that I just want to make sure that everybody who’s roped into this really wants to do it, and I’m happy to help out with that.
Thank you. So I’m going to go to Councilmember Christiansen and just very quickly say, mine was a suggestion. So everybody can say that. And we move down a different path right as a board.
So, Councilmember Christiansen
let me just mention a few things that are happening the city council, Susie had the letter that I didn’t get Karen’s letter until later in today, and then when I sent her Dan Emmons letter which was an answer to Susy Hidalgo ferns, question about the police funding that didn’t get sent out. So that would be helpful maybe for people to look at this. I think this is a really powerful letter. I don’t necessarily think you need to tinker with it. I may not agree with the conclusion, but it’s a very powerful letter. It’s very well written. And there’s an advantage to putting it out soon because Susie Hidalgo for fairing is is talking about this. Now, and we’re all talking about this and all of us needs to keep the momentum going. The other thing is, though, we, I want this to get publicity and to have people come and talk. Right now. We’re doing everything on zoom, but I I have been told that we’re going to be back in city council chambers after six months of being weigh in at the beginning of July, there might be an advantage
just making this a public meeting and having people actually show up in person to talk. But I, you know, we’ve been told this so many times I, I don’t know that that’s worth it. But I do want people to actually call into city council when this comes up and talk about it because we need to keep talking. And it’s, you know, as one woman said, recently, us, African American Jew said, yeah, this is exhausting. But think about how exhausting it is to live the way I’ve had to live. So
you can exhaust yourselves a little bit.
Anyway, I it’s a very important issue. We can’t lose momentum on this. And we don’t need to tinker around with the letter so much. I don’t think because it’s it’s powerful. It’s very clear. And if you want to tinker around with it, go ahead but just don’t lose momentum.
Okay. Thank you, Graham. I motion we submit the letter to Council. Okay. Is there a second? Second.
Okay. Any further discussion?
Can I yeah, so I have I have a question. So are we saying submitting it without any revisions or submitting it as is?
That’s correct metal and it’s submitting it as this.
Someone mentioned earlier about maybe it was you Brian, about being a little less politically correct. Let’s be a little bit stronger in our in our
verbal stance, and how and
I think while I think it is well written, and I can appreciate what Polly is saying That we don’t want to lose the momentum. And we definitely wanted to have a bullet. Bullet like effect, you know, just like we just shot a gun or something.
So we want we don’t want it to be passed over is something that Yeah, yeah. No, we wanted to have that effect now. If you feel that it does that,
let’s go with it. But I would say
it needs to be a little bit stronger in a couple of sentences. Then let’s do that. I see it. I seen it. This is our only shot. We got we get one shot at this because after that, you fail. It’s watered down and you just not gonna have the same effect. So that’s just those are my thoughts.
Thank you, Madeline. Karen.
So, yeah, you know, I’m in that same position as l le Berto.
And I think that I would
I would be disappointed if we moved forward with the letter as is. I have heard the conversation we do not have. And I don’t know if we will ever get to a unanimous, you know, opinions, but it seems like there are points that were discussed last night that I think if we didn’t at least take an attempt making an attempt to try to you know, address those resolve those so that as an entire board that it would feel comfortable in in submitting the letter, I just think that’s a that’s a that’s a lost opportunity and it creates a division within our within our advisory board and I think Brian, to your point about, you know, being a provocateur, but but also being one that doesn’t lead to just dismissal. I am worried about the, you know, let’s defund police 10% and move it to human services. I just am concerned that that is going to create lead to that dismissal of, of what that letter says and the great conversation and the important work that we we want to do. I would be really concerned that that’s what’s going to happen. And to Madeline’s point, we don’t have many shots of that. So I think to be more thoughtful to take in the input that we heard tonight and take another stab, don’t take forever, we can do a special meeting. I just think that that’s a lost opportunity. And that that would be hard for me to see that happened, but I don’t have standing I realized that I’m a staff member, so So I wanted to throw in.
Thank you for your comments, Karen. Yes, Councilmember Christiansen?
Karen, would you please forward that letter from Dan amen to everyone so that they’re that they have a better foundation for understanding how things work with the public safety. It doesn’t have to be right this moment. But you know,
well, you did ask for two minutes to read it. Do you want your two minutes?
You know, I think it would be better to,
for everybody to be able to read it because it’s, for me, it’s very hard to listen to what somebody says and then think, Oh, I need this is something that’s a complicated issue. And it’s better to actually have it so you can read it several times rather than me reading it. Yeah, I gotcha.
Okay. So, any other discussion?
So we have Chiquita and Be on
it and wait one second. So probably I don’t see that in my inbox. I’ll send
it again. Just FYI. All right, sorry.
Okay. That’s okay. I’ll send it.
First of all, I want to say thank you, Alberto for entertaining me tonight with waving and dancing in the air with when your lights go off. Really appreciate that. That was a lot of fun. Second of all, I want to say I appreciate this conversation. And as Jake has mentioned, if nothing else, having this conversation is more important than anything. And that’s why it’s important to have different perspectives on boards and diverse boards. This For this reason, this conversation may not have been had. I appreciate everything and brought to the table. And I mean, I really believe we should have this conversation All of us together because I’m learning from, it’s not like she’s opposed of it, you know, but that’s her perspective. So I need to have a more a better understanding of where she’s coming from. And she, she’s wanting to know where I’m coming from. And that’s why we, that’s why we’re here. And we need to learn from one another. And so I think if we all can come back to, you know, learning from each other perspectives and get something that’s more impactful to where counsel can see that we understand both sides. Me personally, because I do I do understand a little bit but it I think it’s a little it goes deeper. So and I think and of course my situation goes deeper for and so she doesn’t understand and maybe many of you so we have this one shot and I think it’s important for us to understand one another and before we take that shot, and so that we can represent our set. This board can be very representative of this community.
Can I draw paint on the Chiquita? I’m sorry. Danna, I just want to tell you, I appreciate you saying that. And it really affected me when you said that you didn’t have the you know that here. I can just say, Well, I don’t want to demonstrate because I, you know, I think the police do a lot of things that are positive, and you said that you didn’t have that luxury. And that really, that really made me think about the differences and it was really impactful to me. And it just lets me know how much we all have to learn. So I really appreciate you saying that. It really helped me tonight. Sorry, Deanna.
No, no problem at all. So I was just going to add it. That. Two things really, first thing is that if we’re gonna, if we’re going to vote on sending this letter, there are a couple typos in it that to be corrected. So we don’t want to send it as is without fixing those. So the second paragraph counsel is spelled co you and Sal. So that should be fixed. And then the third paragraph says community, we’re and it should be community where, and I didn’t catch anything else. But if we’re going to vote on approving it, and it carries, and obviously it would like those things to be corrected. I also think that we got one shot and I want to make it as effective as possible in terms of getting this out there. And I’m serious about trying to propose some additional things without watering the letter down that council needs to do, like, have this discussion. I think we need to really encourage them to have this discussion to get community input to figure out what’s going on. And so that’s why I think we should tweak it a little bit, but I also But be okay with sending it to just to get the ball rolling. So
thank you, Deanna. Anybody else? Any other discussion before we go?
I, you know, I just, I, I hear everything and there’s all different sides to this, but I just don’t want them to get defensive about the way, you know, transferring 10% of Longmont police department’s budget. I just think that that’s just going to turn people mad and they’re gonna, you know, I just don’t think that that is gonna I think people are going to get on the defense and be defensive about it without a discussion. And that’s the only thing I would worry about.
Thank you, Karen.
Question, Brian, someone
Polly mentioned earlier, that whenever this is presented, that we should all be there.
I think that’s really, really important. So if they get defensive, that’s fine.
That’s just fine. Now, on the other hand,
I was thinking Graham did such a good job. Initially. I don’t know where in the process we are exactly. In terms of the rules, the rules, voting rules, but I was thinking
he’s heard everybody’s different points of view. I
feels strongly that he,
if he would
take the lead on just revising it to include some of the things that we’ve said if he would be willing to do that. That’s my thought.
Thank you, Marilyn.
Just quickly since I seconded the motion, I just wanted to express
you know, Mom, My commitment here is in, you know, challenging us to think about these questions. And I think Graham’s thought of sending the motion as it is and making the motion is the most challenging thought that we have. So I wanted the discussion, certainly, I’m going to vote for the motion. I understand just my day’s work in the legislature counting heads. I understand kind of where this group is at. So I might have a substitute motion if this motion doesn’t, doesn’t pass, but I would, you know, I think for us right now thinking about I really appreciate all the conversation especially Chiquita what you said mentioning, you know, we do have one shot at this and I think that there are challenges we have to address. We have to get it right.
And I would
get I don’t I don’t have much else. Thank you, Jake.
Okay, if there’s no further discussion, we’ll go ahead and take a vote. So far, all in favor of sending the letter to council With the current content and the corrected typos please raise your hand.
did you get that?
Okay, yep. See Madeline?
Madeline, do you want to give a verbal? Yes if you’re in favor of sending it as is
I am not
Okay. All of those opposed, please raise your hand.
Can any abstentions
I almost felt like I should abstain because I have a little bit of a conflict because I’m not very smart
He had something but first before Jake, and then Councilmember Christian, I just want to say, Graham, you have you much more courage than I do. I tend to be a people pleaser. And so I really appreciate you putting it out there to Jake’s point of really challenging us. Yeah, it was needed. And I appreciate it.
All right, Jake. Thank you, Mr.
Chair, I move
ask for individuals.
And I’m going to say Graham.
And either and
I heard some some good thoughts on that. To serve on somewhat of a semi task force a subcommittee, if you will, to examine this letter over the course of the next week, refine it, evaluate it come up with something that works that we can bring back at a special meeting to discuss just this issue, review the letter and prepare to
have a point of information about that.
my understanding is that if more than if three or more folks from the board are getting together, it has to be like publicly, like we have some requirements around it being made public. And so to the extent that like, we can keep it moving forward without needing to go through those hoops, that would be preferable. So if that means that one or two people work on it, and draft a sentence, then there is actually like, email correspondence that would meet our like public duties around that that might be a better way to do it, rather than trying to coordinate with people that might then have to do something as far as datings
just a clarification is that we can’t do it. You know, we can’t have email communications about the about the letter has to happen in our in a public meeting. So that’s really why we couldn’t send out Graham’s initial letter. Because we can’t do our business for, you know, via, you know,
Karen, what is the noticing requirement at all? Is it 24 hours?
Yeah, so the the the note, it’s really just a 24 hour notice. And then I think it’s, you know, we can certainly do some clarification. If it’s, I think it’s is it three, we don’t get, you know, we’ve had task forces before with our advisory board. But I think it’s so we can clarify the number that and I think it’s three, right.
I believe any, any more than more than two needs to be noticed. Notice Yeah, so.
So but I mean, that’s, we can notice it. I mean, that’s that’s,
and we’ll probably draw the same public crowd this is fine.
We can certainly we can we want to get Oh certainly can comply with the law and yeah, it probably it probably wouldn’t be beating your doors down to try to get in get involved but you know, so like,
my goal is not to say we shouldn’t do it publicly, but more so like,
how can I Yeah, you got it, you got it. So I think, you know, however you want to put that together, we’ll make sure that it’s in compliance, and, and we would need to come back with a with a special meeting to actually look at it.
I won’t take much time. I just feel really strongly that if we’re going to send something like this, it needs to be organized. And I know, I would like to know how much the money is that we’re asking for and what we’re going to do with it if we’re going to look at other options, like more community work, whatever. But I think we need to say how much the money is and where we want to put it. Because otherwise, it just doesn’t seem as
I don’t know what I even want to say. I just, I think we need to do
that. It runs the risk potentially of sounding punitive versus solution oriented, I think is
Jake. Just point of order. Mr. Chair, did my motion get
a second or not? It has not yet received a second. So is there a second for Jake’s motion? I’ll second. Thank you, Graham. Okay, now we can finish with the discussion. Part of it. Deanna,
I was just going to speak to who’s serving on that sort of subcommittee that I’m happy to do it by No, and also has some concerns about making sure everything is organized and that we’re including everything we need to include in it without being overly verbose. So I’m also happy to not be on it. So I don’t and I don’t know if you have any particular feelings about whether you would like to assist with the redraft or amendments.
I’m happy to do it. I just want you know, to put my name on it, I guess I want it to be more organized and have a plan.
Can I follow up with a question for that if
we’re sending it out as a board, if it passes as a board are individual names on it? Are they going on as the board signs off on it as being passed? Or is it being? I mean, I guess if we’re doing it as subcommittee, we’re on the subcommittee and that would be recorded to
Kaitlyn and then Jake.
Well, it was drafted as a unanimous
thing. It, I mean, which I think actually has more power to say that like the board unanimously and then listing our names.
I would say that like I’ve seen places where like a sub group of like a board or committee has said, like, as members of whatever, we encourage this, and it’s been, you know, three out of eight or something like that, which is totally something that people could do. But I do think that there’s power and it being something that is unanimous
without using that as a reason to water it down to the point that it’s not, it’s not actually calling for fraction now I think to Deanna, your point earlier, like,
as a white person, I know that I am like, let’s research and make sure we get it exactly perfect. And I think that some of the things that have come up here have suggested like there’s an urgency to this, and it’s meant to start a conversation and not to be the end of a conversation. So we don’t have to get it perfect to do that. But we also recognize that we have, I think, two models, but we have one shot at this. And so I think, thinking through like, what does it look like to start that conversation in a way that is, for me, I think about like, one reason like the 10% is impactful is because it’s big. It is not like it’s not just asking for crumbs of something. It’s saying, like, let’s have a big vision of where this can go, and not in a way of like punishment, but in terms of like, how can we expand our imagination and the imagination of our community to do something here? And so thinking about how what that looks like,
I think, even to the extent that we had Jen here earlier talking about the human needs assessment, and updating that right now, that to Anne’s point, like if we could redirect funds, where would it go? It would be how do we take that human needs assessment of what people in our community are saying they need and actually direct enough funds to address those needs. You know, that I think is one way we could do it without being overly specific, but to really start the conversation to say, if you know if it comes in that this, you know, the digital divide is a high need, which wasn’t a high need, I think in our last human needs assessment, that’s a big way to think about, you know, where the money could be directed, it’s really relying on that research that’s already been done, versus us saying, we know where it should go versus, you know, this concerted effort that has been done to say, where funds and resources are needed in our community.
Yeah, thank you, Jake. Here,
pretty much Sure. Um, can I just I can ask a question just by show of hands just as I lay this, who would want who wants to do this? Who wants to sit on, on this? No. on hon.
One, like who is willing to perhaps to do this revision in the subcommittee like
revision? Right? Yeah. Who wants to send
a letter? letter? The next draft?
Yeah. Because I’m looking at this hearing, why would I be exclusionary if folks are willing to?
And I don’t see your hand is your hand up? And
I don’t know. I feel very conflicted. I feel very strongly that I want to hear
Madeline’s voice on this because I think she is one wife.
I really want her to be part of it. I’m
afraid that I won’t have the same feelings that are the same.
I’m afraid that I could
be a little like I could make things more complicated. And because of my desire to have it organized and present something that’s not just as it is right now. So I, I’m conflicted, because I’m afraid if I do it that I will slow everyone down. And anything that I’m going to be a part of, it’s going to be completely organized and it’s not going to be
half cocked in any way. We’re going to dot all the i’s and cross all the T’s. That’s where I stand.
And I don’t know about other people and other people
that are involved that would match from what I’ve experienced. It’s going to be as picture perfect as it can be. We do want to add some more teeth to it.
Yeah, yeah, I’m good with that. Jake
Paulie. I’m sorry. Councilmember Christiansen was next in the queue, and then we’ll come back to
And then we’ll go to Karen.
And then we’ll go animate.
So when you send a letter to Council, this is just protocol.
Nothing will happen unless somebody makes it happen. So what I’m going to do is request is is this Tuesday, I’m going to say a letter is coming to council regarding police funding, and I would like to have a formal discussion of that. That puts it on the agenda if I can get the votes to put it on the agenda. Last week, I called for a presentation by the police on the use of force because even though of course this is on the website, but you know, the people don’t, nobody goes to the website, look at stuff. The people of this town need to know that the state of Colorado banjo calls And what the the actual policy is the police department needs to tell us publicly what the police use of force in Longmont is. And that’s why I asked for a presentation because, you know, it was big for the state of Colorado to ban the use of tuples. We should have done that, like 20 years ago or hundreds of years ago. But anyway, so I will make a statement on Tuesday that this letter is coming and that I would like to have it on the agenda for discussion.
objections to that? Well, what as soon as possible, because would that give us all time to look at the letter again, and kind of sign off? Yeah, yeah. But do it quickly, you know, do it in the next couple of weeks.
Yeah, it’s just a heads up to counsel.
Mr. Vice Chair,
I actually was gonna
say I am at thing. Sure. I was gonna say, Karen probably has something more, like, just procedurally that probably matters more. So if you want to go
ahead, go ahead, Jake. Okay.
Um, so my only thought on this is we’re going to take this approach as opposed to the to the approach I respect very much which is grands let’s rabble rouser approach, which I’m all for. Since we’re going to take this approach. I think that it is it behooves us to try and make this letter as close you know, to get it to a place where everybody on this board feels comfortable getting behind it. And everybody on this board feels comfortable putting their name on it, which means it’s going to be challenging so I’m going to but and I appreciate and you know, what you said about Madeline I agree completely, so I’m going to refine my motion. Insert Diana’s name kind of formally into that so that the group we’d be talking about will be Chiquita, Madeline Graham and Tiana are the four I think which is we have nine on our task force or on our on our board. Is that right? Nine. So that’s a subcommittee, you know, and that’s enough to make a decision. I think if you have too many voices, then it becomes Editing by Committee, which nobody wants to do. So
that’ll be I don’t need
to be on a Madeline’s on there. And she’s awesome. So are you sure you don’t? You don’t really I mean, that’s good. And that’s great for me. Okay,
then. Then I’ll go ahead and refine it again. And we’ll make it a three person team of gram, Madeline, and Deanna to take to take the lead on that and that’ll be the committee. And I think the denim I’ll make on the motion is the goal of the Committee of the task force should be to try and get us something that we can all get behind. And I’ll leave it at that.
so what I would love is that you also throw in a consultant, like Ellie, Berto, So I think it’s important to just make, you know, not that he’s going to share it necessarily. But you know, there is information I want to make sure we get correct there is we just want it to be correct. So I would say you invite city staff member, and if you’re good with elevator doing that would be great. And then I think I think we then want to be clear on what. So Paul, if you’re going to bring this up on Tuesday, then I think we need to be clear about what you’re going to be saying if it’s about a letter about police funding, that might not be what it ends up looking like. So I think how, you know, maybe just a letter from the advisory board, you know, and just not really go into what that’s going to be about because we don’t know what it’s about yet. So I just don’t want to I just want us to be clear, or at least better. Until we know what that clarity is gonna, you know. How’s that for that we’ll talk for today. So I think just you know, that we want to the advisory board wants to is preparing a letter to submit to city council. So maybe we just talk about it in that way since we don’t have that final letter yet.
Okay, thank you, Jake.
So I’ll accept. I’ll add that if I can add that as a friendly if that’s how Robert’s Rules work, Mr. Chair, to say that Elbert? I don’t know. The to say that Alberto should should assist in that process of refining and editing, to bring us back a product and I’m gonna say, a week we’ve talked about right. That’s the timeline roughly that we’ve discussed. So that that’s, maybe not formally put that in, but that’s kind of the timeline. So yeah, I will. I’ll say that all sounds good and make sense to me. If it’s all okay with
everybody else, Nicole. Would you mind reading them? What you have is the motion back you
cobbled something together.
Okay. So I have motion to ask three members to serve on subcommittee along with staff member le Berto Mendoza, refine it. Obviously this isn’t titled perfectly refine it, evaluate it and bring it back for a special meeting Graham seconded
with it, can you add within
a week to 10 days?
Yeah, a week to 10 days of this meeting. So whatever that those dates would be.
Okay, fight that tonight.
I’m sorry, man.
Should we decide that date tonight?
Let’s I think the most important part is that there’s a sense of urgency behind it and I think the the group can probably act on that sense knowing that We and are you comfortable if we just flag it? 10 days from today?
Yep. Okay. All right. Let’s do that.
Okay. Or if you want to set a you know, to bring back for a special meeting, it could be sometimes your the week of July 20. So that would be 10 days. Two weeks. Yeah.
I’m more comfortable with it.
Let’s be exact or more. Exactly. Yeah. Okay. 10 points.
Yeah. So let’s, let’s say,
to bring back for a special meeting of the HSA be the week of July
Yeah. And then we’ll work on when the what the best date would be. Okay. Okay. Yes.
All in favor, please raise your hand
even gave the spirit
Any opposed? Raise your hand.
Any abstentions? Raise your hand. Okay, the Motion passes. Right. So that was awesome work. Yeah, that was good work. gratulations everybody. We’ve got a long ways to go. But that was a robust start. And my only request in the letter is let’s, to the greatest extent possible greatest to the greatest extent possible. Let’s make it something that you know we can agree on and really support but I also ask that I think it’s good for some of us to be uncomfortable. Yeah. So push the envelope. Let’s see if
Councilmember Christiansen and
I’m not gonna bring it up then next week because I can’t make a motion that says We’re gonna get a letter from the housing and Human Services Board. I can’t tell you what it is, but I think we need to discuss it. Can we take it? Can I have a second on that? So I’ll put it off for a week
because we’re ready.
Yeah, I already look like enough of an idiot that i i think it
was more of an idiot.
We know it. When we have the letter. We know what it says. And that’s the time.
So, okay. I just don’t want us to lose momentum. I think that’s
And I did send out I did for the email that that Polly sent, so you should have that in your inbox.
Okay, thank you. Well, it’s late. Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in and I want you to know, it’s my privilege to serve with each and every one of you. So thank you, Graham. And let’s see, I think the only other thing is somebody needs to communicate with staff on note To see the meeting that’s going to happen the discussion. So is there a specific individual who would like to take that on if this
sub Oh, can I make a suggestion that le Berto that? What are you, who will take the lead in and calling the meeting setting that up and we’ll make sure that everything is
okay with that? Yeah.
Yeah, I will do that.
Finally you have some work to do,
Roberto. Yeah, it’s about time, Your Honor. All right.
Thank you, everybody have to get some good
run. Yes. Thanks.
Thank you. Good night. Good night,
everyone. Thank you.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai