My vision for Boulder’s economic vitality is to nurture and empower our world-class economy, by sustaining an environment that fosters entrepreneurship, creates the conditions for small businesses to thrive, works in partnership with companies that are the foundation to our resilient business ecosystem, and helps women and minority business leaders overcome barriers to success.

I recently moderated a panel at the Conference on World Affairs, on the intersection of immigration policies and our economy.  I learned that when social security was started, we had 15 workers paying in to support each retiree’s benefits. Now it’s less than 3 workers paying in to support each retiree.  And that last number would be even lower – even worse – but for the social security contributions of immigrants. Economies are fragile and complex, and interwoven with other facets of our society.  The US is misguided in thinking that we’d be economically better off by keeping immigrants out.  Similarly, those in Boulder who suggest that driving out jobs or stagnating growth would be in our community’s long-term interest are missing the big picture benefits and complexities of our economic drivers. 

We have ambitious, expensive values, as demonstrated by our $350-400 million budget. Buying and maintaining Open Space and a robust Parks and Recreations Department is expensive.  As is flood mitigation. And muni litigation. To afford our values, we need quality economic drivers in our City. Our economic vitality is tethered to a healthy business climate.  A healthy economy is a big piece of a healthy Boulder!

Want to know more about Boulder’s economic sustainability planning? Check it out here.