Our policies need to be as humane as possible, and I will always err on the side of compassion and human safety.
Looking at flood mitigation as an example, 3,500 residents in one of Boulder’s more affordable, economically diverse neighborhoods are in harm’s way. Residents in affordable housing, right at the corner of 36 x Foothills, had their garden-level apartments flooded in 2013. Floating appliances blocked their egress, and some had to break out of their apartments’ jaggedly broken windows. But since they were renters, many have moved on. Their voices are gone – but new tenants are in harm’s way. Social justice is first and foremost about protecting our most vulnerable residents.
Considering things like the alarming statistics around systemic racism, and the significantly decreased life expectancies of people experiencing chronic homelessness, social justice progress made to date may have been illusory – we sure haven’t solved our issues. Therefore, I don’t believe in more status quo solutions.