Kurt Nordback: Election: Expand voting with even-year elections
A big part of America’s story has been the halting but long-term trend toward expansion of the electorate. At our country’s beginning, voting was generally limited to white male property owners. The first major change came — perhaps surprisingly — thanks to President Andrew Jackson, who championed suffrage for non-property owners. In 1870, the 15th Amendment nominally gave Black men the vote, but in practice, Jim Crow took this right away from them for close to a century. The Snyder Act of 1924 gave all Native Americans citizenship and therefore the right to vote, though state-level restrictions continued to limit indigenous people’s suffrage for decades. Women finally won the vote with the 19th Amendment, almost 80 years after Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton started the American women’s suffrage movement. We got the Voting Rights Act in 1965, and the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18 in 1971.
Today, most adult citizens have the legal right to vote, with notable exceptions including those in prison and convicted felons. Unfortunately, we’ve seen renewed efforts at voter suppression around the country. The struggle continues. But what’s clear is that democracy is stronger when more people vote. Voting engages citizens and increases our investment in government and our democracy. It gives us a voice. It makes politicians pay attention. It brings pride. It shows that we matter.
It hasn’t been a smooth journey, but as voters have become a larger portion of the population, our democracy has become stronger, fairer, more resilient, more just. In this fall’s election, Boulder voters have the opportunity to take another small yet significant step along this arc of history, by moving City Council elections from odd years to even years, when participation is much higher. Please support democracy. Please support even-year elections.
Kurt Nordback, Boulder
Eric Doner: Business: Have a business? Not if Google says you don’t!
I recently learned that Google, the ubiquitous tech giant, and major Boulder employer and office lessee, disabled my online business profile. This arbitrary step erased my business identity, location and contact information and has caused me economic loss and irreparable harm to my reputation.
For the past five years of my retirement, I have operated a small, veteran-owned, auto hobby detailing service from my home garage in Lafayette. I have served dozens of delighted owners of cars, trucks and SUVs. In July, to digitally promote my efforts, I launched a website and created a Google Business Profile. Folks would find me in a Google search, which then led them to my website to send me a message and request an appointment. I got three to four inquiries every week and converted most to detailing jobs.
This all came to a screeching halt in August when Google disabled my business profile without notice. I only learned of their action when an owner who wanted to give me a positive review could not find my profile.
Efforts to reinstate my profile have been met only with an indifferent acknowledgement that my request was received on August 31. Since that date, to my knowledge, no steps have been taken to restore my brand and access to potential customers.
Eric Doner, Lafayette
Susan Gerhart: Libraries: Nederland’s district shows how board can succeed
For twenty-plus years, the Nederland Community Library, a district library, has been very successfully overseen by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees. The founders of the library deliberately created it this way to keep the running of the library out of the hands of politicians who may or may not be interested in library affairs. NCL is a vibrant, bustling place and the heart of a community. Go look.
Susan Gerhart, Boulder