“New Era’s quirky approach to politics is refreshing”5280 Magazine
WASHINGTON— Seth Frotman, the Student Loan Ombudsman at the Consumer FInancial Protection Bureau tasked with overseeing the student loan market, resigned this morning. In a scathing resignation letter to Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, Frotman states that the current administration has “has turned its back on young people and their financial futures,” and “abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting.”
The letter goes on to detail ways the current leadership is “undercutting enforcement of the law…undermining the bureau’s independence…[and] shielding bad actors from scrutiny.”
Charley Olena, Advocacy Director for youth engagement organization New Era Colorado, issued the following statement:
“Seth Frotman’s leadership of the Office of Students and Young Consumers uncovered systematic misconduct, fraud and abuse within the student loan servicing industry, prompting lawsuits and calls for reform across the country. Frotman has been an unwavering champion for the rights of borrowers with student loan debt at the federal level. His departure, combined with his allegations of the Bureau’s reluctance to enforce our laws and hold these servicers accountable, is no less than disturbing.
“Our financial future is at risk. There are more than 761,000 borrowers with over $24 billion of student loan debt in Colorado. Yet instead of protecting their basic rights, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and Acting Director Mick Mulvaney are leaving borrowers across the nation to the mercy of unscrupulous and unaccountable lenders and loan servicers—some of the most powerful financial corporations in the country.
“As the federal government continues to roll back even the most basic protections for borrowers with student loans, the need for states to step up and act has never been clearer. The tens of thousands of young Coloradans we work with every year consistently name student loan debt as one of the top areas they would like to see elected officials taking action. With protections crumbling at the federal level, Colorado’s leaders have an obligation to take action locally to defend borrowers with student loan debt.
“Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has consistently made it clear that Colorado has an obligation to step up and protect borrowers with student loan debt where the federal government has failed to do so. Earlier this year, she co-authored a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos pushing back against the federal government’s attempted pre-emption of state laws regulating student loan servicers. Her office also supported HB18-1415, a bill that would have brought oversight of student loan servicers in line with other consumer loan providers in Colorado.
“We will fight to ensure that our leaders recognize the critical role they must play in protecting student borrowers and work with them to bring oversight of student loan servicers in line with other consumer servicers that operate in our state. We will continue to elevate the voices and stories of the Coloradans who have been taken advantage of by their student loan servicers across our state and in the halls of the capitol. We will not stop fighting until Colorado has strong protections in place for borrowers repaying student loans.”
***Position still open as of 8.24.18***
For a PDF version of this job description, go here.
About the job
We seek a full-time Development Manager to help us raise the revenue we need to power our work and grow our impact. As Development Manager, you’ll run our fundraising events, maximize the revenue we raise from smaller donors (you’ll build your own donor portfolio), and ensure that our internal fundraising processes run smoothly for New Era’s development department. You’ll serve as the lead project manager for several revenue streams and major initiatives and will coordinate with many other New Era staffers to ensure that our fundraising is a true team effort. Working with the Development Director, you’ll have extensive opportunities to expand your experience in nonprofit fundraising, while also managing several crucial aspects of the department. By growing our base of support, you’ll help drive the progress we’re able to make on issues like student debt, abortion rights, and climate change. We’re looking for someone with serious attention to detail, strong writing skills, interest in fundraising, and the ability to manage multiple projects––including events––that further our fundraising strategies. If you’re an outstanding communicator with excellent judgment and a rock-solid system of organization, we strongly encourage you to apply. Previous fundraising or events experience is not required, but you’ll need to be willing and eager to learn.
About New Era
New Era Colorado is working to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to make Colorado a better place for everyone. We register and turn out thousands of young voters every year, we work on issues like election access, economic justice, abortion rights, and climate change, and we train hundreds of young leaders to create change. We’ve registered more than 150,000 young voters, passed policies like online voter registration, given out more than 60,000+ buttons that say “Vote, F*cker” on them (good, right?), and made two viral videos (This Is Why We Vote; Campaign for Local Power). Our team is deeply dedicated to social change, and takes the work very seriously—but not ourselves. We’ll never miss an opportunity to get a zoomed-in screenshot of you making a weird face in a group photo. We regularly communicate using gifs. Very few of us were cool in high school. We truly believe in the power of young people.
- Development events management | 35% | Manage the planning and execution of New Era’s fundraising events, including our annual “Toast to Democracy” fundraiser as well as our house parties and other events. Coordinate all involved staff, including collaborating with the Development Director and Executive Director to develop event strategy and with the Communications Manager for digital communications needs. On-the-ground responsibility for making our fundraising events successful and memorable.
- Development department administration | 30% | Develop new systems and processes to streamline the development department to function at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Ensure that we have up-to-date records to facilitate timely donor responses and decision making. Manage and track all contributions. Craft and send gift acknowledgments. Manage records maintenance and work with Data Manager to implement best practices. Assist with development stewardship, cultivation, and departmental metrics tracking. As needed, manage an intern to assist with prospect research, data entry, and other departmental administration.
- Monthly member program | 20% | Manage our robust monthly donor program and increase monthly revenue through creative member recruitment and stewardship. Identify and execute opportunities to recruit new monthly members, upgrade existing members, and recognize and engage existing monthly members. Manage all data, gift processing, and other program nuts-and-bolts.
- Small dollar donor + business relationships | 15% | Increase revenue and in-kind donations from small dollar donors and local businesses through relationship building, stewardship, and fundraising events. Cultivate and make strategic asks of local businesses. Grow into owning and soliciting a portfolio of small dollar donors (generally of gifts <$500). Set annual fundraising goals, strategies, and pitches for small dollar donor giving and business relationships.
- Deep commitment to New Era’s mission and an interest in tackling the issues facing our generation, including economic and racial justice, climate change, and reproductive justice.
- Highly organized, with consistent and careful attention to detail that ensures timely and accurate communication with donors every time, and that enables strong, independent ownership over fundraising events, projects, and processes with many moving parts.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills, and an ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences, whether in an email or a phone call.
- Strategic and analytical thinker with strong problem-solving skills. Ideally, you will continuously enhance the effectiveness of our plans and tactics to ensure we’re moving efficiently toward the right goals. For example, you would frequently consider how our system of capturing donor data matches best practices and ensures maximum efficiency and retention.
- Self-starter with good judgment and strong initiative who sets high standards for individual and team performance, and is committed to constantly improving every aspect of our work.
- Work style that is flexible, respectful, collaborative and nimble; brings a commitment to maintaining a supportive, empowering work culture. As we work to advance diversity, inclusivity and equity within our organization and through our work, we are looking for folks who have a strong personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Positive and solutions-oriented—we need people who can celebrate the great things we have, see the places we can improve, and come up with specific ways to help make those changes happen.
- Bonus points for any of the following: event management experience, fundraising experience (donor-facing or administrative), grant writing, knowledge of Colorado politics and/or the progressive nonprofit community, CRM/database experience, skills with Canva or other graphic design.
Please note: What we care most about is that you are consistently detail-oriented, a strong communicator, and interested in fundraising and events. If you’ve got some of this but not all of it, we still encourage you to submit your application!
This is a full-time, permanent position based out of New Era’s Denver office, reporting to the Development Director. New Era provides a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage (with 75% of the premium covered by the employer), a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with a match of up to 3% after 1 year of employment, an annual RTD Ecopass (free public transit!), paid sick and vacation time, a paid sabbatical after 5 continuous years of employment, an annual professional development budget, and enough pizza during election times to make you stop liking pizza for a few months. Salary range is low to mid 40’s, commensurate with experience. Preferred start date summer 2018
New Era Colorado is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome applications from all, and strongly encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees & LGBTQ people to apply.
Please submit your resume and cover letter as a single PDF attachment (all of those documents in one single PDF) through this form. In your cover letter, please describe why you want to do this job in particular at New Era, and how you found out about the position. This position will be open until filled and will be removed from our website once it is filled (if the posting is still up, you can and should still apply!) No phone calls, please.
For a PDF version of this job description, click here.
Full- and part-time positions available in: Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Durango
New Era Colorado is seeking field organizers to help us register and turn out thousands of young voters this year across Colorado! Organizers will be the beating heart of New Era’s 2018 field program, and will be charged with turning all of the energy of this moment into a swell of youth turnout in November.
You’ll play a key role in one of the largest and most effective young voter mobilization programs in the country, making the connections for young voters between the issues they care about and what’s on the ballot. Field organizers will work in teams to drive our voter registration, education, and voter turnout efforts, as well as recruiting and training energetic teams of volunteers. You’ll meet young people where they are: at community events, on campuses, in high schools, at local businesses, concerts, and more. These positions offer tremendous opportunities for leadership, personal, and professional development while being on a supportive team. We’ll have part-and full-time positions starting late spring/early summer and going through mid-November.
Our ideal candidates have a deep commitment to progressive values and voter registration—especially of young people people of color. You’ll be a great fit if you are eager to meet and build relationships with young voters face-to-face, are committed to building an inclusive team, and are motivated by ambitious goals.
If you’re excited about all of the above, come work with us!
About New Era
New Era Colorado is working to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to make Colorado a better place for everyone. We register and turn out thousands of young voters every year, we work on issues like election access, economic justice, abortion rights and climate change, and we train hundreds of young leaders to create change. We’ve registered more than 150,000 young voters, passed policies like online voter registration, won ballot measure campaigns, given out more than 60,000+ buttons that say “Vote, F*cker” on them (good, right?), made two viral videos (This Is Why We Vote; Campaign for Local Power), and Pod Save America even gave us a shoutout on their podcast! Our team is deeply dedicated to social change, and takes the work very seriously—but not ourselves. We’ll never miss an opportunity to get a zoomed-in screenshot of you making a weird face in a group photo. We truly believe in the power of young people. Get to know us: Our website | Our Facebook.
- Work on a team in Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins or Durango to execute a large-scale, high energy voter registration drive and turnout program targeting young voters. Maintain a regular presence at college campuses, community events, local businesses and festivals.
- Build relationships with campuses, businesses, and student leaders to collaborate on voter registration events.
- Recruit, train, and organize volunteers to collaborate with us on voter registration and voter turnout while supporting their development as leaders.
- Assist young voters in navigating our elections system through creative outreach and in-person guidance and support. (We’ll train you to be an expert).
- Lend a hand to all areas of the organization, including sometimes pitching in to help out other city teams!
What we’re looking for
- Deep commitment to New Era’s mission and to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through and within our organization. A determination to engage young people in tackling the issues facing our generation, including economic and racial justice, climate change, and reproductive justice. A serious passion for increasing young people’s participation in our democracy—especially our elections—is an absolute must.
- Work style that is flexible, respectful, collaborative and nimble; brings a commitment to maintaining a supportive, empowering culture. Positive and solutions-oriented—we need people who can celebrate the great things we have, spot where we can improve, and come up with specific ways to make those changes happen.
- Highly organized individuals, and folks who will take initiative to lead and make improvements, and able to work efficiently and effectively under tight deadlines.
- Willingness to work nontraditional hours on a regular basis & campaign hours during election season.
- A high energy personality and enthusiasm for engaging thousands of young voters face-to-face.
- Reliable transportation and a driver’s license strongly preferred (required for some roles, but not all)
- Preferred, but not required: Previous experience (volunteer or paid) on elections or campaigns or running student organizations; Spanish language skills
Please note: we care more about your desire to do the work than whether you have formal or informal experience. We encourage you to submit your application if this job excites you!
We are hiring for multiple part-time and full-time positions across the state. The positions are based out of New Era’s Boulder, Denver, Durango, or Fort Collins offices, with travel along the Front Range. The positions will be reporting to New Era’s City Leads in Boulder, Denver, Durango and Fort Collins.
Salary range is in the low 30’s annualized, commensurate with experience. Healthcare (medical and dental, employer pays 75% of the premium) and paid time off contingent upon length of employment. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis, with start dates happening between June and mid July.
Head over to neweracolorado.org/jobs (or try this link) to fill out the google form application.
These positions will be open until filled and will be removed from our website once filled (if the posting is still up, you can and still should apply!). No phone calls please.
New Era Colorado Foundation and New Era Colorado Action Fund are equal opportunity employers. We welcome applications from all, and strongly encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees and members of the LGBTQ community to apply.
New Era Colorado Foundation and New Era Colorado Action Fund are seeking a full-time Advocacy Manager to organize and advance our abortion rights campaign and support campaigns on our priority issues, including economic justice and climate change. This person will develop young leaders to drive innovative campaign work on their campuses, get creative with messaging and developing new, engaging tactics, and play a critical role in translating the momentum New Era builds at the ballot box into meaningful action on the biggest issues facing our generation. In this role, you’ll lead the issue organizing work that we do on campus and in the field, talking with thousands of young people and activating their passions in order to mobilize them to support our work at the legislature, on ballot measures, and other venues as necessary. The Advocacy Manager will work closely with New Era’s Advocacy Director and Deputy Organizing Director to oversee and execute high-impact campaigns, hire, train and manage a team of student organizing fellows on our abortion rights campaign, and implement creative ways to fundamentally shift the way our generation thinks and feels about abortion, empowering young people to speak up and speak out about abortion access, and dismantling shame and stigma in the process. Our ideal candidate is a highly organized and resourceful individual who is passionate about social justice, building power for young people, and especially solidifying our generation’s support for abortion rights.
About New Era Colorado
New Era Colorado is working to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to make Colorado a better place for everyone. We register and turn out thousands of young voters every year, we work on issues like election access, economic justice, abortion rights and climate change, and we train hundreds of young leaders to create change. We’ve registered more than 150,000 young voters, passed policies like online voter registration, given out more than 60,000+ buttons that say “Vote, F*cker” on them (good, right?), and made two viral videos (This Is Why We Vote; Campaign for Local Power). Our team is deeply dedicated to social change, and takes the work very seriously—but not ourselves. We’ll never miss an opportunity to get a zoomed-in screenshot of you making a weird face in a group photo. We regularly communicate using gifs. Very few of us were cool in high school. We truly believe in the power of young people. Get to know us: Our website | Our Facebook.
- Program planning & strategy | Work with New Era’s Advocacy Director and Deputy Organizing Director, as well as with other staff and volunteers to drive abortion rights campaign priorities and goals, and analyze outcomes to help hone campaign strategy and program development
- Program management and execution | Manage part-time student organizers to execute high-impact campus campaigns to destigmatize abortion and elevate the leadership of young people—particularly young people of color—in the abortion rights movement in Colorado. Bottom-line and track progress towards advocacy and campus organizing goals, assist in monthly reporting requirements.
- Leadership development | Provide student organizing fellows on our abortion rights campaign with a set of skills trainings to build their organizing abilities and help them develop professionally in the nonprofit and political world. Provide feedback, management and coaching to improve confidence and performance, especially by organizing side by side with them on campus and providing ongoing support.
- Partnership development and outreach | Work with partners at other progressive organizations and especially those doing reproductive rights, health and justice organizing to identify areas of collaboration, provide ongoing support, and network to build a stronger movement overall.
- Progressive Organizing and Visibility | Assist in advancing New Era’s larger slate of progressive campaigns through legislative advocacy, ballot measure campaigns, campus work, communications campaigns and more to raise visibility of issues and advocacy priorities in New Era’s electoral work
- Organizational and team leadership and collaboration | Contribute to the advancement of the shared goals of the organization and the field team, collaborating and leading on projects as needed—including collaboration with communications, data and fundraising staff.
What we’re looking for
- Deep commitment to New Era’s mission and to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through and within our organization. A determination to engage young people in tackling the issues facing our generation, including economic and racial justice, climate change, and reproductive justice.
- Passion for increasing participation and leadership among young people of color, and someone who has a commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity through every aspect of work we do. As we’re working to expand our ability to engage young people of color and to make our own organization equitable and inclusive, we are looking for a candidate who has a strong commitment to these values (including fostering a collaborative and empowering work culture).
- A passion for and experience with engaging people face-to-face on campuses, in the community, through tabling, meetings, and other grassroots tactics. A strong ability to maintain all relationships through clear, professional communications as well as 100% follow-through and responsiveness.
- Strategic, creative thinker with strong problem-solving skills & analytical ability (you’ve got ideas, big and small, for how we can better achieve our goals and you regularly troubleshoot your plans and adjust accordingly).
- Self-starter who shows strong initiative, sets high standards for individual and team performance, and is committed to constantly improving upon every aspect of our work.
- Highly organized (seriously) & detail-oriented, with proven ability to effectively and independently manage projects with many moving parts to produce high-quality results in a timely manner.
- Preferred but not required: Experience managing, training, or organizing people, including staff, volunteers or interns preferred
This is a full-time, permanent position based out of New Era’s Denver office (which is actually a cozy little house), reporting to the Advocacy Director. New Era provides a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage (with 75% of the premium covered by the employer), a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with a match of up to 3% after 1 year of employment, an annual RTD Ecopass (free public transit!), paid sick and vacation time, a paid sabbatical after 5 continuous years of employment, an annual professional development budget, and enough pizza during election times to make you stop liking pizza for a few months. Salary range is high 30s to mid 40s annualized, commensurate with experience.
Please email your resume and cover letter as a single PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org to the attention of Charley Olena with the subject line “Advocacy Manager Application: Your Name.” In your cover letter, please describe why you want to do this job in particular at New Era, and how you found out about the position. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. No calls please.
New Era Colorado is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome applications from all, and strongly encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees & LGBTQ people to apply.
For a PDF version of this job description, click here.
Because of President Trump, our best chance to fight climate change is on the local level now—where we need to double down.
And here in Colorado, Boulder’s fighting to do just that: pursuing the most powerful tool it has to fight climate change by breaking away from its monopoly energy provider, Xcel Energy, to create a locally-owned electric utility powered by clean energy.
This effort—municipalization—is Boulder’s only real path to 100% renewable energy, and could be a model for climate action for communities across the country!
But this fall, the fight for clean, local power faces a critical test—and we need your help. Boulder voters will decide whether to pass ballot measure 2L, to continue the project’s funding. The climate crisis is only getting worse—we have to stay the course on this huge, precedent-setting fight!
We’ve been fighting for this for years, because municipalization is the type of complex action that the climate crisis requires of us: in addition to changing our light bulbs, we’re changing our electricity provider and we’re taking control of our own energy future—threatening the coal-dominated utility industry in the process.
Boulder voters have long supported this effort because we know we’re running out of time to fight climate change and have to take serious, systems-changing actions.
Here’s the thing: to pass this measure, we’re running a truly grassroots campaign—again—and we need your help.
We’ve already got organizers on the ground talking face-to-face with voters every day, but we need to keep ramping up. Can you donate today to help us educate and mobilize more voters to support this campaign?
This fight, right here, right now, represents a key milestone in Boulder becoming a world-renowned laboratory for innovation in the clean energy sector, and a model for tackling climate change across the country. Help us make history—click here to support our campaign today, or here to sign up to volunteer.
P.S. Remember the viral video we made telling the story of this effort in 2013? Walk down memory lane, and then chip in to support this fight!
Exciting news: Boulder City Council voted 6-3 last night to stay the course on the campaign for local power!
This means we’ll continue with the utility formation process hearings at the Public Utilities Commission. Council members spoke of the weaknesses in Xcel’s offers, and listened to the overwhelming supportive crowds at the rally and the hearing. Forward on local power!
Thank you to everyone who wrote, posted, showed up, and spoke in favor of staying the course on local power.
The work continues: Now, we need your support at the Public Utilities Commission, which is hearing Boulder’s utility formation plans. They need to know we’re watching and care about them protecting Boulder’s right to municipalize!
Can you send a message to the Public Utilities Commission to support the next step?
A short and sweet note is best, thanking them for their work and asking that they please support Boulder’s constitutional right to form a municipal electric utility! Time is of the essence, so please email them today.
It’s up to the Commission to make Boulder’s constitutional right “real” by creating a realistic path for local power. There are 29 municipal utilities already in Colorado—so this isn’t a new concept—but the Commission has to show the way.
As a part of the Boulder community, you are leading the charge on climate action with local power as the model. The rest of the country is watching, ready to follow. Let’s go!
This email was sent to our local power supporters on April 12, 2017.
As you know, Boulder’s been working towards the creation of a locally-owned electric utility powered by clean energy for the last several years. There’s a major update in this fight—another delay from Xcel—and we need your help to keep our energy future from slipping back into Xcel’s hands.
The latest: We’re closer than ever, and a big step is coming up: Boulder’s utility formation plan is set to be heard by the utility oversight commission in Colorado. But at the 11th hour, Xcel Energy has released two business-as-usual deals to halt that process!
Now, City Council will vote on whether to abandon this next big step toward clean, local power, temporarily or otherwise.
Make no mistake: What Xcel has put on the table is a bad deal for Boulder, and is another attempt to delay our progress.
Offer #1 is to sign a 20-year contract with Xcel again, with promises—but no accountability—to help Boulder use more clean energy. Offer #2 is to buy their system out for what would amount to 2-3x the price of what it’s worth. (Um, no thank you?)
Voters have spoken loud and clear on four separate occasions that they support the campaign for local power—we’re so close, we have to stay the course.
The clock is ticking, and City Council needs to hear from you before they vote. Can you email them to say you support staying the course on municipalization?
Click that button to compose a message—that email address will go to all council members. A quick note with your name saying you support staying the course and rejecting Xcel’s offers is perfect.
With President Trump moving to undo major climate change mitigation efforts on the federal level, the stakes have never been higher—and bold, local leadership from our community has never been more important. We can’t put our energy future back in Xcel’s hands.
Molly, Emma, and the rest of the New Era team
P.S. We need a strong showing at the City Council hearing on Monday—can you join us? Click here for more details.
The following email was sent to Boulder City Council on April 11, 2017.
Dear City Council,
My name is Molly Fitzpatrick and I am the Organizing Director with New Era Colorado.
We would again like to express our deep appreciation for your persistent dedication to our community and your diligence on the issue of municipalization. I’m writing to reiterate our position, that continuing the PUC process is critically important for our community.
Our community has worked hard on municipalization for years—through so many elections, council meetings, study sessions, city open houses, and all the hard work that the Energy Future staff has done behind the scenes. Our voters made a bold, forward-thinking choice a long time ago, and they have since affirmed their decision on multiple occasions—what we would argue is the gold standard for a meaningful pursuit like this one. The critical moment—the upcoming PUC hearings—is finally upon us, and it is alarming that we would so hurriedly decide to halt that major step after all of this effort. Especially since, given the workings of the PUC, it is highly unlikely that we could simply hit the pause button on the proceedings and resume them as new post-election if voters rejected the settlement option(s)—which we believe they would. Delays are in Xcel’s interest and Xcel’s interest alone, particularly with the PUC hearings in sight.
On the offers themselves: Xcel’s “best and final” settlement options are weak, and ask the city—and our voters, again who have affirmed their choice on multiple occasions—to resume trusting Xcel to negotiate in good faith in the future, despite our city’s long history of challenging negotiations with them in the past. The franchise agreement, in practice, would be business as usual for Xcel. It’s missing critical accountability mechanisms, and offers little certainty in the pursuit of our community’s climate commitments—and in the process, it puts our energy future right back where it was when we embarked down this path as a community: in Xcel’s hands (particularly because the off-ramp options are quite hollow, in our view). The buyout option is a non-starter in our book and, we would guess, Xcel’s—since they couldn’t be under the illusion that Boulder would pay them so much more than the system is worth.
At every turn, our voters have consistently supported bold action in the face of the climate crisis and they’ve affirmed their support on multiple occasions—we’ve already taken this question to the people and given them a chance to voice support for another direction. And as President Trump is rolling back nearly every bit of progress that we’ve worked for at the national level, it is hard to imagine that our community would choose to cower at this time—and let Xcel lead instead, setting the pace for how we tackle a crisis that threatens life as we know it. The PUC process is literally just weeks away—we must stay the course and pursue the goals that voters have consistently supported.
We strongly urge you to move forward with the PUC process, and avoid any sort of compromise on Boulder’s values for a clean energy future.
New Era Colorado
Boulder’s Campaign for Local Power: The Latest
TL;DR: Boulder’s fight to create a community-owned electric utility powered by renewable energy continues! With President Trump moving to undo major climate change mitigation efforts on the federal level, the stakes have never been higher—and local leadership has never been more important. But just as Boulder’s utility formation plans are set to be heard by the Public Utilities Commission of Colorado, Xcel Energy has released two offers to avoid the hearings and, in the case of one of the offers, get Boulder’s business back. On April 17th, Boulder City Council will hear from the community as to whether we should sign a 20-year agreement with Xcel, accept their costly “buyout” option, or continue on the path to municipalization at the Public Utilities Commission. Read on for more background, why we oppose these settlement options and support continuing down the path of municipalization, and what you can do to help bring local power to Boulder.
What’s the latest?
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of Colorado is reviewing Boulder’s municipalization application, with hearings set to begin on April 26th. Just over three weeks before these hearings begin, Xcel has asked Boulder to consider two “settlement” options—instead of continuing to pursue municipalization at the PUC.
What are the options Xcel offered?
1) To stay with Xcel or 2) To buy their system (read: poles, wires).
Option 1: Staying with Xcel | The city would again commit to Xcel, for a period of 20 years, with an off-ramp option. This option contains some renewable energy projects, but there’s again no guarantee from Xcel to help the city meet our climate commitment goals of 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Option 2: Buying the system outright | Xcel is giving Boulder the option of buying their system upfront, rather than go through the process at the Public Utilities Commission and the other standard price-setting processes. They’re asking Boulder to pay far more than the system is worth—it’d amount to 2x-3x its value.
What’s the verdict?
Xcel’s offers are business as usual. Municipalization remains the best tool we have to meet our community’s climate commitments! Boulder’s voters have consistently expressed their support for the creation of a local electric utility and a collective commitment to reducing our contributions to climate change by creating a clean energy future for the city. Though Boulder has a constitutional right to municipalize, Xcel has delayed and obstructed the municipalization process since its inception. Now, they’ve released this offer at the 11th hour, which would put our energy future back in their hands with no guarantees that we would move closer to our climate commitments. “Deja vu,” we think, is the term.
We’re excited to share that New Era is joining organizations from across the country to launch The Alliance for Youth Action—a movement of young people, by young people, for all people.
Local organizing has never been more important, so our network—formerly known as the Bus Federation—is growing to meet the challenge. Bigger, broader, more ambitious—that’s more like it.
The Alliance will seed and support similar youth turnout efforts around the country, drawing on our different expertise and talents, and allowing more locally-focused youth organizing groups to learn from each other and to win even bigger battles. It’ll also focus on changing the national issue debate, with national issue campaigns on voting rights & economic justice (New Era is a part of these campaigns, too!).
As for New Era, we’re still Colorado-focused (and our name is still New Era). For the last eleven years, we’ve helped transform politics and democracy in Colorado—and now, we’re incredibly excited to be a part of this unstoppable movement amplifying local organizing work for young people across the country.
Our first joint effort is Youth Organizing Summit, which New Era is helping to plan, to debrief the 2016 election, build expertise on advocacy and organizing and plan for 2017-18 and beyond.
We’re excited about this next chapter, and hope you are, too!
-The New Era team