Perspectives: EVSTRA is committed to the Estes Valley Community

In less than a week, the 2022 mid-term elections votes will have been counted. According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, 537,735 ballots had already been received, with 40,523 of those coming from Larimer County as of midnight October 30.

Generally, mid-term elections have a lower turnout than presidential election years, but by next Tuesday night, if the 2018 mid-term elections are predictive, more than 70 percent of Colorado’s 3,759,999 active registered voters will have cast their ballot.

Colorado had nation’s second-highest voter turnout rate in 2018. However, that is just the count on active voters—voters who consistently show up election after election. There are many eligible voters who are not registered and some who are registered who do not vote.

Voting is a civic duty that we all learn about in our American history and government classes. On September 18, 1787, the last day of the Constitutional Convention, a lady approached Benjamin Franklin as he left the building we know today as Constitution Hall and asked, “what have we got a republic or a monarchy.” Franklin, who had presided over the convention is said to have replied, “a republic, if you can keep it.”

And one of the ways we “keep it” is by engaging in the democratic process of voting which is both a right and privilege of citizenship.

One of the very first issues that the Estes Valley Short-Term Rental Alliance decided to champion was the ballot initiative dealing with workforce housing and childcare. Why? Because we know that a strong community is one where its workforce can live and be part of the community and not just commute.

EVSTRA recognized the potential in the lodging tax extension to improve the serious problem with workforce housing and to increase options for childcare for the workforce. If passed, this ballot initiative—E6—will provide a significant revenue stream that, by law, can only be used to address these two issues.

While a significant number of voters have already made their decisions on the candidates running for office and the ballot propositions, some voters are still deciding. Some will fill out their ballot at home, other will chose to go to the polls in person next Tuesday.

EVSTRA has worked hard in coalition with other organizations in the Estes Valley to promote passage of the lodging tax and we hope it passes, and not by just a slim margin. We hope it passes with a loud mandate from the voters of our area as a decisive sign of support to our workforce.

If the measure fails, EVSTRA will continue to champion important civic and social causes that are good for the Estes Valley because our members are property owners, property managers, housekeepers, maintenance and trades workers, and local taxpayers who care deeply about the vitality of our community.

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About Pep Dekekr

Pep loves Estes Park, he lives here with his family and hopes to bring people to Estes Park and Estes Park to the people. Along with his wife Paige, they own EstesPark.com.

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