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November 21 2013


Colorado’s Polka-Dotted Middle Way

Colorado is pushing a lot of boundaries and buttons lately. On fracking, gun law, marijuana, secession. We catch up with Colorado.


Laura DiSilverionovelist, former Air Force intelligence officer. (@LauraDiSilverio)

Patty Limerick, Faculty Director and Chair of the Board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, professor of history. (@CenterWest)

John Long, founder and executive director of Biodiesel for Bands, a nonprofit that offers touring musical artists discounts on bio-diesel fuel and touring vehicles.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Daily Beast: Colorado’s Strange Secession Vote —  ”Eleven of Colorado’s 64 counties want to secede from the state, and there is a referendum on the ballot to that effect. It will, in all likelihood, pass. Only the voters in those 11 counties are voting on the question. Ten are contiguous, in the northeast corner of the state. In their dream world, they say sayonara to Denver and become “North Colorado.” The eleventh county is across the way, in the northwest corner. Since the U.S. Constitution mandates that states be contiguous, Moffat County would just sign up with Wyoming.”

The New Yorker: The Middleman — “Colorado is part of a national trend: red states are becoming redder and blue states are becoming bluer. According to the National Journal, an unprecedented thirty-six states are controlled by one party or the other. Activists, frustrated by the partisan gridlock in Washington, are pushing their agendas in state capitals that are dominated by a single party and thus can swiftly move legislation. Two weeks before Hickenlooper signed his gun laws, the Republican governor of South Dakota signed legislation allowing school employees to carry firearms. In April, Kansas passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, while in Democratically controlled New York, Governor Cuomo unveiled a bill to guarantee in state law the protections provided by Roe v. Wade.”

The Denver Post: Polis, Hickenlooper disagree on Colorado’s fracking regulations –”Polis never took a position on the fracking bans, but Tuesday he said fracking ‘is occurring very close to where people live and work and where they raise families. Yet our state doesn’t have any meaningful regulation to protect homeowners,’ Polis said in a floor debate on a series of energy measures. ‘Unfortunately, the fracking rules are overseen by an oil and gas commission that is heavily influenced by the oil and gas industry.’”

November 12 2013


Bill De Blasio’s New New York City

New York’s new mayor Bill de Blasio won with a progressive platform. We’ll unpack the vision and reality.


Chris Smith, contribution editor at New York Magazine. (@ChrisSmithNYMag)

Ellis Henican, columnist at New York Newsday. (@Henican)

Mitra Kalita, ideas editor at Quartz. (@mitrakalita)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York: The New Mayor’s Frenemies — “[De Blasio] rose from an obscure public office to handily defeat a better-known, more experienced front-runner in the Democratic mayoral primary and then won the general election by the biggest open-seat margin ever. All very impressive. The reward is four years of nonstop headaches that will make being mocked as a socialist by Joe Lhota seem like happy hour. There is no shortage of major problems on the horizon: a $2 billion city budget deficit, more than 100 municipal labor unions clamoring for raises, the need to maintain public safety while easing up on stop and frisk.”

Quartz: These 4 charts explain why Bill de Blasio won over New Yorkers — “While New York City rebounded from the recession faster and stronger than the rest of the state and country, a stubborn wealth gap persists. Granted, much of the city looks richer, cleaner, safer than 20 years ago before more moderate mayors took its helm. But there’s clear discontent over the concentration of that progress and those riches at the top of the income pyramid.”

New York Times: In New York City’s Sharp Left Turn, Questions of Just How Far — “[De Blasio] talked repeatedly of a gilded world capital rived by class divisions and inequality, where the children of the middle and working class struggle to find jobs and apartments. His vows to tax the rich in service of universal prekindergarten and to rein in police stop-and-frisk tactics that inflamed young black and Latino men became twin pillars of his campaign. Such talk worried some business leaders, who had grown accustomed to attentive treatment from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. But in a post-Occupy Wall Street world, the mayor-elect’s message resonated with voters.”

July 13 2013

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