Editor: Last night, I voted against the creation of a Climate Action Committee in the City of Aurora. As I stated in the meeting, my objections were based upon the scope and makeup of the committee.
However, as a father of three young children, I care deeply about the world I’ll leave behind. My differences with my colleagues are where those solutions come from and the wide-ranging scope of the proposal.
Despite what you might be told, there are examples of groups that are doing great work around sustainability and alternative forms of energy that are proven. Rather than being directed by government mandates to develop solutions that aren’t tested or cost effective, they combine private sector ingenuity with a desire to keep our Earth beautiful for future generations.
I think we can all look around and see that our climate is changing. To create a course of action, we need a suite of market-driven solutions around energy innovation, modern infrastructure, and other proven technologies.
Unfortunately, one of my colleagues on City Council, Councilmember Juan Marcano, doubled down on his statement that those voting against the proposal were “sadistic death cultists.” While that might make for a good heavy metal band name, it has no place coming from a City Council member.
Hyperbole like this doesn’t belong in our discourse: “I think you might need to do some soul searching because I do believe, honest to God, that the Republican Party is a sadistic death cult. It is the most dangerous organization that has ever existed on this planet.”
I’ve consistently called out lies and mistruths from both sides of the aisle. But those words are an insult to the millions and millions of people that have been murdered by tyrannical dictators throughout world history and continue to live under the thumb of extreme oppression in places like North Korea, which is undergoing a modern-day genocide.
Disagreements on policy are a normal part of the policy-making process – I’ve found myself on the opposite of all my colleagues on policy at one time or another. But we should hold ourselves to a higher standard of decorum.
Rather than blind allegiance to a political party or ideology, I’d prefer solutions that work. This circus demonstrates why partisan politics doesn’t belong in local government. The solutions to our problems aren’t red or blue or any other color – they are Aurora solutions. Potholes need repaired, snow needs plowed, and public safety services need to be provided regardless of who holds office. Rather than tired labels that don’t accurately account for a wide range of thought and opinion, we should debate ideas.
Because it’s my job to continue to work for all Aurora residents, not just those I agree with politically, I remain committed to looking for solutions to ensuring that Aurora, and our great state, remain beautiful for future generations.
Curtis Gardner is an At-Large Aurora City Councilmember.