PERRY: Aurora Democrats and Republicans must prove the Colorado GOP wrong that they ‘now control’ the city

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A voter drops their ballot into the ballot box, Nov. 1, 2021 at the Aurora Municipal Center.
Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

 

Despite continued partisan war drums on both sides of the aisle, the 2021 Election is now over, and the bevy of critical problems facing local communities are still there and waiting to be addressed.

It would be a lie as big as the one Donald Trump perpetually spins about non-existent, widespread voter fraud to say the vicious partisan politics at the capitols in Washington and Denver have not flooded local governments everywhere, including Aurora.

For months, the Aurora City Council has deadlocked on critical matters that beg for collaborative solutions instead of stubborn political vindications.

While winners have yet to be officially announced in five city council seats, state Republicans were claiming a partisan victory in what have long been demurely partisan city races.

Pointing to what looks to be wins for Republican city council candidates, “Last night was the first big step in Colorado’s fight to elect responsible leaders who actually care about our state,” GOP Chairperson Kristi Burton Brown said in a statement to the Sentinel Nov. 3. The announcement came with insistence that Colorado Republicans had assumed authority in Aurora and elsewhere across the state in other non-partisan governments.

“Aurora  — WE NOW CONTROL,” the statement said, adding that Republicans, who did not run as Republicans in a non-partisan race, “now control the Aurora City Council.”

Sentinel reporters have repeatedly pressed Democrat and Republican candidates about the coy-not-coy practice of being partisan when it helps and hiding their Rs and Ds when they find it uncomfortable or unfashionable.

Councilmember Juan Marcano, totally a D, pressed the issue last month, insisting that the city make clear the party membership of city council candidates and members.

Democratic candidates for Aurora City Council and a local school board similarly banded together as Democrats earlier in the election season, working to make it clear their partisan flavors meant something when they vote on the dais.

It shouldn’t. Sure, dismal voter turnout to choose among obscure candidates amid the chaos of the pandemic, and just trying to keep it together these days, is a strong argument for picking a party so you don’t have to sort through candidate details. But we’re not there yet.

And the problems unsolved by the last partisan-ized city council still exist.

No matter who gets seated on the Aurora City Council in a few weeks, after election results are finalized, it’s critical that new representatives be given a fair chance to lead and be held to serious and unbending expectations.

Aurora is facing a crisis not of homelessness, but of people who have no home. It’s infinitely easier to look away from problems like this when challenges become things and not people who are suffering from things. Aurora, like the rest of the region, is afflicted with tens of thousands of people suffering from addiction crises, the vast majority of them have homes but many don’t.

Aurora, like all of the metro area, is plagued with people shooting each other, stealing valuable car parts and personal possessions. The region is thick with children who live in tentative homes, unsure about so many things most of us take for granted: breakfast, a car to get to school, a coat or a parent that’s always there and ready.

Aurora needs leadership to solve so many things that affect people, not just impersonal problems. When city leaders see that Aurora is awash in children, fast-food workers, old women and ailing veterans camping along streets, parking lots and in parks, it’s easier to make choices that improve their lives, and all of our lives, rather than just get the problems out of our faces.

Aurora residents, and the world, have watched in horror as Aurora police, repeatedly, and without doubt, abuse people they encounter, often Black people. We cannot deny that state justice officials are stepping into Aurora law enforcement to end what they say is clearly a pattern of malfeasance and abuse.

It doesn’t matter whether city leaders are Republicans or Democrats, they must each and all press for the unequivocal understanding that the city and its police department are here for Aurora residents.

It doesn’t mean Aurora residents don’t want a police department, and for officers to be rewarded for one of the hardest jobs in the world, one that demands as much art as skill. Everyone wants law and order, and the abuse to stop. Everyone wants the police department to reveal everyday how it’s working to make those things happen and can prove that they’re successful.

These and so many non-partisan problems should and will elicit a bevy of ideas and possible solutions. Because each of them are so vast and complicated, there will be no right or wrong here. But the best answers will focus on creating solutions for the people who are impacted. Despite a tragic and unnerving slide away from the nation’s historically strong alliance with science, the scientific method and provable outcomes, Aurora must seek out data-driven solutions and rely on the wealth of expertise at its fingertips.

Everything the next city council does must meet the critical touchstones of being transparent in how it will work and how the government will account for progress, or the lack of it. Every solution must be built on a foundation of accountability.

Those are bi-partisan formulae for success.

Gov. Jared Polis in his recent release of a draft state budget for next year outlined an astounding level of possible investment in communities like Aurora to target solutions for people without homes, people hurt by rising violence and crime, people who work hard and can’t enjoy even modest security in their lives, people who can’t find a reasonable way to get to work or the store or to school.

It’s not hyperbole when Polis says these are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to solve serious problems affecting all of us.

It would be unforgivable if Aurora’s elected leaders were unable to shed their political parties on the dais to strive for mutual ground rather than partisan divides.

I hope any newly elected Republicans prove their state GOP chairperson, Kristi Burton Brown, dead wrong about the Colorado Republican Party having taken control of Aurora. I hope neither party takes control of a unique form of government that allows leaders to act as people, not politicians, to solve problems for people.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]

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gk puester
gk puester
1 month ago

How sad that our political leaders no longer want to make better lives for their citizenry but instead are in a fight to death over “Who’s in CONTROL” to further their own interests.

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 month ago
Reply to  gk puester

They will not be happy until we have totalitarianism. Trump’s rule should have been a clue. Everything must be their way.

David Smith
David Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Felice

You’re kidding, right? Which totalitarian president is requiring vaccination mandates again?

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Felice

Said the radical left ideologue.

iamsomebody
iamsomebody
1 month ago

‘WE CONTROL’ oh yay. I’m sure they will do what is best for Aurora and not themselves!/s

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 month ago

As I have stated often in this forum, the goal of Republicans is total control of everything in the country including our city. Lots of outside money was pumped into this election for this purpose. And they succeeded in getting more of their people to vote than did the Democrats.

Now we’ll watch as they wrestle futilely with the homeless and the police crises. Haha. Now we’ll see if they can put all their spending into action on our behalf.

By the way, that camping ban, which they think is their darling, has just been declared unconstitutional again by another court. But the Constitution never gets in the way of the Republicans.

FeelingsAreNotFacts
FeelingsAreNotFacts
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe Felice

You seem confused.

Doug King
Doug King
1 month ago

“he would add a progressive voice on the council that Republicans say they “now control.” SO MUCH FOR A NON-PARTISAN ELECTION, HUH?

Doug King
Doug King
1 month ago

I will expect to see the new conservative members be held accountable for any mistakes errors or misconduct they are responsible for….and also to be accountable specifically for all the promises made while they were running for office. I for one will be contacting them and asking the questions. There’s only one so far that I know who I believe is accountable and will do right by Aurora. And I’ve talked with this person and we’ve agreed to keep in touch. You folks in your Wards MUST do the same. This apathy has to stop!

Don Black
Don Black
1 month ago

We need a third party to try to end the childish struggle where the welfare of everyone is a distant second to the desire for control.

DICK MOORE
DICK MOORE
1 month ago

If you believe, along with me and now a whole lot of Aurora citizens, that the real issue is one of semantics of “Control”. It’s not that Republicans Control Aurora, it’s that the socialistic base of leadership and voters in Aurora has been stopped from spreading in Aurora. The stopping of the socialistic movement in Aurora was the biggest issue in this election and will continue to be until we have a true Republican vs Democrat election. Not a Republican vs Socialist election.

The electorate has begun the process to eliminate socialism in Aurora. That should be the Republican byline not that the Republicans Control Aurora.

David Smith
David Smith
1 month ago

Good idea: “Hold the city council to serious and unbending expectations”. The last council was held to expectations by voting in some serious candidates. The council should be held to the campaign promises they made to the electorate.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
1 month ago

Note how quick Perry’s tone changes when his side gets spanked in elections; he goes from giddyness at the prospect of his political party “steamrolling” its agenda at the statehouse and complaining when those efforts are stymied, to passive-voiced pleas towards bipartisanship when they lose control at the municipal level. Even his own paper admitted a couple of years ago that in-fighting on the council wasn’t an issue until the Emerge and DSA claque, with their entitlement, arrogance, and self-righteousness as wide and deep as the Royal Gorge, came on the scene.

The “good” news for his team is that there’s hardly anything that either party could do to fix Aurora’s homeless issue at this point, and the likelihood of any new members doing more than one term is quite low. This is a state-wide problem, and a Front Range problem in particular, that was put in motion over ten years ago with the aggressive courting of growth to the region without any sort of long-term planning as to how to accommodate it, or the effects of the excessive liquidity that accompanied it. And it’s going to get a lot worse if even 5% of the workforce loses their jobs or quits over Magic Coof Juice mandates.

Now that the area is Silicon Valley East, you’re just going to have to lie in the bed that was made.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

It’s interesting who seems the take away message from this election thinks this is a control issue. Do these people not seem to recognize the past council’s continued insistence that city government grow and create more departments to interfere in the lives of folks to the max. You know, little things like, making restaurants quit offering chocolate milk on the menu. Things like telling businesses the new Aurora minimum wage, CM Combs, and CM Marcano, you did set forth, and open peoples minds of what “control” truly boils down to. Aurora rejects,any increase to the notion of city Gov’s. “control” but only the voters apparently see it, because Dave obviously doesn’t.

FeelingsAreNotFacts
FeelingsAreNotFacts
28 days ago

Four days, and still waiting for my comment to be approved?