Golden Stands with Black Lives

Labor Day Weekend Update: Racial equity, Clear Creek Crowding, Masks & Heart of Golden

Ward 4 Update
…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”–Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I am writing this during a week where we remember MLK’s “I have a dream” speech delivered nearly 60 years ago, and the Golden City Council continues taking up matters of a person’s worth. How far have we come? And where should we go from here? 

I would propose a simple and time-honored philosophy: A rising tide lifts all boats.

Lifting up all lives means recognizing specific groups of lives (e.g. Women, LGBTQ, Black people, Latinx) – and does not tear down the lives of others (Men, Police, etc.).

City Council lifted up Black residents and visitors this week. We find this necessary against a national backdrop of violence towards people of color, and a local history of systemic racism that goes well beyond the evil KKK presence to include ongoing racist attacks against Black residents and visitors right here in Golden.

We supported a request for Golden to make a public statement:
 Golden Stands with Black Lives.


And Council committed to the long horizon of work to improve racial equity and ensure Black lives don’t just matter, they matter equally. 

Over these past months I personally have had to face a realization: Believing I am not racist has been a safe, comfortable, and easy position. But it’s not enough. 

Among the scores of comments Council received on the issue of racial equity, especially related to Black Lives, even those people who questioned the worth of a public display of support (such as a banner) voiced a desire for greater equality in Golden. 

I am challenging myself to listen, learn, and act towards racial equality and be actively anti-racist. And I challenge each of us to find your own unique way to ensure a rising tide lifts all boats.

This past week’s actions are in conjunction with efforts undertaken throughout the summer: read my blog from June for details, and view Golden Key Dates and timelines including a special Study Session with Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick on July 16th.



Changing the subject, there are additional matters on the minds of Goldenites. And speaking of rising tides, Golden remains committed to stopping another wave of COVID-19 infections: Let’s ensure schools can stay in session so our kids can learn!

To that end we’ve continued to support a mask and face coverings ordinance (along with Jefferson County and the State), which we review monthly and as needed. We’ve also adjusted Clear Creek closures to improve safety. 

I realize that requiring masks and closing Clear Creek is far from ideal – it won’t magically make COVID-19 disappear. And we all love nature and know its therapeutic and healthy properties on mind and soul, especially now.

Thus, I look forward to working with Council and City Staff to find ways to manage crowding and safety during #COVIDtimes, with very clear direction to implement a new strategy for Summer 2021. Let’s start planning now for a safe, prosperous, and healthy summer season next year for visitors – and for us residents!

If you are interested in joining an Ad Hoc committee to prepare for and manage the Creek Corridor, please shoot me an email with your interest.
 

The Heart of Golden is one part of this process, and it’s getting started again… cleverly entitled “The Heart of Golden: Still Beating.” See https://www.guidinggolden.com/heart-of-golden-refining for more ways to get involved. 

Finally, a quick note on the financial crisis. 

The City of Golden is feeling the hit with reduced revenues this spring and summer. Year-to-date sales tax revenues are down about 8%. Despite this, we remain financially sound through a legacy of conservative investment, a diverse business community, thoughtful leadership, and aggressive action at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

Sadly, cities and towns across Colorado and the U.S. are not faring nearly as well. I hope Federal authorities recognize that local communities are the backbone of this country and critical to the success of America – and take action. We are not out of the weeds yet.

We know that a strong municipal foundation supports our residents, and will continue to focus on tight financial controls along with looking for more opportunities to support our community members. I believe all Councilors and City Mgmt stand ready to take strong action to protect our city.
 
A couple of examples:
The City recently agreed to extend additional support to BGoldN (formerly the Golden Backpack Program), the non-profit organization providing free food options for Goldenites while simultaneously supporting local restaurants.

We are supporting housing and rental relief opportunities, and last week City Council agreed to hire a Homeless Navigator (a partnership with Wheat Ridge and Edgewater) to support those facing homelessness – many for the first time in their lives.

Interested in helping our community locally?
Visit https://www.VolunteerGoldenco.org
 


There are many strong feelings, opinions, and beliefs about who we are as a community, and how we navigate what has turned out to be a game-changing year.

I commit to listening and learning, and engaging with you and the Golden community.

Have additional thoughts? Continue sharing them via Feedback and Social Media links below.

Have a safe and relaxing Labor Day Weekend here in Golden!

Check out these JeffCo Public Health Tips for Celebrating and limiting the spread of COVID-19.Learn more about Racial Equity in Golden & Get Involved


Celebrate Safely in small batches 😉




Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 Councilor
Golden, Colorado


Feedback
Email bill@williamfisher.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.

City Council expands mask requirements in Golden

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2020

For more information, contact:
Communications Manager/PIO
Karlyn Tilley
Office: 303-384-8132
ktilley@cityofgolden.net

Emergency Ordinance Expands Mask Requirements in Golden

Golden, Colo. — July 10, 2020 — Golden City Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance during their meeting last night, which expands current mask requirements to include indoor and outdoor areas of the city. This goes into effect today. Council made this decision in an effort to protect the community against COVID-19 and keep businesses open.

Ordinance 2140 requires face coverings for anyone working or visiting a building that’s open to the public. The order also requires masks in public areas outside, unless you can maintain six feet of separation from others. This includes streets, sidewalks, parks, trails, etc.

Exemptions to the mask order include:

  • Children under 3 years of age
  • People with existing medical conditions that make mask-wearing unsafe to their health
  • Anyone undergoing a medical procedure (ex. Dentist or doctor appointments)
  • When you are seated and eating or drinking
  • Schools
  • Organized sports leagues that are already in compliance with health guidelines

In Golden, follow the Golden Rule and wear a mask to protect others!

This Ordinance expires on Aug. 14 unless City Council votes to extend it. They will re-visit the mask ordinance monthly and make adjustments as necessary based on current health guidelines and pandemic concerns.

Additionally, Council directed staff to look for ways to re-open Clear Creek for limited recreation. Until safe solutions can be identified and implemented, access to the creek will remain closed.

Link to full ordinance
Emergency Ordinance 2140: Mask requirements in Golden

# # #

What’s the deal with masks? Learn more about masks here…

George Floyd, Police policies, and Golden’s response

Marchers walk along 11th street in Golden, CO on June 7th, 2020 to protest the killing of George Floyd among others – Black Lives Matter.

I’ve provided a June 13 weekend update with additional detail on the Ward 4 Email Newsletter, subscribe here.

Many of us have been rocked by the overwhelming reality of systemic racism and inequality demonstrated so clearly and obviously the last couple of weeks. The death of George Floyd and others have focused our country on these longstanding issues.


Golden City Council Responds

Golden City Councilors and Mayor Weinberg provided a strong response and comments at last Thursday’s City Council meeting (June 4th video at GCo.TV). Statements and moment of silence at the beginning, additional discussion about next steps and committing to action around 2hrs 36min.

(JUNE 12: Mayor Weinberg posts a thoughtful Newsletter Update)

Golden Vigil & March June 7th – Almost all members of City Council, led by Mayor Weinberg and Councilor Trout, joined as many as 1,000 people (almost universally wearing masks) for the Vigil and March in Parfet Park in Downtown Golden, CO in support of Black Lives Matter and in support of action to address inequality and racism. (See Transcript Article).

They coordinated with Golden United in regards to the protest. Golden United has also planned extensive outreach and action regarding the systemic inequities faced by Black Americans. View speeches and video here.


I am sobered by Golden’s history as a home a century ago for Ku Klux Klan members and rallies. I echo Mayor Weinberg’s thoughts:

“It is an ugly part of our past and it does not reflect the Golden of today.”

“However, we would be naive to think that racism doesn’t exist here. It does and now is the time to actively commit to our Golden values — to be a community where everyone is safe, welcome and treated with respect and dignity.”

Mayor Laura Weinberg, June 7, 2020 Vigil & March, Parfet Park, Golden CO

Civic engagement group Golden United held a Community Conversation on Fighting Racism Thursday, June 11th.

Update: During our June 11 City Council meeting, City Council discussed and unanimously adopted Resolution 2736 to Declare Racism A Public Health Crisis.

During the June 4th City Council meeting I strongly urged City Manager Slowinski and the Golden Police Department to provide a detailed and transparent response regarding Use of Force policies and protocols pertinent to Citizens of Golden and related to potential upcoming protests and marches.

Golden Police Respond

To provide transparency and information to City Council and all Goldenites, Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick and his team provided the following review of pertinent policies, procedures, and training undertaken by officers of the Golden Police Department.

The Department response includes details regarding: Body-worn cameras, Diversity training, Procedural Justice, Crisis intervention training, Homeless navigation, Use of Force, De-escalation, and more.

(UPDATE: The Police response represents where the Department has been – not where they are going. City Staff and the Golden Police Department will hold an extensive public review with City Council at our Study Session on July 16th)

If you haven’t, please consider reading Police Chief Kilpatrick’s letter to the community published at the end of May.

Thank you for the many varied, thoughtful, and significant thoughts, expressions, and suggestions received by fellow residents of Golden. Let’s continue this conversation – and commit to action.


My prepared comments for the June 4th Golden City Council meeting:

This is not just another general conversation about equality. It is about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and others who died from racial violence and injustice. Their lives mattered. Black lives matter.

All living Presidents have weighed in, a sign that I find promising, and I am moved and guided by their words:

Former President Barack Obama states protest is how our country was founded “And we should all be thankful for folks who are willing, in a peaceful, disciplined way, to be out there making a difference.”

Former President George Bush wrote that he and his wife over the past week actively “resisted the urge to speak out, because this is not the time for us to lecture. It is time for us to listen.” … But “we also know that lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system.”

Former President Jimmy Carter shared this remarkable and sobering thought: “We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”

If we want a diverse community, we must create a welcoming community atmosphere for all people in Golden.

Ward 4 Election Results

Thank you for supporting and trusting my candidacy during this Special Election. I am excited to get to work – Golden is worth it!

I am honored by the many folks who believed in my candidacy and vision, values, and plan for Golden.

Vote totals were higher than any time in Ward 4 history. The message is clear: Residents are engaged and care about our community!

This is an opportunity to move forward and hit the ground running – supporting efforts already underway by the City of Golden in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and financial crisis affecting our residents and small businesses.

I applaud my opponent for her willingness and offer to serve Golden. I will work to continue earning the trust of all residents in Ward 4 during my tenure, even as we continue with evolving stay/safer-at/around-home and physical distancing regulations.

Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas for Golden with me at bill@williamfisher.com

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1% Growth Ordinance

Where did Golden’s 1% Growth Ordinance go?

Golden's 1% Growth Ordinance – where did it go?

Golden enacted a 1% Growth Ordinance – where did it go?

Posted by Bill Fisher for Ward 4 Golden on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Honestly, nothing. It’s still here. It just doesn’t do what we thought – or rather it does, but only kind of.

As we know, Golden is landlocked and a desirable community, which means that any growth will be in-fill, scrapes, pop-ups and re-zoning. And THAT means we sometimes get growth that doesn’t fit the character of the community.

Remember, the 1% is a “PER YEAR” number. If we have a little over 8000 housing units in Golden, then about 80 housing units can be built every year. Actually it’s less than that, Council dropped it to only 0.9% a few years ago. Yup.

The 1% ordinance has been effective in one sense – providing relief from very large 500-1000 unit projects. Unfortunately, because of various limitations in the ordinance – and loopholes, it hasn’t stopped some of the mid-size projects that probably were intended to be reduced or halted. 

Loopholes? Oh yeah… 
  • Senior housing used to be an exemption
  • moderate and low-income housing
  • School of Mines student housing (they’ve put over 1,000 beds in Golden, yep.)
  • ADUs
  • Hardship allocations
  • Banking units for the future – Huh? Building half a project one year, then build the other half next year. Totally legal.
  • And boarding houses. Wait, boarding houses? Yep, they don’t count eiter.

For more on loopholes and caveats, check the City of Golden website here and here.

So what do we do?

First, make the zoning fit the character of the neighborhoods we want. We even know what we want – all those neighborhood plans we’ve developed over the past 10 years? Time for them to stop collecting dust. 

There’s an opportunity to put teeth behind the 1% ordinance during the re-design of our zoning codes which is going on now. 

Taking the neighborhood plans and embedding those concepts directly into the zoning codes, instead of simply having them be “ideas” of what we want to see, will go further to identify and direct developers towards the type of growth that feels to fit the scale, scope, and character of the neighborhoods where projects are going up.

We’ve done it before – in fact, we were successful a decade ago with zoning restrictions for Washington Avenue downtown to restrict heights and protect the charm and character of our downtown main street, and I think we can apply those principles again.

We can do more. I’m running to provide a strong vision encompassing shared respect for our historic small-town character and greater balance for those of us who live here in light of the increasing numbers of visitors and those hoping to join our community.

Let’s work together and see what we can accomplish on the 1% growth ordinance and more.

Golden Ward 4 Election: Vote Now

Thank you Golden!

I have been energized by the generosity and heartwarming spirit of our Golden community coming together in response to the pandemic and financial crisis we are facing. 

As a nurse on the front lines taking care of patients in Hospice, I appreciate the warm wishes and expressions of support for me and my family.

If you need help in this time, or you can offer support, please reach out: Locally, visit HelpGoldenNow.org and WilliamFisher.com’s Resources for Goldenites  or view JeffCo Public Health and the Jefferson Center for Mental Health.


Special election for Golden Ward 4 City Council

Voting is going on now. I encourage you to read more about my vision, values, and plan for Golden at WilliamFisher.com

If elected, I am ready to hit the ground running with practical and concrete ways we can respond to COVID-19 and the economic crisis – while enhancing and preserving our way of life and small-town character.

City Councilors should be listening to residents, responding, and then taking action to support our community. It’s not enough to talk about issues, concerns and problems. We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

I have been involved in Golden at many levels, and continue to put in the effort we need now:

  • Former GURA Commissioner – Golden’s Urban Renewal Authority. I am ready to support our local businesses
  • Kathy and I serve and support community school PTAs, I am endorsed by Support JeffCo Kids
  • Named Jefferson County Public Health Champion. I supported Radon gas mitigation for residents and served as Director on the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council focused on safe shutdown of the nuclear weapons trigger site and protecting workers. I continue efforts to reduce youth access to marijuana and vaping tobacco and promote safety during COVID-19
  • I served Golden’s Sustainability Initiative and Golden’s Campaign Election Board(The City has many opportunities to serve on boards, commissions, task forces and Leadership Golden – there may be a good fit for your talents and background, consider getting involved!)
  • Emergency Response – During the Indian Gulch Fire behind the Village at Mountain Ridge, the Mayor and I spearheaded urgent and frequent communications and responses for affected residents
  • HelpGoldenNow.org and BGoldN urgent food assistance – I am providing ongoing technical support for this important effort initiated by Mayor Weinberg and benefitting both our local restaurants and community members in need of food assistance.

And of course I served Ward 4 on City Council previously. My campaign focus remains on Golden’s needs now and for the future – yet perhaps it is appropriate to reflect on what we as a community accomplished during my previous tenure:

  • Launching neighborhood Parking Permits
  • Highway 93 – Beating the Beltway/raised tollroad and providing noise-reducing berms and walls (we can do more!)
  • Engaging Mines to reduce building and stadium heights and expand parking (Let’s complete the IGA)
  • Communicating regularly with residents in-person and through WilliamFisher.com and the Ward 4 Email newsletter.
  • Purchasing and reserving critical open space (Now let’s protect the Astor House)
  • Securing permanent status for our Golden Community Garden with water source and the Golden Bike Park
  • Completing Safe Routes to School for our kids and trail connectors for everyone
  • Protecting main street with lower height limits along Wash Avenue
  • Initiating complete streets (e.g. Jackson St) focused on those with transportation and mobility issues, peds and bikes
  • promoting Light Rail & Alternative transit into Golden (The first new RTD line in decades opened here in 2013)

If you share my vision and priorities for Golden, I ask for your vote. 

How to Vote:

  1. You can mail your ballot USPS by April 24th with postage.
  2. You can drop your ballot at Golden City Hall (911 10th St) by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28.

*Special Note: Share this voting opportunity with your 18-year-old High School Seniors and College Students that may be home! Also, the City Clerk’s office notified us some 16- and 17-year-old residents accidentally received ballots, but are not eligible to vote in this election (unless they turn 18 on or before April 28th). I’ve posted details from the City & County on what happened on my website.


…And if I can ask a favor?

Please pass this along to anyone who might be in Ward 4 – Village at Mountain Ridge, North Historic Neighborhoods around Mitchell Elementary, Historic Downtown neighborhoods by Clear Creek and Mines, East Street area, along 19th street towards Golden High School, etc.

I appreciate your input and thank you for your continued support.
 

Cheers,


Bill Fisher, RN, BSN, CHPN


William BilFish Fisher – Candidate for Golden City Council Ward 4
 


April Special Election ballots arrived this week. Please vote now!

Mail your ballot by April 24th with postage. Drop off your ballot at Golden City Hall (911 10th St) by 7 p.m. on April 28.

Email bill@williamfisher.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com to learn more and get involved.

#goldenward4 #ward4golden @cityofgolden #goldencolorado #specialelection

Golden37: Positive Impact

What do you love about Golden? How can we keep making Golden an even better place to live?

We are fortunate to live here, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be nestled in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains and have access to the Mesas, Clear Creek, Open Space, and many trails.

I am introducing the Golden37: Positive Impact Youtube series of ways we can improve Golden. This is based on dozens of conversations with neighbors and residents, my previous service on City Council and boards and commissions such as GURA (Golden Urban Renewal Authority) and having lived here more than 20 years.

Golden37: Positive Impacts for the City of Golden, Colorado

Ward 4 Election | April 28th, 2020

I am pleased to announce my candidacy for Golden City Council Ward 4. A special Mail Ballot election has been called for April 28th, 2020 as Mayor Laura Weinberg assumes her duties and vacates the Ward 4 seat.

After a year engaging residents during the recent Golden Mayoral race, it is clear there are a number of pressing issues facing us in Golden. It is time for vision, advocacy, leadership and representation in our city governance.

Update: The onset of COVID-19 sweeping the Globe and into Golden and bringing with it an unprecedented economic crisis make it more important to have experienced leadership ready to hit the ground running on day one in office. Please find resources at COVID-19 Resources for Goldenites and more on Masks, Masks, Masks!

For many of us Golden remains a unique, safe and vibrant hometown to live and raise our families. And yet we are in a time of increasing flux and pressure on the unique, historic and vibrant character of our home.

Voting now! Turn in by April 28th at 7pm at Golden City Hall ballot box. Read more of Bill’s Plan for Golden here.

The next several years will prove pivotal in directing and managing growth, development and crowding consistent with our small-town values.

I believe my unique experience, positive vision and independent voice will again benefit residents in Ward 4 and across Golden – and I am ready to hit the ground running on day one in office.

Integrity, passion and performance are hallmarks of my previous service that I will bring to City Hall. In the coming weeks I’ll share more about key areas we can focus on to best preserve and improve our community.

What are neighbors concerned about?

  • Economic stability – and just staying afloat.
  • Health and COVID-19.
  • Controlling Growth.
  • Safety & Livability.
  • Traffic and calming Highways 93 / 58.
  • Historic Character & Charm.
  • City and Council Communication and Responsiveness.
  • Affordability.
  • Local Schools.
  • Diversity.
  • School of Mines.
  • Coors Property (Purchased by the City) and Heart of Golden 2020 project.
  • Community Health: COVID-19, Vaping, Smoking, Radon Mitigation, Rocky Flats, pollution
  • And… impacts from outside including JeffCo, highway commuters, tourism and Clear Creek protection, air pollution, and more.

See my Vision and Values for more details. Sign up for the Ward 4 Email Newsletter to stay in touch & visit me on Social Media (links below).

Most importantly: What is on your mind?  I look forward to learning more about your thoughts regarding Golden and how we can move forward and work together – and I ask for your support to keep Golden Golden! 

Cheers,

William Fisher signature

—William “BilFish” Fisher, Golden Ward 4