Boulder Area Labor Council - Q&A with Mark McIntyre
I am currently seeking the endorsement of the BALC.
I enjoyed providing answers to the Boulder Area Labor Council. A pretty different set of questions that relate to some of the most important members of our community.
Boulder Area Labor Council, City Council Candidate Q&A - Mark McIntyre
Are you now, or have you ever been, a union member? If yes,when, where and what union were you affiliated with?
I have never been a union member.
What would be your priorities as an elected official? What policies or coalitions do you see yourself leading?
Boulder is in need of leadership that looks forward, not back, leadership that helps Boulder live up to its values of broad inclusiveness, innovative environmental stewardship, and strength and resiliency.
Let’s live up to our values and make life better for our citizens of today and tomorrow. I am running because I have a lifelong passion for:
● Maintaining a healthy environment, locally and globally.
● Good governance and democratic processes that are open and fair.
● Social justice and equity
From these values, all decisions, policies and actions flow. We can’t govern by fear, moratoriums, and a desire to turn back the clock—we need to look forward and shape the future for the common good.
I believe that there is no dichotomy between a healthy business community, a healthy physical environment, and social justice and equity. I would see myself as a coalition builder between employers and business owners and equity supporters by being a strong advocate for:
Transit equity. For many hard working citizens transportation is the second largest household expense after housing. A car failure can mean the loss of a job, or the need for high interest debt, etc… Things can spiral out of control from there. If we had better transit choices for our workforce they could be less reliant on the car and actually save money. Better routes and reliable transit, with or without RTD is key. I will continue to push for Eco-passes for all. We also do a great job at providing subsidies for the wealthy’s transportation options in the form of tax credits for EVs etc.. That’s OK, but we must redirect some of our monies for need based subsidies of bikes, ebikes, transit passes, and car shares.
Workforce housing. Our teachers, first responders, nurses, mail carriers, retail clerks all deserve a chance to live near where they work. This will take us being more flexible and equitable in our land use patterns and zoning regulations. While many deride our cash-in-lieu program as being a giveaway to developers, I do not. I see the what Boulder Housing Partners has been able to achieve by leveraging those funds with state and federal funds to build many times the number of units that would have been built using the on-site model. This puts more working people in homes that are affordable in town. Isn’t that what we want?
Tax policy. I strongly support moving away from our almost total reliance on regressive sales tax to fund our government. We need to be creative in devising progressive funding systems. Here is a letter I sent to council on this topic. In addition we need to work with our state legislature to end prohibitions on: progressive income taxes by cities, real estate transfer taxes, variable or progressive head taxes etc...
Of the policies and coalitions that you have prioritized, where do you see Labor being a key stakeholder and how do you plan to engage us on these issues?
I believe that organized labor is almost invisible in Boulder politically. I would want labor to help us turn the tide on the issues described above. Our wealthy citizens need to be reminded that those that do so much for them are more than “in-commuters” or the cause of traffic. Boulderites need to be reminded of the nobility of work and workers. I see labor having a balancing role to the in our discourse and putting a face to those that have a real need for housing, transit, and tax policy equity.
In your first term, would you work with BALC to sponsor a policy granting collective bargaining rights to city employees?
Yes, this is already in place.
Privatization of public services can reduce city expenditures, but often result in poorer quality services and lower wages for service employees. Under what circumstances would you advocate against the privatization of public services? If so, what tangible steps would you take to prevent this from happening?
As a person that has 32 years in US based manufacturing, I think it is often a myth that “outsourcing” will save us large amounts of money and result in greater efficiencies. I think our city government can and should be run efficiently. We should be good stewards of taxpayer monies. But this does not mean taking the bait of outsourced jobs as a big cost saving opportunity.
I have seen first hand that this outsourcing strategy often leads to higher administrative costs as the city still has to maintain a vigilant administrative function to oversee the contractor and the contractor takes a cut as well with the end result being lower paid workers receiving fewer benefits and protections and few real savings for the city.
Many times the outsourcing of services also leads to a loss of “tribal knowledge” as long time employees lose their job and replaced by contracted temporary workers who need lots of real and expensive training to function at full capacity.
For Boulder Candidates only: Would you support the Municipal Utility employing a union workforce?
I would support the right of our municipal utility workers to form or join a union.
We believe that all people deserve the following basic civil rights. Please check all that you support:
The right to freely organize a union
The right to collectively bargain
The right to wages and benefits that improve the living standards of families
The right to full equality on the job
The right to a safe workplace and decent working conditions
The right to speak and be heard, without punishment
The right to a pension and a healthy retirement
The right to strike when necessary
Would you support the Use of Best Value metrics, as opposed to lowest responsible bidder for vendors supplying the City with goods or services?
Yes, with the caveat that I want to study those exact metrics.
Would you support creation of a Local Minimum Wage by CityCouncil?
Would you support licensing requirements for marijuana and hemp retail and grows that encourages high labor standards and favorable treatment of union shops?
Yes to high labor standards but I would need to study more and have discussions with store owners and workers regarding the favoring of union shops before replying to the later part of the question.
Would you support a state-wide employee paid family leave policy?
Yes, and I prefer it to be a state-wide policy.
Your city has an affordable housing crisis. What steps would take to address this problem?
In addition to my statements above, I would also support ending Boulder’s Three Unrelated Persons Ordinance while simultaneously stepping up code enforcement. I think it is wrong to criminalize well behaved people who are good neighbors from sharing a home. Here is a theoretical example: Couple A - postal worker and a grad student, Couple B Teacher and a police officer, share a house a three bedroom house and share a two cars. This living situation is illegal in most of Boulder. That is wrong.
Why do you believe it is in the best interests of the BALC and its members to endorse your candidacy?
While I have never been a union member, I have made my living selling US manufacturing services to US OEMs. Some of the shops I sold for were union and others were not. My success is in large part due to line workers. I have great respect for the value of work and workers. I understand their struggles and want them to have an equitable shot at achieving success and economic stability.
I think on a national level we have continued to reward the wealthiest among us and to punish those that are not via our tax code and general treatment of workers. I am committed to doing everything I can to reverse this trend on a local level.