I’m not good at keeping resolutions until I get a kick in the head to change my reckless or sinful ways.
Since I have a dire dislike of consequences on myself, allow me to make some resolutions for Colorado politicos. They can thank me later.
Here’s what I think they should do in 2021.
The Colorado legislature
Let’s get serious about timelines and respecting the process, solons. Every year dozens of bills get introduced that have no business getting introduced. They won’t pass. They don’t have the votes, and there’s no chance they’ll get them. That’s not governing. That’s showboating. That’s pandering. That's a gigantic waste of time. More than that, it tires out the public's limited attention and the political will of those who could make legislation rounder and fuller.
In 2021, the General Assembly will become mature and wise, and pigs will fly.
Gov. Jared Polis
Less "Star Wars," more Space Force. The governor is no longer a novelty, a history-making tech millionaire-turned-progressive superhero. If not for the pandemic, Polis would toast his first-term agenda and serve it with jam.
The governor, however, should live up to one of his most important campaign promises: one Colorado for everybody. That should include those who disagree with his agenda.
For the coming year, I resolve that our governor will listen with both ears, the one on the left and the one on the right. That will help keep his focus forward.
Mile High voters
Get it together, Denver. Voters in the capital city are a bit too willing to raise taxes and vote in laws that make it look frenetic at best, kooky at worst.
They ban homeless people sleeping on the street, but they legalize pit bulls. They decriminalize magic mushrooms, but they won’t allow safe injection sites.
Most Colorado cities you know. Boulder, Pueblo, Steamboat Springs, Aspen, Vail, Greeley, and of course Yuma, the Paris of the plains (ask anybody at J.D.'s Barn). Each place has an identity.
Denver has multiple personalities, which means it has none.
I challenge the city to take shape, to figure out how it wants the world to see it, beyond a good place to buy pot. That happens with a clear view of the big picture, not a gnat storm of ballot questions.
Mayor Michael Hancock
A little contrition goes a long way, but it’s getting to be your thing, Mayor Mea Culpa.
After Thanksgiving, Michael Hancock said he was sorry for leaving on an airplane for the holidays right after he went out of his way to tell the rest of us not to for the public good. In 2018, he apologized for the flirty texts he sent a woman who wasn't his wife — a city police officer assigned to his security — in 2012.
Last year, he apologized to that officer, Leslie Branch-Wise, again after he said in a debate that her texts should have been considered alongside his. “I misspoke last night in a heated debate, and I want to apologize,” Hancock said the next day.
In 2011, while he was in the runoff for his first term, he had to walk back his support for teaching creationism in public schools. His campaign first said he misunderstood the question. That was a month after he was asked at a Denver Museum of Nature and Science debate whether he believed in evolution. “I believe in God,” the future mayor said. The next day his campaign said he does believe in evolution, but he didn’t have a chance to answer fully in the lightning round.
Elton John sang “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word,” so he apparently doesn’t know Michael Hancock.
Fossil fuel foes
Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel, let’s not lose sight of that.
It was kind of nice to see combatants over the state’s energy future lay down their arms in 2020, after a legislative fight a year ago. Until that has had a chance to play out, now’s not the time for new fights on a vital industry.
Renewable energy is over the horizon, but we’re going to need legacy fuels to get us there. The world’s economy runs on fossil fuels. We can develop and refine it here with the best technology and oversight we can muster, or it can be developed in a country where they don’t give a rip about the planet.
Do you care about the planet or winning a political fight?
Natural gas is the best compromise we have.
In 2021, let’s resolve to stick to the facts on both sides. Hot air is hot air no matter how you heat it.
Open again, please. Those of us who love to watch food snobs roll their eyes in self-inflating disdain are counting on you.
We need a Mariachi band and a $12 taco salad now more than ever. The venerable eatery and entertainment splash pad on Lakewood’s West Colfax Avenue has put up its dukes and vowed to reopen.
Be resolute to keep on keeping on, cliff divers.
And we should do it the same courtesy. If Casa Bonita is not your thing — it’s mine — then you should resolve to patronize your favorite small businesses in any way you can as soon as you can. They’re counting on you.
More sopapillas, please.