This election season delivered a huge win for the City of Denver with the passage of Ballot Measure 2A in November. Through a .25% sales tax increase, the measure will grant the city an additional $40 million annually for climate change programs. The measure was passed by a wide margin, garnering an approval of over 60%, well demonstrating the commitment Denver residents have to combating climate change.
The ballot measure is particularly good news for transportation and mobility advocates—a key tenet is to provide “programs and services that provide affordable, clean, safe and reliable transportation choices, like biking, electric vehicles and neighborhood-scale transit.” This investment in clean and equitable mobility will have a major impact on the way Denver residents get around.
In addition, this increased revenue will fund green energy job-training programs, investments in solar technology and green energy upgrades to homes and commercial buildings.
Perhaps the most innovative—and impactful—part of this funding is the deep focus it has on equity. The ballot stipulates that 50% of the funding be invested directly into communities most vulnerable to climate change; communities of color and disadvantaged communities. With a “strong lens towards equity and justice,” the passage of Denver’s 2A will arm disenfranchised communities across the city with new opportunities to combat the effects of climate change. This recognizes the disproportionate harm climate change has on these communities and is a welcomed endeavor by the City’s leadership that we hope to see replicated nationwide.
As part of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, Forth has provided expertise to the City of Denver’s sustainability office, specifically working with the team implementing electric vehicle technology since January of 2020. We are excited to continue to play an advisory role in Denver and help put these new funds to work in the coming year.