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Denver voters approved initiative 2A, injecting $36 million into a climate solutions fund that will expand renewable energy and electric vehicle infrastructure, upgrade buildings to be more energy efficient, and support more multimodal transportation options like transit, walking and biking. The dollars will be raised from a .25% sales tax increase, the equivalent of 25 cents for every $100 spent, which will go into effect immediately.
“Denver voters stepped up and passed a precedent setting measure that pumps tens of millions of dollars into smart climate solutions that will give our children and grandchildren a better chance of a safer and healthier future,” said Danny Katz, Executive Director of CoPIRG. “2A pushes Denver into the forefront of cities tackling climate pollution, giving us badly needed dollars to invest in strategies that reduce climate pollution like more energy efficient buildings, electric vehicle infrastructure, and better transportation options like transit, walking and biking.”
2A was placed on the November ballot by the Denver City Council after a grassroots effort that led to the Denver Climate Action Task Force, a diverse set of stakeholders that recommended this sales tax increase along with a number of other policies. 50% of the dollars are earmarked for climate solutions in communities most vulnerable and impacted by climate change.
Over the past two months, CoPIRG staff have been working to educate and mobilize voters to vote yes on 2A. CoPIRG staff worked within the Denver Streets Partnership to generate thousands of “Vote Yes” text messages and phone calls. In addition, we partnered with Servicios de la Raza to educate the Spanish-speaking community including a Facebook live event and social media campaign.
Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency is planning to convene a stakeholder group in the spring to help advise on the investment strategy. Dollars should begin to be invested in the community in the late spring or summer of 2021.
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