An Open Letter to Angry CO Natives From Transplant Who Thinks They Sound Dumb

Last week, we told you about a Change.org petition that declared Colorado "full."

The provocative text of this call to arms, titled "Stop Transplants From Moving to Colorado!," prompted plenty of agreement.

But there was also some significant push-back.

A prime example is the following response, written by Laurie L. of Arvada and titled "Another Open Letter to CO Natives: About the 'Colorado FULL' Petition."

In it, Ms. L., who moved here in 2014, provides historical context for the influx of new residents, as well as statistical evidence that the state is nowhere near full — and concludes by suggesting that knee-jerk demands to ban non-natives from putting down roots are foolish, if not worse.

Check out her take below.

Another Open Letter to CO Natives: About the "Colorado FULL" Petition

What the author of the COLORADO “FULL” petition — obviously too chicken to identify themselves — fails to understand despite their lifelong residency in Colorado, is that the burgeoning growth Colorado is seeing now is a continuation of an expansive growth trend that began in the post-WWII period when the U.S. government placed dozens of tech-oriented facilities here. That opened the door to Colorado's nation-leading "high-tech" workforce, which has continued to evolve with the state being home to some of the nation's leading biotech, telecommunications, electronics and software companies. Construction, transportation and business services are also growing, vital sectors that support Colorado's rapidly diversifying economic base.

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The petitioner's three-generations-back ancestral TRANSPLANTS likely came to Colorado after the Homestead Act of 1862 opened the eastern plains to farmers, or during one of the many natural-resource related booms of the 1860's into the early 1900's. Those resource-based industries were largely transformed during the intervening 100 years into today's vibrant mix, in which no single industry constitutes more than 10 percent of the state's GDP. This diversity improves our state's resilience in economic downturns, and is one of the many reasons I selected Colorado as my new home in 2014.

Adding to growth initiated by these historical economic trends are state, county and city economic development programs that over the past 30 years have attracted investment and workers to Colorado. “NAIIVES” such as this petitioner want to believe that "pot" has brought all of these new transplants to Colorado — but with marijuana legal here for only two years, that perspective is deeply flawed. Pot did NOT build Denver Tech Center, expand our universities, develop all of those new communities south of Denver (Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, etc.), or establish the brewing industry here. Plain old human ingenuity and solid economic development programs did. In fact, I would assume that the very idea that marijuana is creating Colorado's current boom would cause many of the original framers of Colorado's economic success to roll over in their graves!

The real reason underlying Colorado's growth, in my view, is the one thing that nobody wants to talk about: population growth. As long as we continue to add new humans to the planet at stratospheric rates, all of those humans need a place to live. Yes, many of us are fleeing even more densely populated areas for the great lifestyle and JOBS that are available here in Colorado. Instead of griping about Colorado being too "FULL," the petitioner should notice that as of the 2010 census, Colorado ranked 38th out of 50 states in population density. Colorado’s growth during the intervening six years could not possibly have moved our state very far up this list. Colorado is not “FULL” by any way of looking at it.

So please, “NAIIVES," take a vacation outside of Colorado or better yet, go live someplace else for a while. You seem to think that the growth-related problems we are seeing here are unique, but that is simply because you lack perspective. Or go ahead and hold onto the uninformed ideology you hold so dear, and let the rest of us see you as a dinosaur. Whatever you do, please just stop talking. You sound dumb. Please leave this debate to the grownups.

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