Bike stores are seeing unmatched sales. Yet the supply chain is limited and brand-new bikes are difficult to find.

#stilllooking? ? ? ? ? ?‍?‍?‍? ? ? ?

Colorado News

Leigh Mattson is still looking for a new bike.

In the early summer, she went to three bike stores near her home in Littleton and found no starter or intermediate bikes in stock. She thought she’d have better luck when she visited family in Tyler, Texas, in late June, but it was the same sight at stores in the city southeast of Dallas: rows and rows of empty bike shelves with only a handful of models left.

“It’s the waiting game,” she said.

With the coronavirus pandemic closing gyms and keeping Coloradans close to home, the demand for bicycles is at an unprecedented high across the state — and nation — helping some retailers’ bottom lines but straining a supply chain that might not stabilize until well into 2021.

Between April and July — the peak of stay-at-home measures in the U.S. — bike sales were 81% higher than in the same period in 2019, according to New York-based market research firm NPD Group. In April alone, as the coronavirus raged across the country, sales for bikes and accessories grew to $1 billion — far higher than a typical April, when sales add up to $550 million to $575 million.

MORE: Retailers are seeing spike in backcountry gear sales. That has avalanche educators, search teams worried.

Giant, the world’s largest bike manufacturer, sold 48% more bikes directly to customers in August than it did the same month last year, according to Second Measure, which analyzes anonymized consumer purchases. Specialized, another major bike manufacturer, sold 213% more bikes directly to riders this August compared to 2019. Trek expects to more than double its sales this year.

“Cycling has been one of the major activities that folks have turned to [during the pandemic], which in turn has fueled the market for new bicycles, and used bicycles, parts and accessories to fix up older bicycles, as more and more people are looking to get out on the trails,” said Patrick Hogan, bicycle industry research manager for PeopleForBikes, a Boulder-based trade group.

At some points during the pandemic, bicycle tire tubes and new bicycles priced at under $1,500 have been nearly impossible to purchase, industry experts say.

“Every [bicycle] brand out there in the U.S. and globally is experiencing a high demand … the demand is still higher than the inventory,” said Milay Galvez, director of marketing for Fuji Bikes. Fuji, which like most manufacturers makes most of its bikes in China, projects the market could stabilize by the end of the year. The company declined to publicly disclose its sales numbers, but Galvez said both its web traffic and sales are up. The company sells bikes to about 1,500 bike retailers across the United States.

“This is the bicycle boom that we have not seen since the 1970s in the U.S.,” Galvez added.

Brad Stewart, founder of Bicycle Outfitters, says his Grand Junction and Montrose stores are turning away 10 to 15 people a day who want to purchase a bike because the inventory just isn’t there. He normally stocks 1,100 bikes at any given time but is now down to about 150. 

“The unfortunate thing is the companies aren’t telling us when we’re going to get stuff,” Stewart said, adding that he hasn’t seen this scale of demand in the 28 years he has owned his business.

Stewart is seeing a whole new segment of customers in his shop: people who haven’t ridden in decades who are returning to the sport during the pandemic. Some customers on the hunt for a bike, he said, are driving all the way from Denver or over the border from Utah.

MORE: “Bigger than a trail”: Grand Valley’s Palisade Plunge set to open after 10 years of planning, partnerships

Bicycle Outfitters stocks bikes from seven different brands, so Stewart said business has been “phenomenal.” He estimates his sales are about 30% higher than last year, and repairs for old bikes have doubled. But Stewart worries smaller shops with less inventory might not survive the supply shortage: “I think it’s going to clean out the industry.”

The demand is also unprecedented in Colorado Springs, said John Crandall, who opened Old Town Bike Shop there back in 1976. Crandall’s sales were above average in May and average in June — but limited inventory has tamped down his sales since July.

“There’s this huge range of variability of what the supply is,” Crandall explained. “It’s a double whammy of the supply chain being interrupted and the demand going way up because people weren’t going to the gyms — a worldwide shortage.”

Even with reduced hours and weekend closures, Bob Magatagan, operations manager at BikeSource’s Highlands Ranch location, said compared with the same time last year the store is seeing a record increase in sales.

Bicycle technician Devon Haynes works to tune and repair a customer’s bike at Bicycle Outfitters in downtown Montrose. (William Woody, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“A lot of people, once they realize that they can’t find bikes are buying used bikes or pulling their bikes down from the garage, and most of that stuff has outdated components and wheels,” Magatagan said. “We normally have about 800 bikes in the store when we’re in full operation. Now I actually have more bikes in for service then I have bikes to be sold from the floor.”

“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen — unlike anything this industry has seen,” added Magatagan, who has worked for BikeSource for 13 years.

As new bikes sell out, some riders are turning to pre-owned inventory, a supply chain that retailers can better control.

“We’re able to capitalize on that — people who have bikes in their garage or don’t ride anymore or who want to trade in what they have. There’s no end of supply for us,” said Matt Heitmann, chief marketing officer at The Pro’s Closet, a Colorado-based company that sells used, high-performance bikes. Almost a third of its sales are from Colorado and California customers.

Read more outdoors stories from The Colorado Sun.

The Pro’s Closet has seen 130% growth in sales so far this year, compared with 2019, and recently raised an additional $12 million in funding. The business for used bikes has been so good that the company plans to move its Boulder headquarters to a new 137,000-square-foot building in Louisville.

While the 2020 bump has been advantageous to the bicycle industry, Hogan, of PeopleForBikes, cautions that bringing all these new and reactivated riders into the bicycle community is key for long-term growth.

“2021 can see this sustained, increased rates of participation,” he said, “if we all address it from an infrastructure standpoint, from a marketing and communications standpoint, from retailers being able to build relationships with these new folks who might have purchased bikes online or purchased them used.”

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  • Colorado releases its plan to slash greenhouse gases, leaving some environmental groups wanting more
  • Bicycle retailers are seeing unprecedented sales. But the supply chain is tight and new bikes are hard to find.
  • The next four weeks will determine if Cory Gardner keeps his job. Here’s how he plans to shift the tide.
  • Julian Assange may end up at Colorado’s Supermax prison, U.K. court is told
  • Winter Park ski train won’t run this season because of coronavirus, set to return in 2022

via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/10/01/coronavirus-caused-bike-shortage-colorado/

Did you miss our previous article…
https://danpabon.com/denver-commemorates-opening-of-60-new-income-restricted-apartments-in-baker-neighborhood/

Denver Commemorates Opening of 60 New Income Restricted Apartments in Baker Neighborhood

#housingstability♿️ ?

Colorado News

Atlantis Apartments opens, offering many units targeted for individuals with disabilities

 

Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) today celebrated the grand opening of the Atlantis Apartments, a 60-unit community offering income-restricted apartments that are largely targeted to individuals with disabilities. Developed by the Atlantis Community Foundation, the apartments are located at 201 S. Cherokee in the Baker neighborhood.

“We’re proud to invest not only in affordable housing but in much-needed homes for people living with physical or cognitive disabling conditions,” said HOST Executive Director Britta Fisher. “These apartments will make a lasting difference for decades to come and add to the great progress made by the Atlantis Community Foundation in housing individuals.”

The four-story project includes office space and a community conference room on the ground level. Project features include enhanced accessibility features, common area laundry facilities on each floor, sensory elements and way-finding cues in common areas, a workshop/mudroom for repairing wheelchairs and bicycles, and technology/media centers.

All apartments are income-restricted exclusively for households earning up to 60 percent of the area median income (up to $42,000 for a single-person household). The building includes 36 one-bedroom units and 24 two-bedroom units. The building’s first residents moved in earlier this month, and full occupancy is anticipated later in October.

The City and County of Denver provided $800,000 in financing toward the $18.1 million project. The project also received other public finance funds from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and low-income housing tax credits through the Colorado Housing & Finance Authority.

The Atlantis Apartments is the latest city-supported affordable housing development to open in Denver. A total of 1,593 affordable units that have received city financing are currently under construction at 21 sites through Denver. An additional 1,087 income-restricted units are in the planning stage.

via Straight News https://northdenvernews.com/denver-celebrates-opening-of-60-new-income-restricted-apartments-in-baker-neighborhood/

Colorado governor excuses 2732 people with convictions for having approximately one ounce of cannabis

#executiveorder?‍⚖️ ? ?‍?‍?‍? ⚠️ ? ?

Colorado News

Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday issued an executive order pardoning 2,732 people with low-level marijuana convictions as part of legislation recently passed by the Colorado legislature.

The pardons — made in a blanket action and not after individual case considerations — were issued to people convicted of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana. The Democrat said the action was “cleaning up some of the inequities of the past.”

Polis was able to grant the mass pardons because of the passage of House Bill 1424, which seeks to emphasize social equity in marijuana licensing by giving minorities increased access to Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.

“It’s ridiculous how being written up for smoking a joint in the 1970’s has followed some Coloradans throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their success,” Polis said in a written statement. “Too many Coloradans have been followed their entire lives by a conviction for something that is no longer a crime, and these convictions have impacted their job status, housing and countless other areas of their lives.”

Coloradans voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012. Ever since, cannabis and criminal justice reform advocates have been pushing the state to address the thousands of historic convictions in Colorado for low-level marijuana possession. However, they have only been able to find piecemeal approaches to addressing the issue — until now.

The pardons were granted to people convicted of petty offenses, misdemeanors and felonies.

House Bill 1424 gave Polis the ability to pardon people with convictions for possessing up to two ounces of marijuana, but he opted to act only on cases where people were convicted of possessing one ounce or less of cannabis.

People convicted of municipal marijuana crimes, or people arrested or issued a summons without a conviction, are not included in the pardons, Polis’ office says.

People can find out if they were issued a pardon by filling out a form on the Colorado Bureau of Investigations website. 

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  • Colorado governor pardons 2,732 people with convictions for possessing up to one ounce of marijuana
  • Colorado releases its plan to slash greenhouse gases, leaving some environmental groups wanting more
  • Bicycle retailers are seeing unprecedented sales. But the supply chain is tight and new bikes are hard to find.
  • The next four weeks will determine if Cory Gardner keeps his job. Here’s how he plans to shift the tide.
  • Julian Assange may end up at Colorado’s Supermax prison, U.K. court is told

via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/10/01/jared-polis-marijuana-pardons-colorado/

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https://danpabon.com/wichita-firm-launches-new-line-of-modular-capturing-varieties/

Wichita firm launches new line of modular capturing varieties

#withaction? ? ? ? ?

more news https://northdenvernews.com

CoverSix, a leading manufacturer of protective modular structures for the government and security sectors, has teamed up with Action Target, Inc., the top manufacturer of shooting ranges, targets and related supplies, to launch ARCAS, a new line of modular shooting ranges. 

Modular shooting ranges reduce project time and complexity when compared to brick-and-mortar shooting ranges. These built-to-order shooting range facilities ship to sites worldwide and require minimal site preparation. Each unit is outfitted with shooting range products for advanced training and hit-sensing targets. Additionally, the control platform enables range operators to easily manage their equipment—such as retrievers and HVAC—from a central control screen.

The line of modular ranges includes the ARCAS EXT, ARCAS MBL, and ARCAS DLX.

ARCAS EXT is a modular shooting range available in single and extended module configurations that make it easy to build a range up to three lanes wide and 100m long. Standard features include floor-to-ceiling AR500 steel for critical coverage, steel or rubber bullet traps, advanced target systems, enhanced range control, sound treatment, and range lighting. 

ARCAS MBL is a self-contained mobile firearms training range designed for long life on the open road. This mobile shooting range is 53 ft long and complies with US DOT regulations while maintaining strict ballistic and environmental standards. The onboard HEPA-filtered ventilation system exceeds OSHA and NIOSH standards. Noise reduction treatments make the sound of training comfortable inside and out. A single ARCAS MBL can accommodate up to three shooters with a 7m or 10m training distance. The dual trailer configuration provides 25m training.

ARCAS DLX offers an improved method of providing a modular small arms range (MSAR) by turning the modules sideways to gain more space with fewer units. These purpose-built structures support every component and eliminate vertical columns to provide a true cross-lane tactical training environment. Each ARCAS DLX module is 12 ft wide, up to 62 ft long and offers as many as 14 100m lanes of uninterrupted training space.

The ARCAS DLX accommodates wider lanes and higher ceilings while meeting Department of Defense Unified Facility Criteria (UFC) 4179-02 for indoor small arms firing ranges. This range comes ready to deliver your specific training requirements with Action Target’s suite of advanced shooting range equipment. 

“With the ARCAS line of modular ranges, we are bringing a much-needed range series to market. The modular nature of the line reduces project time – a must for our customers – and the advanced shooting range technology found in the Action Target’s products ensure top quality. We believe that when it comes to safety, quality and innovation, we’ve found the right combination with the ARCAS range and we are more than excited to see them utilized around the world.” Darren Hillman, RedGuard President/CEO. 

About CoverSix

CoverSix serves the needs of federal, defense and security customers throughout the world with specialized and hardened modular structures to provide protection for people and equipment against blast, ballistic and forced entry threats. As a division of RedGuard, and in conjunction with its joint venture partner Specialist Services Group, CoverSix designs and constructs modular structures with manufacturing facilities in the US and the UAE supported by regional offices in the UK, Holland, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. CoverSix has successfully delivered projects worldwide and is a recognized expert in safe, modular space. Common configurations include viewing bunkers, access control points, shelters, command centers, and training ranges. All structures are scalable and customizable, so no matter where duty calls, CoverSix has a solution to serve soldiers, agents, ambassadors, government employees and emergency management personnel.  For more information about CoverSix, visit https://coversix.com.

via Straight News https://northdenvernews.com/wichita-company-launches-new-line-of-modular-shooting-ranges/

$338 million in federal Lost Earnings alleviation paid to Coloradans so far

#twoweeks? ? ? ⬆️

Colorado News

In just under two weeks, Colorado paid out $338 million in Lost Wages Assistance, the newest federal program to help the unemployed during the pandemic, according to the state Department of Labor and Employment on Thursday.

About 217,000 of an eligible 300,000 Coloradans have been paid up to $1,800 on top of the regular unemployment benefits.

COVID-19 IN COLORADO

The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:

  • MAP: Known cases in Colorado.
  • TESTING: Here’s where to find a community testing site. The state is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
  • STORY: PCR? Antigen? Antibody? Your guide to the different kinds of coronavirus tests and how accurate they are

>> FULL COVERAGE

“There are still funds available and we certainly are encouraging people to please go ahead and complete that certification for regular unemployment insurance claimants and to do so by October 10,” said Cher Haavind, deputy director of the Department of Labor. 

The funds are being paid out on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Lost Wages program was born out of President Donald Trump’s Aug. 8 executive order authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set aside $44 billion for extended unemployment benefits. It provides a $300 weekly bonus to jobless Americans who already received at least $100 a week between Aug. 26 and Sept. 5. 

More: The $300 “Lost Wages” bonus begins, Amazon is hiring like crazy and answers from Colorado’s labor department

Colorado was approved for $553 million in federal FEMA funds for the program. Of the roughly 300,000 eligible Coloradans, about 68,000 are self-employed or gig workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. PUA users do not need to certify. About 6% of unemployed workers did not meet eligibility requirements for Lost Wages. 

Those on regular unemployment needed to certify that their unemployment was due to COVID (for those who still need to certify, go to coloradoui.gov and type in “Lost Wages” in the chat box). Certification must be done by Oct. 10.

Despite some technical difficulties, most eligible Coloradans have been paid. The state began paying out two lump sums of $900 each starting Sept. 17. The second round began late last week. About $311 million was paid out by Sept. 26. An additional $27 million was paid this week, as of Sept. 30, said Jeff Fitzgerald, the state’s director of unemployment insurance, during a call with the media on Thursday.

Since the pandemic began with statewide restrictions in March, approximately 726,000 Coloradans filed for unemployment. About 563,465 were eligible for state unemployment benefits. The others were self-employed and gig workers who qualified for benefits for the first time thanks to the federal CARES Act. Those Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits are paid from federal dollars.

But with so many people unemployed, the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund was emptied in mid-August. Colorado, like 18 other states, has taken a federal loan to pay jobless workers benefits. Colorado has borrowed $350 million from the federal government as of this week.

Colorado has paid out $5.44 billion in unemployment benefits since March 29.

The number of new unemployment claims has been declining for weeks. With the week ended Sept. 26, new claims fell to 4,840 regular unemployment claims, the lowest since March. During the Great Recession, the average number of new weekly claims was 4,800, said Ryan Gedney, a senior economist at the labor department.

The Lost Wages program picked up where an earlier federal program ended. That earlier program, the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, was part of the Congressional CARES Act. It provided an extra $600 per week to anyone on unemployment making at least $1 per week. To date, Colorado paid out $2.46 billion in PUC money. 

But Congress has not yet passed a new coronavirus relief program to aid the unemployed. The partisan split has meant that no plans have moved forward in the U.S. Senate, including one pitched by the Democrats (a $3 trillion plan to continue the $600 weekly benefit until January) and Republicans (a $500 billion plan to pay $300 a week until Dec. 27). 

A third $2.2 trillion plan backed by House Democrats was postponed on Wednesday.


What’s Working is a new Colorado Sun column for anyone whose lost a job or trying to survive as a business. Read the archive and don’t miss the next one. Get this free newsletter delivered to your inbox by signing up at coloradosun.com/getww.

MORE: Read stories on Colorado jobs and unemployment

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  • $338 million in federal “Lost Wages” relief paid to Coloradans so far
  • Colorado governor pardons 2,732 people with convictions for possessing up to one ounce of marijuana
  • Colorado releases its plan to slash greenhouse gases, leaving some environmental groups wanting more
  • Bicycle retailers are seeing unprecedented sales. But the supply chain is tight and new bikes are hard to find.
  • The next four weeks will determine if Cory Gardner keeps his job. Here’s how he plans to shift the tide.

via Straight News https://coloradosun.com/2020/10/01/lost-wages-assistance-lwa-covid-relief-deadline/

Over 15000 Colorado accidents included sidetracked chauffeurs in 2019

#distracteddrivers? ?

get headlines https://thecherrycreeknews.com

 

Despite the risks, 92% of surveyed drivers still admit to driving distracted

 

Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on Colorado roads. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), distracted drivers were involved in 15,143 crashes on Colorado roads in 2019, resulting in 4,361 injuries and 28 fatalities. As people hit the road for fall foliage and winter activities, CDOT reminds drivers to drop the distraction and focus on the road ahead.

Top Denver personal injury attorney Brad Freedberg says the problem is the worst he has seen. “Every week I see the results of distracted driving in my practice. The toll on families is horrific and sadly preventable,” says Fredberg.

“Distracted driving continues to be a prevalent issue on Colorado roads, but is easy to fix,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety. “Every time you are tempted to reach for your phone or take your eyes off the road, stop and think about the lives at risk and make a safer decision.”

Despite the notable risks of a crash, Colorado drivers continue to succumb to distracted driving on a regular basis. According to CDOT’s 2020 driving behavior survey, 92% of respondents reported driving distracted in the past seven days. The most common distractions included eating or drinking, selecting entertainment on a device, talking on a hands-free cell phone and reading or sending a message on a cell phone.

Another distracted driving tragedy

“Colorado drivers continue to engage in distracting activities while driving,” said Lingk. “With fall in full swing and winter sports and holidays on the horizon, we encourage people to stay focused on the road and put distractions aside.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month led by the National Safety Council (NSC) was rescheduled from April to October this year. CDOT is partnering with NSC this month to raise awareness for this critical nationwide issue as Coloradans hit the road to enjoy the changing seasons. As you plan your next outing, CDOT suggests the following tips to help you stay focused on the road:

  • Turn your phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode before you start moving to minimize distractions.
  • If you have a passenger, assign them to be your “designated texter” to respond to calls or messages while on the move.
  • Plan stops along your route to pull over and park your car to safely enjoy a snack, stay hydrated and check your cell phone notifications.
  • Select your entertainment settings and GPS options before you start your car so you don’t have to worry about making changes while in motion.
  • Enjoy a break from multitasking and use your drive time to enjoy Colorado’s natural beauty – you just might notice something you’ve never seen before!

Brad Freedberg Attorney at Law

1888 Sherman St #200, Denver, CO 80203

 (303) 892-0900

via Straight News https://northdenvernews.com/over-15000-colorado-crashes-involved-distracted-drivers-in-2019/

Did you miss our previous article…
https://danpabon.com/charges-submitted-in-wheat-ridge-stabbing-death/

Charges submitted in Wheat Ridge stabbing death

#seconddegreemurder? ? ⚰ ?‍⚖️ ?

more news https://northdenvernews.com

CHARGES FILED IN STABBING DEATH IN WHEAT RIDGE

Clinton Eugene Priest, 53,  was advised that he has been charged with multiple charges, including Second Degree Murder in the stabbing death of 32-year-old Robert Miller in Jefferson County District Court.  Priest was charged with Second Degree Murder (F2); four counts of Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender (F6); and two violent crime counts.

On September 23, 2020 Wheat Ridge police were called to 4705 Routt Street by 29-year-old Clinton Priest. According to the arrest affidavit, he told police that his father, 53-year-old Clinton Priest, had just returned home from a bar and had blood on his clothing and his body. Minutes later, police were dispatched to the Rambling Rose at 10080 West 44th Avenue on a report of a man down and bleeding in the parking lot. They found Robert Miller on the ground. He appeared to be suffering from stab wounds. Miller was transported to a hospital but died a short time later.

Clinton Priest, 53, is being held on $500,000 bond at the Jefferson County jail. He is due back in court on October 21, 2020 for preliminary hearing.

via Straight News https://northdenvernews.com/charges-filed-in-wheat-ridge-stabbing-death/

Did you miss our previous article…
https://danpabon.com/will-we-see-election-physical-violence-in-november-heres-what-the-study-states/

Will We See Election physical violence in November? Heres what the study states

#proudboys? ? ? ?‍♂️ ?

Colorado News

A man carrying a club is seen as the Proud Boys, a right-wing pro-Trump group, gather with their allies in a rally against left-wing Antifa in Portland, Oregon, Sept. 26, 2020.
John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ore Koren, Indiana University

After Kenya’s 2007 election, as incumbent President Mwai Kibaki declared victory, the opposition alleged the election had been rigged.

A wave of protests, riots and ethnic violence followed. As many as 1,500 citizens were killed and another 600,000 forcibly displaced.

As the U.S. presidential election draws near, many have expressed concern that a similar scenario may unfold here. Some envision President Donald Trump’s supporters using misinformation to mobilize vigilante militias to clash with leftist protesters. Others envision that groups on the left will refuse to accept the results and mobilize, leading to violence and deaths across the country.

Having a contested election in times of crisis, however, is by no means a guarantee of violence. The front-runners in the 2017 French presidential election, for example, were as politically polarizing as their U.S. 2020 counterparts, with centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron calling right-wing leader Marine Le Pen’s party racist and xenophobic and Le Pen charging that Macron was “the candidate of savage globalisation.”

And the first round of voting in France took place just after a shooting in the heart of Paris sent the country into a state of emergency. Yet, as the votes were counted and Macron was declared the winner, Le Pen conceded defeat, allowing for a peaceful transition.

With the barrage of 24/7 media coverage of the upcoming U.S. election, it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s not – and that can be frightening. It’s important to step back and ask: What does the research say about the likelihood of election-related violence in November?

Protesters around a bonfire
Deadly violence followed the disputed 2007 presidential election in Kenya, including in this Nairobi slum.
Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

Predicting political instability

When social science researchers like me try to predict political violence, we look at a large number of historical cases across multiple countries, and try to identify which events have resulted in many casualties.

In taking this approach, we can systematically evaluate what explains these extreme events, pinpointing specific issues that were present in most of the situations, and avoiding the inaccuracies that can happen by relying too much on anecdotal stories.

Such studies have highlighted three factors relevant to the upcoming election.

First, strong political institutions are especially effective in reducing the risk of violence. Many have voiced concerns that President Trump has weakened American political institutions. But as one of the world’s longest-enduring democracies, the United States and its democratic institutions have proven their capacity to maintain order through crises and abuse of presidential power before.

In the U.S., for example, despite allegations to the contrary, electoral fraud is extremely rare. Even if uncertainty and chaos were to ensue in the wake of the election, the authority to decide a winner is vested in an independent institution such as the U.S. Supreme Court or by the House of Representatives. Kenya in 2007 had no comparable institutional anchors to help ensure post-election stability.

Second, research, including my own, finds that mass political violence usually happens in countries that have no capacity to prevent it. In Kenya, for example, most violence was perpetrated by unofficial militias affiliated with ethnic or religious groups, such as the Mungiki, which the government was unable – or unwilling – to curb.

In the U.S., if any political leader calls for vigilantes to mobilize, both the federal government and states have the capacity to expeditiously eliminate this threat. Militias may be armed, but they are no match for a well-trained National Guard or Army regiment. This should help deter the risk of violence by vigilantes.

Some, however, fear that the president will send federal agencies to seize ballots. Although military officers continue to express formal commitment to keeping the military nonpoliticized, such actions, if taken, may result in a violent backlash by left-wing vigilantes. But federal agents acting under orders from the White House will have the tactical upper hand in such clashes, which greatly adds to their deterrent capacity.

Finally, an especially strong predictor of election violence is a history of armed political conflict. After the 2016 elections, America experienced massive protests and some rioting, but little in the way of deadly political violence.

Women protesting Trump's 2016 election.
After the 2016 elections, America experienced large protests and some rioting, but little deadly political violence.
David Cliff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

What the numbers say

Is post-election violence impossible in 2020 America? No.

However, data suggests it is unlikely.

Ninety-five percent of the 12,607 political demonstrations in the U.S. between May 24 and Sept. 19, 2020, were peaceful. There were 351 other kinds of incidents, including imposing curfews and perpetrating physical attacks. In 29 of those, there was violence against civilians, where 12 people were killed, nine of them by the police. And in an additional five drive-by shootings, three police officers were killed by the extremist group the Boogaloo Bois.

Considering the number of people involved in the recent Black Lives Matter and COVID-19 protests, and the fact that many were heavily armed, these casualty figures are surprisingly low. According to the data, the majority of deaths were caused by police, not vigilantes or protesters, and all of the perpetrators (with the exception of two drive-by shooters), police and civilians alike, were taken into custody.

Like the U.S., France experienced protests and riots, in addition to multiple terrorist attacks, prior to Election Day. There was even a government plan to handle the potential violence and instability that might ensue if Le Pen were elected. And yet, as the most polarizing elections in decades concluded, there were few riots and no killing.

French riot policemen advance during clashes with protesters
French riot police clash with protesters at a demonstration against the presidential candidate for the far-right Front National party, Feb. 25, 2017 in Nantes.
Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP via Getty Images

So, what will happen in November?

Researchers cannot perfectly predict political violence. Their analyses rely on the past.

Add to the equation a notoriously unpredictable incumbent against a backdrop of unprecedented social and economic conditions, and making accurate predictions about potential post-election bedlam is impossible, as much as scholars and others may try.

While I think some concern is valid, it is important to remember that there is a big difference between using a call to arms to mobilize your voters and instill fear in the other party’s supporters, and staging a post-election insurrection, which could subject its instigators to charges of sedition, if not high treason.

Ultimately, the three factors discussed here suggest that fears of widespread violence by vigilantes and activists during and after Election Day should be treated as fears, not as a probable outcome.The Conversation

Ore Koren, Assistant Professor, Indiana University Bloomington; International Security Fellow, Indiana University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

via Straight News https://northdenvernews.com/will-we-see-election-violence-in-november-heres-what-the-research-says/

Opinion: Racism is a public health and wellness dilemma however naming it isn’t sufficient

#publichealthemergency? ? ?

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The intersectionality of race and health has always existed, but it has rarely been acknowledged by society at large.

Then suddenly, after years of passivity, 21 states – including Colorado – have declared racism a public health emergency. Now, as encouraging as this may seem, the longterm potency of this kind of performative politics is yet to be proved. 

For most white Americans, racial justice is a new area of concern – something they really just became aware of. The vast majority of white people have typically believed that racism is either a) long gone, or b) completely disconnected from a person’s health and only occurs in isolated pockets of society. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

State Sen. Rhonda Fields

Systemic racism touches every facet of our culture and therefore, underrides ALL of our institutions. From policing, to housing, to health care, everything is inundated with insidious biases that have been allowed to fester.

Directly or implicitly, everyone has been sold the lie that people of color are less-than, one-dimensional or monochromatic. Whether it’s in the form of a criminal, drug addict, athlete, welfare queen or diva, society has painted us with a grossly limited palate. And in turn, this has created a system that doesn’t see us as whole people. 

So when an epidemic of biblical proportions sweeps across the world, overwhelming our medical system and decimating the economy, existing inequalities are rapidly pushed to the surface.

In fact, according to recent reports, Black and Latino Americans are not only more likely to become severely ill from the coronavirus, but they are also more likely to lose their jobs and homes in the downturn.

This is a far cry from the narrative that government officials and mainstream media pundits had at the beginning of the outbreak – calling the coronavirus “the great equalizer” and touting the disease’s transcendence of race, age, wealth, or prestige. 

I beg to differ. 

Pandemics disproportionately impact socially marginalized groups in the same way that climate change and recessions do – mainly by having people of color live in society’s basement when the tsunami comes crashing in. 

Privilege is a natural insulator. It gives you padding that protects you from the harshest, most destructive consequences of any given situation. 

READ: Colorado Sun opinion columnists.

So when something happens, you have financial resources, family connections, job flexibility, good health insurance, stable housing, sanitary living conditions, or at least society’s belief that you are to be trusted. This means that while painful, you are in a position that will lessen the degree of damage done and improve how quickly you can recover. 

Black and brown folks have far less insulation. They are more likely to experience poverty after years of gentrification and redlining, more likely to have pre-existing conditions from inadequate access to health care and more likely to be killed by law enforcement due to rooted prejudices stretching back to this country’s inception.  

Believe me, racism is alive and well, and it has been killing people for a long time.

Far before the pandemic, Black and brown people were dying from treatable diseases at alarmingly uneven rates – experiencing worse health outcomes than Caucasians in nearly every category, regardless of socioeconomic status.

But this issue has often been ignored or blamed on other factors, with some even speculating that certain races must have a weaker, more illness-prone biological makeup (a belief I won’t even begin to get into). 

Yet as a brutal virus wreaks havoc around the globe, there is no denying how these longstanding disparities shape public health.

So yes, it is time to shine an unyielding light on this reality once and for all and declare racism a public health emergency. But simply naming it won’t fix the issue. It will take true commitment and honest, consistent effort for any real change to happen. This is where the heartbreaking doubt comes in….

Right now, racial justice has gone mainstream. Once shunned by the white establishment, the Black Lives Matter Movement has been adopted by liberal America, with hashtags littering social media, signs hanging up in hip coffee houses and murals painted on the streets of gentrified neighborhoods.

In one way, this is encouraging, but what happens when white attention wanes? What happens when national focus is shifted elsewhere? If history has taught us anything, it’s that white sympathy for Black justice is fleeting. 

Real change is unglamorous. Ninety-five percent of it occurs off the streets and in civic settings, without TV cameras or fanfare. Is white America ready for that? Are they ready to actually risk something of their own?

Naming the injustice isn’t enough; we need everyone to roll up their sleeves and make drastic changes to policy and laws. We need action, not just words. Because otherwise, it’s all just lip service. 


Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, represents Colorados 29th Senate District.


The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the newsroom. Read our ethics policy for more on The Sun’s opinion policy and submit columns, suggested writers and more to opinion@coloradosun.com.

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