Boulder City Council candidate Steven Rosenblum ran for one of five open council seats in 2021. He ran on a platform that focused on housing concerns within Boulder, particularly homelessness, subsidized housing, and the need for increased diversity in the city’s available housing.
Rosenblum faced three significant problems throughout his campaign. He filed a lawsuit, a formal counter-complaint was issued against him, and messages from a private Slack channel between Rosenblum and his coworkers were leaked to the media.
Lawsuit Against Boulder Progressives
In September of 2021, Steven Rosenblum Boulder City Council candidate filed a lawsuit against the political group Boulder Progressives and several members of the community. Rosenblum felt Boulder Progressives and certain Boulder residents coordinated against him to prevent him from receiving endorsements or funding for his campaign. Rosenblum also accused this group of creating social media accounts in his name without his permission.
Rosenblum and his attorneys initially sent a cease and desist letter to Boulder Progressives and seven community members. This letter requested that these individuals remove the social media accounts and issue a formal apology. In addition, Rosenblum demanded those individuals retract any negative statements made that may have prevented Rosenblum from receiving funds or endorsements. When they chose not to agree to these terms, Rosenblum filed a formal lawsuit.
Counter-Complaints Filed by Community Members
After Rosenblum filed his formal complaint against Boulder Progressives, three Boulder residents submitted a formal complaint against Rosenblum. The complaint alleged he used more campaign money than the city allows to fund his lawsuit against Boulder Progressives. The community members who filed the suit also claimed Rosenblum did not provide complete transparency regarding the attorney, public relations, and investigative fees paid when filing his lawsuit.
Leaked Personal Conversations
The most prominent source of criticism toward Rosenblum is his involvement in multiple Slack conversations between him and other members of Safer Boulder, a public awareness group that aims to address crime and public safety in Boulder.
In October 2020, screenshots of conversations between Steven Rosenblum and several of his fellow Safer Boulder members were leaked to the media. Over one thousand screenshots appeared to show Rosenblum and several other Safer Boulder members making disparaging and derogatory comments about Boulder’s citizens. In particular, the conversations focused largely on homelessness, subsidized housing, and the workers who facilitated placing citizens in low-income or subsidized housing.
Rosenblum made a formal apology and attempted to distance himself from those who made the more offensive comments within the conversations. However, he did not deny the content of the messages. When asked why he did not attempt to correct or rebuke members who made derogatory comments, Rosenblum said he didn’t feel pausing the conversation to correct others would have been a productive use of his team’s time.
Results for Boulder’s November election will not be certified until the end of the month. Currently, Rosenblum is in seventh place, which means he is unlikely to gain one of the five open council seats this term. The winners are Mark Wallach, Matt Benjamin, Nicole Speer, Lauren Folkerts, and Tara Winer.