Keeping the community young | AspenTimes.com

Keeping the community young

Dear Editor,I will vote YES for Referendum 1A, the child-care initiative.Friends of mine moved to Oregon last spring. They were recently married and had bought a townhouse in Edwards. They wanted to make the Vail Valley their home. When she got pregnant, they both realized how much they would struggle in order to raise a family here. Vail’s beautiful, they thought, but why not move somewhere else where they would get paid more, could afford a bigger house, have available child care, and have an all-around lower cost of living?Now that my wife and I have reached the end of our 20s, many more of our friends are asking themselves that same question.This trend is not unique to our friends. Thirty- to 40-year-olds are the only age group growing smaller in Eagle County’s booming population, according to a study by Northwest Colorado Council of Governments. People reaching this life stage realize that their cramped apartments that suited them fine as 20-something bachelors aren’t good enough to raise a family. They move away.A balanced community is a healthy community. Young families have the deck stacked against them in Eagle County, and this trend is only getting worse. Anything we can do to give young families a fair shake will make our area a better place to live. A comprehensive child care plan – the best in the state – won’t solve all the struggles young families face here, but it will help.Referendum 1A will help keep our teachers, our firefighters, our police officers in the valley. This is why I’ve been volunteering my time to help pass the child-care initiative.On Nov. 7, vote YES for Referendum 1A. For less than $1 per week for most households, we can’t afford not to do this. Kelly CoffeyEagle County Cares for Kids