ROADMAP TO GET DENVER BACK ON TRACK

After traveling throughout the city and conducting numerous conversations with community leaders, I have outlined my 8-point action plan to get Denver back on track.

I believe the at-large City Council seats are uniquely positioned to build consensus across district boundaries, provide constituent services support to district offices, and interface closely with the executive branch to bring citywide solutions to the most challenging issues of the day. Denver will soon elect a new mayor and at least five new city council members. This provides an opportunity to hit the reset button on the Mayor-Council relationship and build consensus between the executive and legislative branches of city government.

The 2023 election is the most consequential in 40 years. My policy platform will bring real solutions to the table and demonstrate that I am the leader Denver needs on City Council and in the at-large role.

Denver’s cost of living is on the rise, and the rapid spike in housing costs places a heavy burden on Denver residents. Through smart zoning and land use, transit-oriented development and effective urban design, and improved city processes, I believe we can better achieve Denver’s near-term and long-term housing needs.

The number of people experiencing homelessness in Denver has nearly doubled in two years. Tensions are rising in response to unsanctioned encampments and growing neighborhood frustrations. This is unacceptable. Homelessness is a city-wide issue, and it requires a coordinated, city-wide response informed by data, best practice, and better management.

Denver’s quality of life is rooted in its neighborhoods, reflecting a rich diversity of people and unique community characteristics. We need to invest in Denver’s future generations and their families, including promoting equal access to essential city assets like parks, recreation centers, and libraries as well as untapped opportunities. All Denverites should have access to clean air, safe drinking water, multi-modal transit options, green spaces, health care, and nutritious food. Our arts and cultural facilities are world renowned, and they are essential to our success.

ACTION ITEMS:
1. Invest more in parks and open spaces, including the preservation and enhancement of tree lawns; provide access to the arts, libraries and culture; expand high-quality, affordable health care and food security.
2. Actively support and pursue increased funding for safety net health care providers like Denver Health and other organizations.
3. Promote equitable distribution of city resources; work to deploy city resources in neighborhoods that have faced inequities for far too long.
4. Leverage social impact bonds to bring additional resources into neighborhoods.
5. Work to expand car sharing programs, public transit systems, and adopt a curated, Denver-specific bus route system in partnership with RTD.
6. Make it easier for the adaptive reuse of historic structures to meet contemporary needs and reduce waste.
7. Upgrade local infrastructure and support adaptive reuse initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint and expedite neighborhood revitalization.
8. Tackle climate change with renewed support for composting, recycling, and other climate friendly measures to curb our carbon footprint.
9. Deliver city essentials such as filling potholes, enhancing sidewalk infrastructure, and neighborhood developments in an energy efficient and environmentally sustainable way.
10. Work closely with Xcel Energy, Energize Denver, and environmental groups to explore new opportunities to combat climate change.

 

Sadly, Denver is poised to surpass the record number of homicides set nearly 40 years ago. At the same time, our public safety agencies and first responders are facing an unprecedented workforce shortage. We can tackle crime through smarter policing strategies, more training, innovative staffing, and building a better relationship between law enforcement and the community.

Internal operations at City and County of Denver have become backlogged and stagnated, making interactions between residents, small business owners, nonprofit leaders, and city staff challenging. I am committed to recruiting and retaining top-talent and fostering innovative leadership through the legislative and budgetary powers entrusted in council.

It is time to put Denver ahead of political self-interest. Denver is leading the way by implementing the Fair Elections Fund, voting by mail, and improving accessibility. However, we need to modernize and reform local government to respond to Denver’s shifting needs and further our shared goals. We must increase participation and design an electoral process that gives way to new leadership and cultivates a fresh perspective.

The job market continues to grow, but the pandemic has caused us to reevaluate how to support Denver’s workforce and sustain economic growth. Boarded up windows, graffiti at vacant properties, and delays within the City are hurting small business and neighborhood vitality. I am excited to partner with the next mayor and other city leaders to attract good, secure, and high paying jobs. We must support our small businesses–including women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other minority owned businesses–to simulate more economic growth and to create intergenerational wealth and financial stability.

Bureaucratic infighting and social media grandstanding has reached new levels causing unfortunate levels of inertia. We need more leaders on council with management experience and keen understanding of complex organizations–-including recruiting and retaining top talent and driving policy outcomes and organizational action. By taking an all-hands-on deck approach, we can get big projects done on time in the most economically efficient way.