Armed with two Masters degrees, including an MBA in Sustainable Partnerships, and several years advocating for the Park Hill community — running for Denver City Council District 8 is my way of formally addressing the disconnect between the residents in Park Hill, Stapleton, Montbello and East Colfax AND the city.
The residents of Denver deserve a representative who is already on the ground working for their needs. The city has long term visioning goals but who is taking care of the goals we have right now? Across the board I hear issues of inequity, of someone else’s [developers] needs were chosen over the residents’. From land swaps to transit access we have neglected what makes our city great. The people.
Denver Zone Code and Spot Zoning
As District 8 Councilwoman, I will ensure that residents understand the affects of changes to the 2010 Denver Zone Code, in addition to filling the criteria of the city plans. Neighbors should be engaged in the discussion and planning early-on to guarantee an understanding of land use and the short/long-term implications of amendments. Many residents participated in the 2010 Zone Code edit, which emphasized the intent of preserving the character and health of communities through the Neighborhood Plans. It is vital to the success of the community and happiness of the residents to be able to depend on the the intent of this vision.
Where do I stand on residential development?
Balanced & Thoughtful Development
As District 8 Councilwoman, new development needs to consider the current residents uses and expectations, in addition to new users. Disrupting a community for developers can be mitigated by considering the current community’s values and needs. Can we advocate for architecture that is reminiscent of the current neighborhood style, height, materials? Can we accommodate the displaced by providing funding for local businesses to remain or discount rents for residents? Do we need to build to maximum heights or can we provide the same use without the maximum scale, thereby preserving character and reducing impermeable surfaces.
Where do I stand on balanced development?
As District 8 Councilwoman, I look forward to holding “cafe hours” and open hours every week to provide YOU the opportunity to speak and share directly to your representative, the day to day needs and improvements of:
- Public Transportation
- Traffic & Mobility
- Amenities ie. libraries, recreation centers, and parks
You talk and I listen.
Where do I stand on protecting neighborhood character?
Senior Tax Exemption
In both Park Hill and Montbello many of the long-time residents have been unable to stay in their homes. Insulating seniors with both property tax relief and property maintenance programs on the city level, as well as through grants and community organizations helps prevent further gentrification. Many groups in Denver have been successful in exploring Community Land Trusts as a way to ensure residents have options.
Local and Minority Business
We have seen in neighborhoods around the city that many of the long-time minority owned businesses are unable to compete with the rising rents. As District 8 councilwoman I will advocate for access and education to local and Federal resources available to minority business owners. Providing workshops on loans, grants, and other sources of financial investment, making this a reality not just a possibility. The city conducted a gentrification study in 2016 and the residents need to see actions to an increasing issue of inequity.
Housing for All
Denver made significant promises in 2016, to its residents, that Affordable Housing will be created or preserved with $150m raised in tax revenue and one-time development fees. This August city council approved a proposal to increase the Marijuana sales tax from 3.5% to 5.5%. We have not seen the increase in diverse housing stock as promised. As your District 8 City councilwoman, I will ensure that we have accountable budgeting for affordable housing and land use. Community Land Trusts are options that have been successful and investigated before in Denver.
Where do I stand on gentrification?
Pedestrian & Bike Safety
As District 8 Councilwoman, I will work to ensure pedestrian and cyclists are safe both moving around there neighborhoods and the city. In Park Hill, we have been working towards traffic calming initiatives. During the 2nd week of school 4 cyclists were hit. Park Hill has become a through neighborhood. Drivers around Stedman Elementary are ranked as being severely dangerous.
- Speeding on streets
- No stopping at signage
- Passing in the bike lane
Check Denver Streetsblog’s Traffic Violence Report here.
With the increased development has come an increase in congestion, especially in through neighborhoods. Children cannot navigate to school without the danger from high speed traffic, commuters cannot connect to efficient and accessible transit. We need to do a better job working interdepartmentally to ensure Public Works, Community Planning and Development, and RTD have a comprehensive plan that addresses all stakeholders. As your Councilwoman, I will plan to create a committee with representatives from each division to perform regular traffic and mobility audits.
As District 8 Councilwoman, working with the RTD board on efficient and accessible public transportation is a major area of improvement. Montbello should have access to express and local bus routes. RTD is expected to increase fares. We need to work towards providing riders with optimal pass options, working with schools, employers, and the city to make public transit a preferred transportation.
Parks & Open Spaces
There is a significant incentive for infill development slated to occur with the Denveright plans. The residents will be faced with blanket changes to density, transit, and land use in their neighborhood plans. As District 8 Councilwoman, I will prioritize to include parks and open space with their own zoning designation protections. In addition to the recreational uses of park land, they boost community morale, and a variety of environmental benefits including: combating pollution, air quality benefits, increased property value, energy savings, carbon storage, stormwater runoff reduction. We must ensure the longevity of these assets in our neighborhoods. * Urban Forest Assessment for the City of Denver, April 2013
In 2016, the city acknowledged the lack of access to fresh food for several of the lower-income neighborhoods in Denver, including North Park Hill and Montbello. One of the criteria is living more than 1 mile from a full- service grocery store in an urban area. Thankfully several mobile farmer’s markets have made the move to fulfill some of the access. As your District 8 Councilwoman, I will advocate and create a plan of action with support from the residents on consistent access to fresh food.