Why am I running for Denver City Council?

We have had the same representative for 8 years. Denver is experiencing unprecedented growth and our issues have been compounded by sideline leadership. We have grid lock traffic, an increase in people experiencing homelessness, neighborhood schools closing, open space threatened and worsening air quality. It’s time for a change. In 4 years, it will be too late.

A Vote for Blair is a Commitment to Keep Our Communities Safe.

Together we will:

  • Repair potholes and repave streets
  • Expand sidewalk connectivity, especially around transit reliant communities
  • Increase crosswalks for Safe Routes to School and pedestrian lights
  • Create a connective trail system to expand transportation access and act as natural storm water mitigation

A Vote for Blair is a Commitment to Accountable Leadership.

Together we will:

  • Pledge community involvement and sustainable development
  • Establish policies that regulate quality construction
  • Include green space and tree canopy in development

A Vote for Blair is a Commitment to Put Our Health First.

Together we will:

  • Expand parks and tree canopy in all neighborhoods
  • Protect current open space
  • Commit to free composting and access to recycling

An MBA in Sustainable Partnerships prepared me for working as a Greater Park Hill Community board member and Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation delegate for the past 5 years. 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 mismanaged growth.

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 ensuring the best interests of the resident’s and unique neighborhoods are being met 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. Vote for Blair — Listening and Leading for Northeast Denver

Endorsements: Former Councilwoman Susan Barnes Gelt
Muscogee [Creek] National Council, Joyce Deere
SW Carpenters Union Local 555
BlueFlower Fund
Colorado Community Land Trust

Accolades: Awarded the 2018 Dr. Babbs award for Outstanding Community Engagement and Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation 2018 Neighborhood Star, State of Colorado North Metro Denver Small Business Consultant

Education: Masters in Fine Arts, Graphic Design
Masters in Business Administration, Sustainable Partnerships

Denver Zone Code and Spot Zoning

As District 8 Councilwoman, I will ensure that residents understand DenverRight, in addition to filling the criteria of the city plans. Neighborhoods 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?

Neighborhood Plan

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
  • Development
  • Schools
  • 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 300? No, 300 is [admittedly by the authors] not a solution. Criminalizing the homeless and taking their possessions is a human rights violation. The day after the Homeless Leadership Council published their statement on 300, I was with Tom Luehrs, ED of St. Francis Center, to discuss their perspective and the implications 300 would have on their population. To date, $1.5M has been collected by the opposition of 300. The Leadership Council, more than 10 organizations with 100+ years experience, have expressed concerns overthe complications of where the population could migrate and how they can be reached by service providers. Instead of the Mayor and City Council stepping in, they have stepped back. We need leadership who is ready and willing to work and create solutions to our complex housing, social service, and work force population needs. It’s time for change.

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.

  1. Speeding on streets
  2. No stopping at signage
  3. Passing in the bike lane

Check Denver Streetsblog’s  Traffic Violence Report here.

Traffic Planning

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.  

Public Transportation

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  

Food Desert

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.