Denver has many issues that need addressing including affordable housing, protecting our environment, addressing the mental health crisis & cleaning up our city.
Park Hill Golf Course
I oppose the project, residents of Denver, and especially Park Hill spoke loud and clear when they passed 301 and rejected 302 in 2021. I commit to fighting to keep the golf course 100% open space. The developers want to convince us this is the only way we can get a grocery store and affordable housing is through this project, but we can bring more of both of these things into the district and keep our open space. Once the space is gone, it will be lost forever!
Expanding the Denver Department of Transportation to address the last mile and better connect residents to RTD lines, through programs like the Montbello Connector that have been a huge help to my family since my Mother-in-law arrived as a refugee on the Uniting for Ukraine Program and cannot drive, we would like these programs accessible to more throughout Denver.
Support programs that care for homeless individuals with dignity and respect through direct shelter, job placement, and mental health services; while opposing policies that harass and marginalize individuals in need.
Support the development of new affordable housing units for low-income families.
Support rezoning to allow Accessory Dwelling Units in Montbello. ADUs are smaller than existing single-family houses and can be either attached to or detached from the principal home. They can generate income by allowing the ability to grow equity by investing in income-generating space and flexible housing options. They help support families like mine by allowing for the ability to house multi-generational families and extended families for aging-in-place. This supports familial strength, savings on senior-living and/or childcare costs, and long-term household stability.
Support the funding of tenant education programs, legal counsel for tenants, and enforcement of state tenant and housing laws.
Require all housing construction receiving public benefit to adhere to union standards.
We must plow every street! I live in Montbello and we seem to be forgotten in most situations (and even sometimes the maps) and the plows seem to be no exception. If we can send the trash trucks down every street, I’m sure we are capable of accomplishing the same thing with our snowplows.
Public Health and Safety
We all deserve to be safe in our homes, at work, and in our community. Not only from violence, but from the economic, social, and environmental conditions that fuel violence. We must address the social determinants of health and safety to prevent violence at its root causes. The best way to address these issues is implementing preventative health and safety interventions. By providing robust mental health care, lifting people out of poverty, and providing our neighbors with the support of their community we can overcome the factors that cause people to turn to crime and achieve a new vison for public safety. Public health and safety are deeply interconnected. Increased access to health care, mental health treatment, and substance use treatment is closely tied with reductions in crime. By viewing issues of violence through a lens of public health we can address the societal factors that increase susceptibility to violence, while advancing protective environments that foster safety, health, and well-being.
The city must acquire existing apartments and preserve their affordability. We must shift more of our resources to promoting homeownership as a way to preserve our neighbors from the effects of gentrification. I support new developments but only if it is done with consideration, we must use the profits from these new developments to acquire existing properties to convert to public housing, provide financial assistance to current homeowners, and make cultural investments that preserve a community’s history and culture. City Council needs to be at the frontline of addressing homelessness. We must support programs that care for homeless individuals with dignity and respect through direct shelter, job placement, and mental health services; while opposing policies that harass and marginalize individuals in need. We should provide direct financial assistance to those experiencing homelessness. By making sure everyone has access to entry-level jobs we can tackle this issue and make our communities safer. Denver is facing a homelessness and housing affordability crisis, people are being forced out of Denver to find more affordable places to live, wages are not rising while costs are, and attainable units are not being built in a quantity to keep up with the rising need. We need to expand ADU zooming so more families can grow and stay together. We need to have more first-time home-buying grants. We need to build more attainable units around public transit. We must also support the funding of tenant education programs, legal counsel for tenants, and enforcement of state tenant and housing laws.
First, I would work on expanding some of the key programs we have in place already to be more accessible and robust such as the heat pump program to help buildings and homes offset energy costs. I would prioritize that we are meeting the renewable standards we have already set for our governmental buildings in Denver. We had set a goal of having all governmental buildings running on 100% renewable energy by 2025 and currently, we are far from that important benchmark. I would also work with CSAR, DDPHE, and the Mayor's office to create an envelope program that certifies that the structure is 100% energy efficient for buildings and homes. I would also work with RTD, Denver Department of Transportation, and DPS to work on electrifying our buses. Lastly, I would work to expand the newly created Denver Department of Transportation, to aid in inequitable access of transportation in our communities.
The climate emergency is already happening, and we need to focus on being resilient to its inevitable effects by having a plan for those who are most vulnerable and working to reverse the harm currently being inflicted on people. We must also find a multitude of solutions to reduce vehicle traffic and auto emissions in a way that does not increase the burden on the working class, as well as making sure public transit is expanded to those who need it the most. We have to make sure when renegotiating the contract with Xcel that we are moving as much of our utilities to 100% renewable resources, while making sure costs are not passed on to those that can least afford it.
Invest in our Kids
We need to invest in park infrastructure for our kids. We need more accessible playground equipment, splash pads, better sidewalks, more trash cans, and better lighting in our parks throughout the district.
We need to invest in more afterschool programing for our kids. We must provide more funding from the city to neighborhood organizations to provide programing that our kids want so they can stay busy afterschool in a safe environment.
Support a citywide minimum wage of at least $20 per hour, indexed to inflation and cost of living.
Advocate for full rights for workers by working to end the misclassification of employees as contractors.
Support collective bargaining and the right to organize.
I would first and foremost listen to community members and advocates of police reform and the community to hear what they want changed about policing. Some of the ideas I would bring to the table are that Denver needs to move away to measuring an officer's productivity by stops, citations, and arrests, the measure of their success should be metrics measuring the feelings of overall safety and security of the community. I would work with the community to see how they feel most safe. Officers should be assigned to a specific neighborhood for years at a time when it should be strongly encouraged they live near or in and require they are bilingual in the communities that need it. We should implement the strictest use-of-force policy we can so that it is only used as an absolute last resort. We should redirect large portions of their budget to the STAR program and other similar measures and devolve more resources to community-based violence interruption, housing, education, and substance and mental health treatment programs so we are using more of our resources on helping people and preventing crime and less on enforcement of a broken system. We need to decriminalize substance use and treat substance addiction as a health problem. We must remove law enforcement as the default first responders when individuals are experiencing mental health or substance use crises, or other medical emergencies best addressed by health professionals. We should not allow our police force to purchase or use military weaponry. All complaints against the police should be investigated by civilian oversight committees from the neighborhoods they serve with subpoena power. Officers should have a legal obligation to intervene, prevent, and report misconduct, with criminal penalties for failing to do so along with strong consequences for codes of silence, and zero tolerance for dishonesty.
Advocate for stronger oversight of reverse mortgage programs.
Advocate for a greater focus on investigating and prosecuting financial crimes against seniors.
Work to expand public transportation and other transit services for those on limited incomes, especially seniors.