Protect Local Voices—Vote Yes on 302
As a former Director of Conservation Outreach for World Wildlife Fund and avid outdoorsman, I understand the ecological value of open space. However, following the Park Hill Golf Course debate, I’m shocked to see pseudo environmentalism being used as a shield to silence the voice of an already marginalized and underrepresented community.
Efforts that allow Denver residents—many of whom have never visited the golf course and do actually have a grocery store in their neighborhood—to silence the voice of an underserved community is voter suppression.
The community immediately surrounding the former Park Hill Golf Course doesn’t want a 155-acre park. They want a 60-acre park with mature trees and playground equipment. They need a grocery store, affordable homes and apartments, commercial space reserved for local business, and access to public transportation to get to work and get their kids to school.
301 is backed by a wealthy few who are taking decisions about the future of the former golf course away from Northeast Park Hill’s residents by letting the entire city decide. They frame the discussion around climate change, fully knowing that a golf course is an environmental sink of sprinkler systems, law mowers and fertilizer. Watering more than a hundred acres of grass doesn’t help with climate change, rather it pushes desperately needed affordable housing further away from transit and economic centers. *Important fact: the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions is transportation.
Now that the City has begun a planning process and is listening to the neighbors living around the former golf course, the wealthy few are filing lawsuits, contorting facts, misrepresenting their intentions, and diluting the voices and votes of the underserved community that lives in the area.
I live in Central Park, and I don’t want someone from South Park Hill or Cherry Creek telling me what we need. Would you?
Don’t be fooled—301 isn’t a choice between open space and development. It’s a choice for equity, living our progressive values, and preserving a local community’s right to self-determination.
I’m for local choices and voices. I’m voting yes on 302 and no on 301!
Matt Wagner lives in Central Park, has a master’s degree in sustainable development from DU’s Sturm College of Law, and is the former director of conservation outreach for World Wildlife Fund. director of conservation outreach for World Wildlife Fund.
Vote Yes on 301 for Parks and Open Space
I am writing regarding the detailed article by Tracy Wolfer-Osborne “Ballot Will Determine Fate of Park Hill Golf Course” published in your September edition.
One important fact that Ms. Wolfer-Osborne did not include is that Empower Northeast Denver (“Empower”) is actually an alter ego of real estate developer Westside Investment Partners, Inc. (“Westside”). Westside owns the Park Hill Golf Course land and is behind Initiated Ordinance 302 referred to in her article as “the Empower NE Denver initiative.”
Here are the facts from public records: (1) Westside formed Empower as a Colorado non-profit corporation on June 9, 2021 soon after it began the process for Election Division approval for Initiated Ordinance 302 to be placed on the November 2 ballot; (2) Empower’s principal office and registered agent are located at Westside’s corporate offices in Glendale; and (3) as of the filing of its August campaign finance report for Initiated Ordinance 302, all $280,305 of the cash and in kind financial contributions reported for Initiated Ordinance 302 were provided by Westside and its subsidiary ACM Park Hill JV VII LLC.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: https://frontporchne.com/article/ballot-will-determine-fate-of-park-hill-golf-course/
I wanted to thank the Front Porch and Alex’s family for sharing and publishing this straightforward, transparent story about tween and teen drug use in our neighborhood.
Fear, shame, a desire for privacy, and/or sheer disbelief ensures that this is a topic widely discussed in whispers—under the guise of “concerned for a friend,” but rarely with honesty and transparency about our own children.
This story is a truth. A hard truth that has impacted so many of our children personally. More importantly, this story is a necessary discussion, if we, as parents, are ever going to win the battle against drugs. How can we expect our children to out run this horrendous reality if we, as adults, cannot face it?
Illicit drugs are both prevalent in our community AND killing our children.
Savvy companies do not provide delivery services unless there is money to be made.
Initially the stories may vary; though eventually, they share a similar trajectory.
The kids have parents or guardians that are involved in their lives. The kids have fabulous teachers and coaches. The kids stay engaged in their school community. The kids have wonderful friends. The kids work hard and oftentimes, are leaders among their peers. The kids become victims.
Drug cartels have wildly successful marketing, recruitment, and distribution systems. Their success relies heavily on a cloak of shame, secrecy, and ignorance.
As parents, we cannot beat this system individually. Our only hope is coming together as a singular village, suspending judgment, honestly sharing and learning from each others’ stories, supporting one another with resources, and keeping a vigilant watch TOGETHER.
Once again my heart is filled with gratitude for this article. It is long overdue. We have to shed our heavy cloaks and move forward together as a community.
Gratefully yours, Kathy Duda