Walk Denver Vision Zero
Building on Mayor Hancock’s declaration at last month’s SUN meetings that streets in Denver will be safe and multimodal, Shontel Lewis from Walk Denver presented on Vision Zero and the goal of eliminating all traffic accidents and serious injuries on Denver streets. Lewis’s presentation emphasized the importance of pedestrian safety over driver convenience in planning, engineering and enforcement, and charged our local government with the onus of safe street design. People navigating streets are responsible for their behavior, but when humans make mistakes, careful design can help prevent those mistakes from resulting in a fatality for him/herself or others on the road. Read about the 10 principles of Vision Zero on Walk Denver’s website: www.walkdenver.org/vision-zero.
Participate in the Denver Vision Zero Map-based Survey to provide your feedback about streets, sidewalks, intersections and all transportation-related locations in Denver. Places that either concern you or you think deserve positive recognition for transportation and safety can be reported: https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/transportation-mobility/vision-zero/feedback-map.html.
NE Denver Leadership Week
Councilman Chris Herndon shared a beautiful video about Northeast Denver’s Leadership Week, which he will host June 12–16. Community members available to volunteer for a day are requested for assistance with the budgeting skills day. Last year’s youth participants reported feeling dismayed when they learned of the expenses associated with running a household and raising children in a hypothetical family. Other community members, business owners, and members of volunteer organizations who could participate in NE Denver Leadership Week are encouraged to reach out to the councilman’s office to discuss participation.
2017 General Obligation Bond
Councilman Herndon also described the ongoing Denver 2017 General Obligation (GO) Bond process. GO bonds secure funding to restore, replace, and expand infrastructure and capital assets across the city. Committee meetings will begin soon to prioritize projects to be funded by the GO bonds. Denver residents will be voting on GO bonds in the fall of 2017. http://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-department-of-finance/2017-go-bond/2017-meetings-and-events.html
SUN Education Committee and Partnership with Northfield High School
In a separate committee meeting, Advocates for Northfield High School (NHS) met on March 14 for an initial session to collectively examine the commitments DPS has made to ensure the development of NHS. NHS is the boundary high school for the students in Stapleton, with 35 percent of its seats reserved for families from adjacent neighborhoods. NHS is halfway through its second year open. During the meeting, the group identified a mission, priorities, and action items to inform future work.
Mission: Support DPS in implementing the NHS Resolution and their efforts to maintain transparent communication with community stakeholders. (An article with a link to that resolution was covered in the January 2017 Front Porch and can be viewed at frontporchne.com/article/discussion-sandoval-campus-sharing/.)
(1) Ensure committee representation from all catchment area elementary and middle schools, including Bill Roberts, Denver Discovery, Denver Language School, DSST, High Tech, Inspire, Isabella Bird, McAuliffe, Swigert, Westerly Creek, and current NHS families. The committee came very close to achieving this goal at the first meeting. The only schools not represented at the meeting were Denver Discovery and Inspire. The committee is reaching out to those campuses to promote active engagement. It will also engage neighboring communities who have a vested interest in the success of NHS.
(2) Provide a forum for communication across schools in the community.
The committee identified SUN as the best way to achieve this goal as it aligns with the organizational mission. “Our mission is threefold: to provide a forum for our residents; to maintain a communication network between ourselves, our neighboring Denver residents, and the city of Denver; and to act on issues of importance to the community as a whole.”
Action Item: SUN will focus the Sept. 19, 6:30pm SUN-block captain/Outreach meeting on NHS’s continued growth and development. A draft agenda for September includes:
1. School Choice Data Overview
2. NHS Leadership Update
3. Status update from DPS on the NHS Resolution
May 16 SUN Annual Forum and Board Election—6:30 to 8:15pm at Central Park Recreation Center
Forest City will present on current development updates in Stapleton. Denver Police Department District 5 will address community safety issues. A representative from Denver Parks and Rec will describe plans for open space. The Stapleton MCA will describe community programming. Northeast Transportation Connections will provide a status update on both the I-70 project and multi-modal street goals for the remainder of the community. City of Denver representatives will address projects being completed with city funding; representatives from Councilman Chris Herndon’s office and Denver Public Schools Board of Education will be available during Q/A.
New SUN Board Members
The 15-member SUN board serves in staggered two-year terms, with a slate of board members proposed each year at the Annual SUN Forum for a community vote. The May 2017 slate will include board members continuing on to another term, Erin Jones and Greg Calderon (for whom bios are available online at www.StapletonUnitedNeighbors.com); and for returning board member Mark Mehringer and two new board members, biographical sketches follow:
A Denver resident since 2006, I moved to Stapleton in 2015 with my wife, Jaime. As the parents of two young daughters, we chose Stapleton for the community it offers our family and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help support and advance all of the things that make our neighborhood unique. I joined the SUN Board in February 2017 and I’m particularly interested in sustainability and education initiatives as well as opportunities to represent our goals to city officials. I have an MBA from CU-Boulder and experience as a small-business owner. I’ve spent my career in educational publishing and technology, developing content and software for K-12 students and educators as well as post-secondary and career-oriented learners. Our family loves taking advantage of Stapleton’s great parks, the quick access to a growing list of restaurants, and getting together with other families in the neighborhood. (Geoff began a brief interim appointment to the board Feb. 2017.)
My wife and I moved to Stapleton in November of 2012. We were looking to start a family and were drawn to this neighborhood by the schools, parks, and general sense of community that we knew would make it a great neighborhood to raise kids in. We have two kids now, a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter.
Although my favorite job is dad, I spend most of my days working as a lawyer. I am a Chief Deputy District Attorney at the Weld County District Attorney’s Office in Greeley. I have been a prosecutor there for 10 years. In that role I have prosecuted every kind of case from traffic infractions to first degree murder. I enjoy the work, and the feeling that I get knowing that my job every day is to do justice and do what I can to make the community safer.
As a prosecutor I work very closely with the police and others who work in the area of public safety. My time in prosecution has given me a solid understanding of both the possibilities and challenges of police work in the area of community safety. I believe that my experience in these areas would enable me to be an effective liaison between the Stapleton community and the police and those in government. I am very excited about the possibility of getting to work for my fellow neighbors through SUN.
I moved to the South End of Stapleton with my wife in 2005, and volunteered to serve as a SUN Block Captain soon after. Over my last 12 years in Stapleton, I have opened my own public opinion consulting firm and become a parent to two great kids, Leah and Maddox. I previously served as SUN President and on the Education, Outreach, and Sustainability Committees and look forward to returning to the SUN Board.
If you are interested in becoming involved with the SUN board, please refer to the March 2017 SUN spot for a more detailed description of the role, and email StapletonUnitedNeighbors@gmail.com.