Check our event list and online calendar for opportunities to meet candidates. Search Civic Events and Politics categories HERE
We asked four candidates to submit their positions on the issues listed at right. Other candidates include:
Stephen E. Evans: www.committeetoelectseku.com
Marcus Giavanni: www.mayor2019.com
Kalyn Rose Heffernan: www.kalyn4mayor.com
Kenneth Raymond Simpson
Just as with the Fall 2018 ballot questions, the Front Porch will print information about the May 2019 ballot initiatives. Learn about these initiatives* in our April issue:
Denver Airport Minimum Wage Initiative
Denver Internet Initiative
Denver Right to Survive Initiative
Let Denver Vote Initiative
(*Final initiatives on ballot not yet confirmed.)
Auditor and Clerk
NE Denver City Council
Districts 5, 8 and At-Large
The Front Porch will request brief statements from candidates for the above offices to be printed in our April issue and/or on our website.
How do you view Denver’s growth? What current city policies on growth and development do you disagree with? What policies would you want to implement?
Incumbent: What have you done and what will you do in the future on each of the issues?
Denver’s rising cost of housing is pushing those without high-paying jobs out of the city. What would you do that’s not being done now to keep middle-income people in the city? How would you improve the affordable housing program?
What are the most important transportation issues now and what ideas and policies—that are different from what you see happening now—would you pursue to address current and future transportation issues as the city grows?
CRIME AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
What are the most important issues you see in the city’s criminal justice system and what approaches and policies—that are different from what you see happening now—would you pursue to address these issues?
ONE MORE ISSUE
What one other issue is as important (or more important) to you as those listed above and what would you do about it that’s not currently being done?
NAME: Lisa Calderón
GROWTH: Denver’s growth and prosperity works for some, but not for enough of us. If we continue down the path we’ve been on for the past eight years, many of Denver’s working people and families will continue to be left behind. I know we can take a different path. Development must become more resident- and community-driven, and I will do this through shared power and accountability with residents and workers in the policy decisions that most affect them.
HOUSING: We need housing options that are affordable, attainable, and meet the needs of more people. This will require a fundamental restructuring of the city’s engagement in housing, including a housing department administered by experts with deep experience; a fully supported and transparent affordable housing fund; more “missing middle” development; and the use of participant-public-private partnership initiatives. I will negotiate with developers for affordable housing requirements at the front end, and implement continued monitoring to ensure compliance with these commitments.
TRANSPORTATION: I will prioritize multimodal and environmentally responsible transportation planning. This will include improved public transit, upgrading technology to synchronize traffic lights with real-time adjustments to reduce congestion, and enforcing permitting requirements for construction sites to maintain walkways for pedestrians to improve safety. I will collaborate with municipal and state leaders to build regional support for an infrastructure plan that includes an increased and shared tax plan and socially responsible bonding.
CRIME AND JUSTICE SYSTEM: Addressing the underlying causes of crime (e.g., affordable housing, reducing barriers to employment) and shifting resources from punishment for nonviolent drug offenses to treatment and services will reduce recidivism and incarceration costs. I will appoint an experienced, diverse leadership team invested in the co-production of public safety, where community members partner with law enforcement to develop holistic approaches for improved safety outcomes.
OTHER: I will advance policies that promote parity for women in the workplace: equal wages, opportunities, and protections against discrimination and sexual harassment in city government.
NAME: Jamie Giellis
GROWTH: The City has valued fast growth over smart growth. We have let growth define our city. I will review Denver’s zoning and design requirements, and promise smarter planning that values appropriate use of density, protecting neighborhoods, and integration of transit, green space and attainable housing.
HOUSING: We must end the attainable housing crisis in a generation. I will move housing oversight to a cabinet-level position in the mayor’s office, work with affordable housing developers of all types, and find ways to lift cost burdens, including permitting times/fees. I will advocate for more LIHTC tax credits, and will work with builders to identify innovations in homebuilding that can lower costs and expedite delivery.
TRANSPORTATION: Denver was built on a streetcar network that once connected our neighborhoods – that should guide our future. Transit must serve neighborhoods and be tied to appropriate high density areas. The most critical step is to find funding to build transit, and do it in a way that doesn’t further burden taxpayers. I’m committed to funding that incentivizes transit use over car use, and to creating an affordable intra-city transit network.
CRIME AND JUSTICE SYSTEM: It starts with acknowledging institutionalized racism in our justice and other governmental systems. I will bring back community policing, and add appropriately to the police force. I will work with our DA Beth McCann, our police and our schools and other organizations to do early intervention for at-risk youth, including mentorship, education and job training and apprenticeships to break the pipeline-to-prison for our youth of color. I will focus on diverting people from jail who really need other services such as mental health support.
OTHER: It’s time to reprioritize our commitment to our environment – to parks, to the South Platte River, to greening the environment throughout the city. It’s a critical moment for us to act boldly to address climate change and implement sustainability strategies, which we have been falling behind in meeting.
NAME: Michael B. Hancock,
GROWTH: Denver has grown quickly, and we have moved swiftly to ensure growth is sustainable, responsible and affordable by focusing on managing transportation, development and housing. We are guiding Denver’s growth to preserve our neighborhoods and create a more inclusive, connected and healthy city for everyone. We should be proud of having the most vibrant economy in the country.
HOUSING: My administration launched the city’s first affordable housing fund – by creating a fee on new development – and then we doubled it! Today, we’re investing more into affordable housing than the state of Colorado. We’ve worked to improve our economy for everyone by bringing more than 100,000 jobs to Denver during my administration, developing targeted job training programs, and we’re now working toward a $15 minimum wage.
TRANSPORTATION: To keep Denver accessible, affordable and equitable, residents must be able to get around the city easier with more transportation options. I launched a Mobility Action Plan that invests $2+ billion to address Denver’s congestion and accelerate projects, policies and programs to move more people more efficiently and more safely.
CRIME AND JUSTICE SYSTEM: Denver is one of America’s safest big cities. We transformed the safety departments and focused on criminal justice reform that prioritizes addressing systemic economic disadvantages that disproportionately impact communities of color. We must increase diversion and recidivism programs, help those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, and prevent crime by ensuring individuals receive access to good jobs, reliable housing and accessible education.
OTHER: I grew up poor in Denver, without a steady home. I know firsthand how important it is to provide stability to our most vulnerable residents. Homelessness is a multi-faceted issue that we must address with compassion and effective policies that can get to the root cause for every individual. We have placed 7,500 people into safe and consistent housing, are expanding Denver Day Works and connecting individuals to resources for financial assistance, drug treatment and mental health care.
NAME: Penfield Tate
GROWTH: I am not anti-growth, and I know that Denver is going to continue to grow. However, over the past 8 years Denver has not managed, planned, or directed growth in a way that benefits residents. As mayor, I will ensure that any future growth in our city is undertaken with benefit to working people and our environment as the lenses through which it is planned, directed, and managed.
HOUSING: We need to modify existing affordable housing programs so that more people in Denver are able to qualify. We also need to explore new, creative solutions including remodeling closed schools, approving tiny homes, and requiring and enforcing affordable housing requirements in all new developments.
TRANSPORTATION: We have grown exponentially in Denver without a real transit plan. We cannot widen or build more roads, so we need to be creative in our solutions. I will create a Department of Transportation to focus on Denver’s mobility needs, relying on technology and innovation.
CRIME AND JUSTICE SYSTEM: We are arresting and incarcerating far too many people in this city. Jail should not always be the first option. We need sentencing reform in our city. We also need to train law enforcement to better determine that we are not needlessly arresting people. I will also work with the city attorney and the district attorney to aggressively evaluate commuting sentences to time served and/or community corrections.
OTHER: I am committed to making Denver a national leader in combating climate change. I will implement a bold climate plan that incentivizes electric vehicles, accelerates our transition to renewable energy, and makes Denver carbon neutral by 2030. We can and will lead the nation on renewable energy while creating living wage jobs in the industry to benefit the working people of Denver.