LOTS of helpful info here. Hopefully all the links work. Sorry in advance if they don't... (This was copied and pasted from an emailed newsletter.) Here is a direct link to the newsletter.
Hello, District 9! The 5:30 PM portion of tonight's City Council meeting will include a two-hour courtesy hearing and final vote on 22-1430, the Park Hill Golf Course Small Area Plan. Those wishing to provide comment (in-person in Council Chambers or via Zoom) can sign up to speak between 3 and 5:30 PM; details and sign up link are HERE. You can also provide written comment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org before 3 PM. This is the first of several votes related to golf course development that will be coming before Council (and ultimately to you the voters) in the next weeks, and it can be very confusing, so I'm going to use this week's newsletter message to give you an overview on what tonight's vote is and how it's related to the other upcoming votes. (You can get an overview of the process and related controversies up to this point HERE):
Tonight's vote: In order for Westside to develop the land, two things need to happen: The golf course needs to be rezoned to something other than its current designation as open space, and the conservation easement on the land would need to be lifted. The Small Area Plan has to be approved by City Council in order to pave the way for that rezoning. When City Council votes on rezonings, one of the criteria we have to use is whether the rezoning conforms to the city's existing adopted plans for the area. Because of its conservation easement, the golf course is only mentioned in the city's existing Park Hill (2000) and Swansea (2015) Neighborhood Plans as open space. The Park Hill Golf Course Small Area Plan that we're voting on tonight would need to be adopted by the city before the land can be rezoned. Last week, during this bill's first reading, I called out it out for a vote, and along with Councilman Kashmann, I voted no on the Small Area Plan. When I first took office in 2019, I stated that I believed the golf course should remain open space (interestingly, my other four Council colleagues who were newly voted in that year said the same thing), and as the city began working with Westside on the Small Area Plan, I participated in the "visioning process" from the beginning. Based on what I've witnessed throughout, I do not believe plan we are voting on was arrived at through an authentically community-led process (as opposed to a developer's fig leaf of a process).
Upcoming votes: After tonight's vote, the next steps related to the Park Hill Golf Course will be the rezoning, the establishment of metro districts, the development agreement, and the ballot question that would be referred to voters to lift the conservation easement. They are all scheduled to come before the Land Use, Transportation, and Infrastructure (LUTI) committee next Tuesday, December 13. If they are voted out of committee, they will come before City Council in January, with final votes scheduled for our January 23 meeting. Only the rezoning and metro districts will require public hearings; the development agreement and ballot initiative do not currently include public hearings. I'll provide more information and thoughts— ESPECIALLY around the issues of affordability, gentrification, and displacement—as these move through committee, so stay tuned!
And now, please see below for other ways that YOU can get involved. Click through below for more information on:
Resources for Residents (new)
We need YOU—your energy and your involvement—so that we can build a city that prioritizes the health and safety of all of our people and communities. So take action and keep showing up in any way you can! I appreciate you! In solidarity,
My #ColoradoGivesDay Top 22 for 2022
Colorado Gives Day is tomorrow, December 6, and I could write lists for days of orgs that I love. But for now, I'll give you just my Top 22 for 2022 listed in alphabetical order with links to their Colorado Gives Day pages where available or to other donation/info links for organizations. These are all groups that I or my staff have worked with over the past year+, and we see firsthand how hard they're fighting for our communities and for a world where we're all able to take care of each other. Please give what you can!
Brother Jeff's Cultural Center
Casa Milagro Youth Solutions
Center for Community Wealth Building
The Center for Trauma & Resilience
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
Colorado Safe Parking Initiative
Colorado Village Collaborative
Community Outreach Resource Center
Denver Justice Project
Harm Reduction Action Center
Housekeys Action Network Denver (HAND)
Make a Chess Move
Mutual Aid Monday
The Reciprocity Collective
Tribe Recovery Homes Inc.
Warm Cookies of the Revolution
City Council Meetings
Denver City Council holds in-person meetings in Council Chambers in the City and County Building (1437 Bannock St., Room 450). All meetings—except the monthly Operations meeting, which is not broadcast and is only accessible in-person—will also be accessible by Zoom and phone. Please see below for Zoom and call-in information to each meeting. Budget and Policy Committee, every other Monday 1:30 PM
Does not meet this week
City Council Meeting, Monday meetings begin at 3:30 PM and recess between 5 and 5:30 PM for the General Public Comment. The council meeting continues at 5:30 PM. Read HERE for more information on the meeting structure change.
Agenda is available HERE
Will include a two-hour courtesy public hearing on 22-1430: the Park Hill Golf Course Small Area Plan, which if approved shall become a part of the Comprehensive Plan 2040 for the City and County of Denver pursuant to the provisions of Section 12-61 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code.
To call in to listen: 720-928-9299 enter 960 0657 7923 for the webinar ID.
General Public Comment Session, Monday 5 PM
Sign up before 4 PM HERE.
To call in to listen: 720-928-9299 enter 960 0657 7923 for the webinar ID.
Land Use Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (LUTI), Tuesday 10:30 AM
Agenda is available HERE
Will include 22-1615, a proposed referred initiative to the April 4 ballot that would amend the city's charter concerning City Council’s zoning power under Charter Sec. 3.2.9.
To call in to listen: 720-928-9299 enter 969 0689 0314 for the webinar ID.
Finance and Governance Committee (FINGOV), Tuesday 1:30 PM
Agenda is available HERE
Will include 15 minutes of public comment on 22-1614, an ordinance I'm co-sponsoring to provide a civil penalty for the offense of wage theft and clarifying enforcement provisions for wage violations. Sign up between 12 noon and 1 PM to provide comment at the 1:30 PM meeting; details and sign-up link HERE.
To call in to listen: 720-928-9299 enter 992 4794 6211 for the webniar ID.
Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee (Safety & Housing), Wednesday 10:30 AM
Agenda is available HERE
Will include 22-1608 and 22-1609, two contract amendments to increase contract amounts to Brothers Redevelopment and Northeast Denver Housing Center, respectively, to administer the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance (TRUA) program citywide by $1,533,600 per contract. Note that this will be the only city-administered rental assistance program now that the state-level Emergency Rental Assistance Program is ending applications this week.
To call in to listen: 720-928-9299 enter 928 4470 0421 for the webinar ID.
Business, Arts, Workforce & Aviation Services Committee (BIZ), Wednesday 1:30 PM
Agenda is available HERE
Will include a briefing on 22-1617, a proclamation requesting the Federal Trade Commission closely evaluate the likely negative effect of the proposed acquisition of Albertsons by Kroger for the likely anti-competitive effect and impacts on consumers, workers and small businesses.
Will include 15 minutes of public comment on 22-1606, which would modify modify food licensing categories and fees. Sign up between 12 noon and 1 PM to provide comment at the 1:30 PM meeting; details and sign-up link HERE.
To call in to listen: 720-928-9299 enter 911 9487 1240 for the webinar ID.
In the News Park Opens Above I-70, but Globeville and Elyria-Swansea Still Divided, Westword, December 1, 2022 When local, state and federal officials gathered on top of the $1.2 billion Central 70, the rebuilt, expanded stretch of Interstate 70 that cuts through Denver, they seemed to expect a walk in the park.... Although officials acknowledged the devastating effect of I-70's initial construction on the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods, those who spoke during the ribbon-cutting suggested that the addition of the park atoned for much of the past.... But to Alfonso Espino, a community organizer with the Globeville Elyria-Swansea Coalition, a group founded in 2015 to combat residential displacement, it feels like the project was a "cover-up" and not a "cover park." As for officials' suggestion that the idea for the park came from community members, "That's total bullshit," Espino said at the ribbon-cutting. "It's very interesting how they're really just whitewashing that history. Kind of patting themselves on the back, saying they told us to do this and we're completing what they asked of us. People asked them not to take their homes. That's what they were asked to do," Espino added. The Colorado Department of Transportation purchased, then demolished 56 homes as part of the Central 70 project....
"I'm sure some people are really happy in the neighborhood to see another park, for sure," Espino acknowledged, then added, "I hardly see any people here from the community."... But Espino would like to see a lot more from CDOT. "I just hope that this isn't what they think is the last thing they've got to deliver," Espino said, pointing to several parcels adjacent to the park that CDOT owns. Espino said he wanted CDOT to give those parcels to the community so that housing can be built on them, and "that's what the coalition is going to be organizing for," he said. Back to top
D9 Community Calendar: For a comprehensive list of Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO), Advisory Board, Citizen Advisory Group (CAG), and other community meetings and events in District 9, check out our public D9 Community Google Calendar HERE. To request that your organization's meetings and events be added to the community calendar, please email us at District9@denvergov.org. TUESDAY: Nature Play Becomes a Reality December 6, 6:30 PM Carla Madison Rec Center (2401 E Colfax Ave, 80206) City Park Friends and Neighbors is honored to host Jacqueline Altreuter, Project Manager for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science's (DMNS) Nature Play project, for a presentation on the final design for Nature Play. The program and slideshow will take place on Dec. 6 in the Multi-Purpose Room at Carla Madison Recreation Center, 2401 E. Colfax Ave. at 6:30 pm. This is an in-person event. There is parking behind Carla Madison. After five years of gathering community input and working and re-working designs reflecting the public's vision for this extensive natural play area, Jackie speaks for the museum when she says: "We are so happy to be giving the community what they want!" SATURDAY: 1st Annual Bob Ragland Birthday Celebration December 10, 10:30 AM-2 PM Bob Ragland Branch Library (1900 35th St, 80216) Stop by the Bob Ragland Branch for our First Annual Birthday Celebration in honor of Bob Ragland's birthday. There will be a live Jazz performance from the Tenia Nelson Trio, the Denver Art Museum will be bringing an Art Lives Here/El Arte Vive Aquí cart with free creativity kits for youth, and MoBetta Greens will be juicing. There will be free lunch and cupcakes available while supplies last, and the festivities will end by singing Happy Birthday and enjoying Little Sistas Treats cupcakes. SATURDAY: Holiday Tamale Potluck December 10, 11 AM-2 PM Viña Apartments, 1st floor (2121 E 48th Ave, 80216) Join the East Denver Food Sovereignty Initiative (EDFSI), and come and eat with your community! Free tamales! The Tamale Potluck will be held in the space where the new community market will be on the first floor at Viña Apartments. Questions? Contact us at District9@denvergov.org, and we will connect you with the organizers! EDFSI is also seeking additional community cooks to provide tamales to to the event: Folks who would like to show off your cooking skills and provide tamales to be shared and sampled among participants will receive a $150 stipend toward ingredients to make 4 dozen tamales each; you can sign up to cook HERE. SATURDAY: He(Art) of the Holidays Market December 10, 12 noon-4 PM Larimer Square Art market with local vendors, live music, a holiday comedy show and more! SATURDAY: Five Points Holiday Stroll December 10, 3-6 PM Welton St, between 20th & 30th Streets The 3rd annual Welton Street Holiday Stroll is a free event taking place along the historical Welton Street Corridor. Attendees will be encouraged to shop local and explore Welton Street with a Holiday Passport, a pocket-sized guide leading participants to stroll and receive complimentary warm drinks and treats. Everyone is encouraged to donate socks to benefit the homeless. There will also be paid activities such as gingerbread house making and kinara building. The community is invited to enjoy holiday shopping experiences, holiday lighting, holiday music, storytelling and more! DONATE: Gift cards for Club Q Hope Tank (1434 E 22nd Ave, 80205) A local way to help Club Q survivors and next of kin is to drop off gift cards at Hope Tank in D9, 1434 E 22nd Ave. GoFundMe fundraising has been set up to benefit survivors, and you can donate to the verified campaigns HERE. But it can take a while for GoFundMe to disburse dollars, so these gift cards will be distributed to help with people's immediate needs. Tragically, following the S. Broadway/Lakewood shooting spree last December, they have personal experience with what’s needed in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting & are mobilizing mutual aid; you can read more from Hope Tank founder Erika Righter on these experiences HERE. APPLY: Colorado Environmental Justice (EJ) Grants Program: Community Solutions to Improve Environmental Health Deadline: February 3, 2023 The EJ Grant Program was created by the Environmental Justice Act. It funds projects in Colorado communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change. Only projects in disproportionately impacted communities are eligible for grant funding. You can use Colorado EnviroScreen to determine whether you live in a disproportionately impacted community. The EJ Grant Program can fund projects that measure, prevent, or reduce pollution to improve public health and the environment. Applications are open to non-profit organizations, local governments, federally-recognized Tribal governments, universities and other educational institutions, for-profit corporations and grassroots organizations. The maximum grant allocation is $250,000, and CDPHE plans to award up to 10 grants for a maximum of $1 million. Grant awards are expected to be announced in the spring. Full details and grant application materials are HERE. APPLY: CALC 2022 Micro-Grants Deadline: Rolling basis through end of 2022 Denver Community Active Living Coalition (CALC) in partnership with the Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI), Denver Streets Partnership (DSP), and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) invite you to get creative about living an active life in your neighborhood! We are offering micro-grants of up to $400 for individuals and $1500 for businesses in support of walkability, bikeability, or access to safe and healthy spaces for physical activity. We want to fund projects that promote active transportation and physical activity. We encourage organizations, residents, and businesses to think creatively about your community's needs and resources to create a project that makes it safer, easier, and/or more fun to be active in your Denver neighborhood. Full details and application are HERE. SURVEY: East Denver Food Sovereignty Initiative Community Co-Op Survey D9 residents, the East Denver Food Sovereignty Initiative wants to hear from you—especially from those of us in GES! Please provide your feedback and experiences around your food access needs and wants HERE and SHARE in your networks (survey is in both Spanish and English). While their current focus is on residents in Globeville, Elyria and Swansea, it does not hurt to get responses from the rest of D9 for the future! SHARE YOUR HOME: Sunshine Home Share Call for Home Providers Sunshine Home Share Colorado is funded by HOST and the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships and helps older adults share the space in their homes, trading in-home services such as yard work, snow shoveling, and transportation for decreased rent. Home sharing can be a rewarding experience for older adults looking to stay in their home, but are having difficulty with daily tasks/chores, loneliness/social isolation, or those needing extra income. Sunshine Home Share needs to find enough home providers to meet the current demand for the affordable housing their program creates. Learn more about Sunshine Home Share Colorado HERE. Apply to be a Home Provider HERE. Back to top
Resources for Residents CONNECT FOR HEALTH COLORADO OPEN ENROLLMENT Open Enrollment for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado and ColoradoConnect has begun! This year’s Open Enrollment period began on Nov. 1, 2022 and ends on Jan. 15, 2023. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, there continues to be more savings formore people. Folks can see how much financial help they qualify for and review plans before enrolling by using the Quick Cost Plan Finder Tool. Additionally, OmniSalud is a new health insurance program that provides Coloradans who are undocumented or DACA recipients, with a safe way to compare affordable health insurance plans and sign up on a secure online platform. Thanks to a new Colorado law passed in 2021, every company that sells health insurance in the state has to offer plans with a specific set of lower fixed costs, and make them available to everyone—no matter their documentation status. We strongly encourage folks to sign up with the help of a certified expert who can walk you through the application and help you understand how to use your health insurance, all free of charge. To learn more about OmniSalud, visit: connectforhealthco.com/get-started/omnisalud/. To find an OmniSalud expert and make an appointment, visit: connectforhealthco.com/get-started/omnisalud-help/. DENVER PROPERTY TAX RELIEF PROGRAM Denver renters and homeowners can get an average of $1,000 back through the Denver Property Tax Relief Program! Open to Denver County renters and homeowners who meet certain qualifications, the program gives those who qualify a partial refund of property taxes they paid (or the equivalent in rent). Applications are accepted through April 2023. Find more information HERE or call 720-944-4DHS (4347) for more information. EMERGENCY MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE The Colorado Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP) provides financial assistance on behalf of income-eligible homeowners who have experienced a financial hardship associated with the COVID-19 health crisis. Households are eligible to receive EMAP assistance if they:
Attest that they experienced a financial hardship after January 21, 2020 associated with the COVID-19 pandemic
Provide income documentation and have household incomes equal to or less than 100% of the Area Median Income for their county
Currently own and occupy a primary residence in Colorado, and
Their original loan was not a Jumbo loan at the time of purchase or most recent refinance.
Apply HERE. EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE Although the Colorado Emergency Assistance Rental Program (ERAP) is coming to an end, the Denver program is still accepting applications. Please refer to this email from Denver’s Department of Housing Stability, which shares details about ERAP updates. You can also look at this flyer, which lists all our housing stability assistance programs and where to find them. It is translated into Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic. Finally, if you need housing help quickly, please visit:
EVICTION LEGAL DEFENSE Thanks to the ordinance we passed last year, HOST provides funding for free legal services for low- to moderate-income households (at or below 80% of the Area Median Income) facing an eviction. If you need help, information on free legal services can be obtained from:
Colorado Legal Services (primary provider) 303-837-1313
Colorado Affordable Legal Services 303-996-0010
Colorado Poverty Law Project 720-772-9762
Covid-19 Eviction Defense Project 303-838-1200
ENERGY BILL PAY ASSISTANCE (XCEL ENERGY) As Xcel Energy's Time of Use rates begin to roll out through the metro area, customers should be aware that they may be eligible for help paying their bills. Find Xcel's energy assistance options HERE. LOW-INCOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LEAP) Colorado’s Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), a federally funded program that helps eligible Coloradans pay a portion of their winter home heating costs, opened for the season on Nov. 1 and will accept applications through May 1. To qualify for LEAP, Coloradans may have an income up to 60 percent of the state median income level, which equates to a household income of less than $66,468 a year for a family of four. Additionally, LEAP recipients must pay home heating costs directly to a utility company or landlord as part of their rent and have at least one U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S. living in the household. In addition to home heating bill assistance, LEAP recipients may be eligible to receive furnace repair and replacement in heat-related emergencies in addition to weatherization services pending the results of a home energy audit. Currently, LEAP recipients may also qualify for the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), which is a temporary program that is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). LIHWAP provides funds to make a one-time payment to the water vendor directly on behalf of eligible households who are facing eviction due to unpaid water bills or whose account is either in arrears or shut off as long as funding is available and the water vendor is a LIHWAP participant. Full info and application links are HERE. DENVER WATER BILL PAY ASSISTANCE Need help with your water bill? You may qualify for assistance. If a household qualifies for the Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, the Low-Income Housing Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) can help. This emergency federal program, operated through the Colorado Department of Human Services and part of the federal government’s response to the pandemic, helps residents pay their water and wastewater bills, avoid shut-offs and support reconnections related to non-payment. For information on LIHWAP assistance and eligibility, including income requirements, visit cdhs.colorado.gov/Leap. The deadline to apply for assistance is May 1, 2023. OVERDOSE PREVENTION RESOURCES The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) is providing Denver residents with fentanyl testing strips and naloxone; you can request them via the form HERE. In addition to DDPHE, several pharmacies around Denver distribute Naloxone. Visit stoptheclockcolorado.org to explore an interactive map of locations where Naloxone can be obtained. More overdose prevention resources from DDPHE can be found HERE. DDPHE's substance misuse resources can be found HERE. COVID TESTING, VACCINE ACCESS & SUPPORT
Vaccination appointments are available at local clinics, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers. Check out the city's website for current and upcoming vaccine availability HERE.
At-Home Vaccination: Denver’s At-Home Vaccination Team continues to vaccinate residents who are unable to access healthcare or community vaccination sites. Denver residents who are required to stay at home for health and safety reasons are encouraged to contact the city’s At-Home Vaccination Team to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine at their home. Eligible residents can sign up by calling the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment at 720-865-3005 and press Option 6 for at-home vaccination. This service is available in English and Spanish, as well as other languages through a phone interpreter.
Transportation: Residents with barriers to transportation can request free Lyft rides by contacting Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 service. 2-1-1 is a free, multilingual, and confidential service that connects individuals with community resources and information.
GES CONNECTOR TRANSIT SERVICE (new) The City and County of Denver is expanding its FREE on-demand ride share service – the Denver Connector – to the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea (GES) neighborhoods. This expansion comes on the heels of a successful year operating the service in Montbello, where we will be adding a fourth vehicle and expanding the service area to now include Gateway.Catch a ride with us, here’s how:
Riders use the Denver Connector mobile app or call 720-868-0560 to request rides in English and Spanish
The service is available weekdays from 6 AM – 8 PM with on-demand trips in either the Montbello-Gateway or GES service areas.
All rides are free!
The service offers wheelchair accessible vans, eco-friendly plug-in hybrid minivans and all-electric sedans.
The Denver Connector was created to help our communities access neighborhood destinations and connect to regional transit services. To learn more about the Denver Connector, view service areas and download the app, visit: https://bit.ly/DenverConnector. Back to top
Resources for Workers & Small Businesses DENVER FACADE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM Businesses are the front doors of our communities which is why we created the Denver Façade Improvement Program! These grants provide up to $75,000 per business or property to improve the appearance and curb appeal of small businesses. Improvements like these have been shown to stimulate the economic performance of businesses, increase property value, and inspire community pride. Info and application are HERE. COMMERCIAL TENANT LEGAL AID Colorado Affordable Legal Services has launched a pilot project to provide free legal services for small business owners located in the City of Denver to assist those who are at risk of eviction or lease default due to an inability to pay rent and/or involuntary displacement due to lease renewal negotiations. Services include but are not limited to legal information, education, commercial lease review and comprehensive legal advice to identify potential problems & recommend corrective actions. Additional services may include, assistance related to negotiation of repayment plans or early termination agreements. Referrals for legal resources and other landlord/tenant services, including pro bono services, may be provided where applicable. Services do not include trials or appeals. Targeted entities operating in areas such as the Central Business District, Lincoln Park, Capitol Hill, North Capitol Hill, Five Points, Elyria-Swansea, Globeville, NE Parkhill, East Colfax, Montbello, West Colfax and Westwood are considered priority neighborhoods. Denver county small businesses that have questions or wish to apply for the program can email email@example.com to schedule a free confidential intake. FREE LEGAL ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES Colorado COVID Legal Relief (CCLR) was created to match small businesses that need limited free legal advice regarding COVID-19 related issues with volunteer lawyers. If you are a small business that needs legal help, you can submit an application, and they will ask volunteer lawyers if they are willing to assist you. If you are a lawyer who wants to help, please sign up to volunteer. CENTER FOR WORK EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT (CWEE) CWEE supports vulnerable workers, mostly single moms, to train for and launch careers. CWEE’s Career Training for Denver County residents can be found Herer er ;ERE. CWEE’s training program includes:
Computer skills training and access to at-home internet, personal hotspots and computer equipment
Employment readiness skills training and support
Interview practice, support with resumes and cover letters
Connections to CWEE’s network of 100+ employer partners
WORK OPTIONS TRAINING PROGRAM Work Options helps adult students prepare for, find and maintain meaningful careers in the food service industry. Full information on the training program, eligibility, and application process can be found HERE. ANGEL RELIEF FUND: DENVER HOSPITALITY WORKERS EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FUNDS The ARF is a safety net for hospitality workers who are employed but are experiencing general hardship. The fund provides financial assistance of up to $1,000 to those in crisis due to an unexpected illness, injury or natural disaster (including COVID-19). As of May 2022, the Angel Relief Fund has expanded to cover mental health care as well. Full details and applications are available in both English and Spanish HERE.