“in community, our potential is truly realized…we have the capacity to hold each other, serve each other, heal each other, create for and with each other, forgive each other, and liberate ourselves and each other.” – adrienne maree brown, “in relationship with others” blog post, July 7, 2009
The rapid worldwide spread of COVID-19 greatly transformed our communities as the healthcare, and subsequent economic, crisis unfolded last year, compounding impact disparities that our BBIPOC partners face ongoingly, while highlighting the fragility of the systems upon which we collectively depend. The resilience of our region continues to be challenged amidst uncertainty, a dearth of clear and accurate information, lack of access to goods and services (including vaccines), and overall isolation. However, if there is one lesson that continues to shine through for us all to learn from, it is that hyper-local, community-driven solutions that build true community power and shared wealth are the keys to equitable, resilient and restorative systems where everyone not only survives, they thrive.
The indispensable role of community and its collective power has been tragically called forth by the pandemic and beautifully displayed through emergency response efforts of community groups such as the Colorado Changemakers Collective, also known as the Colectiva Creando Cambios, CCC, or Colectiva. This Montbello-based group was created in 2018 with a long-term vision of community transformation that is grounded in the belief that those most affected by social inequalities must be central to the work that has to be done. In 2020, the critical nature of Colectiva’s work was laid bare, as they quickly mobilized community partners to meet the emerging needs of the Latinx community, including access to basic needs and food.
We learned about Colectiva’s journey by way of our community partners, Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC), who were integral contributors to the collective response. We were eager to learn more and have them share their experience at a community gathering on Zoom in February. At the gathering, Maricruz Herrera, founder of Colectiva, gave a heart-felt, up close and personal account of their COVID-19 Community Response Network’s fast evolving work throughout last year, as 13 separate neighborhood organizations banded together to create a resourceful response network that worked tirelessly to meet the emergency needs of community as our region locked down to curb the coronavirus outbreak. To date, they have served over 2,500 families in Denver, Westminster, Aurora, Commerce City, Rifle, and beyond!
In a very short period, the Montbello community mobilized its network – a net that works; a net that has always worked but has been hindered by systemic barriers – by connecting community members to resources through trusted relationships. La Colectiva’s powerful engine was driven by the work of community navigators or promotoras and fueled by local volunteers and funders, including The Denver Foundation, Mile High Connects, and COVID relief funds. As our communities continue to recover and redefine normal, we can no longer collectively turn our gaze from the disproportionate impacts of concurrent crises on BBIPOC communities, nor can we afford to miss any opportunity to support and build on the wisdom of and solution in community centered response.
It is time to learn from community and support their tried-and-true efforts, like Colectiva’s COVID-19 Community Response Network. In partnership with Colectiva, Montbello Organizing Committee, and many other local community serving organizations, Mile High Connects is committed to its community stewardship where our work centers community, responding to immediate local needs while elevating local voice in recovery and redevelopment. Our goal is to unlock community power through greater local control, community ownership, and preservation of place, and we must heed the pathways to liberation that communities keep showing us.
As a collaborative committed to a racially equitable and resilient Denver region, we stand with the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community as we collectively grieve the horrific acts of violence in Georgia.
While it may be difficult for some to believe the horrors of Tuesday following this summer’s racial awakening, people of color know all too well the history of hate and violence perpetuated on our bodies as a result of systemic racism, sexism, and discrimination. The history of xenophobia towards the AAPI community in the United States did not begin on Tuesday in Georgia. It permeates US history, from the bubonic plague of the early 1900s to the more recent Coronavirus . Recent data by Stop AAPI Hate shows that harassment and violence towards the Asian American community has dramatic increased over the last year, with attacks towards those of East Asian descent being fueled by a former President that uses hateful, racist rhetoric when speaking about the Coronavirus pandemic.
We urge you to center the voices of the AAPI community in this conversation and support in whatever way you can.
Mile High Connects partner 9to5 Colorado’s National Office in Georgia is working with the AAPI community on the ground and nationally to center the needs of those impacted. You can help by contributing towards the ongoing healing of the Atlanta AAPI Community. Take immediate action to show solidarity with AAPI communities by adding your name to the list of individuals and organizations calling for a community response to AAPI violence. Nationally and locally, support organizations that advocate for economic and social justice with and in low-income AAPI communities such National CAPACD, Asian Pacific Development Center, Vietnamese American Community of Colorado, Boulder Asian Pacific Alliance, and the Asian Chamber of Commerce. Our Asian-owned small businesses need our support now more than ever – consider spending your dollars at locally owned AAPI restaurants and businesses.
We hope for healing, justice, and a more equitable future for all.
As the smoke from our state’s wildfires reaches the Denver metro region & with COVID-19 cases on the rise, understanding what’s on the ballot and how it impacts our ability to create and maintain safe, healthy homes is more critical than ever. That’s why Mile High Connects andMetro Denver Nature Alliance joined together to host an information session on ballot measures affecting equitable, affordable access to nature and housing in Colorado, Adams County, and Denver.
Chris Stiffler from the Colorado Fiscal Instituteunpacked the Gallagher Amendment and the TABOR Amendment, which affect local property taxes, public school investments, and state and local governments’ ability to raise funds for public programs.
Conor Hall front the Trust for Public Land discussed two ballot measures in Adams County affecting open space (1A) and infrastructure (1B) investments supported by long-standing tax assessments. One of Colorado’s fastest growing counties, the population of Adams County is expected to surpass that of Denver within 30 years.
Sebastian Andrews with the Denver Streets Partnershipshared details of Denver’s Ballot Measure 2A, which would fund the city’s climate action. The measure, and Denver’s approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation, was informed by work in other cities (like Houston, TX) and the Climate Action Task Force.
Thank you to our partners MetroDNA and panelists for sharing their insights with us. While MHC and MetroDNA do not endorse specific measures, we share this dialogue in the spirit of community engagement and to ensure all residents have access to information.
Join us for another episode of Denver_portal programming as we explore "Ciclovías"--urban bike lane infrastructure--and other mobility models from across the Americas. Learn how places like Mexico City are leading the way in pedestrian and bike lane expansion projects and how Denver leaders are getting creative to meet our city's mobility needs.
The Denver_portal programming is a collaboration between the Biennial of the Americas and Shared_Studios.
Moderator: Deyanira “Deya” Zavala (Denver, CO)
Executive Director, Mile High Connects
As Executive Director, Deyanira Zavala leads the development and implementation of Mile High Connects’ strategic direction. She is responsible for fundraising and relationship management to advance the Mile High Connects collective priorities. Prior to joining Mile High Connects, Deyanira dedicated her career to supporting aspiring Black, Latinx and immigrant entrepreneurs in Colorado and Texas as a pathway to community asset & wealth building. She also brings national experience having worked with NALCAB- National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, where she facilitated a variety of community economic development projects in support of member organizations, including resource development and capacity building activities. Deyanira is the first in her family to graduate from high school and college, holding a Masters of Public Administration from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Arlington. Deyanira is trained Technology of Participation (ToP) facilitator and alumni of the NALCAB Fellowship and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Elevate Fellowship programs. She currently serves on the RTD Accountability Committee, Reimagine RTD Community Advisory Group, and the Denver COVID-19 Mobility Task Force.
Jill Locantore (Denver, CO)
Executive Director, Denver Streets Partnership
Jill Locantore is Executive Director of the Denver Streets Partnership, a coalition of community groups advocating for people-friendly streets. Previously, Jill was the Executive Director of the pedestrian advocacy organization WalkDenver, which merged with Bicycle Colorado in 2020 to fully staff the Denver Streets Partnership as a division of Bicycle Colorado focused on reclaiming Denver’s streets for people. Jill also worked previously for the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments where she supported regional efforts to coordinate land use and transportation planning. Throughout her planning career, Jill has focused on the intersection of land use and transportation with environmental sustainability, economic development, public health, and social justice issues, and has built a reputation as an important advocate and spokesperson for human-centered transportation and its key role in building healthy communities. Jill has a Masters degree in community planning from the University of Maryland, as well as a Masters degree in cognitive psychology from the University of Toronto.
Areli Carreón (Mexico City, Mexico)
Areli is a longtime activist and a founder of Bicitekas A.C., an organization that promotes the use of bicycles in Mexico City and lobbies for policy change around cycling and urban mobility.
Areli studied Rural Development at the UAM Xochimilco She’s an environmentalist, founding member of Bicitekas A.C. and currently serves as the “Bike Mayor” of #CDMX, an honorary position created by the Dutch innovation lab BYCS in order to promote cycling around the world. Their goal is to create a network of 100 bicycle mayors who shift urban traveling to more than 50% by bike by the year 2030.
Ivan de la Lanza (Mexico City, Mexico)
Iván is the Active Mobility Manager at WRI México - Ciudades. He’s in charge of supplying technical advice and managing the cities for the development of pedestrian projects, cycling, and micro-mobility, as part of the integrated transportation network, public spaces recovery, and safety.
Previously, he was the Manager of Culture, Design and Cycling Infrastructure in CDMX, an area specifically created for the implementation of the Bicycle Mobility Strategy, which was responsible for the implementation of the system of public bikes EcoBici, the building of ciclovias and bike parking, as well as operating the “Sunday Ride” and “Bike Schools”. He has a Degree in Administration at the UVM and has participated as a panelist in several forums and international conferences.
Mile High Connects & local partner Denver Streets Partnership joined Biennial of the Americas and Shared Studios for a special conversation on “Ciclovias” and mobility models from across the Americas. Share what you learned from the session with us!
COVID-19 has acutely demonstrated that everyone needs to live in safe and healthy communities – communities that advance economic opportunity, prevent residential, commercial and cultural displacement, build on local assets, promote mobility and connectivity, and enable equitable access to planning, development, and decision-making. Our work now is to collaboratively navigate escalating risks while continuing to lay the foundation for a new system paradigm – one that we have been working for all along.
Mile High Connects is taking a stand for an equitable, resilient Metro Denver where community-driven solutions are at the center of transformative change. In order to increase equitable investment into community-centered solutions, we are committing to:
strengthen community leadership and development with financial resources and technical assistance,
institutionalize equitable development through advocacy and practice, and
activate and deploy equitable capital for catalytic projects that will influence and leverage public investments while preserving place
Based on years of deep engagement in community, and the continued generous support of The Denver Foundation, the Piton Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Wells Fargo and US Bank, we have recommitted our program work to three local geographies that experience persistent trauma, inequitable allocation of resources, and are most at risk of displacement pressures – Southwest Adams County, West Denver, and East Denver. Leveraging continued support from the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), a multi-city national cohort of regional collaboratives, our goal is to increase equitable investment into community-driven solutions by 2023.
Community ownership is a critical opportunity in this moment and its success will rely upon connected, informed and organized communities with strong leadership. Work across our target geographies will focus on building community development infrastructure and leadership development. In West Denver, for example, we will support the growth of their Community Connector program established to get folks connected to resources in response to the health and financial crises. In Southwest Adams County, we will support the design and development of a community organizing institute. We will also explore Community Investment Trust (CIT) models and identify local opportunities to implement a pilot.
Critically, in our effort to institutionalize equitable development, we will identify policy gaps and opportunities brought to light by COVID-19 and recent social unrest, and advocate for local, state and national policies that reduce displacement of residents and businesses. We plan to influence local and regional planning efforts to support the application of an equity lens in every decision made. We will also sponsor and promote existing Community Benefits Agreement (CBAs) efforts across our region.
Capital is a crucial piece of the community ownership puzzle, and we are committed to the equitable deployment of it. Mile High Connects will continue to support pre-development efforts in West Denver along Morrison Road to support BuCu West in creating a business corridor that preserves culture and place. We will also support the development of Montbello’s grocery-store-anchored cultural hub that includes affordable rental housing. Over in East Denver, with compounded displacement pressures at play, we will align resources and partners to create and preserve affordable housing units.
As our community partners focus both on recovery efforts and the long-term root cause remedies to systemic oppression, we stand where the acute meets the chronic. We have an opportunity to reimagine the way forward, one that unlocks community power, promotes racial equity, rebalances our economic structures, and ensures housing for all.
Community has a central stake and role to play in its own wellbeing, from community participation in climate action to addressing socio-economic distress, and now, to mitigating the multi-dimensional consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. As communities tackle the challenges brought forth by the health crisis, there is much to be gained from unlocking the democratic and transformational potential of engaged & organized communities.
The diverse Montbello neighborhood in northeast Denver stands as a living testament to the benefits of an organized community, and how it is an essential ingredient to addressing response solutions. Fueled by support from the Kresge Foundation to develop innovative approaches to economic development, cultural expression and health through food-oriented development, Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC) has been working with local community partners over the past three years on the FreshLo initiative, a community center and housing project anchored in a community vision for fresh, healthy food and rooted by community partnerships. When COVID-19 struck the neighborhood comprised of Latino and Black residents, many of which are less likely to work from home and face higher health disparities, MOC’s community partnership pivoted to act quickly to address new, acute community needs in the face of chronic issues. This collaborative work proved to be foundational in positioning the community to respond immediately and effectively to the consequences of COVID-19.
As schools closed, people lost their jobs and others became sick, some of the existing local food programs had to shut down operations since many of their volunteers were considered “high risk” and were encouraged to stay at home. As Donna Garnett, Executive Director of MOC, got word that schools and the municipal building that served food twice a week were closing, she notes that within 24 hours, MOC sprang into action in partnership with the Struggle of Love Foundation (SOLF) and Academy 360 (A360) to engage a more robust distribution system of food and essential goods. Within three weeks, they went from serving 100 people per day to serving over 700!
The coordinated response efforts of MOC and its partners reveals how this community has, over time, developed the infrastructure and trust to create a sense of place and connection. The strength of this neighborhood is essential in how community can weather hardship, recover, and sustain through democratic processes, strong community leaders, and integrated food, art, and culture initiatives. Beyond the emergency response, this well connected, mobilized community is looking to the future of further food insecurity and shortages to create a sustained approach to fresh food access by working with their partners to support more backyard farming.
As Donna reflects the last few months, she notes Montbello is not alone. “There are pockets of networks all around Denver metro. We must find them and coordinate with them. Competition will be the death of us. We need to find a way to reach across the gaps of communication and work together. We are only successful when every link in the chain is successful.” Further, she highlights the importance of the work of MHC, as it is “all about making these vital connections to make every community viable, where people can live healthily and vitally.”
For more information about MOC and its collective response efforts in community, check out their latest Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition (MUSE), especially the article “Montbello During COVID-19, Feeding the Community Through Partnerships.”
Like Deya, I too have struggled to find words to express my feelings over the last three months. They started in fear and frustration at the outset of COVID-19, and turned to grief, anger, and sadness in the wake of the murders of Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and most recently George Floyd at the hands of the police. Both the pandemic and the protests exposed two things: deep structural inequities and systemic racism that black and brown communities have experienced for years. Neither is a new issue; they’re why Mile High Connects exists – to combat these issues in the Denver Metro Region. However, what is hopefully different in this moment, is that both issues are simultaneously on display, drawing attention and support from Americans across the country, capturing our collective attention.
Could it be that this pandemic has provided an opening, through which we can all move and reimagine our recovery together? My deepest hope is yes, and that Mile High Connects has a key role to play here as a steward of that process, to listen and support, which makes it truly exciting to be a part of this collaborative effort.
Since our beginnings as an organization in 2011, we have been committed to examining and increasing equity through many lenses: economic, health, racial and environmental. While this focus is not new to us, the events in the recent months serve as an important reminder that in order to truly move the needle towards a more equitable region, we must lead with racial equity and be much more explicit in that. We need to be able to recognize, name, and understand our role in perpetuating historical inequities in our communities as an important first step.
Up to now, I think we’ve shown that we can talk the talk, but as many leaders have pointed out, it’s time to get beyond talking. Equity is action. Can we also walk the walk? I would say yes, and the contents of this newsletter demonstrate that both our partners and our staff strive to walk with the communities we serve. With Deya’s leadership, we are definitely moving in the right direction. However, the current governing body (me included) is over 60% white, which means we still have work to do. The next step is being willing to ask some tough questions of ourselves: Are we structured in a way that truly represents the communities we serve? How can we continue to uphold racial equity and center black and brown communities in our work? What does a just recovery truly look like? Are we best positioned to take the organization and the Denver metro region from where it is currently, to justice, and eventually resilience?
I’d like to end with our Inspiration to Action, which is present in all the updates that follow and serves as a guiding force behind all we do. Let’s truly take advantage of this moment, and walk forward together.
Our Inspiration to Action:
A racially equitable, resilient Denver Region where community driven solutions are atthe center of transformative systems change.
Chair of MHC Steering Committee
VP, Community Development Officer, Wells Fargo Foundation
Posted on October 5, 2016 by Mile High Connects in Newsletters
Affordable Housing & Community Facilities
Know an Organization or Business in Need of Space?
According to the 2015 Nonprofit Space Survey Final Report, published in June, many nonprofit and for-profit community-benefiting organizations and small businesses in the Denver metro area successfully negotiated lease rates during the recession that will soon end. Surveyed nonprofit respondents reported currently paying on average $11.57 per square foot, while market rates in Metro Denver were $21.45 per square foot for Class B space as of the close of Q2 2016. MHC is launching a Tenant Pipeline with our partner, Denver Shared Spaces, to strategically connect community-oriented businesses, social enterprises and nonprofits with affordable commercial space, thinking ahead to future needs and availability. This is the first program of its kind to systematically support the space needs of organizations and small businesses that are so important to our community. Do you know of an organization who could benefit from participating in this program? Please contact Megan Yonke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicated Revenue Fund for Affordable Housing Established
On September 19, MHC and many of our partners celebrated a historic moment in Denver history! After more than 18 months of discussions, debates, analysis, and stakeholder gatherings, the Denver City Council voted 9-4 in favor of passing Council Bill 16-0625 – a bill that creates a dedicated revenue fund to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing in Denver. The Fund, capitalized with a combination of property taxes and impact fees on new real estate development, will generate approximately $150 million over the next ten years and is expected to create and preserve at least 6,000 affordable homes for low income residents of Denver.
Business, Local Workforce, and Middle Skilled Jobs
Learning Cohort for Anchor Institutions
The work of MHC and The Denver Foundation around engaging major institutions in creating community benefit continues to grow. In 2017, we will convene a year-long group for local anchor institutions committed to engaging the communities in which they hold deep roots. These anchors – universities, hospitals, governments and other institutions with long-rooted investments – recognize the wealth of potential they hold and are eager to learn from each other about how to connect with their communities. The learning cohort will focus not only why anchor are vital institutions but how they can engage in anchor institution work. We’ll explore how to effectively support local businesses through contracting, training opportunities that support local hire programs, and opportunities to maximize local investment through community development. Anchors will walk away with an understanding of what it takes to build a solid anchor mission framework.
First & Last Mile Connections
Invest Health Convening
Five-person teams from 50 mid-sized American cities gathered in Denver September 28-30 at the Invest Health Second National Convening. Invest Health grants are awarded by the Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help municipalities and their partners design and implement projects that enhance health and equity through infrastructure investments. As a member of the Westminster team (which includes the City of Westminster, Adams County, Tri-County Health Department and Regis University), MHC worked closely with the funders’ staff in the months prior to the convening to design the program. MHC partners Felicia Griffin (FRESC), Neha Mahajan (9 To 5) and Lizeth Chacon (Colorado People’s Alliance) were featured on a panel to discuss effective strategies for community engagement and participation. Executive Director Dace West provided a practical perspective to presentations about developing collaborative frameworks and financing strategies that highlighted the work of the organization in the Denver region. DRCOG staff offered demonstrations of the on-line Regional Equity Atlas and Development Project Pipeline (under development as part of the Capital Absorption Project) created in collaboration with MHC.
Posted on October 5, 2016 by Mile High Connects in Newsletters
Cultivando works in the Promotora Model across South Adams County to foster and support community-driven affordable housing advocacy and policy solutions. Cultivando Promotoras work to organize and train community members living in mobile home parks and vulnerable affordable housing units to understand the pressure on their housing costs and to understand and identify solutions, and then to advocate collaboratively with decision-makers. Simultaneously and informed by community, Cultivando staff advocates to local decision makers about inclusive policies and practices that both include diverse community members in decision making AND push for long-term, creative affordable housing options that meet the needs of mixed-documentation status families and others.
Cultivando believes that the best policies are community-driven, and that those impacted by inequality and health disparities MUST be at the table in order to create effective solutions. Our communities will only benefit from transportation and housing improvements IF they can access them and afford them.
Posted on September 7, 2016 by Mile High Connects in Newsletters
Affordable Housing & Community Facilities
Affordable Housing Revenue Fund
The City of Denver’s proposed Affordable Housing Revenue Fund has taken a major step forward. The proposal, estimated to provide $156 million in revenue over its first 10 years, passed unanimously thru City Council Committee on August 24th by unanimous vote and is headed to the full City Council floor. The proposal will be heard by the full City Council on September 12th. The final vote and 1 hour of public comment will occur on September 19th at 5:30 pm. MHC and many of its Steering Committee partners have been actively engaged in this 18 month process, working with the City to establish this much needed resource as well as the governance and eligible uses of its resources. Denver Residents are encouraged to sign an endorsement letter created by the city and/or leave feedback for the city on the housing proposal using this link.
Recent updates to the Fund:
· Mayor Hancock has committed to using $5 million from the general fund in the first year to ensure a full $15 million of available funds.
· ADU’s and other additions under 400 sq. ft. are exempted from the development fee
Our June 2016 grant cycle was the most competitive to date with 21 applications from groups and organizations throughout the Denver Region. After sharing back the information gleaned from site visits and engaging in robust discussions, the MHC Grant Fund Committee chose to fund 10 organizations, including an emerging resident group from Lakewood. MHC is excited to announce the 2016 grantees:
Cultivando (formerly Community Enterprise) | Grant Amount: $22,000
Project Description: Cultivando will focus on a promotora-led community education, engagement, and collective advocacy on affordable housing, gentrification, accessible/affordable transit and community-driven policies that protect low-income families from displacement. They will work with agency partners and community members to amplify community-driven policy solutions to the complex problems of affordable housing.
Colorado Jobs with Justice | Grant Amount: $25,000
Project Description: Colorado Jobs with Justice will build on the grassroots organizing that they initiated with their coalition members last year for an income-based fare and pass program. They will also build the capacity of their members to speak and take on leadership roles within the work and integrate the work into their Fair Chance and Caring Across Generations Campaign to engage formerly incarcerated individuals, elderly, disabled, and home care providers.
Colorado People’s Alliance (formerly Rights for All People) | Grant Amount: $22,000
Project Description: Colorado People’s Alliance will continue their work on the income-based pass, 50% discount for those living at or below 150% of the poverty level. They also will lead the work on protecting critical bus routes in Original Aurora. And given their transition from Rights for All People to COPA, they will work to connect the transit work to the larger strategies aimed at the economy.
Colorado Cross Disability Coalition | Grant Amount: $22,000
Project Description: Colorado Cross Disability Coalition will continue their data-driven transportation focused advocacy for people with disabilities. This includes training current advocates and community outreach to secure positions for people with disabilities in decision-making spaces on policies.
GES Right to Live Well | Grant Amount: $22,000
Project Description: GES Right to Live Well will convene a collaborative, GES Development without Displacement Nonprofit Coalition, which is comprised of GES community leaders, allies, and stakeholders to launch a GES-based Housing Campaign and Resident Leadership Organizing Committee. The Committee will build community owned solutions centered on the most critical issues identified by GES neighbors: affordable housing, affordable transportation, and protection of the unique community.
Growing Home | Grant Amount: $22,000
Project Description: Growing Home will continue to implement its Bocks of Hope project with the leadership of its community organizer. It will expand outreach to the community to address changes due to the TOD and resulting impacts on the local housing market.
Los Gables (resident group) | Grant Amount: $10,000
Project Description: Veronica Jimenez, Guadalupe Gonzales, and Yolanda Hernandez propose to engage residents/mothers from the Gables Zone in advocating for bus stops and increased bus frequency in the neighborhood.
Montbello Organizing Committee | Grant Amount: $20,000
Project Description: Montbello Organizing Committee will continue to ensure that Montbello residents have access to transit offerings that connect them to housing, healthy food, education, and jobs.
Project VOYCE | Grant Amount: $22,000
Project Description: Project VOYCE will initiative a youth Block Captain leadership development and community organizing project in GES to develop a campaign focused on improving access to affordable housing, affordable and equitable transportation access, development, and community renewal.
Streetsblog Denver | Grant Amount: $16,540
Project Description: Through a part-time reporter Streetsblog Denver will expand its focus on transit issues, including housing, workforce, and equity as well as research and write longer, more investigative pieces on transit and Denver’s growth.
First & Last Mile Connections
On August 15, the City and County of Denver opened a two-way parking protected bikeway between Virginia and Bayaud on Broadway. The opening of the Broadway Bikeway demonstration project is the culmination of an extensive planning and public engagement process. It will be open for three months and will provide data about multi-modal operations on this vital transportation route that will inform the development of permanent protected bike lanes. This is a critical link to downtown for bicycle commuters and serves as a connection to the Alameda Light Rail Station. Cyclists are encouraged to ride the bikeway and provide feedback to the City by completing the survey at denvermovesbroadway.com/survey. For more information about the project visit denvermovesbroadway.com.
Denveright Denveright is an effort by the City and County of Denver to comprehensively plan its future through a community-driven process. It consists of four integrated plans.
• Blueprint Denver – Blueprint promotes urban design goals that result in a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly environment, increased transit service on major corridors, shared parking in business districts and more housing in mixed-use areas. This update will continue the work that began 15 years ago with the original Blueprint and help the City meet changing demands and conditions.
• Parks Game Plan – The Game Plan emphasizes the vision of “a city in a park” and a set of core values: the environment, engagement, equity and sound economics. It focuses on providing quality recreational amenities citywide, especially in the neighborhoods that need them most. The plan revision will define new parks and recreation centers, relevant programs, and how existing assets are maintained and enhanced in the face of financial constraints, climate change, shifting demographics and increased use.
• Denver Moves: Pedestrians and Trails – This plan will help make walking a viable primary way for people to get around comfortably and safely. With guidance and input from the community, the plan will identify citywide needs and define priorities for improving and connecting Denver’s pedestrian and off-street trail network. It also will examine costs, funding options and policies required to achieve the community’s vision.
• Denver Moves: Transit – For the first time, and with input from the community, Denver is planning for local transit choices and improvements to move people around town safely and reliably. This plan will create a local vision that will build on and complement RTD’s regional system. It also will take a closer look at implementation strategies and funding options for local transit improvements.
Mile High Connects serves on Blueprint Denver task forces and the two Denver Moves task forces. Denveright provides an important opportunity to shape the future of the City and ensure opportunity for everyone who lives and works here. There will be a series of surveys that provide opportunities for input by the entire community. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to learn more about Denveright and provide their opinions here.