Adam McCoyAdam McCoyDecember 29, 20173min2119

The election isn’t until May 2019, but one community activist is already eyeing Albus Brooks’ seat on the Denver City Council.

Denverite has the report about Candi CdeBaca, founder of the Cross Community Coalition and executive director of Project VOYCE, who told the online news outlet her decision to file paperwork to run for District 9 was centered on gentrification in the city. More so, an interview Brooks gave Colorado Public Radio on gentrification following the Ink! Coffee controversy spurred her to file.

Here’s more from Denverite’s Erica Meltzer:

“He didn’t understand the nuances of involuntary displacement,” she said. “That is directly connected to his power and his purview. He should know all of the ins and outs of it.”

In particular, she was struck by a comment Brooks made that displacement doesn’t affect homeowners.

“Displacement is not in the homeownership category,” Brooks said. “It’s in the rental category and someone cannot afford what their landowner is jacking up the price with, right? And so, that is something that we are working very hard on.”

Brooks has served on the council since 2011, representing a district that encompasses downtown Denver, Five Points and Globeville and Elyria-Swansea. In the midst of battling cancer, Brooks was selected as council president by his peers in 2016.

CdeBaca, who grew up in Elyria-Swansea, told Denverite she opposes the I-70 expansion project and wants to alter the city’s approach to development and growth, Denverite writes. She noted her winning alone wouldn’t effect the change she wants, but rather a slew of like-minded candidates for council and a “strong candidate for mayor” would

Read Denverite’s full report here.


Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 6, 20175min972

Uber driver Casper Stockham ran for Congress and lost last year, but he hasn’t lost sight of a campaign promise to help build up Five Points around the families who settled there.

A first-timer, Stockham didn’t know enough about campaigning, how to get his message out and how to raise the millions of dollars in local and national support to knock off a well-financed incumbent, Diana DeGette, in a safely drawn Democratic district in Denver. Predictably, he got about 28 percent of the vote.

But there’s not much you can teach Stockham about the challenges of the inner city or question his devotion to helping solve them. He ran last year on the promise to help make Five Points great again, but great for the existing businesses and nearby neighborhoods that made it great the last time around, rather than pricing them out by catering to outside money and redevelopment.

I wasn’t surprised, then, to get a statement of his beliefs about the ink! coffee shop controversy and gentrification.

Stockham says there are solutions to allow gentrification balanced against opportunities to preserve and strengthen traditional neighborhoods. He said local officials and the government system have failed to do that.

“If the protesters win, we lose a viable business in the community. If the winds of gentrification win, we lose diverse communities that the city was built upon,” he said. “Gentrification without community opportunity has citizens at odds with the very same policies and political leaders they vote for year after year.

“Gentrification never affects healthy communities, so a healthy community should be the focus.”

He added, “We must address the problem, not the symptoms.”

Stockham said if he was governor — could he run? — he would release a five-point plan “that would provide real solutions to problems in the inner city and rural communities, like high unemployment, high crime, homelessness, sex trafficking and the lack of access to resources and prosperity.”

Here’s his plan:

  1. “Identify a community solutions director and staff.”
  2. “Identify organizations and resources that are already doing good work.”
  3. “Work with local community leaders who want to see real positive change.”
  4. “Create Empowerment Purpose Centers in the inner city and rural areas.”
  5. “Remove government red tape that would stop any of the above from happening.”

On his website, Stockham hints, “The 2018 gubernatorial race in Colorado is going to come down to big money on the left or right and we the people. We can choose the status quo and see very little to no change for the better or We The People can choose to move our state forward in a positive and beneficial way!”

To jump in the governor’s race at this point– with eight mostly better-known Republicans already in –would be futile, but nobody has ever accused Casper Stockham of being afraid of long odds. Good candidates who run and lose too often, however, have a hard time getting traction and money when the time is right.

An Air Force veteran, good speaker and an effortlessly likable person, Stockham has something to offer the public discourse from a working man’s conservative point of view. I ran into him at the Western Conservative Summit this summer and asked if he was thinking about any races a few notches down from Congress or perhaps in a district where a Republican has a sporting chance. He said he wouldn’t aim low, whatever he does next.

If he runs for something and makes promises, he wants to be able to deliver and make a real difference.


Ramsey ScottRamsey ScottJune 28, 20166min437

The Denver neighborhood of Westwood, separated from most of the city by the South Platte River, is set to have its first neighborhood plan approved by the city in 30 years. The hope of both residents and leaders is the plan will address issues facing an underserved part of the city and be the starting point for rejuvenating a unique neighborhood. Westwood sits in the southwest part of Denver with Sheridan Boulevard on the west, Federal Boulevard on the east, Alameda Avenue on the north and Mississippi Avenue on the south. And it has issues ranging from a lack of good open spaces and trail and bike connectivity to lack of access to grocery stores and a clear vision for the neighborhood as it's developed since the last plan.