Neighborhoods_Stapleton_5.jpg

Adam McCoyAdam McCoyDecember 13, 20173min1063

What’s in a name? While some people might hear Stapleton and think of the old Denver airport or the burgeoning Denver neighborhood, others cringe at its origins.

Named after the five-term Denver Mayor Benjamin Stapleton starting in the 1920s — and member of the Ku Klux Klan who helped position Klan members throughout city government —  some Denverites have in the past unsuccessfully tried to spur a name change. During the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, the Klan had its hand in every pocket of state and city government, the Colorado Independent reports.

However, there’s promising movement for proponents of a name change. Signage was recently removed from the shopping center at East 29th Avenue and Quebec Street, though Forest City Stapleton Vice President Tom Gleason, the upscale infill neighborhood’s developer, downplayed any perceived significance, Denverite reports.

Community forums were also set up earlier this week to discuss a name change. They were hosted by Nita Mosby Tyler of the Equity Project, an expert in driving difficult conversations surrounding race and diversity. The meetings will “inform the next steps, but they won’t determine it,” according to Denverite.

The time might be right considering the national atmosphere and focus on removing symbols of our history with origins in racism. However, there are still residents on the other side of the discussion. Even the leaders behind the movement argue there are more important issues to tackle, as Denverite notes:

“Changing the name is more symbolic than substantive,” said Gregory Diggs, a leader in Rename St*pleton. “My personal position is that there’s a lot of more meaningful work that needs to be done on housing and programming and relationships and education than changing the name. But if people don’t want to change the name, how can that more substantive work be done?”

 


Main_Campaign_Photo.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 16, 20173min3111

The state treasurer’s race has a new contender, Democrat Bernard Douthit. He cited his background in business and his education in finance, accounting and economics as reasons to choose him from an ever-crowding field in next year’s election.

“You wouldn’t hire a plumber to fix your teeth, and you shouldn’t hire a career politician to manage our money,” Douthit said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “The state treasurer manages a portfolio of $6.5 billion and provides important leadership and expertise to a number of important organizations including PERA and the state Medicaid program.”

A Colorado businessman for 25 years, Douthit grew up in Fort Collins and has lived in the Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood since 2003, according to his website.

“Colorado needs a state treasurer with a deep knowledge of finance and accounting, and experience building and running businesses in this state, to face the challenges of an underfunded PERA system in addition to working with the legislature to solve key priorities like financing for infrastructure and education,” Douthit said.

He cites no previous experience as a candidate for public office.

Douthit joins a Democratic primary that already includes state Rep. Steve Lebsock of Thornton. The Republican field is much more crowded: state Reps. Polly Lawrence of Roxborough Park and Justin Everett of Littleton, as well as Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn are in the race. Sen. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud and Brett Barkey, the district attorney for Grand, Moffat and Routt counties, have also announced they’re running.

Incumbent Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican, is term-limited and expected to run for governor next year.

Douthit said in a press release Wednesday afternoon that taxpayers are frustrated with inaccurate government projections “that have negatively affected the state’s finances as demonstrating the importance of his financial, accounting and economic background.”

“Leveraging my broad business background in both small and large companies, I want to collaborate with state leaders to ensure our money is being invested, tracked and spent as wisely as possible,” he stated.