Message from CHUN Leadership
Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to the Urban Dweller...the Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods monthly e-newsletter. Here is the latest from one of Denver’s oldest and largest neighborhood organizations and community advocates:
Special thanks to Annie Robb Levinsky. Earlier this month, CHUN and the CHUN History Matters Committee issued a letter of gratitude to Historic Denver acknowledging the service and leadership of Annie Robb Levinsky. CHUN worked closely with Annie for nearly two decades in her capacities at the organization. Collectively, we celebrate her years of service and her steadfast commitment to Denver's historic and architectural treasures. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.
CHUN Loves our Parks and Open Spaces. Join the Denver Park Trust, CHUN, and other community partners on Thursday, July 21st for a cleanup day at Cheesman Park followed by a free community celebration at City Park Pavilion. Spots are limited, so sign up soon by visiting denverparktrust.org/prtt. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independence Eve a Great Success. Congratulations to the Civic Center Conservancy, Colorado Symphony, and the City and County of Denver for organizing a successful Independence Eve at Civic Center Park on July 3rd. It was marvelous seeing tens of thousands of people gathered in one of Denver's iconic public spaces for this festive evening.
Let's get the Colfax Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) moving along. Please attend the Colfax BRT Community Open House Tuesday, August 2 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Carla Madison Recreation Center Multipurpose Room 2401 E Colfax Ave. Following the presentation, you are invited to engage with project team members in an open house format. The BRT has been a subject of conversation and planning for years. We hope to see more progress from the project management team and city in the coming months. If you cannot attend in person, attend ONLINE HERE.
Adopt a pet today. In case you missed it, our partners at the Denver Animal Shelter have hit capacity. To help find animals a permanent, loving home, the shelter has taken steps to help make adoption possible for households throughout the metro. Visit some adorable animals and find your new best friend! View our adoptable animals at www.denveranimalshelter.org.
Colfax Avenue Happenings. CHUN conducted a community webinar and conversation about upcoming developments and other current events along Colfax Avenue. June's webinar welcomed Frank Locantore, Executive Director of the Colfax Ave. Business Improvement District, Commander Kimberly Bowser of Denver Police District 6, and Brian Toerber and Jeff Bader, who are leading efforts to revitalize the All Inn Motel. Subsequent to this discussion, plans for the All Inn Motel were approved by Denver City Council on June 20.
Tears-McFarlane House. A number of you have reached out concerning the next phase of the Tears-McFarlane House. Renovations and much needed repairs on the historic mansion are currently underway. We are concerned with the significant delays at the city vis-a-vis permitting, site development review, and the like. As has been reported in the media, projects like the this are taking more than two years to move through the city processes. Unfortunately, the Tears-McFarlane has also been impacted by this; the delays are further complicated by labor shortages and supply chain issues.
Team is in place. The CHUN team is working hard to schedule events, meet with stakeholders and members, and engage the community in an even more meaningful way. You will see Katie and John delivering window clings to our small business and nonprofit partner members. The board and staff have also scheduled a Denver Days Social Hour, our annual fundraising event in the Autumn, and we are developing an online forum about the state of homelessness throughout Greater Capitol Hill and Denver. Details will be released soon. It is great to see CHUN at a staffing level that will allow us to be even more responsive to the community and deepen our relationships with allies and stakeholders.
With boosts in our staff and board capacity, that means you will be hearing from our team more. To that end, this will be the last CHUN update authored by me. I will be shifting my focus to other endeavors. This will include wrapping up my final term as board president and working to ensure the staff and board are well positioned for continued success. As many of you know, CHUN was effectively bankrupt five years ago. We shifted to an "all volunteer" model of operation. I am proud, and excited, to write that we are a 53 year old organization that is guided by staff, board, and volunteers.
Travis Leiker, MPA
President, Board of Directors
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, Inc.
P.S. July is membership month at CHUN. If your membership has lapsed, please consider renewing today. If you are new to CHUN or the greater Capitol Hill Community, sign up HERE.
Member of the Month
CHUN Volunteer and Support Opportunities
Please Support Our Neighbors who have Food Insecurity
CHUN News and Events
Connect with CHUN Neighbors during Denver Days on Saturday, July 30
In the spirit of the Denver Days celebration of community that runs from July 30th - August 7th, CHUN will be hosting a community get-together at the Ritual Social House, 1209 East 13th Avenue, on Saturday, July 30th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. CHUN will be providing light bites and there will be a cash bar. We'd love for you to join us for an afternoon of great wine, nibbles and conversation.
By getting to know one another, we can build a stronger sense of community and feel safer and more connected to the neighborhoods we call home.
Watch your email and our social media sites for location and further details.
CHUN to Co-host Webinar with Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
Tears-McFarlane Mansion Gets Fresh Paint and Shutters
CHUN June Webinar Discusses Three Local Projects
CHUN Partners with Colorado Rapids for August 20th Game
CHUN Committee Reports
Vickie Berkley met with CHUN ‘s new Executive Director, John Deffenbaugh, to discuss several goals that the Community Engagement Committee had set for this year. One goal is to offer Diversity, Inclusion and Equity training to CHUN board members. Another goal is to secure additional sponsorship for the SEED Awards. Vickie invited John to attend the next CE Committee meeting in July, which he plans to attend.
Debbie Young will include a story about CHUN’s Little Free Pantry in the upcoming Urban Dweller. The Little Free Pantry, located at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 915 E. 9th Ave, provides an opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors that are experiencing food insecurity. Please consider donating nonperishable food items and placing them in the pantry.
One of the ways that CHUN invests in the community is through CHUN’s SEED Awards. Now in its fourth year, the SEED Awards encourage civic entrepreneurship and community engagement by providing financial support for projects that align with the mission and values of CHUN as well as enhance the quality of life for those who live within the greater Capitol Hill Community. A call for applications will be announced in early fall.
Historic Denver: CHUN History Matters sent a thank you and acknowledgement letter for the service and partnership with former Historic Denver Executive Director Annie Levinsky.
Tour of Curtis Park: Several History Matters committee members took a May 23 history walk in Curtis Park/Five Points led by CHUN Board member and St. Francis Center employee, Amanda Pennington. It was inclusive and equitable. We gained a great deal of perspective on homelessness and diversity. We are looking to support Amanda in her outreach and are discussing future walking tours of Curtis Park. Peggy Randall will be a point of contact with Community Engagement committee on homelessness and diversity.
At the July 2nd Urban Planning virtual meeting, Representative Steven Woodrow of House District 6 kicked off with a review of the housing bills that were passed through the legislature this session. Due to the windfall of federal pandemic money, the legislature was able to make progress in several areas regarding affordable housing.
Next, Ideal Market at 11th and Ogden presented plans for a second mural on their building. They presented a rendering showing fresh fruits and vegetables with a theme of healthy community. The Urban Planning committee voted unanimously to recommend to the board to send a letter of support for the mural.
Finally, we heard from DOTI about the “pay as you throw” program, which will bill residential trash customers for landfill pickup based on the size of the black trash canswith weekly composting and recycling pickup free of charge. This is a complicated program that will require a significant educational component, including outreach to customers who will qualify for discounted or waived fees. The committee voted in support, however any further action is moot as the program was passed Monday by city council.
Update regarding the All In Motel: On June 20, City Council approved Tax Increment Financing for the renovation and new building at the All In, which will include a swimming pool as a neighborhood amenity. All In’s principal investor, Brian Torber, said “The motel is currently 80% vacant and the remaining 8 individuals are scheduled for relocation by end of July, then the motel will be officially closed for renovations. We’ll secure the building for redevelopment as we finalize our construction and lender engagements, which we’re actively working through now given the results of last nights’ hearing. The construction schedule is approximately 18 months, which targets our reopening in Q1 of 2024.”
Denver and Colorado News and Events
Colfax Avenue Gets a Cool New Bike Corral
East 17th Ave Reopened
Just Hop on Board - RTD is free in August
East Colfax Bus Rapid Transit Community Open House
The East Colfax Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project has made great strides. In the past several months, the team has refined the BRT station design, developed initial streetscape plans and completed the traffic and parking analyses for the project. We’re excited to share all of this – and more – at our next Community Open House on Tuesday, August 2 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Carla Madison Recreation Center or via Zoom.
A Summer Block Party
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