Message From the President
Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this message finds you in good health. Urban Dweller, Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods' (CHUN) monthly e-newsletter, is available online. Here is the latest from Denver's largest, oldest registered neighborhood organization and advocate:
New Policy Platform shapes future of CHUN. CHUN's Board of Directors adopted a new policy platform to guide organizational priorities, engagement and partnership opportunities, and public policy initiatives. Our longstanding mission has focused on preserving the past, improving the present, and planning for the future of Denver's greater Capitol Hill community. The platform addresses ten categories ranging from environmental sustainability and historic preservation to neighborhood collaboration and inclusivity. It is through each category that we intend to take action and follow best practices consistent with the organization's mission and values.
CHUN and City Street Investors ink 1290 Williams partnership. After 4 years of due diligence and a HUGE amount of work, CHUN and City Street Investors closed on a joint venture partnership making us co-owners of Denver’s historic Tears-McFarlane property at 1290 Williams Street. In 1962, the Denver Post proclaimed the Tears-McFarlane dining room as “one of the loveliest in the city” with its prominent position and magnificent views of Cheesman Park. Thanks to this partnership, CHUN and CSI will be able to restore the house to its former glory while providing neighborhood-serving office space and amenities, including a café. The partnership gives CHUN the financial ability to establish an endowment that will fund our operations and community investments in perpetuity.
CHUN calls for Denver-wide solutions to address homelessness; leans into neighborly behaviors. A legal suit against Colorado Village Collaborative, Park Hill United Methodist Church, et al was dismissed by a Denver judge last month. Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, along with our partners at the RiNo Arts District and Uptown on the Hill, issued a public statement calling for civility and encouraging Denverites to be "...solutions oriented at the neighborhood level...” further citing measurable successes demonstrated by the two, pilot temporary safe outdoor sites in the greater Capitol Hill community. Vexing city issues require Denver-wide solutions and neighborhood cooperation.
CHUN joins community partners at city-wide forum to discuss temporary SOS model. Denver Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation is hosting a public forum about the Safe Outdoor Space program that is providing temporary shelter for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Denver. The forum will explore questions such as: How do temporary Safe Outdoor Spaces affect neighborhoods as they provide shelter and services for their residents? How does this approach fit in with the range of other approaches to help with homelessness? Panelists will include Councilperson Robin Kniech, Cole Chandler, Tina Axelrad, Travis Leiker, Judy Trompeter, and Mark Montes.
A new model for negotiating neighborhood planning outcomes. Last month, Denver City Council rejected the landmark designation application for 123 Speer. When the landmark applicants and sellers of the property reached an impasse, CHUN negotiated a memorandum of understanding with PMG Holdings calling for a neighborhood working group to shape the future of this site. The parties agreed to thoughtfully collaborate and conceptualize opportunities for the site including, small business recruitment, attainable/affordable housing, smart street design, traffic study, potential adaptive reuse, and a number of other areas. We grew concerned with the discourse taking place, and as I told the Denver Post "..we are putting together what could be a model for future sites, both in the greater Capitol Hill community and in the city and county of Denver...when neighbors work together the city wins.” Refraining from absolutes and engaging in thoughtful dialogue its how municipal governance works. Now, the important work of ideation and community feedback begins. CHUN is excited to be a part of this conversation.
History Matters Shines Light on Smart Development AND Historic Preservation. Our History Matters committee has long been interested in preserving Denver's rich history through innovative neighborhood design and adaptive reuse of Denver's historic buildings. On June 9, the committee is hosting a forum highlighting projects spearheaded by developers who share these values, too. Register here to attend and learn more about how these two competing interests have worked together with real examples throughout our City.
Help us clean up the streets of Congress and Cheesman Park. CHUN, Harm Reduction Action Center, and our fellow neighborhood champions are hosting a neighborhood clean up on on Saturday, June 19th. If you are eager to get outdoors and support neighborhood beautification, join us! We will meet at the Congress Park Community Board - 12th Ave. and Clayton St. Then, our group will break out into small groups and walk west along 12th, 13th, and 14th Avenues. Our end point will be the Historic Tears-McFarlane House at 1290 Williams Street. To volunteer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expanding our social media presence. With more than 4000 followers across all social media channels, CHUN is expanding its social media presence. We have revamped our LinkedIn page. Share your job postings, content, important work, or other information so we can help Denverites establish a professional brand and create professional networking opportunities.
June is a month to celebrate, commemorate, and honor those who defied odds and pursued justice. June 19th, known as Juneteenth, is the holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the US. Now a commemorative holiday in Denver, The New York Times published an important overview about the day and its significance. Forty years ago this June, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published an article titled Pneumocystis Pneumonia—Los Angeles; it was the first article reporting on a rare disease that would later be known as AIDS. Finally, June is Pride Month. It has been 52 years since the Stonewall riots, but the pursuit of equality across all lines of difference continues.
In the words of James Baldwin, “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” Let us never loose sight of our power to promote truth and support an equitable, inclusive city.
For Denver ...
President & Executive Director
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods
Member of the Month:
CHUN News and Events:
E-Waste Recycling Event - 2500 lbs of Success
The electronics recycling event that CHUN and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church co-sponsored on Saturday, May 8, was a resounding success.
With the help of SustainAbility, a local recycling company whose diverse workforce includes individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, area neighbors cleared their homes of more than a ton’s worth of computer towers, modems and routers, laptops, tablets, printers and used cartridges, televisions, DVD players and stereo equipment and cellphones.
Some of the more unusual items included microwaves, blenders, digital cameras, earphones and even electric toothbrushes; by the morning’s end, charging cords and cables alone filled up an entire bin! Our sincere thanks to the very efficient crew at SustainAbility, to all neighbors who availed themselves of this opportunity, and most especially to Bonita Bock, longtime CHUN member and a member of Our Savior’s, who paved the planning way with SustainAbility and provided several church volunteers to boot.
Be a Waterwise Gardener
Did you know that the average rainfall in the Denver area is just 11 to 15 inches? On April 22,
(Earth Day) CHUN hosted a webinar on “Waterwise Gardening”. Presenting were Colorado
Master Gardeners Linda McDonnell and Ann Hughes, who suggested a number of ways to use
water more efficiently when landscaping, such as drought-tolerant plants, shrubs and trees,
including a variety of native species.
If you are interested in reducing water while also having an attractive landscape, you can watch
Linda and Ann’s presentation here: https://bit.ly/3vZmIw8.
CHUN Committee Reports:
History Matters Committee
Special Event: CHUN History Matters Program about the future of responsible development in Capitol Hill on June 9 from 6 to 7:15 p.m. At this event, Semple Brown Architects will share the renderings of the recently approved plans for the restoration and redevelopment of CHUN's historic Tears-McFarlane house.
CHUN History Matters submitted 5 nominations to Historic Denver’s '50 Actions for 50 Places Campaign'. We solicited nominations from the CHUN Board and History Matters Committee members and came up with some terrific historic buildings that everyone should consider visiting.
Community Engagement Committee
'CHUN will host a series called "CHUN-Talkwa" in October at the Tears-McFarlane house. Please help us identify interesting people in your neighborhood or someone that you would like to get to know more. Email board member Jamie LaRue at email@example.com or call 720-530-4294 to get involved.
CHUN will be a new sponsor of the Art Student League of Denver’s annual Summer Art Market, a two-day outdoor festival at 200 Grant Street to be held August 28 & 29. As part of our customized sponsorship, CHUN will be hosting a coffee cart and welcoming visitors as they arrive in the morning. Visitors will be able to learn about CHUN and the benefits of membership. As an incentive, those who join CHUN will be entered into a drawing for art created by a local artist. Interested in volunteering for an hour or two either day? Contact Vickie Berkley at firstname.lastname@example.org
To support Cap Hill businesses, we will hold a Small Biz Bingo over two months this fall. Participants will visit participating small businesses in Cap Hill and get their bingo card stamped. Participants who get a 'bingo' can turn their cards in for a gift certificate to a participating small business. Everyone wins! More details coming soon.
The Little Free Pantry located at the Tears-McFarlane House now has a new door with latch. Wind and frequent use led to the old door to come off its hinges.
We are close to announcing our first CHUN-sponsored Free Yoga in the Park, starting this June. Stay tuned!
Denver and Colorado News and Events:
Restore Colorado: Supporting Regenerative Agriculture
Boulder County and the Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency (CASR) are collaborating with Mad Agriculture and Zero Foodprint to launch Restore Colorado, a pilot program that confronts climate change by building connections between farmers and restaurants to incentivize regenerative soil practices.
“This program gives me hope that citizens, businesses, farmers, scientists and governments can come together and tackle climate change while improving the food system,” said Anthony Myint, Zero Foodprint co-founder. “As restaurants move toward reopening in 2021, Restore Colorado is a chance to create a new normal that tackles climate change with healthy soil on local farms. This program is all about optimism and action. We can actually eat our way out of the climate crisis.”
Restore Colorado creates a way for businesses, such as restaurants and compost haulers, to add a voluntary 1% fee that goes into a fund to support Colorado farmers and ranchers to engage in practices that support healthy soil and carbon sequestration.
When you dine and shop at Restore Colorado restaurants and businesses, let them know you patronize their business because they are participating in Restore Colorado and thank them for their involvement.
For a list of participating businesses, see Restore Colorado.
Denver Partners with Developers to Forward its Transportation Goals
Historic Cultural District Designation Proposed for La Alma Lincoln Park
Landmark Preservation Webinars
City of Denver Wants Your Input on $700M+ Stimulus Funding
Podcast with Safe Outdoor Space Resident, David Gordon
As part of City Cast Denver's partnership with the Denver VOICE - a paper written in part by people experiencing homelessness - here is a deeply personal story from David Gordon, who's been living at one of the 'safe outdoor spaces' in Capitol Hill. It's a story of relationships and the kinds of impacts reliable housing can have on them.
pod.link/citycastdenver/episode/36ef60a78752e3b83ba090e2bbc1c40a [scroll down to 'What a Safe Outdoor Space Means to One of Our Unhoused Neighbors']
Denver Launches New Bike and Scooter Share Programs
Denver’s Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI) has received approval from Denver City Council to move ahead with licensing agreements for Lyft and Lime to operate scooter and bike share services in Denver. In exchange, Denver will receive multi-million-dollar investments from the two companies and offer residents a comprehensive citywide bike share program.
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