Message from the President
Greetings Friends, Neighbors, and Supporters,
Urban Dweller, Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods' monthly e-newsletter, is now online. Here is the latest from Denver's largest, oldest registered neighborhood organization and your community advocate.
CHUN commemorates Indigenous Peoples Day. October 11, 2021 was Indigenous People's Day. Our organization honors and celebrates the strength, resilience, and impact Indigenous peoples have made for centuries. We further acknowledge that the land on which the Greater Capitol Hill community resides is the traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples. To learn more about this important day, please visit NPR, The New York Times, or the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
October was LGBTQ History Month. CHUN recognizes the LGBTQ+ Denverites who have worked to champion equality at home, in the workplace, and throughout our city. The Center on Colfax has done an extraordinary amount of work documenting the lives and history of the many neighbors who persevered against what were insurmountable odds. Earlier this year, the University of Colorado also recently reported on Denver's role as a gay friendly city. The Capitol Hill community has the distinction of being an inclusive, welcoming neighborhood and the home of many important events in Denver's storied LGBTQ+ history, including the first Pride Parade. CHUN's Tears-McFarlane Mansion was once the home of both the national and local headquarters for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
CHUN opposes Ballot Measure 2F. More than 40 years ago, Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods fought against discriminatory R-0 zoning, which disproportionality discriminated against LGBTQ+ people living in Denver. Most recently, we continued our decades-long commitment to creating housing opportunities when we endorsed both the East Central Area Plan and the Group Living Text Amendments to Denver's Zoning Code. Each of these were important, meaningful steps to remedy decades-long discrimination that exist in the Mile High City's housing policies. Ballot measure 2F seeks to rollback this (and other) progress. This measure is not the best way to handle differences on policy, which should be addressed through other procedures, and it instead runs counter to our shared values. We can do better.
Investing $10,000 in affordable housing opportunities. Last month, the St. Francis Center held its grand opening for the new Warren Residences at 14th and Gilpin in the Cheesman Park neighborhood. The Warren Residences will provide 48 studio style affordable supportive apartments for individuals who are experiencing homelessness and/or are justice involved. I was honored to speak at the event, and I reiterated CHUN's core mission to shape the quality of life of ALL residents in the greater Capitol Hill community. Thanks to an anonymous gift given to our organization this year, we made a $10,000 financial commitment to launch a much-needed crisis fund for SFC Warren Residences and its residents. Residents will be able to access this fund should an urgent expense arise. Those who access the funding will be asked to make a good faith effort to repay the fund so that it will benefit others in the future.
CHUN asks City and County of Denver to preserve 16th Avenue as a shared street. Last month, CHUN joined the Denver Streets Partnership and the Colfax Ave Business Improvement District in calling on Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and City Council to support such measures in other areas of the city. Public outreach and feedback responses suggests overwhelming support for such an approach.
Activating neighborhoods is paramount to our City's future. This week, we will be issuing statements of support for two important projects positively shaping neighborhoods block-by-block. Sienna Wine Bar is expanding and replacing the now, closed Pudge Brothers Pizza in Congress Park. Mary Kent, and our friends at Sienna Wine Bar, have been good neighbors for more than a decade. We are thrilled to see this small business thrive in otherwise uncertain times. CHUN also supports the soon-to-be revitalized All In Motel. This project is the nexus of historic preservation, smart development and neighborhood activation. Further, in partnership with the Denver Urban Renewal Authority, the project will provide exciting neighborhood serving amenities like a a coffee shop, public pool, and other local economic activation.
Elevating the need for coordinated, robust response to homelessness crisis. As homelessness impacts all corners of our community, CHUN, Uptown on the Hill, Old San Rafael RNO, Curtis Park Neighbors, and other groups are calling on city leaders to (a) boost levels of responsiveness and needs of Denver's unhoused and (b) clearly outline important, near-term outcomes that will be achievable in the next 12-18 months. As I told Westword, "this is a citywide issue and it requires citywide, coordinated action. And what we see right now is action in certain council districts and no communication from other council districts...That cannot continue, knowing that encampments, unsanctioned or otherwise, exist in most corners of the city."
As the African proverb tells us, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." The past month tells us that CHUN, as well as our growing network of partners, are keenly focused on moving forward ... together.
Travis Leiker, MPA
President and Executive Director
Member of the Month
Kerem Szczebak | milehimodern
CHUN News and Events
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods reinforces need for affordable housing; invests in Saint Francis Center
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods announces its 2021-2022 SEED Awards
CHUN Member Sienna Wine Bar is moving to the corner to build out a bigger patio
CHUN Member LivWell moves to new Uptown location
CHUN Committee Reports
Community Interviews and CHUN-Talkwa: Final community interviews were completed, and two Cap Hill residents have agreed to be speakers at the CHUN-Talkwa. Additional speakers may be added. This will now be a virtual event, to be scheduled for mid-November. An announcement of the date will be available soon. Email Jamie LaRue at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
SEED Awards: CHUN's SEED Awards support community involvement and foster locally grown solutions for the public good. Past recipients have used funds for clean-up projects, gardens, volunteer development, murals and much more. Applications for SEED Awards are now available on the CHUN website and are due on November 19th. Email Vickie Berkley at email@example.com for additional information.
Halloween event for parents and children: CHUN will be a sponsor for the annual Halloween event at the Denver Police District 6 Station, 1566 N Washington on Friday, October 29th from 4pm – 7pm. This year, a “trick or treat lane” will be set up on the station parking lot, where children can pick up a treat. The event will also feature emergency service personnel and vehicles as well as a haunted BOO Bus. Thanks to Rachel Griffin for this collaboration to provide a safe and fun way for parents and children to enjoy Halloween.
Little Free Pantry: The Little Free Pantry is serving those in need at its new location outside of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, located at 915 E. 9th Ave. When you are grocery shopping, please consider buying a few extra nonperishable items and adding them to the pantry.
Press coverage about Dr. Charles Blackwood: CHUN History Matters Committee co-chairs Bruce Caughey and Kevin Kelly and CHUN President and Executive Director Travis Leiker helped write and distribute an OpEd about the life of an important Colorado figure, Dr. Charles Blackwood. The OpEd was published in the Colorado Sun and also had significant coverage on Colorado Public Radio. Blackwood was the first black graduate of the University of Colorado Medical School and he went on to have a distinguished medical career in Denver. The CHUN History Matters Committee nominated his home to be included in Historic Denver's 50 Actions for 50 Places Campaign, but unfortunately, Blackwood's home was demolished before there could be any preservation efforts.
Tour of Cheesman Park: On Sunday, October 17, the History Matters committee hosted a tour of Cheesman Park led by Phil Goodstein, the one and only, truly original (some might say eccentric), Denver historian. The tour was attended by about 50 neighbors from our community. Dr. Goodstein talked about the history of the Tears McFarlane House, Cheesman Park and other historic buildings, their builders, their occupants, and a few ghosts.
Denver and Colorado News and Events
New Denver Health Safe Outdoor Space (SOS) Announced
Denver calls on its Citizens to Participate in the Advancing Equity in Rezoning Project
Denver's LeafDrop Program will run through December 3rd
Denver Denver Social Impact Bond (SIB) Project results debunk the myth that people choose to become and stay homelessnd Project Evaluation
Dr. Nikki Johnson is the First Denver Chief of Mental Health Services
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