Message from the President
Greetings Friends and Supporters,
Happy New Year! I hope this note finds you well. Welcome to the Urban Dweller--Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods' monthly e-newsletter. Here is the latest from Denver’s largest, oldest registered neighborhood organization and community advocate:
CHUN to award thousands of dollars to neighborhood projects. Join CHUN on Thursday, January 6, 2022 at 6pm for a virtual presentation of the 3rd Annual SEED Awards. Since launching this program in 2019, CHUN has invested more than $20,000 in groups throughout our geographic boundaries. This would not have been possible without our growing membership and generous grants provided by Verizon Wireless.
Thank you Shirley Howson. After more than 4 years of work on behalf of Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, first as a board member and later as office manager, Shirley Howson will take on a new professional opportunity. In 2017, Shirley organized our first wine tasting just as we were emerging from an uncertain financial situation. As office manager, she facilitated tenant relations exceptionally well, refined a number of membership and database processes, and oversaw enumerable administrative duties. CHUN is in a better position because of her commitment and hard work. Please join me in thanking Shirley for her work.
Now hiring a community outreach coordinator. CHUN is accepting applications for a Community Outreach Coordinator who is passionate about Denver and eager to shape the future of the greater Capitol Hill community. This person will facilitate special programs, organize community meetings, develop community-investment projects, and promote volunteerism all with an emphasis on fostering meaningful connections on issues facing the Mile High City from Cherry Creek North to Congress Park and Alamo Placita to Uptown. Click here to view the full job description. The deadline to apply is January 21, 2021.
Internal CHUN neighborhood names and descriptions will align with City. CHUN represents citizens from 22nd Avenue (North) to 1st Avenue (South) and from Colorado Boulevard (East) to Broadway (West). For years, our work and neighborhood descriptors did not align with Denver's Statistical Neighborhoods. A corrected, statistically accurate map can be found HERE. This means the Speer and Five Points neighborhoods will be recognized, celebrated, and represented more in our work.
Congratulations to returning board colleagues. On November 30, CHUN hosted the Annual Neighborhood Assembly. The assembly featured a guest presenter detailing LGBTQ+ history in Denver and greater Capitol Hill. Neighborhood delegates were also elected to serve on our board of directors for another 2-year term. Congratulations to all new and returning board members. A special thanks goes out to those who did not pursue another term on the board: Boris Jonica, Charles Nusbaum, Lindsay Burleson, Kathy Callender, Amy Alleman, and Anne McWhirter. Each contributed their time, talent, and treasure to the effectiveness and impact at CHUN. I am immensely grateful to each for their leadership.
Redistricting underway in Denver. Denver City Council is currently evaluating and considering modifications to current city council districts. Denverites are invited to participate in the process as well. You can learn more about the process in this Denverite article. More information about the process and to get involved, please visiting the City and County of Denver for more information.
Auditor to review City's Response to Homelessness. In October, Denver Auditor Tim O'Brien announced that his office will soon review the City's response to homelessness. I, along with other community leaders, met with the auditor's team to convey both our concerns and present near-term opportunities for improvement. I shared my perspectives as they relate to clear operational deficiencies, the need to deliver services to Denver's unhoused before unsanctioned encampments develop, reiterated calls for a single point-person whose sole focus is solving Denver's homelessness crisis, improving reporting strategies beyond PocketGov and/or 311, and several other strategies for immediate action.
The board and staff at CHUN are saddened by the shooting spree that took place on Monday, December 27th. Our hearts break for the victims, their loved ones, and all who have been impacted by these senseless acts. Not only did two of the shootings occur within the greater Capitol Hill community, but one was also just feet from our office's front door. What remains true is that it is imperative for Denver to get smarter about public safety, that our justice system needs to build in safeguards protecting residents, and our communities must come together to advocate for the well-being of our city's neighborhoods. This cannot be the new normal in Denver.
I, along with my CHUN board colleagues, are committed to working with first responders and community leaders to create neighborhoods, and a city, that we are proud to call home.
Travis Leiker, MPA
President and Executive Director
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods
Member of the Month
ACLU of Colorado
CHUN News and Events
Photos from Members and Neighbors
Big Changes Expected for Tears-McFarlane House in 2022
CHUN to Announce 2022 SEED Awards
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods' SEED Awards promote community entrepreneurship and invests in neighborhood engagement. Launched in 2019, these financial awards provide support to scalable, high-impact projects that align with CHUN's mission and values.
Join us for a virtual awards presentation and to learn more about what we are supporting in 2022. The presentation will include a description of the awards, an overview of each organization, and how each will invest in their organizations and enhance the quality of life for those in our greater community.
Thursday, January 6, 2022
6:00 - 7:00 pm
VIRTUAL ZOOM PRESENTATION. Meeting ID: 496 877 7874. Passcode: 1899
CHUN Board Members Volunteer at Urban Peak
CHUN President Travis Leiker speaks out on Public Right-of-Way
Rights-of-way are the areas between the street and the sidewalk -- usually grassy, sometimes with trees, and in Denver, increasingly filled with unsanctioned homeless camps.
"This just came up in a conversation that I had with the city earlier this week concerning our residents' concerns around what they're calling hostile landscaping, hostile architecture," said Travis Leiker, president of Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods.
As head of the nonprofit organization, Leiker met with city leaders last month to discuss rights-of-way and how to best mitigate resident concerns--pertaining to both encampments or what others call hostile architecture/landscaping.
"Folks are concerned with, and responding to, unsanctioned encampments," said Leiker "What you see is a number of private property owners trying to triage what they think is a concern, or an issue, in terms of public right-of-way enforcement." He also pointed out that there ways to make right-of-way enhancements or modifications through a permitting process established by Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI).
Here is what you need to know. The installation of temporary features in the right-of-way (e.g. fencing) requires a Revocable Street Occupancy Permit. The application can be completed online and has a quick turnaround time (normally less than 3 days). There is a $50 permit issuance fee and depending on length, size and duration of the permit, the cost can range from $50 to $100’s.
CHUN Seeks New Community Outreach Coordinator
Unhoused Communities, Addressing Racism, and Parking in Capitol Hill were introduced at CHUN's first CHUN-Talkwa
CHUN Committee Reports
CHUN-Talkwa: CHUN’s inaugural CHUN-Talkwa was held virtually on December 6th. Many thanks to Jamie LaRue for organizing the event and to the speakers for sharing their topics of interest and their solutions with the audience: Regina Jackson (racism), Tom Luehrs (the unhoused) and Mary Dudzinski (parking). The event generated lively discussion on these issues. A white paper will be written once there are sufficient interviews. If you would like your interests to be heard, email Jamie LaRue at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than February 11, 2022.
SEED Awards: CHUN’s Seed Awards are one of the ways in which CHUN fulfills its mission, by encouraging neighborhood enhancements through community investment. The fourteen applications received this year were reviewed by CHUN Board members and after careful deliberation, eight projects were recommended by the review committee and approved by the board. They will be announced on January 6 at a CHUN virtual event (see link in story above).
Urban Peak Volunteer Event: CHUN executive committee members Nichole Racelis, Travis Leiker and Vickie Berkley prepared dinner for youth at Urban Peak on December 23rd. Urban Peak provides a full convergence of services focused on one of the most vulnerable populations in our community: youth ages 15 through 24 who are experiencing homelessness. Additional volunteer opportunities, such as this one, will be scheduled throughout the coming year
In December, the CHUN History Matters committee considered the following proposals:
1622 Emerson Street: CHUN History Matters was asked to undertake a landmark review before redevelopment. We met with the architect and owner who answered questions about design, density, and parking. This redevelopment was unanimously recommended for approval by the Landmark Commission.
Steele Street/7th Ave Historic District: CHUN had already written a recommendation for approval for the extension of the 7th Avenue Historic District, and, in December, we heard an update from the organizers and Historic Denver prior to the scheduled December 13 Denver City Council Meeting. CHUN History Matter co-chairs testified in support of the historic district at the City Council meeting. CHUN President Travis Leiker sent the CHUN letter of support to all City Council members prior to their meeting. The Denver City Council voted to support the formation of the new historic district.
Denver Public Library Landmark Application: The Landmark Commission has rejected the architectural changes to the historic Michael Graves design of the central library. Kevin Kelly, History Matters co-chair, reiterated the CHUN letter of support at the Landmark Commission meeting.
Denver and Colorado News and Events
Clear, Safe Sidewalks for All
Denver Zoo Announces 2022 Free Days
Colorado Village Cooperative Fundraising to add 4 New Tiny Homes
Denver Approves '20 is Plenty' Ordinance
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