Message from the President
Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this note finds you well. 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:
CHUN has endorsed the City and County of Denver's proposed Expanding Housing Affordability Plan. Our organization is committed to working with the myriad stakeholders to onboard more affordable housing, and we are focused on encouraging multifamily development near and along major transit corridors. This plan, coupled with our own track record in neighborhood planning and development, will help Denver achieve these shared policy priorities.
Harm Reduction Action Center Denver recently worked with more than 25 people to clean up the streets and alleyways from Acoma Street to Logan Street and between 4th and 11th Ave. CHUN, and our partners at the Golden Triangle Creative District, would like to extend our gratitude to HRAC for being good neighbors and for their help in cleaning up parts of Capitol Hill.
I recently attended Warren Village's Annual Gala. The organization, located just a few blocks from our own Tears-McFarlane property, provides housing support for low-income, single-parent families who are working to emerge from poverty to economic self sufficiency. Congratulations to CEO Ethan Hemming and the entire Warren Village team for organizing a terrific event. Warren Village has received funding from CHUN in prior years, and they remain an essential neighborhood partner.
Congratulations to the Alexander Foundation for hosting its inaugural Queer Prom at the historic Turnverein in the Uptown Neighborhood. Several members of the CHUN board of directors attended this very welcoming, inclusive event. The Alexander Foundation raises critical resources for LGBTQ+ scholarships and crisis support. Special recognition also goes to the Turnverein staff for their exceptional customer service and staff support. Please consider the Turnverein for your next party, gala, or other special event.
Congratulations to Morey Middle School and Denver Urban Gardens, recipients of a 2022 CHUN Seed Award. The school along with scores of students recently transformed an empty plot on the school grounds into a community garden and outdoor classroom. This neighborhood-level funding and impact grant making remains one of the cornerstones of CHUN's work.
Denver's Landmark Preservation staff has released a public review draft of the Phase 1 update to the Design Guidelines for Denver Landmark Structures and Districts. The Phase 1 draft of updates is currently available on the project webpage for review and comments through May 31, 2022. CHUN members and others in the community are encouraged to weigh in with their perspectives.
Many thanks to First Baptist Church of Denver for hosting our 2nd Annual Electronics Recycling Day. Their parking lot was the perfect site for our event. Thank you to business member Barbara DeJong for spearheading this project again this year. To our new community outreach organizer Katie Swick, we thank you for hitting the ground running and supporting our work in the community. Bravo and keep up the good work.
Finally, two small businesses have closed in recent weeks in the Governors' Park Neighborhood. Turin Bikes, which had operated at 7th Avenue and Lincoln, closed after 50 years of supporting Denver's biking community. Ivy on 7th also closed earlier this month. This closure is particularly sad, as it has been operated and managed by our dear friend and board colleague Noemi Ramos. Please take a moment to thank Noemi Ramos and her team for making our neighborhood even more special. These losses are a reminder of how much the small business community adds to neighborhood vitality. Be sure to shop local, support your local businesses whenever possible, and leave a heafty tip if you can. Small businesses are the backbone of our City and essential to neighbor successes.
Travis Leiker, MPA
President and Executive Director
Member of the Month
Women's Press Club
CHUN Events in May
May 12: Business and Nonprofit Partner Happy Hour
May 19: General Member Happy Hour
CHUN News and Events
CHUN 2022 Earth Day Recycling Event
52 Volunteers Came Together to Clean Up Alamo Placita Park
CHUN SEED Award Recipient Morey Middle School celebrates Earth Day
CHUN Hosts First 2022 Lunch and Learn Webinar
CHUN Highlighted in The Denver Foundation Spring 2022 Newsletter
Excerpt from article 'By the Numbers': Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN) holds two endowments at The Denver Foundation, totaling more than $1 million, which support the long-term financial sustainability of one of Denver’s oldest neighborhood organizations. Established in 2021 with proceeds from the sale of the Tears-McFarlane Mansion along Cheesman Park, CHUN’s endowments include an agency-advised fund and operating reserves. Investment returns will support CHUN’s annual budget and a new series of microgrants, known as SEED Awards. So far, CHUN has distributed SEED Awards to six organizations that serve Capitol Hill. "We have been incredibly pleased with this process and worked closely with The Denver Foundation team to diversify our funding strategy while building in safeguards to prevent unwise financial decision-making in the future,” says Richard Wilson, CHUN’s board treasurer.
CHUN Organization Reports
Morey Middle School and Denver Urban Gardens, recipients of a CHUN Seed Award, had over two hundred students help till, mulch, and plant seedlings as part of Earth Day activities on April 22nd. CHUN Community Engagement Committee members Rachel Griffin, Debbie Young and Vickie Berkley came by to help and to get interviews and photos for CHUN publications. Parents, teachers, and employees from Ardent Mills, headquartered in Denver, joined the waves of students that were at work expanding the community garden to include vegetables and native plants.
CHUN Community Engagement Committee members Peggy Randall and Vickie Berkley joined the E-Recycling event held on April 23rd at First Baptist Church, along with Travis Leiker, Barb DeJong and CHUN’s community outreach coordinator, Katie Swick. This is the second CHUN sponsored E-Recycling event in partnership with SustainAbility, a recycling and composting company that combines a “passion for the environment with an understanding that every human being has gifts and talents to offer our communities and our planet.”
Denver Park Trust, another SEED Award recipient, orchestrated more than 52 volunteers from the neighborhood to paint, plant and clean up at the April Alamo Placita Park Clean-Up Event. Special thanks to CHUN board member Molly Williams for promoting this event to her fellow neighbors and helping make this a great partnership with Denver Park Trust!
CHUN's History Matters group continues to have conversations with people in the Governor’s Park area to understand what could be done to main some of the historic buildings. Business owners in Governor’s Park are considering putting together a Business Improvement District (BID) by putting together the right people. CHUN could play a role in helping convene the right people and by providing some expertise and direction.
Smiley’s Laundromat on Colfax was a nice example of 1930s era art deco architecture but unfortunately the building has been completely torn down after being vacant since 2013. There may be an opportunity for CHUN History Matters group to work with the new developers.
History Matters Vice Chair Peggy Randall organized the April History Matters Webinar with guest speaker: Rowena Alegria. Alegria is Chief Storyteller for the City & County of Denver, founder and director of the Denver Office of Storytelling and the citywide storytelling and cultural preservation project, I Am Denver. Alegria introduced a new documentary, ¡Qué Viva la Raza!, that honors the Chicano and Latino roots of many Denver neighborhoods.
Denver and Colorado News and Events
Volunteer for Citywide Parks, Rivers, Trails & Trees Cleanup Day and Tree Planting
I AM DENVER Invites You to Join Their 3-year Anniversary Celebration
Refill is the New Recycle
New Denver Program Aims to Increase Homeownership among Communities of Color
Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) is proud to offer a new housing program that aims to increase homeownership in communities of color that were historically targeted by discriminatory practices, like redlining. The metroDPA Social Equity program provides down payment assistance of either $15,000 or $25,000 to qualifying households.
Denver Restaurant-Up: Program Helping Denverites Open a Restaurant
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