Cision PR Newswire
Thomas Wolf Campaign Announces Comprehensive Plan to Confront Encampments - "Pledge to Zero"
News provided byThe committee to elect Thomas Wolf Denver Mayor
Jan 18, 2023, 11:00 AM ET
DENVER, Jan. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Thomas Wolf mayoral campaign (The committee to elect Thomas Wolf Denver Mayor) announces its comprehensive plan on the encampment crisis in Denver.
"When elected, we will confront and control encampments by delivering city-provided shelter within vacant city buildings and land" said Wolf. "Doing so acknowledges the humanitarian crisis on our streets and is the most immediate and compassionate way to stop neglecting our city's most needy. Your city will step up and address the problem head-on versus side-stepping this alarming reality."
According to data from the first phase of Metro Denver Homeless Initiative's (MDHI) annual point-in-time (PIT) count for 2022, the survey found an encampment population of 2,073 in 2022, compared to 1,561 in 2020.
In reality, that number is likely much higher due to the difficulty in taking an accurate census. "Even one encampment is wholly unacceptable. I hope that Denverites can understand that continuing to ignore this crisis has a massively negative and compounding impact on our city's mental, physical and financial well being."
Specific to the financial, funding for public schools, city programs and services, affordable housing, capital improvements and maintenance are in decline because of this crisis. Commercial real estate values in our central business district are plummeting. Our commercial property tax rate is four times our residential rate and a rapid decline in commercial property value drives rapid declines in tax revenue. Similarly, declines in recreational and business visitors means declines in sales tax revenue for the city budget. According to data from the Downtown Denver Partnership, visitor numbers have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels and the common complaint and rationale for not returning to Denver is that our urban core is unsafe and filthy due to encampments.
"Our plan has several key components that I am uniquely qualified to implement compared to most of my opponents who are in office and have let this problem get out of hand," said Wolf.
- Repurpose existing city buildings and land to provide shelter.
- Identify and diagnose these citizens and offer rehabilitative services and care. Enroll this population in Denver's municipal health insurance. Sharing the load with a private company that has an incentive to manage costs means a much higher quality of care for our neediest citizens.
- Systematize a pathway for better accommodations tied to improved life choices.
- The only thing the city provides is shelter and access to rehabilitative services and care, we will not act in any other manner to enable, but we will be at the ready once individuals decide to make better choices and behavioral changes. It has been proven that we can't eliminate their fall, but we can aid in recovery if/when they make that decision.
- The Wolf "Pledge to Zero" - zero encampments will be tolerated, and within my first year in office all encampments will be confronted.
"Pledge to Zero" will allow Denver to redirect approximately 500 million dollars in city spending once this crisis is under control. One of the top priorities will be to subsidize or fully provide health insurance for other deserving Denver groups that are so additive to our community but have gone wanting – NGO's, daycare workers, those who work in the creative fields, and others without the means to access affordable health insurance. We believe this redirection is a much better investment relative to the current hemorrhaging expense of not confronting encampments and only the start in making Denver safer, cleaner and smarter.
The Thomas Wolf for Mayor campaign has a mission to end encampments under a Wolf Administration in Denver using economic principles. The idea is simple. A safer, cleaner and smarter Denver is achieved when focus is applied to solving fewer issues rather than promising many things for Denver.
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SOURCE The committee to elect Thomas Wolf Denver Mayor