DENVER (KDVR) — The race for Denver’s next mayor is underway. As the city’s elections office continues to solidify who will be on the ballot, candidates are starting to garner community support for their ideas for the city.
Housing and public safety are two key issues for many Denver voters, and candidates are making their stances on the issues known.
Candidate Kelly Brough’s stance
Joined by the mayors of Lakewood, Golden, Wheat Ridge and the former mayor of Westminster, Kelly Brough released her plan to address the issue of housing on Tuesday.
“These endless sweeps do nothing to address the problem. Instead, if I’m elected mayor, I will end unsanctioned camping my first year in office and I will begin to build the housing and shelter we need so we can house everyone, and they are living safely and humanely,” Brough said.
Brough said she plans to focus on five key areas to combat the issue on day one:
- More housing
- Delivering supportive services
Candidate Leslie Herod’s stance
Leslie Herod is another candidate revealing her plans for an issue facing the city Tuesday. Herod unveiled her community safety program supported by Dean Williams who stepped down as Colorado Department of Corrections leader just last month, and Cole Wist a former GOP state representative.
“People should be able to be more than their worst day, more than their worst action, but we also know, those who are in Dean’s correctional facilities now are coming back to our communities if they are not set up for success. They will commit more crimes and they will go back. We don’t want that right? We want to reduce crime overall. The way we do that is getting at those root causes,” Herod said Tuesday.
Key focal points in Herod’s plan include:
- Providing more accountable police
- Curbing youth violence
- Getting guns off of streets
- Stemming the rising tide of hate crimes
- Keeping cars safe
- Developing alternatives to jail
- Reducing recidivism
- Addressing the root causes of crime
Candidate Lisa Calderón’s stance
The campaign team for Lisa Calderón said on the issue of public safety, “As Mayor, Lisa will implement preventative and rehabilitative practices while funding cost-effective alternatives to policing like crisis responders that will shrink the influence of the prison industrial complex. As a criminal justice professor, and having spearheaded Denver’s reentry program for returning citizens, Lisa deeply understands the limitations of our punitive systems and will shift to a continuum of restorative practices.”
Candidate Ean Tafoya’s stance
Candidate Ean Tafoya said on the matter, “First when it comes to reducing crime in our communities, I believe in investing in prevention. We want to prevent people from even entering our criminal justice system in the first place, reduce recidivism, and address the root cause of problems. One way to do this is by fighting poverty by making sure we have affordable and low-income housing, tenant protections, and good jobs, so people aren’t put in desperate situations. We also have to invest in mental health services, addiction treatment, and community-based harm reduction.”
Candidate Terrance Roberts’ stance
The campaign manager for Terrance Roberts told FOX31, “Terrance believes the issues of homelessness and public safety are intrinsically linked. On his website, Terrance has outlined his plan to declare homelessness an emergency, provide emergency shelters/encampments to address current homelessness, and create a public bank that will fund public land trust housing to house every person regardless of income. When our police are no longer occupied with crimes of poverty on our streets they can spend their time protecting the public by adequately addressing the wave of domestic violence and youth violence impacting Denver.”
Candidate Kwame Spearman’s stance
Kwame Spearman’s campaign site lists his steps to address safety as restructuring the Denver Police Department to integrate neighborhood plans, creating a police pipeline, expanding Denver’s STAR program, investing in common sense infrastructure and enforcing existing laws.
Candidate Chris Hansen’s stance
On the issue of homelessness, candidate Chris Hansen said, “It is clear the status quo is not working and Denver needs a new leader to create real progress on housing the unhoused and ensuring our streets, sidewalks and public areas are clean for all Denver to utilize. My achievable plan for tackling the homelessness crisis will spend taxpayer dollars efficiently, partner with nonprofits and will finally deliver results for Denver.”
Candidate Andy Rougeout’s stance
Andy Rougeout’s campaign site is calling for a crackdown on camping and said, “Enforcing the camping ban is not only the right thing to do, it is the humane thing to do. We need to reach out our hands to help get people off the streets and enforcing the camping ban will encourage the homeless to take advantage of the services needed to get them back on their feet.”
Candidate Debbie Ortega’s stance
Debbie Ortega’s campaign site lists housing as a key priority and said, “Our guidelines for community development are out of date, causing housing costs to spike. Debbie will fix Denver’s broken permitting process so that affordable housing can be brought online more efficiently.”
Candidate Trinidad ‘Trini’ Rodriguez’s stance
According to his campaign site, Trinidad “Trini” Rodriguez proposed that one of his first acts as mayor would be to institute a state of emergency response to manage the unhoused crisis in Denver with specific disruptive and transformational proposals to address the crisis.
Candidate Robert Treta’s stance
Candidate and builder Robert Treta said he wants to see the city get a better handle on short-term rentals, expedite lag times for building permits and create more accessory dwelling units.
“I am running for Denver mayor to solve the problems politicians have caused over decades. I want to build a better Denver,” Treta said.
Candidate Mike Johnston’s stance
Mike Johnston’s housing plan, posted on his campaign site, says he plans to build 20 micro-communities to end unsheltered homelessness in his first term.
“In my first four years as mayor, I pledge to build 1,400 additional units of housing for unsheltered individuals, ending homelessness in Denver by the end of my first term.”
Candidate Thomas Wolf’s stance
In a letter, candidate Thomas Wolf said, “When elected, we will confront and control encampments by delivering city-provided shelter within vacant city buildings and land. 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.”
Denver elections will continue editing the list of qualified candidates for this year’s ballot, finalizing the list on Feb. 3.