DENVER (KDVR) — Even on a cold winter day, it is not hard to find people running through the Mile High City. 

But Tim Hoffman is on a different journey than most, aiming to run through every Denver neighborhood by April 4 — Election Day.

“It’s going to be cold next week, but we’ll be out here running,” he said. 

The former Denver prosecutor is running for Denver’s at-large council seat, a hotly contested race, with other candidates profiled below.

Relearning to walk, talk after crash

One main component of Hoffman’s campaign is traffic infrastructure and transportation safety, following a crash in 2019.

“I was biking home, as I did most days, when I got hit by a pickup truck,” Hoffman said. “I landed about 10 feet from where the crash took place and suffered a traumatic brain injury. And that started an 18-month-long recovery process.”

Hoffman had to learn to walk and talk again and is hoping his story will resonate with voters.

“This run and experiencing each of the 78 neighborhoods in Denver is not only about my recovery and the resiliency and adversity that was overcome, but it’s about meeting Denverites where they are in their communities and neighborhoods to not just hear what their issues are, but to see it with them,” he said.

FOX31 reached out to the eight other candidates campaigning for the seat to hear their take on addressing transportation safety and other problems in Denver. Read their responses below.

Denver at-large council candidates

Will Chan

“Our platform is about addressing what we call Denver’s GAPS. An opportunity to make Denver Greener, more Affordable, more Prosperous, and Safer. The one-pager lists some of our plan tactics.

“In terms of transportation, we know it is a matter of access and equity. It is key to achieving economic mobility. On Council, I will advocate for frequent, reliable, and fare-free public transit for all residents, as well as expanded options for multimodal and micromobility.

“With regard to safety, there is no silver bullet and my platform takes a holistic approach. Not every crisis requires a cop, and we can address root issues by expanding alternative interventions such as the STAR program and navigators for mental health and substance misuse. Also, we can invest in providing strong youth engagement programs to decrease gang activity.”

Penfield Tate

“I’m running on my record of community, executive, and legislative work to restore the quality of life of all our neighborhoods. We all know that we need to expand housing, strengthen public safety, protect the environment and open space, and offer more public transit options. As a public finance lawyer involved in financing the successful mixed-use redevelopment of the former Lowry and Stapleton air force bases, I know what it will take to meet the housing needs of all our residents. I co-chaired the community-led committee that recommended establishing Denver’s Independent Monitor to hold rogue cops accountable. My legislative and executive experience prepares me to be an effective broker for creative solutions; I know what it takes to get it done.”

Jeff Walker

“Over the past 30 years I have worked on the most pressing issues facing Denver – and every city in this country: housing affordability, public safety, and transportation. My background as a planning director in Ohio, serving on RTD’s Board of Directors, Denver’s Planning Board and the Task Force to Reimagine Policing and Public Safety, among other groups, has given me the experience and knowledge to address these important issues through communication and collaboration. I know we can make Denver a better city for everyone by acting on bold ideas, investing in inclusive and sustainable development, and promoting the beauty of our people, culture, food and outdoors!”

Travis Leiker

“I’m running for Denver City Council At-Large because we need leaders who are focused on the myriad issues and challenges facing the Mile High City. After traveling throughout the city and conducting numerous conversations with community leaders, I have outlined my 8-point action plan to get Denver back on track. 

“My eight-point action plan for Denver includes:

  • Confronting crime and improving neighborhood safety.
  • Meeting Denver’s housing needs through choice and opportunity.
  • Investing in neighborhoods. 
  • Promoting effective, efficient city government.
  • Implementing a data-centered, fact-based approach to address homelessness through more services and enforcement.
  • Streamlining our electoral process to increase participation and prevent redundancies.
  • Playing an active role in economic development.
  • Acting like a great city and getting big things done again.

“Based on countless conversations with voters along the campaign trail regarding the issues most important to them, my immediate priorities will be focused on: Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Economic Development and Crime/Safety. We must create a great city for everyone regardless of ability, economic background, race, gender, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or time living in the city. This is the most consequential election in the past 40 years. Preparedness, thoughtful leadership, and smart management are essential to getting Denver on the right course. I bring this and more to council chambers on day one.”

Dominic Diaz

“Most Important Issues:

  • Making our city affordable for working-class people, creating opportunities for homeownership, and using data to get serious about housing-first strategies
  • Improving public safety (youth violence prevention, traffic safety, addressing public health issues proactively and upstream of the criminal justice system)
  • Protecting our environment and developing sustainable transportation options

“Why I am the Best Fit:

  • 5th generation Coloradan, born and raised in Denver, and have deep familiarity with Denver, having lived in over a dozen of our neighborhoods 
  • I am a 10-year city employee veteran and have developed a keen understanding of how City hall works and how to get legislation passed. I am a coalition builder and ready to tackle the job on day one
  • As a husband, father, brother, grandson, and Teamster, I am a passionate advocate for the well-being of children, families, elders, and working-class people
  • I am ready to substantially invest in our neighborhoods to provide infrastructure, child care, tree canopy, and access to healthy food (begin to undo the terrible effects of Denver’s inverted L)
  • Focused on action and not lip-service or false promises
  • Champion of parks and open space, micromobility, and reducing carbon emissions
  • No obligation to corporations or special interests
  • I will be an elected official that shows up, takes accountability, and stands in solidarity with our communities
  • City council needs to be reflective of the city it serves. There should be a young person and renter on the council.
  • I will represent YOU to the City, not the City to you”

Marty Zimmerman

“Marty Zimmerman’s top issues are increasing affordable housing to create stability for individuals and families experiencing housing insecurity, strengthening Denver’s economy by providing workforce development opportunities and supporting small businesses; and ensuring that policies aren’t made for neighborhoods without genuine community input.

“Marty is a community leader known for developing solutions, and getting things done. He is best suited for Denver Councilmember At Large because he knows the issues deeply and he knows how to build the coalitions needed to solve Denver’s toughest problems.” 

Sarah Parady

“In my many years as an advocate for homeowners in foreclosure, low-wage workers, and civil rights plaintiffs all across the city, I’ve seen working families slipping farther from the security and wellbeing we all want for our kids. I believe that when we invest in each other, we all win. In Denver, this means making city-owned social housing a reality, moving public safety resources away from criminalizing poverty, funding housing first and harm reduction models, and transforming transit with equity, climate resilience, and accessibility in mind.”

Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez

“My ancestors have been here for generations, working the fields, leading protests in the streets, and fighting against discrimination and oppression. The City of Denver displaced my mother from her childhood home to build the Auraria Campus. After graduating from North High School and CSU, I couldn’t afford to move back to Denver. I know what it’s like to be displaced, to be priced out, to work hard and fight for dignity. The importance of fighting for the community, and the power of standing together… that’s in my blood. At the State Legislature, I’ve secured over $500 million for affordable housing, strengthened protections for renters and tenants, targeted the root causes of crime with historic investments in our behavioral health system, and fought to improve the lives of working people across the state. I’m ready to make Denver a city that works for all of us.”