Last week’s election emphasizes the importance of local initiative. Good things happened in Denver – school funding and bonds were approved for DPS, the region supported arts and culture through an extension of the SCFD tax and state voters approved a significant increase to the minimum wage. Since the summer, we at P.U.M.A. have been supporting the creation of a new non-profit, All In Denver, to champion social and racial equity in our hometown. The need for All In Denver and a bold voice to advance these goals has never been greater. Here’s an article co-authored by Brad Segal and Jami Duffy that talks about the inception of All In Denver.
Growth is Denver’s top issue, and the growth debate is polarizing the city. All In Denver is a new 501(c)4 non-profit membership organization established to create a new progressive coalition with fresh voices to tackle the new challenges of growth and continue our evolution as a Great American City.
The genesis for All In Denver arose after the 2015 Denver municipal elections revealed a significant shift from the past 30 years and the emergence of two dominant factions. Rooted in the lessons of the 1980s, our current economic prosperity messages and messengers are concentrated in a political establishment that is losing its edge. In response, an anti-growth faction threatens to halt progress when we could benefit from fresh thinking and a major policy realignment. Neither of these factions bode well for leading the city into a new future.
All In Denver’s position is simple – growth should benefit everyone in the city, not just a few. We are convinced that investments in people that create opportunity – including affordable housing, quality education and the preservation of neighborhood culture – are as important to our regional prosperity moving forward as big capital projects were during the past 30 years. Examples of issues and civic investments that will facilitate economic growth and advance the greater good include:
- Affordable housing for a wide continuum that ranges from very low income to young professional households.
- Preserving and enhancing cultural diversity within our neighborhoods.
- Advocacy for urban design and city planning solutions that create accessible, inclusive and diverse communities.
- Mobility options beyond conventional vehicles, including bicycles and transit.
- Encouraging healthy lifestyles and access to health care.
- Advocating for investment in our infrastructure, education equity and our people.
All In Denver adds an inclusive progressive voice to Denver’s growth debate. We support new development, but desire to influence its benefits for the entire city. Our voice will focus on issues that maximize opportunity for existing and new residents. We will seek solutions that move our policymakers from good to great. We will provide a vehicle for fresh voices and encourage a new generation of leaders to take the reins of our city.
Three initiatives are the focus of All In Denver from the beginning, including:
- Dedicated Funding for Affordable Housing: We supported the City’s plan to create a dedicated fund for affordable housing with a modest half mill property tax and development linkage fees. We will be urging City leaders to do more, advocating for additional funding including having Denver voters bond the property tax and create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
- Blueprint Denver: This update to Denver’s master land use plan will define how and where the city grows for the next ten-plus years. All In Denver is advocating for policies that accommodate growth throughout the city, create opportunity for our residents and protect the distinctive cultures of our neighborhoods.
- Denver Performing Arts Center: With exciting plans unveiled to revitalize our regional arts center, we will be advocating for development that broadens cultural, educational and living opportunities for all. A new mixed-use arts center should include affordable housing, an arts magnet school that is accessible to all Denver students and arts facilities that can be used by community arts organizations throughout the city.
Please join us as we rethink Denver’s growth options and champion a city where we all share in a bright future – All In Denver at www.allindenver.org .
Brad Segal and Jami Duffy are two of 18 founding members of All In Denver. Brad is president of Progressive Urban Management Associates, a Denver-based economic development and planning firm. Brad can be reached at email@example.com. Jami is the executive director of Youth on Record, a non-profit helping empower and provide positive influences for at-risk youth through music education. Jami can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.