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Off To The Races

Mayor, Council Hopefuls Tuning Up For May

By Cara DeGette, Editor, GPHN

Clearly still riding the deep blue wave of the mid-term elections from the week before, on Nov. 13 a crowd of about 130 flocked to Messiah Community Church to hear from two top challengers to Mayor Michael B. Hancock. The two-term mayor is running for reelection in May.

The forum, sponsored by the City Park Friends and Neighbors association, was the first in a series. Lisa Calderón, a criminal justice advocate and Regis University professor, and Penfield Tate III, an attorney and former longtime legislator, headlined.

Speaking one after another, Calderón and Tate offered their perceptions of a myriad of ways the city is running off the rails under current leadership, resulting in poor growth planning and even worse communication about those plans to residents (Calderón called them “fake community engagement sessions,” earning a big cheer).

Both oppose the Interstate 70 widening project through longtime working class neighborhoods, and both have expressed criticism over a sexual harassment scandal involving the mayor that surfaced earlier this year.  Other topics highlighted snarled traffic, increasing homelessness, gentrification, and various injuries being inflicted on the city’s parks.

“We the people need a city government that not talks to us or at us, but with us,” said Tate, earning another cheer. “The city needs to listen to what we have to say but … this has not occurred. Meanwhile, our neighborhoods are being disrupted.”

In addition to the mayor’s race, the City Council District 8 race has drawn five candidates who are challenging incumbent Chris Herndon to represent Park Hill, Stapleton and a portion of Montbello. Click here for profiles of all six council hopefuls.

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