Denver District 5 | August 2020
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer | District 5
720-337-5555 |  DenverCouncil5@denvergov.org
Chief of Staff: JoyAnn Ruscha | Senior Aide: Logan Fry | Aide: Sara Visser
Dear Neighbors, 

Our city is facing extraordinary and unprecedented challenges. Now more than ever, it is important that District 5 residents join me in engaging in the legislative process.

On Thursday, Councilwoman CdeBaca proposed three Charter amendments, including one to abolish the Denver Police Department and replace it with the Department of Peacekeeping Services -the latter of which would have limited ability to detain a suspect or posses a firearm. While I have my own concerns about how these bills were drafted, I want to know your thoughts. I encourage you to take this District 5 survey about these proposals.

These are difficult discussions and I am working hard to find balanced solutions. I will not demonize the law enforcement officers who serve our community with honor and compassion. At the same time, I will not ignore the systemic racism that exists in our criminal justice system or fail in my duty to seek justice and equality for all. I ask for your patience, support, and engagement as this process unfolds. I cannot say where exactly it will lead, but I do commit to take votes that are rooted in research, best practices, and good governance.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to our office with questions, comments or feedback. I wish you and yours health and safety during this time.

Gratefully,

Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer 
Denver City Councilwoman, District 5  
Community Office Hours With Councilwoman Sawyer
Speak with Amanda to discuss the issues that are on your mind! Out of an abundance of caution during the current public health crisis, the Councilwoman will not be holding in-person community office hours in the months of August and September. She will instead offer private phone or Zoom appointments. Please contact the office at denvercouncil5@denvergov.org or 720-337-5555 to reserve a time. If you're unable to make any of these dates, please contact our office to schedule an appointment at another time. Dates and times are subject to change.

  • August 20 11:00am - noon
  • August 27 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • September 3 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • September 10 11:00am - 1:00pm
Take the District 5 Annual Resident Survey
Councilwoman Sawyer's second year in office is underway and our office continues to prioritize ways to bring the voices of our neighborhoods into city government.

The coming weeks and months are sure to bring more and different opportunities to represent the District 5 community through challenges and successes. To that end, we would truly appreciate you taking a few minutes to complete our second annual Resident
Survey, which is open until December 31, 2020. Give us your thoughts and opinions. Help us shape CM Sawyer's representation of District 5 residents. Make your voice heard.

Click here to take the survey. Thank you in advance for your time and responses!
Complete the Census by September 30: Your Response Matters
Everyone living in the U.S. – regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or immigration status – are valuable parts of our community who need to be counted in the 2020 Census. Completing your Census response is a Legal Requirement - mandated by the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 2) since 1790 and occurs every 10 years.Census takers are out visiting households until September 30 and your data is always 100% safe and secure. 

Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year, and can shape many aspects of our community - health clinics, fire departments, schools, even roads and highways. The results also determine how many seats in Congress each state gets and this year's data will likely help Colorado gain an additional seat in the House of Representatives, giving our state more influence and a stronger voice, nationally. Click here to complete your Census response today!
Proposed Group Living Amendment: Public Review Draft Available for Comment; Take the District 5 Survey
You may have heard that the City of Denver is considering updating the rules on the number of unrelated people who can live in a house together, and the kinds of living facilities that are allowed in our neighborhoods. This is officially called the "Group Living Code Amendments."



While CW Sawyer is currently a "no" vote on this proposal, she wants to be a part of the solution and is actively looking for compromises. Denver is suffering from a housing crisis, both in shortage of housing stock and in affordability. CW Sawyer is committed to working with her colleagues to find a better path forward than the current Group Living Proposal, and our office continues to welcome community input.

Please click here to take a short questionnaire to help our staff better understand what our community thinks about the Group Living proposal, and whether there may be a path forward that would allow for a compromise on this law, if such a thing were to become possible. Thank you.
Brighter Street Lights are Coming to East Colfax
As you may know, Denver, and many large cities across the US have experienced an uptick in crime over recent months. In an effort to see if increased lumens (total visible light) will help to reduce crime, Xcel Energy, the Council 5 Office, the Denver Police Department (DPD), and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) are partnering to start a pilot project on East Colfax. We will be increasing the wattage on 38 street lights and retrofit three to cobrahead LED. See the graphic below for locations.

DPD has provided us with “before” footage taken from the DPD’s helicopter, and we are hoping to do the same when this is complete to collect "after" data. We will also be tracking crime statistics in the area to determine efficacy. In addition, Xcel has provided the neighborhood with free light bulbs for your porches to help keep the neighborhood brighter. We will be coordinating drop off or pickup soon. Stay tuned as more information becomes available!
Multi-Sport Rink Under Construction at Lowry Sports Complex
The Colorado Avalanche and Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) have partnered to bring a year-round multi-sport rink to the Lowry Sports Complex. The rink is under construction now between Jackie Robinson Fields and the tennis courts south of Lowry Boulevard - see graphic below. The rink surface will be a slightly padded synthetic “sport court” surface on which people can play sports such as inline skating, roller hockey, futbal, soccer, box lacrosse, or basketball.

The Colorado Avalanche, on occasion, will hold free youth “learn-to-play” programs at the rink to introduce community members to the game of hockey and improve their skills. The rest of the time, the multi-sport rink will be open for community use.
Neighborhood Fundraiser Seeks to Enhance Robinson Park's Playground Redesign
As part of the Elevate Denver Bond program, and with additional funds from the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), the Department of Parks and Recreation has allocated $750,000 for a redesign of the Robinson Park Playground and basketball court - thank you, Denver voters! Unfortunately, this budget does not allow for the comprehensive redesign that many in the surrounding neighborhood would like to see.  

A group of neighbors, including Cranmer Park/Hilltop Civic Association Board, and our District 5 office, has partnered with The Park People to raise funds for three additional upgrades to the design - shade sails, musical elements, and a sand play area, each at an cost of $15,000. The campaign, totaling $50,000 (including potential expenses) is off to a successful start, with early donations of $11,000 already pledged, including $5,000 from our office. Design work is complete, work is expected to begin in early 2021 and the goal is to have all funds raised by October 31, 2020.

Click here to donate online and for more information - including project rendering and details about The Park People, which also played a vital role in the Save Our Sundial project. Donations may also be mailed to: The Park People/Robinson Park Playground, 1510 South Grant St., Denver, CO  80210 
Project Overview: Water Main Replacement in Parts of District 5
As you may be aware, Denver Water recently began a water main replacement project in the north section of District 5 - see graphic below. The project will be completed in five phases between May 2020 and summer 2021:

Phase 1: North Locust Street from 6th-10th Avenues
Phase 2: North Locust Street from 11th-Colfax Avenues
Phase 3: North Leyden Street from 6th – 11th Avenues
Phase 4: North Krameria Street from 8th- 11th Avenues
Phase 5: North Kearney Street from 6th-10th Avenues

Denver Water has indicated they will keep affected neighborhoods notified with updates provided throughout the project. We will do our best to pass along these notices to you as they become available. Click here for more information about the project, FAQs and to find out if your address possibly has a lead service line.
Denver Public Library Updates: Technology Access; Curbside Holds Pickup; and Summer Meals At Schlessman Branch
Denver Public Library provides many essential services and resources to Denver residents and now, popup laptop service is available at the five library branches. Each location will have 4-8 Chromebooks available for public use; sessions are on a first-come, first-served system - check specific branches for schedules and time limits; and free black and white printing will be available from all Chromebooks. Click here for a list of branches, and scheduled days/times.

DPL is now providing curbside pickup! The process is easy - just schedule your time and the location to pick up your books, drive up, and a library employee will bring your items to your car. Click here to learn more about curbside holds pickup or call 720-865-1111.

Lastly, DPL is partnering with Denver Public Schools to provide summer meals at the Schlessman Family Branch in District 5 Monday-Friday from noon-2:00pm until August 21.
Set a Goal to Walk for the High Line Canal
Join the High Line Canal Conservancy’s outdoor challenge to raise funds for tree planting and other improvements for the treasured High Line Canal. For 71 days starting August 1, go at your own pace, on your own time, in your own way, in any location to support the Canal. Get pledges for your miles and get moving outdoors!

Mask Order Signage Required for Businesses
As of July 21, 2020, the Denver Face Covering Order has been revised to maintain the minimum age for the wearing of face coverings to three-years-old and to add signage requirements for public indoor spaces. To comply with the updated order, owners, operators, or managers of public indoor spaces must post required signage in a conspicuous place at every public entrance to the facility. by July 28, 2020. Signs must be clearly visible to the public and must be printed at a size of no less than 11 inches wide by 17 inches in height.

Click here and/or here to download and print your own sign (see the graphics below) or consider visiting District 5's own Lowry Printing & Shipping in the Lowry Town Center. Owner Lisa James and her staff have these compliant posters ready to print for you and your business. Your mask protects me and my mask protects you. Thank you for helping to keep our community safe! 
Current City of Denver Public Comment Opportunities
If you are interested in making a public comment during a hearing, please click here for guidelines and FAQs, and click here to sign up. Sign-up begins 45 minutes prior to the committee’s scheduled start time and ends 15 minutes before the meeting begins.

There is one open re-zoning request in District 5 at this time, and ADU at 1055 Locust St. It was filed on July 8th so there is no further information or staff report available at this time.

Upcoming re-zoning requests in other Districts are listed below. For more information on proposed rezonings and their public hearings visit the Denver Community Planning and Development website.

Upcoming City Council Hearings
August 17
  • 3201 Curtis St.
  • 1925 Olive St.
  • 2101 S. Cherokee St.
  • 2755 Irving St.

August 24
  • 4901 Green St.
  • 14400 & 14422 E. Andrews Drive
  • 14408, 14419 & 14421 E. Elk Drive
  • 5320 E Thrill Place

August 31
  • 4855, 4856, 4876, and 4900 Sherman St; 4824 Lincoln St.; 4877, 4901, and 4978 Grant Street; and 5000, 5001, and 5021 Logan St.
  • 4846 N. Knox Ct.
  • 2520 Wewatta Way & 2901 Broadway

September 24
  • 755 Lafayette
  • 2535-2545 E Asbury Ave.
Upcoming Events - Virtual and In-Person
What Do You Value in Denver's Next Fire Chief?

Mayor Michael B. Hancock wants your feedback as he begins the process to appoint the Denver Fire Department’s next leader.

Saturday, August 15, 10:00am - 11:30am
 
Thursday, August 20, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

If you are unable to attend in-person, please submit your comments via email.
Click here to email your request for sign language interpreter or CART services.
Click here to email your request for Spanish translation services.
Click here to request assistance for other disability accommodations.
Denver's Central, East Central & Southeast Elected Officials Biweekly Town Hall on August 20

Special Presenter: Dr. Carl Clark, President/CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, will discuss emotional challenges people may face during the COVID-19 crisis and how we can help.

Thursday, August 20
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Zoom or Facebook Live
Click here to sign up.
Pick Up a SLOW DOWN Yard Sign on August 21

After feedback from District 5 constituents, our office has purchased these purple yard signs to help with traffic calming in our neighborhoods. If you would like one, come by during the date/hours listed below and we ask that you wear a mask and practice appropriate physical distancing.

Friday, August 21
Noon - 2:00pm
Montclair Recreation Center, 729 Ulster Way
Save the Date for the East Area Plan Virtual Open House

Thursday, September 10 at 6:00pm.
The link to join the meeting is not yet available, but will be posted here as the date approaches.
2020 Film on the Rocks - Drive In Style!

Denver Film Society and Denver Arts & Venues brings films in the Red Rocks Lower South Lot 2 parking area on select dates through August 30.

District 5 Neighborhood Organizations
Denver is a unique city in promoting greater citizen involvement through organized neighborhood associations. Currently, there are 78 statistical areas represented by more than 200 registered neighborhood organizations (RNOs), Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Homeowner Associations (HOAs).

In its defined geographic area, an RNO will normally address neighborhood quality of life issues - such as traffic, development and zoning, crime, communication and licensing - and promote social activities to enhance residential spirit, developing a sense of community, and encourage resident participation. RNOs meet regularly and many send out newsletters to keep residents informed on neighborhood issues and events.

Get more involved in your community by joining your Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO). Below are a list of Council District 5 community community organizations. You can also find out which RNO you belong to by clicking HERE and entering your address or selecting a location on the map.