Denver District 5 | April 2021
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer | District 5
720-337-5555 | | Senior Aide: Logan Fry
Aide: Sara Visser | Aide: Jenn Gross
Dear Neighbors, 

I hope this letter finds you well as we move closer to "true" spring, and as we begin to see glimpses of life after the pandemic. In our communities, I feel a positive energy that is symbolic of both of these chapters.

The vaccine rollout continues, and as a result the City is reopening. Starting yesterday, the City's face mask requirement will no longer apply outside. The 30-day order will be re-evaluated for possible extension closer to its expiration date. 

Denver will also be moving from Level Yellow to Level Blue for most categories. The 30-day order takes effect Friday, April 16 and will be re-evaluated in a month. New capacity limits for Denver will include the following: 
  • 75 percent capacity at offices 
  • 75 percent capacity for retail businesses 
  • 100 percent capacity for gyms, recreation centers and pools, with six-foot distancing between non-householdmembers 
  • 100 percent capacity for restaurants, with 6-foot distancing between parties and a group size limit of 10 
  • 25 percent capacity for bars that do not serve food, not to exceed 75 people 
  • Alcohol beverage sales at bars/restaurants allowed until 2 a.m. 
  • Indoor unseated events at 50 percent capacity, not to exceed 175 people per room 
  • Indoor seated events at 100 percent capacity, with six-foot distancing between groups of up to 10 individuals (indoor events with over 500 people must consult with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment) 
  • Outdoor seated and unseated events with fewer than 5000 attendees at 100 percent capacity, with a written mitigation plan that facilitates social distancing between parties. 
  • Proposed events with 5000 or more attendees must consult with DDPHE before the event can occur.

As always, the District 5 team is here as a resource for everyone in the District 5 community. Please be in touch if there is anything we can do to assist you.


Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer 
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 for now. She will instead offer private phone or Zoom appointments. Please email our office or call 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.

  • Thursday, April 15, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Thursday, April 22, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Thursday, April 29, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Thursday, May 6, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Thursday, May 13, 11:00am-1:00pm
Join Us for District 5's Community-Wide Virtual Spring Town Hall on Thursday, April 29, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Join CW Sawyer and the District 5 Team for the Spring Town Hall - everyone is welcome! Based on the 1,141 responses to our 2020 Annual Survey, D5 constituents' primary concerns are, and our agenda topics for this Town Hall will be:

  • Crime and Safety
  • Traffic
  • Development

We hope you can attend to hear updates from City representatives in each of these areas, and also from our office. There will be time for questions.
STAR Co-Responder Program Expanding to E. Colfax in Q2 2021
The Support Team Assisted Response program (STAR) provides crisis response to non-violent community members who are experiencing problems related to mental health, depression, poverty, homelessness and/or substance abuse. The central idea of STAR is to direct appropriate calls to mental health care professionals instead of to police, and/or as an alternative to sending people to a costly ER visit, or even to jail. The program will now be expanded to include the East Colfax corridor of - see the map below for specifics.

STAR is a community response program made possible through collaboration between the Caring for Denver foundation, DOD, Mental Health Center of Denver, Denver Health Paramedic Division, Denver 911 and community support and resources. In its first six months, STAR responded to 748 incidents, with none requiring police or leading to arrests or jail time.

The Spring D5 Parks Clean-Up Day is May 16, 8:30am-11:00am Volunteer and Lend a Hand!
Year-round, and certainly in the warmer months, our community parks provide space for recreation and respite, and are treasured by community members of all ages. Let's join together on May 16 to give them some attention and tidying. Click below for a list of the parks, specific meet-up spots, available volunteer slots, and other guidelines. Last October, the D5 Team was grateful to the 80+ volunteers who helped tidy about half of D5’s parks. We have no doubt that community members will again step-up to lend a hand for the spring event. We hope you'll join us and thank you!
Upcoming Denver Parks & Rec Community Meetings: Verbena Park Improvements, Kearny/Krameria Bikeway
Verbena Park Improvements: Second Virtual Meeting, Via Zoom
Thursday May 6, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
DPR will present the feedback received from the first public meeting, the initial survey and other community input to date, and we will work to determine the community vision for playground and basketball improvements. Click here to connect to the meeting virtually, or call 720-928-9299 to join by phone. Meeting ID: 863 0761 7184. For more information about the project, click here and scroll down to "Verbena Park." 

Kearny/Krameria Bikeway Virtual Meeting, Via Zoom
Tuesday May 11, 5:30-6:30pm
This is a follow up meeting on the proposed Neighborhood Bikeway on Kearney and Krameria Streets between Smith Road and Virginia Avenue. The project team will share community survey results, preliminary concepts for safety improvements on the Kearney/Krameria Corridor, and next steps. 

DOTI's District 5 2021 Street Paving Plans and the Five-Year Plan
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is “rolling out” its 2021 paving program. With an additional $3.5 million in funding this year from the voter-approved Elevate Denver Bond Program - which added 35 lane miles to the project, the total for this year's work will be 465 lane-miles of local, arterial and collector streets with a total of $33.5 million in funding to improve more streets citywide. Fun fact: one lane mile = a one-mile long, 12-foot wide stretch of roadway. DOTI will continue to coordinate bike lane striping with paving operations to help improve mobility. See the maps below for the planned 2021 repaving in District 5, as well as the Five-Year Plan. Click here for weekly paving updates, plans and additional maps of the 2021 work program throughout the City,

At least 24 hours in advance of paving crews arriving, temporary "No Parking" signs are placed on streets to be paved. Cars left on the street when work begins will be moved – typically within a two-block radius of where the car was parked – and vehicle owners will receive a $50 citation for parking in a no parking zone. Given the continued economic hardships related to COVID-19, DOTI will not issue an additional $100 citation for the tow during the 2021 paving season. Residents who need help locating their cars following a short-tow can call the City’s non-emergency line at 720-913-2000.
The Denver Park Trust Launches Monthly Electronic Newsletter
The Denver Park Trust is a nonprofit fundraising partner of Denver Parks and Recreation with a mission to improve and expand Denver's parks in historically underserved areas. On March 30, the Trust published its first monthly electronic newsletter, "featuring stories, surveys, events and more in and about Denver’s parks" as part of the Game Plan for a Healthy City, and to help the public discover Denver's parks and open spaces.
Denver Water Will Soon Resume Turn-Offs for Nonpayment
Last March, in response to economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 health emergency and to ensure all customers had access to this vital resource, Denver Water temporarily suspended water shut-offs due to delinquent payments. Now, as our community begins recovering, Denver Water is committed to helping their customers get back on track, and they have resources that can help. If you need help paying your bill, remember that any payment is better than no payment. If you keep your balance below $100, you are not at risk of having service turned off in the future.

Use these resources to make a full or partial payment:

Denver Water also partners with the Mile High United Way 2-1-1 Help Center, which is a multilingual, confidential service connecting our community to vital resources. Click here to find out if you qualify for hardship assistance, call 211, or text your ZIP code to 898-211.
Disposable Bag Fee Goes Into Effect on July 1 - Together We Can Reduce Waste and Litter, and Protect Our Waterways
To help reduce the number of disposable carryout bags used, littered, and landfilled, the Fee on Disposable Bags goes into effect on July 1, and requires retail stores in Denver to charge $0.10 for each disposable bag - plastic, paper, or other material including but not limited to compostable material, provided to customers at checkout. The goal of this is to reduce the impacts and costs of disposable bags in the community and encourage the use of reusable bags. Click here for more information, including FAQs, specific guidelines and a reusable bag giveaway planned for June. You can also call 311, Denver's non-emergency phone number. Bring your own bag to avoid the charge!
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month - You Can Get Involved and Make a Difference
Communities play a big role in families’ lives. Just like a plant is more likely to thrive in a garden with good soil and plenty of sunlight and water, families are more likely to thrive in nurturing communities. There are many ways you can get involved in your community to prevent child abuse and neglect, even if you aren’t raising a child or working with children every day. Click here to find your way to help Denver Human Services grow a better tomorrow for all children.
Mayfair Neighbors' Shred-A-Thon is Saturday, May 1, 9am-Noon
Sort through those piles and files and then bring your unwanted documents for shredding and recycling to the Mayfair Plaza parking lot at 14th Ave. & Krameria (in front of 7-11). Mayfair Neighbors members get three bags shredded for free. Those with more and non-members pay $15 - or pay $20 to join and support the efforts of this neighborhood organization. Click here to learn more about Mayfair Neighbors.
SLOW DOWN Signs Are Back - Sign Up for Yours!
Our office has more SLOW DOWN signs. We will begin distributing them later this month. Click here to sign up for a sign and we'll update you about where and when to pick it up. Remember to adhere to Denver's sign ordinance, including rules to keep signs in good repair and out of the right-of-way. If you're replacing an old or damaged sign, please consider recycling it or any other yard signs to keep them out of the landfill.
Current City of Denver Public Comment Opportunities
If you are interested in commenting during a hearing, please take a look at the guidelines and FAQs, and sign up to speak here. Sign-up begins 45 minutes prior to the Committee’s scheduled start time and ends 15 minutes before the meeting begins.

There are currently two open re-zoning requests in District 5:
  • Rezoning application at 10353 E. Mississippi was filed on October 1, 2019, and a revised application was received on December 1, 2020.
  • City Council Public Hearing is scheduled for June 7
  • Rezoning application at 1091 S. Parker Rd. & 7400 E. Mississippi Ave was filed on February 10, 2021.
  • No additional information is currently available

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

April 19
  • 4345 Bryant St. & 4530 Winona Ct.
  • 4735 Quitman St.
  • 2070 Colorado Blvd.

April 26 - No public hearings are currently scheduled.

May 3
  • 3431 N. Columbine St.
  • 1590 S. Emerson St.
  • 1450 S. Humboldt St.

May 10
  • 3001 S. Federal Blvd. - Loretto Heights
  • 2000 W. Virginia
  • 123 Speer Blvd.

If you don't have internet access, you can still attend all Denver City Council meetings by phone. Call 720-928-9299 and enter the Meeting ID of the meeting you wish to listen to. Click here to learn more and to see a Meeting Calendar.
Updated Resource List to Help You Find Your COVID-19 Vaccine; Assistance for Hospitality Workers; Avoid Vaccine Scams
Beginning Friday, April 2, everyone in Colorado ages 16 and older became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The City urges every resident who qualifies to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Information on where and how to sign up to receive a vaccine is available on thecity’s vaccine website. During a press conference on April 14, Mayor Hancock said lots of vaccine appointments are available at the Ball Arena mass vaccination site. Click here to book an appointment.
All vaccine efforts are through the state and go through the Governor’s office. The Vaccine is FREE and no ID is necessary to get a vaccineYour name, DOB and phone number will be all you will need in order to get your dose. On April 2, our office sent out an updated list of resources to help you find your vaccine:
As a reminder, if you have access to a computer and/or other devices with an internet connection, please sign up online and leave the phone lines open for those who do not have internet access

Through the Colorado Restaurant Foundation's Angel Relief Fund, Denver is offering emergency assistance to local hospitality employees facing an unanticipated hardship due to the ongoing pandemic. Click here for for eligibility information and to access the application.

The Denver DA's office wants to make sure you get vaccinated, not scammed, and they have provided these tips:
  • If an email comes from a healthcare network or provider that you have not done business with, or never heard of, it may be fraudulent
  • Emails with links and phone calls from unexpected callers are standard scammer methods. Tips to detect fraudulent emails are available here. 
  • Other than providing your birth date, you will not be required to provide ANY personal information to the caller or within the link. Do not share your social security number or bank account numbers. If the email or caller asks for any information, hang up and/or do not respond.
  • You will not be required to pay for your vaccine. If the caller or email requests payment for the vaccine or to make an appointment hang-up or delete the email. 
Vaccine Access Program Helps Residents Get a Ride to Vaccine Appointments
Mile High United Way 2-1-1 and Lyft have teamed up to help people get a ride to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment. The program could be especially helpful to underserved populations where transportation access might be a barrier to getting the vaccine.

Supporting Healthy Food Access for Denver's Youth: Grant Applications Due by April 26
The Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids (HFDK) Commission, through Denver’s Department of Public Health & Environment, has a second funding opportunity to increase access to healthy food and food-based education for youth in Denver. HFDK is accepting applications until 11:00pm MT on April 26 from nonprofit organizations, individual schools - including Denver Public Schools, and City agencies that support Denver youth in the following program priority areas:

  • Nutritious food access and nutrition/food education
  • Ages 5 and under and early childhood education (ECE)
  • Participation in federal and/or state nutrition assistance programs
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Local food procurement

Healthy Residential Rentals for All: An Opportunity to Give Your Feedback at Community Meetings on April 22 and 24
Since 2019, Council President Gilmore's office has been working on the “Healthy Residential Rentals for All" rental license proposal, which would require property owners to get a license to rent a property or unit in Denver to help:
  • Ensure the minimum housing standards of rental units are maintained for the welfare, safety, and health of those residing in them.
  • Allow Denver to track our city’s housing stock - knowing our housing stock is critical to solving our housing needs.
  • Help stabilize housing by utilizing basic landlord/property owner information to share resources with tenants and strengthen landlord/tenant education and outreach

To learn more, please plan on attending one of the Community Meetings planned for April 22 at 5:30pm and April 24 at 10:00am. Click here for links and phone numbers to attend the meetings and for more information about the proposal in English and Spanish. To send an email to share comments about this proposal, click here to email Council President Stacie Gilmore or click here to email Sr. Council Aide Magen Elenz.
Applications are Due Tomorrow, April 16 for United Airlines' Summer Internships Through Denver Children's Affairs
United Airlines is partnering with Denver's Office of Children's Affairs to provide professional learning opportunities in the aviation field. Selected participants will be part of a mentorship program that will include training to provide general customer assistance throughout the airport. This is an eight-week, paid program and interns will work three days a week, eight hours a day. Click here to learn more and apply.
CPD Expands Housing Affordability Program
In 2020, Denver’s Community Planning and Development (CPD) launched the “Expanding Affordability Project” with a focus on creating a citywide zoning incentive. As part of Denver's overall strategy to provide more and better housing opportunities for all residents, this project aimed to create new tools and improve existing ones to address residents' growing housing needs.
In early 2021, CPD expanded the project to include an update to the City's linkage fee and to address potential changes to state law, which currently limits what affordable housing Denver can require developers to build. Over the last few months, the Affordable Housing Zoning Incentive Project has shifted gears to include more tools, along with zoning, to help address our housing needs. CPD is partnering with the Department of Housing Stability (HOST), and the new Expanding Affordability Project will now involve:
  • a citywide zoning incentive that would allow projects to build taller buildings if more affordable units are included,
  • an update to the City's linkage fee, which requires all new development to either include affordable housing or pay a fee that supports Denver's affordable housing fund
  • potential changes to state law on "inclusionary housing," which refers to requirements that cities can establish for new for-sale or for-rent developments. Currently, state law puts strict limits on what Denver and other cities statewide can require. 

Planners began community outreach in early spring 2021 to explain how these tools will fit into Denver's overall housing strategy. Click here for additional project information and to learn more about why affordable housing matters to all of us.
Emergency Outreach Team Responds to 3-1-1 Calls About Homeless Encampments
Earlier this year, Denver City Councilmembers received an update on the Early Intervention Team for for Urban Encampments (EIT), which was launched as a pilot program in October 2020, establishing a team to mitigate the growing encampments of people experiencing homelessness in Denver. Click here to see the full Power Point presentation. The EIT was formed in partnership with Denver Human Services (DHS), Denver Fire Department (DFD) and the Denver Police Department (DPD) to engage with our unhoused neighbors and connect them with services, resources, shelter, housing, treatment and care, including benefits such as SNAP and connections to case managers. Personnel from DHS and DFD, as well as Substance Use Navigators, respond to calls in an unmarked vehicle to conduct outreach engagement with community members in encampments throughout Denver, primarily focused downtown.

If you would like an EIT to respond to a situation you see, call the City's non-emergency line at 3-1-1. If a call is regarding a life -threatening emergency, it will be re-routed to 911. The EIT program differs from Denver's Co-Responder programs because the EIT responds only to situations within the unhoused community. Co-responder clinicians, paired with DPD and District Outreach Case Coordinators, do not limit their response to the unhoused community and sometimes request EIT assistance and resources when they are responding to an encampment.
Historic Denver Asks: Which 50 Places in Denver Would You Like to See Preserved for the Next 50 Years?
Do you have a favorite Denver neon sign, school, church, community center, or know of a home of someone who shaped Denver? Do you know of a unique block or open space, or a meaningful mural or small business? To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Historic Denver is searching for places that are relevant to Denver’s history, representative of Denver’s diverse stories, and have not already been recognized or protected. The 50 Actions for 50 Places Campaign asks Denver residents to help identify the places we hope will still be here 50 years from now. Click here to submit the places you can’t imagine Denver without through an on-line form and map.

In May, Historic Denver will announce the final 50 places and work with community members and property owners to devise an action strategy for each one that might include raising awareness, storytelling, installing interpretive markers, providing technical assistance, or nominating a site for local, state, or federal designation. If you have questions, click here to send an email to Michael Flowers at Historic Denver or call 303-534-5288 ext. 27.
First-Ever HUD User’s Guide for Denver
In an ordinary year, understanding the scope and guidelines for federal dollars flowing into Denver from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is overwhelming. With additional pandemic relief and recovery dollars arriving via HUD and other sources, Denver needed a User’s Guide to help the local nonprofit and business community navigate how to apply for federal dollars. Now there's a resource to help!

City and County of Denver Donates Bison to Tribal Nations   
On April 2, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) presented 13 American Bison to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes located in Oklahoma and one bison to the Tall Bull Memorial Council in Colorado. This gift is the first of its kind from the City to return wild bison to their native homes, help reintroduce bison, and support conservation efforts on tribal lands.  

In consultation with DPR’s tribal partners, the Denver American Indian Commission, the Tall Bull Memorial Council and the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the donation of surplus Denver Mountain Park bison to American Indian Tribes or American Indian Non-Profit organizations will continue through the year 2030. Denver Mountain Park Bison will help establish, support and sustain Native American conservation herds across the country.

Are You Ready for Events This Summer? Denver's Special Events Team Wants to Hear From You
Spring has sprung, summer is coming, vaccinations are increasing and more events are beginning to return to Denver's parks and streets! Click here to check out the upcoming events that are scheduled to take place on public property. Remember that every person and organization holding an event-related permit from the City must comply with State of Colorado Public Health Orders and Guidelines in effect at the time of the event.

Event organizers are excited to put on outdoor events this year and are preparing to meet state and local COVID-19 safety requirements to ensure that events are safe for staff, vendors and attendees.  DPR wants to know how the public is feeling about attending community festivals, runs and walks, outdoor markets, etc. this summer. Click here to take a quick, 6-question survey. Thank you!
Virtual & In-Person Events
In-person events are gradually returning to our city and state and many of us are excited to get out and safely experience them! If your District 5 neighborhood is hosting an event, please email us if you'd like us to promote it in this newsletter.
DPD District 3 Virtual Neighborhood Watch Action & Awareness Training

Thursday, April 22
Denver Police District 3's Neighborhood Watch program is open to all and encourages partnership between Officers and the Residents they serve. Click here to RSVP  and you will recieve a link to participate.
Denver's Annual Mulch Giveaway and Compost Sale 

Saturday, May 1
8:00am - 2:00pm

Free mulch will be available from trees that were collected and ground up through Denver’s Treecycle program earlier this year. Compost will be for sale at a significantly discounted price at participating Ace Hardware and A1 Organics locations. Click here to learn more.
Red Rocks is Back for the 2021 Season

Red Rocks has received approval from the State of Colorado to re-open at a capacity of 2,500 people for physically distanced shows! Click here to see the calendar and event guidelines.
CO Architecture Artwork from Local Photographers

35 Colorado-based artists were selected for Denver International Airport's newest photo exhibit: My Colorado: Architecture. Located on Concourse A, the exhibit captures images of inspiring architecture within urban settings, the Eastern Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Watch the virtual exhibit. 
District 5 Neighborhood Organizations
Denver is a unique city in promoting greater citizen involvement through organized neighborhood associations. Currently, there are 78 statistical neighborhoods 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 organizations. You can also find out which RNO you belong to by and entering your address or selecting a location on the map.