Denver District 5 | March 2022
720-337-5555 |  DenverCouncil5@denvergov.org
Senior Aide: Logan Fry | Aide: Jenn Gross | Aide: Felicia Rodriguez |
Dear Neighbors, 

Spring is almost here and with it District 5 will be getting many needed upgrades from the City. Please take a look at the traffic, paving, and parks projects at your leisure.

Our office's projects are also coming along. Our first Gun Buy Back event is this weekend, Spring Parks Clean Up Day is around the corner, and over 200 people attended our community meetings for the traffic studies on 6th Ave. and S Dayton St.

At the end of this month City Council will be voting on new Council District Maps. Please let us know which map you prefer by taking our survey below. All the Council Districts will be changing, including District 5, so be sure to keep an eye out for the new map once it's approved. Please note that the new map doesn't go into effect until April of 2023, so District 5 will continue to represent the communities who elected me in 2019 until then.

As always, feel free to reach out if the D5 Team can be of assistance!

Gratefully,

Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer
District 5
Speak with CW Sawyer about the issues on your mind! Due to the uptick in COVID cases, Office Hours will be held virtually by private phone or Zoom appointment. In-person Office Hours are by appointment only. Please email our office or call 720-337-5555 to reserve a time. If you're unavailable for these dates, please contact our office to schedule an appointment at another time. 
  • Thursday, March 17, 11 AM - 1 PM
  • Wednesday, March 23, 3 PM - 5 PM
  • Thursday, March 31, 11 AM - 1 PM
  • Thursday, April 7, 11 AM - 1 PM
  • Thursday, April 14, 11 AM - 1 PM
6th Ave. and S Dayton St. Traffic Study Surveys
Our studies of 6th Ave. and S Dayton St. are moving along! The community surveys for the two studies will close on April 1st and April 15th respectively, so if you haven't taken them yet please follow the links below and let us know what you think and how we can make these two streets safer for everyone!

If you missed our first community meetings, follow this link to watch the 6th Ave. meeting and this link to watch the S Dayton St. meeting.
Gun Buyback Program Updates
In late November, CW Sawyer and City of Aurora At-Large Councilmember Curtis Gardner announced a Joint Community Gun Buyback Program that launches this month to help reduce the incidence of gun violence in both cities. RAWtools, a Colorado Springs-based non-profit organization that works with municipalities and faith-based community partners, will host drive-through gun buyback events on the following dates:

  • March 19, 9 AM to 1 PM
  • April 9, 9 AM to 1 PM
  • May 21, 9 AM to 1 PM
  • June 11, 9 AM to 1 PM
  • July 16, 9 AM to 1 PM
  • August 20, 9 AM to 1 PM
  • September 17, 9 AM to 1 PM
  • October 15, 9 AM to 1 PM

Residents can anonymously turn in firearms for destruction at these voluntary events. Trained volunteers then destroy recovered firearms to ATF standards and convert them into garden tools and jewelry. While we know that individuals participating in criminal activity will not typically turn in their firearms at a buyback event, working to reduce the number of available guns in our communities is part of an overall strategy to address gun violence.

The Denver Broncos have partnered with us on our kick off event on March 19th at Empower Field at Mile High! RAWtools, Inc., was recognized as a recipient of the 2022 Denver Broncos Inspire Change Program and was awarded $35,000.00 thru the teams Social Justice Fund. Email our office at DenverCouncil5@denvergov.org if you would like to volunteer!
Spring Parks Clean Up Day!
District 5 2022 Spring Parks & Open Space Clean-Up Day is Sunday, May 15th at 8:30 am. Parks and open spaces in D5 are true treasures, providing spaces for exercise, socializing, reflection and much more. Join us to spruce up half of the D5 City-managed parks this spring. Click the button below to learn more and to sign up to volunteer!
Aggravated Assaults with a Firearm Down Dramatically in Three District 5 Neighborhoods
Denver District 3 Police released a report on firearm offenses from January 2021 to February 2022. Much of District 3 saw respectable decreases aggravated assaults with firearms, but the Lowry neighborhood saw the largest decrease in offenses, city-wide, with 83% fewer aggravated assaults involving a firearm than the previous year.

Data provided in this report is compiled from Denver Police Department Records. The report summarizes the reported Aggravated Assaults involving a Firearm and shots fired calls in specific neighborhoods based on recent aggravated assaults involving a firearm, volume and frequency of reported shots fired, and geographical area and jurisdictional boundaries.

Thanks to our District 3 officers for the amazing work they have been doing to help make our neighborhoods safer!
Redistricting is Happening!
As you may have heard Council district boundaries are being redrawn following the 2020 U.S. Census. public hearing will be held at the March 29 City Council meeting where council members will vote on a final map. The new map incorporating changed district boundaries will be in effect for the 2023 municipal election.

There are two final maps in consideration: Map D and Map E. Please take our survey on which map you prefer.
Survey Closes on March 20!
Near Southeast Area Plan Surveys Open
Big thanks to everyone who attended the first of two virtual workshops and helped kick off the next phase of community engagement for the Near Southeast Area Plan.

If you couldn't attend--or even if you did--you can offer feedback on neighborhood topics that are important you through a series of online surveys now available. Each survey takes about 20 minutes and offers another way to share your thoughts on priorities and potential trade-offs in four topic areas.

Those who share their input through the surveys or virtual workshops may opt in for a chance to win $20 gift cards to Target or local restaurants!


Keep an eye on your inbox for additional information coming in the next few weeks or visit the plan webpage.
Free COVID Tests at Denver Rec Centers
Denver residents are able to pick up free rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits at Denver Recreation Centers as part of the State of Colorado’s test distribution efforts. Denver Parks and Recreation has received 15,000 kits for distribution at 29 locations around the city.
 
COVID-19 tests will be available for pick up during regular operating hours at all Denver Recreation Centers (except for La Alma, which is currently closed). Each test kit contains two tests and residents are eligible to receive up to two free test kits while supplies last. 
Apply for Planning Board!
Do you care about how Denver grows? Do you consider diverse viewpoints and believe Denver can be a place where everyone is welcome? Apply to the Denver Planning Board!

This all-volunteer board plays a key role in Denver land use matters, making recommendations to the City Council and Mayor on area plans, amendments to the Denver Zoning Code and zoning changes to property throughout the city. Denver Community Planning and Development is looking for candidates with experience and interest in planning and design, mobility and housing. Candidates from South Denver and neighborhoods identified by the Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization Team are especially encouraged to apply.
Solid Waste Expansion Proposal
The City and County of Denver is exploring an expansion of residential waste services that would provide weekly recycling and composting for all customers, increase the amount of waste diverted away from the landfill, and reduce the amount of harmful methane emissions in Denver. To cover the costs of these services, including labor and regular equipment replacement, Denver is proposing a new volume-based fee based on the trash cart size that residents would select, with weekly recycling and composting included at no additional cost. Please visit Solid Waste's website for a complete explanation of the proposal and Frequently Asked Questions.

The folks at Solid Waste are currently presenting to RNOs and other civic organizations. If your RNO would like to request a presentation please contact Solid Waste here. You can also view their entire presentation here or you can learn more at their website.

Dakota Ave Power Line Work
Xcel Energy began moving the existing overhead electric lines underground on E. Dakota Avenue the week of March 7, 2022. The work will occur between S. Hudson and S. Kearney Streets and in the alley between S. Jersey and S. Jasmine Streets (from E. Dakota Avenue to E. Virginia Avenue) and is weather dependent and pending final permitting.
 
The public should expect one-lane closures in the active work areas along E. Dakota Avenue; construction flaggers will be in place to direct travelers.
It is possible that utility interruptions may occur in the process of undergrounding the electric lines. Xcel will work to schedule service disruptions during non-peak hours and restore service as quickly as possible. Impacted properties will be notified in advance.
Installation of the underground lines is currently expected to take approximately eight months to complete. The overhead lines will be removed following the switch to the new system later this year.

Once Xcel completes the utility undergrounding on E. Dakota Avenue and in the adjacent alley, the City of Denver will mill and repave to provide a clean corridor in the project area.
If you are interested in commenting during a hearing, please review the guidelines and FAQs, and sign up to speak here. Sign-up for public comment at a hearing begins 45 minutes prior to the Committee’s scheduled start time and ends 15 minutes before the meeting begins. Click here for information about how to participate virtually.

There are currently three open rezoning requests in District 5. Click here for more information and updates.  

Upcoming public hearings *dates are subject to change.
March 21
  • 3759 Inca St & 3760 Jason St
  • 2000 Blake St
March 29
  • Public hearing on Redistricting
April 4
  • 2875 Albion St
  • 3435 Albion St
April 11
  • 3345 Birch St
SLOW DOWN Signs are Back
You might have seen them around. By popular demand our neighborhood SLOW DOWN Signs are back! If you would like a sign or signs please keep an eye out for upcoming distribution days or email us denvercouncil5@denvergov.org.
Newport & Alameda Stoplight
The long awaited stoplight at Newport and Alameda is nearing construction! The construction contract was approved by City Council on Dec. 6. Weather depending, work will begin sometime in the next few months. At the Council Office's request, this stoplight will include automatic walk signals so that our Orthodox Jewish residents do not have to push a button on Shabbat in order to safely cross Alameda Ave.
PepsiCo Uplift Scholarship
The PepsiCo Foundation Uplift Scholarship program aims to support closing the wealth gap by providing access to higher education to 4,000 Black and Latinx students within the next five years. These scholarships will enable students to acquire jobs in high growth and promising fields. The comprehensive scholarship program includes assistance for tuition including wrap-around support and access to emergency funds.
 
Thanks to PepsiCo and many other generous donors, the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges is able to offer this and several other scholarship opportunities for students attending or planning to attend any of the 13 Colorado Community College System colleges each academic year.
 
Learn more and apply here.
Outdoor Adventure & Alternative Sports Master 2nd Survey
Thank you to those that joined Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) for the second public meeting to discuss the future of outdoor adventure and alternative sports in Denver and the DPR mountain parks! If you missed the meeting, you can watch the recording here. And learn more here.
 
Reserve Rooms at City Facilities
Events Around Denver and D5
The D5 Team brings you just a few of the events going on in our city. To stay up-to-date on more happenings, you can sign up to receive Denver's Office of Special Events' monthly newsletter.
Irish Denver Walking Tour
March 17 @ 11 AM
History Colorado presents an Irish Walking Tour with Professor James Walsh, who will cover the story of Denver’s early Irish community and shed new light on conflicts and stories of survival that defined Denver’s working class for generations.
LUN Townhall on Homelessness
April 5 @ 7 PM doors open at 6:30 PM
LUN presents this discussion because of widespread frustration that millions of dollars and years of work have brought only fragmented remedies. Along with homelessness, comes health and safety impacts harmful to those who live on the streets, as well as to other citizens of Denver.

LUN has assembled a panel of local leaders to help understand the challenges for the homeless and unhoused in our city and for the agencies who serve them. The panel will discuss the spectrum of services and housing options designed to assist unhoused individuals in Denver and what those efforts have achieved.
CELEBRATING WOMEN: Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche
On view thru May 8
Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche at the Denver Art Museum examines the historical and cultural legacy of La Malinche. Both reviled as a traitor and hailed as the mother of Mexico, Malinche has been the subject of controversy and adulation for centuries. Her legacy remains relevant to conversations around female empowerment, Indigeneity and national identity throughout the Americas.
Traitor, Survivor, Icon is included in general museum admission, free for youth 18 and under every day and members, and free for all visitors to enjoy during the Tues., March 8, Free Day at DAM (advance ticket reservations encouraged).
Jurassic World Exhibit at the National Western Center
Now Open!
The 20,000 square foot immersive experience based on the film is now open. Visit their website for tickets and more information.
Denver 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 is a list of Council District 5 community organizations. You can also find out which RNO you belong to by entering your address or selecting a location on the map.