Denver District 5 | May 2020
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer | District 5
720-337-5555 |   DenverCouncil5@denvergov.org
Senior Aide: Logan Fry | Aide: Sara Visser
Dear Neighbors, 

Spring has finally arrived in East Denver, but it certainly doesn't feel like any other spring I've ever experienced. I know this is a difficult time. But I am so grateful for the incredible way our community has come together to weather this storm. Thank you all for your patience and for staying positive during this tough year.

Our office has been working hard to bring you resources and support. Please don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do for you. Most importantly, we've been trying to bring financial resources our local community by purchasing food from local District 5 restaurants and delivering it to the workers at District 5's own Rose Medical Center to thank them. We have also donated to the #KeepLowryStrong COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund, and the East Colfax Small Business Relief Fund. In these ways, we are able to put your hard earned tax dollars immediately back to work right in our own backyard. I also created a website to help support our small businesses, www.WeAreOpenDenver.com. If you're open and operating, please register your business so residents can find you on the map, which allows users to locate local businesses that are open near them. Local business owners are our friends and neighbors, and it has never been more important to shop local to support theml.

This week the City also revised its early financial estimates from a loft of $180 million in revenue, to a loss of $242 million. To help backfill that financial gap, the Mayor announced eight days of mandatory furloughs this year for all City employees. Although by law elected officials cannot be furloughed, I will be voluntarily returning eight days of my salary to the City. I am honored to stand with my coworkers in this act, and I will not stand by and allow others to bear this burden alone. Our office is proud of the work we've done so far, and we're only getting started.

For COVID-19 resources and information, please  click here  to see our most recent update, which our office sent on May 5th. You can also find support services on The City's  COVID-19 Relief Support and Resources website . Please read on for more information about some of the other, non-COVID-related things that are happening in our community right now.

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, the Councilwoman will not be holding in-person community office hours in the months of May and June. Amanda will instead offer 20-minute, private phone or Zoom appointments from 10am-noon on Thursdays. 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 times, please contact our office to schedule an appointment at another time.
  • May 20
  • May 28
  • June 4
  • June 11
  • June 18
  • June 25
Support Denver's Local Businesses -- WeAreOpenDenver.com
We know how difficult the economic impact of the COVID-19 emergency has been, especially on Denver’s small businesses. These businesses are owned by our neighbors and friends and it is going to take our entire community coming together to help keep them running as our economy begins to reopen.

Earlier this month, our office r olled out www.WeAreOpenDenver.com to help Denver residents find local business that are open and operating, then help steer customers to those businesses. The website features an interactive map where people can search by zip code, business name or type, or drop a pin on a location to pull up information about open establishments in the immediate area.

Click here to conduct your own search and/or to add your business to the map!
Donate to the East Colfax Small Business Relief Fund
The East Colfax Community Collective recently established the East Colfax Small Business Relief Fund to support the approximately 200 businesses there. The majority of these establishements identify as an immigrant- and/or refugee-owned, and nearly half are owned or co-owned by women. 

Our office is proud to have donated $1,000 to support this fantastic grassroots effort. Thank you to all who helped raise almost $10,000 in less than one week! To learn more about the Collective, visit their Facebook page .
The Fax Partnership Aid Mini-Grants
The Fax Partnership has launched Fax Aid, a program to provide mini-grants of up to $500 to residents along the East Colfax corridor, from Colorado Boulevard to northwest Aurora. Fax Aid is designed to help residents who may need assistance with housing, utility, living expenses or medical costs during this devastating time and is supported through a $30,000 gift from the Colorado Health Foundation .

Applicants should first complete a residential survey. Click here to access the online survey. To receive a paper copy or to “talk through” the survey, call 720.459.0591. Assistance is available in several languages including Spanish, Oromo and Swahili. For more information about The Fax Partnership, click here.
Storm Drain Project Coming to South Hilltop Winter 2020
DOTI will begin installing a storm drain on East Dakota Ave. between Holly and Jersey St. this winter to reduce localized nuisance flooding. Community outreach and information sessions will be done when more information is available. Stay tuned!
What's Your Opinion of This Proposed Denver Charter Ammendment?
Councilwoman Sawyer, in collaboration with Councilwoman CdeBaca, District 9 , is proposing a ballot initiative to change the Charter of the City and County of Denver. This Charter change would give City Council approval authority of all Mayoral Cabinet Appointees including City Attorney, Community & Development, Aviation and several other executive positions as well as Appointments to the three Heads of Denver's Safety Departments - Chiefs of Police and Fire, and Sheriff.

There are pros and cons on both sides of this issue. Your thoughts on whether City Council should refer this measure to the ballot November 2020 for a vote of the people are invaluable. Click here for more information and to complete the survey, which should take about two minutes.Thank you for your time and input!
Beginning on May 11, Denver Water started work at Locust St. from East 6 th  Ave. Pkwy. to East Colfax Ave. (see map below). The project will replace the main and any identified customer-owned lead service lines and will last approximately six months. T he water main on the block between 10th and 11th Aves. on Locust St. has already been replaced.

As far as water outages go, Denver Water says they would either stop work when they get to a place where a water outage is necessary, or would work directly with the impacted customer(s) to coordinate appropriate measures ensuring health and safety. For more information and to access an interactive map to help determine if your address has a lead service line , click here or call Denver Water Customer Care at 303.893.2444.
Robinson Park Redesign Update
Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) has informed our office that the Robinson Park redesign has been scaled back due to budget cuts related to COVID-19.

Major changes include removal of the sidewalk along 2nd Avenue, the sidewalk running north along the picnic and basketball areas, and the sand play area under the existing shade tree. DPR explained that the sidewalks were removed because the initial construction estimate came in significantly higher than budgeted for. On the bright side, planners are working to reinstate the sand play area because feedback from the community prioritized it.

Take the Survey: Would You Like a "Slow Down" Yard Sign?
Our office is considering purchasing "Slow Down" signs to distribute to constituents to help remind drivers to take it easy in residential neighborhoods.

Would you would be interested in putting something in your yard similar to one of the purple signs shown here? Click here to take the 3-question survey to help us determine how many of these signs we need and where we can distribute them. 

Please note that some neighborhoods in District 5 may have HOA requirements that might prohibit these signs. Please check your HOA documents or with your HOA representatives for more information.
Mayfair Street Sweeping Sign Installation Delayed Until 2021
DOTI plans to push to next year installation of the remainder of planned street sweeping signs in Mayfair. Phases 2 and 3 will be completed in the first quarter of 2021. DOTI plans community outreach prior to the installing the signs and has told our office it will not issue street sweeping citations in this newly signed area until May 2021, giving residents an extra month to get used to the idea of moving their cars. Click here to sign up for street sweeping alerts.
Stop Light at 9+CO is Complete
You may have noticed the new traffic signal recently installed at 8th Avenue and Ash Streets near the new AMC movie theatre (photo below). This signal should significantly assist pedestrians in crossing 8th Avenue and ease access into and out of the 9+CO development. DOTI representatives says the signal will be turned on in the next couple of weeks

To learn more about current and planned DOTI projects, click here.
Current City of Denver Rezoning Requests
There are no open re-zoning requests in District 5 at this time. For more information on proposed rezonings and public hearings visit the Denver Community Planning and Development website .

Upcoming City Council Hearings:
May 18:
  • 2163 W 29th Ave.
  • 2160 S Grant St.
  • College Affordability Program Public Comment
June 1:
  • 4750 Zuni St.
  • 3201 Curtis St.
  • 2005 N. Willow St.
Remember to Register Your Bike!
The Denver Police Department reminds everyone that as our beautiful spring weather lures us outdoors, now is a great time to register your bicycle. Registration takes a few minutes and gives you the best chance of recovering bike if it's stolen.

Click here to register your bike today! 
Sign Up For Denver Elections' Improved BallotTRACE
The Denver Elections Division recently unveiled major improvements to BallotTRACE, a communication tool that provides Denver County voters with proactive information about the status of their mail ballots.

Enhancements include:
  • Increased accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • A mobile-friendly interface
  • Just-in-time notifications
  • More robust search capabilities, including nonstandard address searches for those without permanent home addresses

Voters who sign up for BallotTRACE can opt-in to receive email or text message updates on the status of their ballot as they are processed through the U.S. Postal Service as well as when ballots are received and accepted for counting by the Elections Division. Click here for more information and to register. Please remember to cast your vote in the 2020 State Primary Election in June!
Make a Difference: Be Counted in the 2020 Census
To date, only a little over 50% of Denver has returned its 2020 Census. Please respond as soon as possible!

Census data is confidential and is key to having resources to respond to emergencies such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Information gathered also helps determine how more than $675 billion dollars of federal funding annually is spent on infrastructure and services in our communities. Because U.S. House of Representatives seats are redistributed based on population, 2020 Census data will likely help Colorado gain an additional House seat, so please fill out your 2020 Census today! Go to   2020census.gov  or call  1.844.330.20 20. Here's how District 5 census responses looks as of May 12. Keep them coming!
Upcoming Virtual Events
Denver's Central, East Central & Southeast Elected Officials Biweekly Town Hall Thursday, May 28

If you're south of Colfax and east of Broadway, we've got you covered! Your elected officials have been partnering to ensure the best possible advocacy and representation for you! Join us on May 28 at 4pm on Zoom or Facebook Live to hear updates on what each of us has been doing. We'll hear from RTD at this meeting. Find out more here or here .
Lowry Aviator-Hosted Events

Lowry Aviator publisher, Adam Brous, hosts virtual gatherings via Zoom to bring the community "together" through discussion and exercise for everyone! Past events include p odcast-style conversations, happy hours, and dance parties. The next event is Yoga Love for Lowry on May 15 at noon. Check the Facebook Page or Instagram for more information . Or email Adam to receive event updates diretly to your email inbox.
Free Online Denver Recreation Classes
Live and On-Demand

Denver Parks and Recreation offers a wide variety of virtual recreation programs including fitness, seniors' and adaptive learning classes and more through Zoom, Facebook , YouTube and Instagram . These programs are open to everyone regardless of whether or not they have a current recreation center membership. Click here for the full schedule and how to sign-up.
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.