Safe, Clean and Compassionate Committee

CALL TO ACTION: The time is now for Denver City Leadership to make LoDo and all of Denver's neighborhoods safe and clean for citizens and businesses.

Denver, and with it our Union Station neighborhood, stands at the precipice of a critical inflection point regarding homelessness, crime, drug addiction and mental illness. Despite the ineffective, empty bromides and platitudes of politicians and city leaders, including ample taxpayer funding, we continue a backward slide that will hopefully not result in Denver repeating the same failures as Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Portland. Citizens and businesses are not yet abandoning our city, but those days may soon end. Strong leadership and the implementation of immediate remedial measures are needed now to prevent an irreversible downward spiral.

Today’s chronically unsheltered homeless population – those typically living in illegal encampments on Denver’s sidewalks or in public spaces while resisting or refusing city services – are typically in the throes of crippling addiction to fentanyl and methamphetamines, leading to abandonment of everything that matters, such as family, friends, work, personal well-being, housing and responsibilities. Surrounding and supporting these encampments and addictions is a complex ecosystem of crime that perpetuates drug dealing, prostitution, violent assault and organized retail theft. It’s a vicious cycle that must be broken. The homeless problem has been exacerbated by the illegal migrant crisis, with hundreds of new migrants flowing into Denver via bus each week from the southern border.

Denver has responded to the homeless crisis with misguided compassion and profligate spending, which increased by a factor of thirty during Mayor Hancock’s tenure, from $8 million per year to $250 million. The homeless crisis very likely consumes substantially more resources when factoring in traditional city services provided by Denver Police, Denver Fire and the Department of Public Safety. An October 2022 report by the Colorado-based, non-partisan Common Sense Institute suggests a figure of $545 million will be spent in 2023. More funding will not solve the problem; rather, it will take strong political will and a commitment to implementing solutions that have proven successful in other cities.

Mayor Johnston began his administration by declaring a “State of Emergency on Homelessness,” which is consistent with his campaign promises and was subsequently ratified by the Denver City Council. However, to date he has not yet substantively acknowledged the primary role that addiction and mental health play in unsheltered homelessness. Until those factors are recognized, Denver’s homeless crisis will continue to grow.

Any effective solution to the homeless crisis should include the following tenets:

  • Response and Enforcement
  • Recovery Support
  • Criminal Justice
  • Legislation
  • Accountability

 

LoDoNA advocates for subsidizing recovery and refusing to further enable addiction. There is little compassion in allowing the problem to fester through the continued abuse of dangerous drugs until overdose and death. The city must shut down all open-air drug markets while enforcing existing laws prohibiting public drug use and the criminal network it supports. Every life deserves compassion and every life in distress calls for support.

Shelter First. Treatment First. Housing Earned.

ATTEND OUR SAFE, CLEAN, AND COMPASSIONATE TOWN HALL
EACH MONTH OR AS SCHEDULED
FROM 4:30 – 5:30 PM

We will have speakers from city and state government and law enforcement to address relevant topics and provide updates on various issues affecting the LoDo community. This is a great opportunity to listen, learn and ask questions.

Updates March 2024

By David Mazzocchi, Chair

  • March 4th: Planning meeting for Denver District Attorney Candidate Forum with committee members from UpDoNA, Riot House Hospitality, Lodo District and Citizens for a Clean and Safe Denver.
  • March 11th: Planning meeting for Denver District Attorney Candidate Forum with committee members from UpDoNA, Riot House Hospitality, Lodo District and Citizens for a Clean and Safe Denver.
  • March 13th: Attendance at the monthly Public Safety Update presented by Ryan Ertman, Director of Safety and Security for the Downtown Denver Partnership.
  • March 18th: Planning meeting for Denver District Attorney Candidate Forum with committee members from UpDoNA, Riot House Hospitality, Lodo District and Citizens for a Clean and Safe Denver.
  • March 20th: Attendance at the monthly Denver Police District 6 meeting with Lt. David Albi, Technician Kayla Knabe, UpDoNA and Citizens for a Safe and Clean Denver.
  • March 21st: Attendance at the monthly Denver Police District 6 Citizen’s Advisory Group (CAG) meeting to hear about crime metrics in different neighborhoods and listen to speakers from the Denver District Attorney’s office and the City Attorney’s office.
  • March 25th: Planning meeting for Denver District Attorney Candidate Forum with committee members from UpDoNA, Riot House Hospitality, Lodo District and Citizens for a Clean and Safe Denver.
  • March 25th: LoDoNA continues to collaborate with UpDoNA, Citizens for a Safe and Clean Denver, LoDo District and Riot House Hospitality to host a debate for the three remaining candidates currently running for Denver District Attorney to replace Beth McCann, which includes John Walsh, Leora Joseph and Lisi Owen. The date has been set for Tuesday, April 30th. The questions have been written by the team and a commitment from Michael Spencer from Channel 4 News to serve as the moderator has been obtained. The venue for the event will be Orchid Denver, which is located at 1448 Market Street (Orchid Denver) and has a capacity of over 150 people without tables and an elevated stage for the candidates. As a backup, the team would consider conducting the candidate forum via a webinar, which would allow for a larger number of attendees, although that is not the preference of the candidates because it is less personal and they can’t evidence their stage presence.

 

Our neighborhood has taken the following steps:

  • Holding WeeBot events – Weekends Begin on Thursday 
  • Maintaining the Safe, Clean and Compassionate Committee of LoDoNA
  • Creation of a Dog Walkers group to provide safety for lower downtown residents
  • Organizing a Coffee Club meet-up at Kaffe Landskap for local residents to connect with their neighbors
  • A twice-weekly clean-up crew to help keep clean Wewatta Pavilion and the surrounding area in addition to the summertime periodic cleanups along Cherry Creek
  • Letter writing campaigns to various government leaders

Wynkoop Sponsors

Thank you to Logic Integration, our Luxury Home and Office Technology and A/V specialists, for donating their time and expertise to ensure we can reach as many supporters as possible.

AS BUSINESS OWNERS, NEIGHBORS, RESIDENTS, EMPLOYEES, AND VISITORS WE SEEK YOUR HELP WITH THESE ISSUES:

The following are some tips on who helps and when to reach out for assistance.

Download the RTD Transit Watch, Pocketgov, and Clean & Safe apps to make reports from your phone.

Previous Meeting Recordings

Safe, Clean & Compassionate 12/06/2021 with Common Sense Institute & Mental Health Center of Denve
Safe, Clean and Compassionate Committee Meeting 12/9/2021
Safe, Clean & Compassionate 01/06/2022 with Representative Valdez
Safe, Clean & Compassionate 1/20/2022 with Denver Rescue Mission
Safe, Clean & Compassionate 2/4/2022 with Denver Public Safety and HOST
Safe, Clean & Compassionate 2/17/2022 with Denver Police, STAR and Department of Safety
Safe, Clean & Compassionate meeting 3/7/2022 with Lieutenant Faris
SAFE, CLEAN & COMPASSIONATE TOWN HALL 5/12/2022 WITH PAUL SCUDO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR STEP DENVER
SAFE, CLEAN & COMPASSIONATE TOWN HALL 6/23/2022 WITH CHRIS HINDS, DENVER CITY COUNCIL, AND SABRINA ALLIE, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, HOST
SAFE, CLEAN & COMPASSIONATE TOWN HALL 7/14/2022 WITH NICK WILLIAMS AND LILY LIZARRAGA, DOTI
SAFE, CLEAN & COMPASSIONATE TOWN HALL 8/25/2022 WITH ANGIE RIVERA-MALPIEDE, RTD BOARD, AND STEVE MARTINGANO, RTD TRANSIT POLICE
SAFE, CLEAN & COMPASSIONATE TOWN HALL 9/22/2022 WITH COMMANDER KIM BOWSER, LT. SEAN FARIS, AND LT. CHAD KENDALL, DENVER POLICE
SAFE, CLEAN & COMPASSIONATE TOWN HALL 11/17/2022 WITH TIM O'BRIEN, DENVER AUDITOR.