Friday, April 6, 2007

CD8: Serious questions for Council District 8 candidates

The folks over at Denver Direct have spent a lot of time videotaping candidates forums and trying to stay abreast of the news.

Now they've got some questions they want answered. Hard questions for each and every City Council candidate in Council District 8. Plus some advice on presentation style and answer format for future forums.

Candidates are advised to review and respond directly to their "Unsolicited Advice and Unanswered Questions for the Candidates for Denver City Council District 8."

Sample questions below:
To Lynn Smith
1. What was the “technicality” that kept you off the ballet?
2. What was your total development activity in the last 10 years?
3. Isn’t your candidacy based on your reaction to difficulty you’ve had working with the City bureaucracy? Since Hickenlooper promised to fix that, and apparently didn’t, how can you have any effect on it?

To Greg Rasheed
1. What did you conclude when you were told “we know who you are”?
2. Please get real. You can’t meet 26,500 people face to face. What will you actually do to foster communication? Radio? Internet?
3. Do you have the knowledge of the workings of City government that well enable you to “hit the ground running” or will it be more like “on the job training”?

To Sharon Bailey
1. Your biography indicates that you were a consultant for 12 years after and before government jobs. Isn’t this the revolving door they talk about?
2. You mention being elected to the Denver School Board. Are the current sad state of Denver Schools (high-drop out, low scores, closed) your legacy?
3. Are you trying to prove something to your husband?

To Carla Madison
1. You’ve seemed apologetic for being “nervous”, “smarter than you seem”, and “white”. Why are you running for this “black seat”?
2. Some of us thought your husband Paul started the Festival of the Arts, now you say it was you. Why did CPWNA pay Paul to run the festival?
3. Didn’t the City waive its $50,000 fee from CPWNA, control, direct and implement the overlay and achieve “unanimous participation” only after allowing all dissidents to have their property removed from the overlay?

To Darrell Watson
1. Why aren’t you gay enough?
2. What do you actually do at your day job, and how are you connected to foundations and boards of directors of other organizations?
3. Serious accusations have flown your way, and people are now accusing you of exaggeration and taking credit for others work. Yet, you refuse to respond. What gives?


unifics said...


This is Greg Rasheed. candidate for City Council District 8. I would like to respond to your questions:

1. That statement was said to me by the Denver Ministrial Alliance. I guess it means they know my community work and my radio program on KUVO. I would ask one of those members what they meant.

2. I will try my best. If you believe, anything is possible. Obviously I can't get in apartment buildings unless I have a key or am a cat burgler.

3. Running a neighborhood association involves a lot of detailed work. I spend the majority of my time as director of Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. reading ordiances, laws passed by City Council, etc. I also am a Denver Channel 8 junkie, so I actually enjoy watching the proceedings on the station. The issue of experience is one that has cropped up many times in my life. In talking to my fellow black male associates, they also go through the same thing. I was asked in 1993 if I had the experience in running a social justice organization like the American Friends Service Committee. I ended up running that organization from 1993 - 1997. I was asked in 1998 if I had any experience in handling a major government grant. I worked from 1998 - 2001 as the program director of a 6 figure Department of Justice grant involving crime issues in Park Hill. I was asked in 2000 if I had any experience hosting a radio program. I have hosted a music program on KUVO 89.3 FM for the past five years, as well as hosted two shows on Denver cable television. The issue of experience always comes up when it involves a black person. You can look at what is going on now with Barack Obama. He is always questioned about if he is experienced enough in running for President. He has only been in state and national government for over 10 years. I guess you would favor experienced people like W. Bush, who has put our nation in a crisis situation with his policies. Unfortunately in the 21st century, the experience continues to come up when it involves a person of color.

unifics said...

This is Greg Rasheed again. I read on another blog of yours, if any of the candidates would pass any legislation in opposition to the Iraqi War. I must certainly would! As the only progressive candidate, I would be remiss if I did not speak out on the war. Look at the tapes of the forums again, and maybe you will see where I stand on this and other issues.

unifics said...

Sorry to keep responding so much but this is Greg Rasheed again. You asked about dues paying members of the neighborhood associations three of the candidates have run. Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. has 1300 members, 408 are dues paying members.

You asked if we have the fire in the belly to run. That is why I am running. If I win and serve my two full terms, I can see myself running for the House of Representatives. I would be 61 at that time. But I probably would have to still answer questions about experience.

Dave Burrell said...


I appreciate all the information, especially the direct answers to the questions posed. In case it wasn't clear, those questions weren't mine, but instead were merely quoted from Gerald Trumbule at Denver Direct.

He seems to have paid a lot of attention to the Council District 8 race, so your answers would probably be much appreciated by him and the readers over there as well.

Carla For Council said...

Dear Denver Politics Blogspot.

I am happy to reply to your questions, and they are most reasonable questions.

1. You’ve seemed apologetic for being “nervous”, “smarter than you seem”, and “white”. Why are you running for this “black seat”?

Unfortunately, the BWPA debate was one of our first, and yes, I was nervous. I've worked in the neighborhoods for years but other than speaking before council half a dozen times or so, most of what I do is behind the scenes or in front of small groups. Yes, that night the TV cameras made me nervous, but I'm getting used to it. Had you attended any of the subsequent forums, you would recognize that. Public speaking has always been one of my fears and I've had to work very hard to face it and get past it. However, in no way did I apologized for being white. I was addressing the Black Women's Political Action group. That is why I mentioned the fact that I was not black but a woman. Although I understand that in the past District 8 has been considered a black seat I do not consider this district, that is now split evenly in thirds between whites, Latinos and blacks, anybody's seat. .

2. Some of us thought your husband Paul started the Festival of the Arts, now you say it was you. Why did CPWNA pay Paul to run the festival?

I started the Festival on my own, with the help of the neighborhood secretary, Mary Jo Cartoni, in spring 2001. We created an event to showcase the talents of the City Park West neighborhood and bring neighbors together. The next year, Paul and I did it together and extended the involvement to all the neighborhoods around the Park. As the years have continued I have had less active involvement and Paul, because he loves it and what it stands for, has taken on most of the responsibilities. I have remained, as Paul will tell you, the moral compass of the festival, making sure we remain community focused, only charging low booth fees, only accepting money from neighborhood involved businesses, no out of town artists, etc. The money Paul gets for organizing the festival is not significant, never topping $3000 for 6 months worth of work. Last year, Paul received absolutely nothing and the entertainment coordinator received a token $350. CPWNA also received money from the festival although last year it became a State Registered Non-Profit and seperated from CPWNA.

3. Didn’t the City waive its $50,000 fee from CPWNA, control, direct and implement the overlay and achieve “unanimous participation” only after allowing all dissidents to have their property removed from the overlay?

An overlay district takes a bit of work to have happen. The City waived our fees because the zoning change was in line with what they wanted to achieve in Blueprint Denver and because we agreed to do all the foot work. Kirsten Faulkner was our neighborhood planner at the time and I am indebted to her for valuable input and working along with us to make the overlay happen but the public process/communications piece and mapping application was entirely left up to the neighborhood. The overlay was directed and controlled by the wishes of the neighborhood. The City limited us to choosing between existing overlay language but a survey and public meetings helped us choose which overlay best represented what the neighbors wanted. We wrote the letters, we drew up the maps and built the consensus. We brought the application through Council.
I never considered those that questioned the overlay "dissidents". They are property owners with a right to question a potential change in their zoning. There were dozens of landowners who questioned the overlay but I was able to get them to understand why it's implementation was in the their best interest and that of the neighborhood. I did remove a number of landowners who had properties along the corridors because I feel that that is where growth, height and density belong. I gained consensus from all landowners within the neighborhood blocks. All the residential properties south of 16th and north of Colfax have been brought into the OD9 with the Mainstreet rezoning of Colfax as was agreed at the time.

Carla Madison
Candidate City Council District 8

ElectWatson said...

I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

1. I was the Co-Chair of Colorado Stonewall Democrats. I served on the National Executive Board of National Stonewall as their Secretary as well as one of their regionally elected board members. The founding convention for NSDF of which I attended (actually at that convention we were called Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Democratic Federation) was in Kansas City in 1999. The organization was named, by-laws approved at that convention, hence the organization was founded in 1999…the call to the convention was a call to the ‘founding convention of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Democratic Federation in Kansas City. The organization was sponsored and formed by Congressman Barney Frank and in 1998. I have strong support in the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered community. That support is demonstrated by the house parties, fundraisers and the amount of ‘queer’ folks volunteering on my campaign. I am grateful for their support. My partner is one of the most visible persons on my campaign. He did an amazing job as my replacement in the candidate forum at San Rafael.
 I’ve never stated nor accepted credit for the Juan Diego project.
 The city and county of Denver had only one racial profiling task force. I collaborated with Chief Whitman’s office, city council and community leaders to create what became “The Denver Biased Policing Task Force”. It was renamed Biased Policing Task Force because we added sexual orientation, age, and gender to the list of biased policing activities that were not acceptable. Over a 3 year period, I chaired and facilitated the community meetings, steering committee meetings, we coordinated the outcomes from the small groups and coordinated the communication with the officers in the Chief’s office. There were hundreds of community members that worked hard for 3 years and their dedication is why the task force was successful. Retired Sgt. Mike Anderson, formerly working within Chief Whitman’s office and one of the Chief’s liaisons on the Biased Policing Task Force, is on the steering committee of my campaign and is one of my main advisors on community and police issues.
 I’m asking folks in District 8 to vote for me because I am qualified, competent, and will provide innovative leadership. I’ve participated in all but one debate and I haven’t heard any of the other candidates proclaim that they were ‘straight, gay, bisexual or heterosexual’. There are people who believe I’m too gay and others not gay enough. My partner and I have a strong, loving relationship. I’m extremely hopeful about my future, my family and this campaign.

2. I am a Wealth Management Manager for TIAA-CREF Wealth Management Group. I have 14 employees. TIAA-CREF is an annuity and pension company that serves educators, research and non-profits. We’ve been around for over 85 years.
 I am on the Board of Trustees of the Denver Foundation. I was formerly on the Strengthening Neighborhood Program Board of the Denver Foundation.
3. I’ve been walking and speaking with folks during the last year and ½ about this campaign. I’ve answered each of the questions above and I look forward to answering any others.

Darrell B. Watson, Candidate
Denver City Council District 8