It's shocking to me how little action some residents take in improving their neighborhood - whether it be participating in their neighborhood association meetings, volunteering, getting involved with neighborhood safety, or even more basically, VOTING.The author ties this lack of involvement to the endemic difficulty of getting Denverites to participate in any form of local government:
One couple is never short on complaints about Cole--Whether it be the crime problem, the trash problem, the condition of their neighbor's home, etc.--Yet despite numerous efforts on my part to get them involved in the neighborhood, it has been somewhat like keeping a candle lit in a gusty windstorm.Yet to us, the more interesting part comes when the unnamed blogger BigSprinter offered endorsements. In addition to John Hickenlooper, the site endorses Dennis Gallagher and Stephanie O'Malley for somewhat facile reasons (e.g., "because the Denver Post endorses them, and for reasons that make sense to me.").
Similarly, we've had neighborhood meetings as large as 45 people, but inevitably, the next one shrinks back down to the same 4 or 5 involved residents. How do these people expect things to change in Cole? It takes a few, committed individuals, some luck, and some momentum. But it starts by getting involved, rather than just complaining.
More substantive remarks are directed at the candidacies of Doug Linkhart and Carol Campbell:
Doug Linkhart seems dissatisfied in both Mr. Hickenlooper's and outgoing Councilmember Elbra Wedgeworth's track record in tackling the many issues North Denver metro neighborhoods face. Additionally, he seems sincerely interested in "filling in" and redeveloping the blighted "horseshoe" that still rings the redeveloped downtown to the north (and of which Cole belongs). Similarly, he shares my belief that the North Denver neighborhoods like Cole, Whittier, and Curtis Park at this point have enough homeless, drug and alcohol-related shelters--It's time for Highlands, and some of the other urban Denver 'hoods to do their part and host some of these important facilities.Finally, the site endorses Carla Madison in Council District 8. The explanation was negative insofar as BigSprinter was troubled by the candidacies of Darrell Watson, Greg Rasheed, and Sharon Bailey, for some well-considered reasons.
Carol Campbell similarly seems ready to tackle head-on the crime and disorder issues that plaque urban Denver. I applaud her for consistently not skirting the issues, or candy-coating her opinions. For example, she's not afraid to speak out about the dim-witted Denver tradition of spending police dollars every year to facilitate Cinco de Mayo cruising. Is she being racist in speaking out about it? Come on, people. I don't care if they're Starbucks-drinking yuppies blasting Yanni in their 3-series BMW's, cruising is a big problem, that adversely affects residents and businesses along the Federal corridor. I lived over there, and know first-hand. So, because Carol Campbell is a straight-shooter that has the interests of responsible, law-abiding urban Denver residents in mind, she gets my vote.
Which brings us to Carla. Why do I like Carla? One, she isn't a good public speaker. I know, you're probably laughing now, but while I wish she'd practice her public speaking skills a bit more so more people would embrace her, I feel that what you see is what you get with her--And that makes all the difference too me.
She also supports Broken Windows, stimulating redevelopment while maintaining the historical and architectural character of the neighborhood, and she has consistently attended neighborhood and Cole-Whittier Against Crime meetings (not just the one where all the candidates were in attendance to give their sales pitch). Not to mention that she has a strong track-record at the neighborhood level as president and involved member of her City Park neighborhood association.
Whomever you pick, VOTE! And the bottom line is realistically that any of the above candidates will be an improvement over Elbra Wedgeworth, who checked out years ago.