Monday, April 16, 2007

Divided Council District 7

Daniel Chacon of the Rocky Mountain News has written about the chasm between communities in City Council's District 7.

The article was entitled: "In divided District 7, there are two sides to everything: East, west zones split by wealth, development."
In some ways, [Councilwoman] MacKenzie said, District 7 is "like two different districts."

"On the east side of the river, I get constant complaints about scrape-offs and infill developments because there's so much private investment, and people want it to stop," she said.

"But on the west side of the district, they'd love to have pop tops and scrape-offs and that kind of investment that indicates that people want to stay in the community."
The candidates mainly offered platitudes about spreading the wealth, encouraging redevelopment in the western "areas of change" and supporting the eastern "areas of stability.

In terms of neighborhood character, three of the four were in agreement:
Connor, Watters and Nevitt said they support private investment but would work to preserve neighborhood character.

The fourth candidate, Dennis Smith, a teacher at South High School and the only Republican in the nonpartisan race, said the development in the east side is "a nice problem to have."
Watters was described as "supported by development interests," while "Nevitt and Connor have received campaign contributions from several labor interests" and "Smith is neither soliciting nor accepting campaign contributions."

Biographical sketches and forums below:
Age: 40
Occupation: Senior analyst for MacKenzie.
Family: Single, no children.
Etcetera: Speaks Spanish and served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay.

Age: 45
Occupation: Political economist. Former executive director of the Front Range Economic Strategy Center.
Family: Married, no children.
Etcetera: Born in Thailand and has lived in Africa, Australia and Russia, among other places.

Age: 48
Occupation: Teacher at South High School.
Family: Married, two sons, ages 12 and 8.
Etcetera: Serves on the Denver Parks and Recreation advisory board.

Age: 61
Occupation: Former aide to at-large Denver City Councilwoman Carol Boigon and former Councilwoman Joyce Foster.
Family: Married, one adult daughter.
Etcetera: The New York native has lived in Denver for more than 30 years.

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