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Civic Center Park sits int the heart of Denver. Photo courtesy of Barberstock / Visit Denver

Denver’s 2019 City Council Race: District 10

A primer on the issues and candidates in District 10, ahead of the 2019 municipal election. (You can vote by mail or in-person on May 7.)

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The Neighborhoods in District 10: Capitol Hill, Belcaro, Cherry Creek, Cheesman Park, Civic Center, Congress Park, Country Club, and Uptown

Who Lives There: This area notoriously lacks diversity, with 87 percent of residents identifying as white, according to 2014 city data. Only one in 10 identify as Hispanic.

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About the District: The heart of the city, District 10 encapsulates much of Denver’s stalwart neighborhoods, whose real estate and rental markets were nearing zenith before the marijuana-fueled population boom of 2013. District 10 is also home to Cap Hill, a popular landing pad for transplants, young professionals, and those seeking a city lifestyle. Civic Center Station, one of the largest transportation hubs in Denver, and Civic Center Park, which has a history of violence and is a popular hangout for the city’s homeless, in addition to being one of the city’s main outdoor venues, is also in District 10, as is Cherry Creek, the city’s largest shopping district.

You Might Remember When… Civic Center Park has long been the official and unofficial venue for the city’s 4/20 celebrations. The organizers behind the original “4/20 Rally” were banned for three years after the park was left trashed in 2017 (two people were also shot at the rally in 2013, so issues around the event were hardly new). But this did little to temper the demand for a celebration. This year, plumes of smoke—it’s still illegal to smoke in public, ya’ll!—will surely rise from the Mile High 420 Festival. Though some locals will likely attend, the 4/20 parties at Civic Center Park are a point of contention for many Denverites and city officials, who have to deal with the fallout—trash, illegal use of cannabis, and other public safety concerns—related to the perennially overhyped 4/20 “holiday.”

Who’s Running

Wayne New, the incumbent, is a retired healthcare consultant and a financial analyst who has lived in Cherry Creek North since 1999, and has served as a city councilman since 2015. Before running for City Council, New held many other neighborhood committee positions, including the president of the Cherry Creek North Neighborhood Association.

Antonio Amable Méndez, the 33-year-old executive director of Serve Colorado, has experience in politics. He worked as deputy chief of staff to Colorado’s then-lieutenant-governor Donna Lynne. Méndez’s campaign is built on harnessing his experience in policy and public service. According to his website, he hopes to tackle the opioid crisis, work to relieve traffic congestion—a perennial issue for the district, especially in Cherry Creek—and increase bike path safety.

Chris Hinds is a volunteer and neighborhood activist who, after being paralyzed from the chest down in a 2008 accident, has become a passionate advocate for equity in access to transportation and housing. Hinds also worked on Blueprint Denver, a citywide land use and transportation plan that lays out a, well, blueprint, for the next 20 years.

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Tony Smith currently serves on the Denver Commission on Aging as well as the Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Previously, he worked or the Cherry Creek Arts Festival for 18 years, and used to serve on both the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs. Smith says he hopes to use his talent and experience for coalition- and community-building to address the district’s issues, such as transportation and affordable housing.

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