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The old Stapleton airport control tower, which was turned into a restaurant, Punch Bowl Social, in 2017, is a landmark of District 8. Photo courtesy of Amber Boutwell, Punch Bowl Social

Denver’s 2019 City Council Race: District 8

A primer on the issues and candidates in District 8, 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 8: North, Northeast, and South Park Hill, Stapleton, East Colfax, Northfield, and Montbello

Who Lives Here: One of Denver’s most affluent districts, the average income in this area is $89,458. A majority of residents are white (61 percent). One in four is black, while one in five identify as Hispanic.

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About the District:It makes sense that District 8, which encompasses a handful of the neighborhoods most affected by gentrification and rapid growth, is host to one of the most crowded City Council races. The diverse district has faced challenges in keeping homeowners in place, supporting diverse locally owned businesses, and fighting food deserts in the Park Hill area. Stapleton, meanwhile, battles issues that come with rapid growth and fast, suburban development. The complex district is full of engaged, passionate, longtime residents who want the best for their community—and are willing to step in to get it.

You Might Remember When… The city purchased 8315 E. Colfax Ave., an old strip club by the name of PT’s All Nude II, with the intention to turn the building—along with its neighbor 1500 Valentia St.—into a mixed-use development with affordable housing units. The project is still in the works. Additionally, Stapleton has been grappling with its moniker, having been named after the city’s 33rd and 35th mayor, Benjamin Franklin Stapleton, who was a Ku Klux Klansman in the 1920s.

Who’s Running

Christopher Herndon, the incumbent, is running for a third term. The West Point graduate and seven-year Army veteran was elected to City Council in 2011. In addition to working to address the district’s myriad issues (though not to everyone’s satisfaction), Herndon founded Northeast Denver Leadership Week, a career program that connects high school students to civil servants and industry experts.

Miguel Adrian Ceballos-Ruiz, a 33-year-old who was raised in the district, served on the executive board of the Colorado Democratic Party, and wants to ensure that the concerns of the district’s longtime residents are being tended to in a meaningful way.

LaMone Noles, the 62-year-old longtime Park Hill resident and affordable-housing activist, works at the VA’s Primary Care Clinic in Denver and is president of City Park Friends and Neighbors.

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Erik Penn, who works as a project manager for the Children’s Hospital Colorado, is running on a platform of mobility, transportation, “attainable” housing, and the workforce. Penn previously served as co-chair of the Montbello Neighborhood Association.

Blair Taylor, a 41-year-old Park Hill resident (she moved here from New York City in 2007), is focusing on land use, gentrification, mobility, health, and safety.

Patrick Floyd Thibault, who says he is a fourth-generation resident of East Denver, has served as the Political Action Chair for Denver NAACP’s executive committee for the past five years. Thibault is longtime advocate for the area and hopes to bring his intimate familiarity with the community to the table.

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