Update: After the May 7 election, no candidate in District 9 received more than 50 percent of the vote, and therefore the two top vote-getters, incumbent Albus Brooks (46.5 percent) and challenger Candi CdeBaca (41 percent), are on the June 4 runoff ballot.
The Neighborhoods in District 9: Auraria, LoDo, RiNo, Five Points, City Park, Globeville, Elyria-Swansea—basically all of downtown, including where I-25 and I-70 meet.
Who Lives There: This is one of Denver’s most diverse districts, with one in six residents identifying as black, and one in three identifying as Hispanic. The area was being heavily gentrified even before the city’s big population boom (circa marijuana legalization in 2013), which has been an ongoing point of contention for longtime residents.
About the District: In addition to the effects of gentrification and the troubles that come with a dense downtown—16th Street Mall, for example, sites in District 9—it’s also faced myriad public health concerns. Globeville and Elyria-Swansea in particular, both historically Hispanic and migrant neighborhoods, were cut in quadrants by I-70 and I-25, and have long struggled with poor air quality, food deserts, and inequitable transportation. District 9 also has one of the highest presences of people experiencing homelessness in the city. Hundreds of millions from the city’s largest-ever 2017 Go Bond (which totaled $937 million) has gone to projects in District 9, from increasing the walk- and bikeability of its neighborhood to improving parks and playgrounds, and upgrading the Denver Center for Performing Arts.
You Might Remember When… With the blessing of Councilman Albus Brooks, Denver was one of the first U.S. cities to consider a safe-injection site—similar to ones they have in Vancouver, Canada or Sydney, Australia—which could help combat drug (especially heroine and Oxycontin) overdoses. The future of the proposal is opaque.
Incumbent Albus Brooks, who has represented District 9 since 2011, and was City Council president from 2016 until 2018. He has been diagnosed and beaten cancer twice during his time in office. His priorities have been, and will likely remain, working to provide affordable housing to his constituents, fighting the opioid crisis, and bettering local transportation (among many other items).
Candi CdeBaca, the 32-year-old founder of Project Voyce, an organization that empowers youth, was included in our feature on disrupters in the city of Denver. CdeBaca is a longtime activist and resident of Elyria-Swansea, and is running a campaign that focuses on equity, transportation, and transparency.
David Oletski, a Globeville resident and local activist who served on the National Western Citizens Advisory Committee, a community feedback and planning group for the proposed National Western Center.
Jonathan P. Woodley, a 39-year-old sergeant in the Colorado Army National Guard, is running on a campaign that current representatives aren’t doing enough to serve civilians.