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Kalyn Rose Heffernan at the 40th Ave. and Steele St. bus stop, where she catches the bus to and from work. Photo by Sarah Boyum

Denver’s Mayoral Candidates 2019: Kalyn Rose Heffernan

The activist, musician, and artist started her campaign a year ago as a joke. But she's taken a serious turn. Now, she's "rolling for office" to help people experiencing homelessness and make the city more accessible to those with disabilities.

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Age: 32
Experience: Music production instructor at Youth on Record, MC/producer at Wheelchair Sports Camp, musician, and activist
Action Plan: Establish free public transportation, create more crisis-informed public safety responses, and make the city more accessible for people with disabilities


Why do you want to be mayor?

I think as an artist, I definitely have a way more creative approach to making things happen. And as a poor person, I have a lot better idea of what the community is and what it needs. I don’t know anybody better for the job.

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What’s the first thing you would do in office?

End the urban camping ban. Overturn that, for sure.

What is Denver doing well?

The elections office is awesome. I love everybody there, and they work really hard to make voting accessible.

What’s your plan for working with other cities in the metro area?

What Denver does affects Lakewood, and Aurora, and Wheat Ridge, and Arvada, and the surrounding neighborhoods—and yet, it’s separated by these imaginary lines. I think Denver could be a lot more regional than it is.

Who has been a role model or mentor for you?

Everybody. Denver has such a rich history in civil disobedience, and organizing, and resisting oppression.

One more thought:

On accountability: I’d like to see Denver—the rest of the country—come to a little bit of a better acknowledgement and accountability for how this city was colonized and I don’t feel like we can fully move forward until we start recognizing that this is all built on stolen Native American lands.

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