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Art is everywhere in the River North neighborhood. Courtesy of RiNo Art District

Denver’s Mayoral Candidates on the Issues: Gentrification and Displacement

As Denver grows, gentrification remains a point of citywide contention. We asked the candidates about the impact of one of the city’s most ubiquitous problems.

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Lisa Calderón: “I want resident-led development….This is part of my community organizer perspective: You always start with What do the people want?….Right now it really feels like those decisions are being pushed out on us from City Hall and their developer partners, and I want to reverse that.”

Stephan “Chairman Seku” Evans: “A lot of people coming in to do gentrification are people who aren’t from here. We were born and raised here. We know that’s fucked up…Five Points. That’s where I grew up. I was born down there. It’s my happiest and most sad place, because I was gentrified right out of there.”

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Jamie Giellis: “Zoning plays a massive role in gentrification, and certainly it’s no secret that in my role in RiNo, I was often tagged as being at the heart of the gentrification issue. Although…my role in River North never was about development; It was about controlling growth.”

Michael B. Hancock: “Our study, we conducted in 2013, identified places that were completely gentrified and those that were in process. And what we saw was that areas like Cole, Montbello, North Park Hill are places we see indications that they could be gentrifying.”

Kalyn Rose Heffernan: “Developers are still going to find ways to develop. Home builders are still going to find ways to be in business. But as a city, we have to hold them more accountable to providing affordable spaces, not just middle class people, but also the very lower class and sometimes income-less people. People who are on disability benefits don’t get more than $800 a month, so where do they go?”

Penfield Tate III: “I know I’m not the candidate of the developers, you’ve seen where their money has gone….I think Globeville, Elyria Swansea [are] in the crosshairs….Frankly, any community in the city that is a lower income community, that’s where development is going to move because that’s where land is cheaper.”

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