Natasha Gardner writes and edits longform journalism and multimedia projects for 5280 and is a regular columnist for 5280.com. She was named a finalist for a 2012 National Magazine Award in the public interest category for “Direct Fail,” an expose of Colorado’s “direct file” policy of sending juveniles to adult prison. Since that story was published, the state has dramatically changed the direct file law. Her investigation of the Colorado foster care system (“Unwanted”) received multiple awards, including a prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2010, she was also a National Magazine Awards finalist for “Low on O2,” a service package that explores the impact of altitude on day-to-day life in Colorado (co-written with Lindsey B. Koehler). She also won The Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism for “Dry Times,” an investigation of Colorado’s water crisis that she co-wrote with Patrick Doyle. Gardner has appeared on Colorado Public Television to discuss her work and current affairs. She was a Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma Ochberg Fellow in 2011. Before settling in Colorado, she worked in book publishing in New York. She has a BA from Smith College and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado. She lives in Denver with her husband and son.
There’s a new police chief in town, violent crime in Denver is increasing, the sheriff’s department is under scrutiny—and that’s just the start of the discussion about criminal justice, safety, and reform.
While not technically a “sanctuary city” (Denver doesn’t have laws on the books saying we won’t comply with federal immigration laws), current leaders have made it clear the city won't comply with certain federal policies targeting undocumented immigrants.
Voters are asking questions about the national Green New Deal, the recent approval of plans for the Green Roof Initiative (or rewriting of, depending on whom you ask), and the return of the Brown Cloud.
Denver residents spend a lot about time thinking electric scooters, potholes, mass transit options, bike lanes, broken sidewalks, and, of course, stalled traffic. Here's what the candidates had to say about the path forward when it comes to mobility.
If passed, Initiative 300, also known as the “Right to Survive Initiative,” would end Denver’s urban camping ban and change the way the city addresses homelessness. We asked the candidates to weigh in.
The longtime attorney and legislator is taking aim at development and advocating for responsible growth. A vocal critic of Mayor Hancock, Tate says he'll be quick to address homelessness in Denver and will bring harmony back to a city that's losing a grip on its cultural past.
A brazen voice and champion for the poor, Chairman Seku is inherently skeptical of wealthy bureaucrats. The outspoken activist wants to see a complete overhaul of city business and return Denver to its Wild West roots.
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.
Touting a record of stability and success, the incumbent is looking to secure his third term as Denver's chief executive. Though he faces loud critics and experienced opponents, Hancock doesn't think it's time for the city to change course.
One of the mayor's most vocal opponents with years of experience in activism, Calderón helped organize the "Time's Up Hancock" rally a year ago. Now, she wants to bring equity, fairness, and justice back to the city's highest elected office.
Most well known for her work in RiNo, Giellis wants to introduce large-scale infrastructure reform. The urban planning expert has strong ties to the Zeppelin family and hopes to transform the way people live in and move around Denver.
Forget political stereotypes: This history-making legislator is unapologetically progressive, is insistent that state government can be bipartisan (even now), and wants to transform the criminal justice system. And that's just the start of her ambitions.
Newsmakers, innovators, and game changers who spent the past year setting lofty goals and building a metro area they believe in. These individuals, in sectors ranging from art to business to politics, are guaranteed to keep you thinking and talking well into the future, whether you agree with them or not.
Forty years ago, disability activists stopped traffic at the corner of Broadway and Colfax Avenue and changed the way the United States works. But that wasn’t the start—or the end—of their civil rights fight.