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The Neighborhoods in District 11: Montbello, Gateway, Green Valley Ranch, and Denver International Airport
About the District: One of Denver’s most diverse but arguably most neglected districts, number 11—part of Denver’s eastward suburban sprawl—has faced challenges including lack of grocery stores, transportation/mobility access, and safety. Denver International Airport is, of course, one of the city’s biggest economic assets, and whoever is at the table for number 11 will work closely with myriad stakeholders. Interestingly, this district race is the only one with all women candidates.
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Who Lives There: With an average age of 40 and an average income of $60,951, about half of District 11’s residents are white (43 percent), one in four is black, and half identify as Hispanic.
You Might Remember When… The city spent $14.5 million on a welcome sign for DIA—if you’ve traveled at all in recent memory, you know the one—its 1,000-foot-long LED-lit ribbon on Peña Boulevard is hard to miss. Despite the heavy investment, city officials, including incumbent Stacie Gilmore, argue that, in time, the sign will pay for itself and them some via advertising revenue.
Incumbent Stacie Gilmore was elected to City Council in 2015, and was asked to serve as president pro-tem by new council president and District 7 representative Jolon Clark. Gilmore, a fourth-generation Coloradan, was awarded with the Champion of Change Award by the Obama administration in 2014 for her work as the cofounder and executive director of Environmental Learning for Kids, a local nonprofit that teaches children valuable lessons via science education and outdoor experiences. During her time as councilwoman, Gilmore has prioritized safety, jobs, food access, affordable housing, and mobility, through a laundry list of comprehensive projects.
Christine M. Alonzo, the executive director for the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, & Research Organization, is a longtime resident of District 11; she moved to far northeast Denver in 1988. According to her website, Alonzo wants to focus on livable wages, affordable housing, education, and family care. She also has a mixed collection of endorsements, from the United Auto Workers to the former speaker of the Colorado House Representatives, Crisanta Duran, to former Lt. Governor Joe Garcia.
Shayla Richard is a longtime Montbello resident who wants to try her hand at public service. The 37-year-old has voiced concern for the safety of the neighborhood, as well as promoting livable wages, economic mobility, and increasing transportation options to and from her district.