“Having fought on the side of the community time and time again, I know that all we are trying to do is be heard,” Espinoza said. “My goal is not to placate but to actually listen and take in as much input as possible. So that when we move forward with our decisions at Council – and more importantly at every meeting that leads up to those final hearings – that your voice is carried through and communicated.”
Espinoza is a professional architect, community representative and 15-year resident of Jefferson Park. With the primary goal of restoring responsive, responsible representation to the district, Rafael has garnered the support of former District 1 City Council Representative Paula Sandoval among a host of long-term residents whose unifying desire is the betterment of the neighborhoods and lives they have built together.
During the Forum, Espinoza remarked that residents of Northwest Denver are being developed out of the communities that they live in. He noted that the historical character of neighborhoods has been superseded by high-end condos and apartments that have been allowed to reshape a district in the absence of strong, resident-focused representation.
“The city’s requirement for affordability should be stronger, and it should be extend to rentals, said Espinoza. “City Council should prevent luxury development from omitting affordable housing, especially when public funds are at stake.”
Candidates were asked to respond to the question as to whether it was ethical to take money from developers and then approve those zoning applications.
Espinoza’s opponent, who has been criticized for the approval of the St. Anthony’s redevelopment project, responded: “I accept contributions from organizations, individuals and businesses that support my vision for a safe, walkable and sustainable Northwest Denver. I believe that my contributions show my broad range of experience in constituent outreach.”
When asked the same question, Espinoza said, “No.”
“Cash from out of district interests are not what the city council person is there for. The people that we are voting for are our constituents, and those are the people who reside here – whether they are renting or owning,” said Espinoza. “The special interests will have their access to the mayor and the City Council people and subsequent departments. Your lone voice to speak truth to the city is through your City Council person. I am here for you. I am here to here to listen. I am here to represent you. I am here to move forward with you voice.”