My name is Rafael Espinoza, a 30-year resident of Denver and candidate for City Council District 1, and on May 5 we have the opportunity to bring the voice of District 1, our voice, back to City Council.
For the last four years, I have seen our communities shattered as inappropriate development and rising housing costs have pushed families and neighbors from their homes, even while our voices are disregarded by representation that appears to support outside interests over the people it is supposed to serve. In a time when working families are struggling to find affordable housing, more than four times the number of higher-end and "luxury" housing units were built this year than affordable units in District 1 alone. And in the new St. Anthony’s redevelopment not a single for-sale affordable home will be built.
I believe Northwest Denver residents have a right to City Council representation that puts residents and families first, because that is the only way to strengthen our community’s foundation. I believe we have the right to have our voice represented.
As an architect for affordable and market-priced homes, I know that the foundation is what brings stability to a home. So when I started my family in Northwest Denver 15 years ago, I began working to strengthen that foundation by joining my neighborhood organization and working hand in hand with neighbors to build a strong community for our families.
In that work, I have used my expertise in community building, development, negotiation and budget management to collaborate with the city, businesses, developers, neighbors and stakeholders to achieve solutions that help keep communities together, not tear them apart. Together, we’ve stopped condemnations and unlawful stadium signage while challenging and augmenting development to ensure it conforms to the inclusive vision of our community.
But resident voices are only so loud when they do not have a voice on City Council. For four years Northwest Denver voices have been left unheard, but now is the time to change that. Weak representation has allowed haphazard development to squander the diversity, community ties, history and futures of the neighborhoods we have built together. I am asking you to allow me to work with you to find the solutions our families so desperately need and bring those solutions to City Council as your next Council member.
Special interests will always have their access to the mayor and the City Council. Your lone voice to speak truth to the city is through your City Council representative. When elected, I will listen to, represent, and move forward with your voice.
On May 5, please take a moment to vote for me, Rafael Espinoza, to be your City Council District 1 representative. Together, we can use our voice to strengthen the foundation of Northwest Denver and continue building a home where our families can safely live, grow and thrive.
Rafael Espinoza is a candidate for Denver City Council District 1.