Where we're going
Keeping the Focus on People
Our city is a special place. Having a young child as well as a disabled parent at home has provided me with a broad perspective into how our city accommodates our residents - all of them. When I see broken sidewalks, I think about strollers and those that struggle to walk. At the park, it matters to me that the playground is both safe and clean. These are the everyday things that impact our daily lives.
For a vibrant, healthy city, our spaces must be welcoming for everyone: kids, parents, grandparents... and even our four-legged loved ones too.
Arvada is very blessed to be home to a growing child population – a 4.4% increase in the last Census even as the rest of Jefferson County (and most of the Metro Region) declined. I see this growth reflected in my own neighborhood and in neighborhoods across our city. When Council makes decisions that will have community impacts for decades to come, we need to be sure we proactively consider the impacts to all of our residents.
We need to plan our city today with who will inherit it tomorrow in mind.
How do we do this?
- SHARED SPACES: Our public spaces across the city matter, regardless of your neighborhood. I remain dedicated to ensuring that every resident has a wonderful, safe park walking distance from their home and that our beautiful green spaces remain cared for and protected.
- BEAUTIFICATION: Enhance our city through murals, public art and encouraging “pocket neighborhoods” – which is the organic development of small-scale, walkable community amenities that reflect the personalities and charm of their immediate neighborhoods.
- West Side Solutions: I am an enthusiastic supporter of increasing our amenities and options for the residents of West Arvada. Along with neighborhoods such as Candelas and Leyden Rock, there has risen a pressing demand for the same lifestyle options that those closer to the Wadsworth and Ralston corridors enjoy. I will support projects that bring new restaurants, shopping and entertainment offerings to our West side residents.
OLDE TOWN ARVADA: I love our new pedestrian mall and dynamic local businesses, but Olde Town isn’t quite done yet. As amazing as it is, we still have some fine-tuning to do.
- I want improved accessibility and transportation solutions for residents who struggle to walk, activated alleyways that are bright, welcoming and safe, improved in-and-out access from the parking garage, and a reimagined splash pad that uses water more efficiently as well as offers more features for our children at play.
- We also need to invest in tying Olde Town’s the east and west ends together, creating a seamless, safe, walkable environment from McIlvoy Park to Flites Wine Café.
HOUSING: Continue to champion projects that will deliver a diversity of housing options to Arvada. The strength of a community lies in being a welcome place for all individuals, regardless of their background or stage of life.
- Despite real progress, we need to continue this work to deliver attainable housing for young professionals starting out, for first-time homebuyers, for growing families, for seniors looking to downsize, and more.
- These solutions need to fit seamlessly into their surroundings, without changing the character or identity of our established and historic neighborhoods.
- HEALTHCARE: We need to bring healthcare solutions to Arvada that will fill in the care gaps for our seniors and our families, including pediatric emergencies. The Lutheran medical campus and Rocky Mountain Children’s are moving in 2024, and our residents should never have to drive 20+ minutes to access emergency care when those minutes matter the most.
- ROADS & SIDEWALKS: Sustainably rebuild our aged infrastructure, including improved safety and accessibility along our residential streets and sidewalks.
WATER: Water is going to be increasingly critical resource as the impacts of climate change get worse. Arvada has done a great job of securing water rights for our residents, and now we need a modern infrastructure to manage it.
- Many of Arvada’s sewer lines and storm drains are undersized and out-of-date, risking seepage and contamination to our environment and even our homes. While not pretty to imagine, it would be a lot worse to live. This problem has been ignored too long, and we can no longer afford wait. I’m committed to seeing this infrastructure replaced responsibly with minimal impacts to residents.
- Encourage the city to continue its efforts to be a water-wise city, including planting of native grasses, trees and flowers for our medians, public buildings and parks as well as programs that help residents wanting to do the same.
NATURAL DISASTERS: Hazard mitigation and emergency preparedness for when disaster strikes, whether it be wildfire, flood, or a “bomb cyclone” event. We need to build and maintain our infrastructure with long-term, generational disaster resiliency in mind as well as have the tools and plans necessary to respond with quick action when needed.
- Working with the City Team, the Arvada Fire Protection District, and other stakeholders, we are developing the plans critical for identifying and mitigating threats to our community. As Mayor, I am committed to following the recommendations of the experts and making the investments necessary to protect our homes and, most importantly, our people.
PUBLIC SAFETY: I will continue to support our first responders, law enforcement and municipal court, ensuring they have the resources necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively. This means addressing crime and criminals but also recognizing and diverting individuals in crisis.
- Jail is the appropriate answer for some, and criminals should face the consequences of their choices. But for those in crisis, responses that prioritize mental health are the solution to preventing further harm.
I’m proud of our city for investing in evidence-based, community-oriented solutions that seek to help those in need, and as Mayor I will continue to champion this kind of work:
- Arvada’s co-responder program embeds social workers with police and fire to de-escalate crisis situations and ensure those in trouble get connected to help. As Mayor, I will champion these important, often life-saving services.
- Arvada’s ‘One Small Step’ court program designs justice to meet low-level offenders where they are, diverting those in need away from jail in exchange for them taking appropriate, proactive steps to help themselves with support from case managers and partners invested in seeing them succeed.
HOMELESSNESS: We also need a forward-thinking and collaborative approach to helping our city’s homeless population. Homelessness has become a national crisis; it is not unique to Arvada or even the Denver Metro Region. But to address the local need, we must work with our County and regional municipal partners to provide the supports and services necessary to get people back on their feet.
- Housing solutions must come paired with wrap-around services. Custom-tailored to an individual's unique needs, we are setting many up to fail if we simply provide shelter without the support they need to stay housed.
I am excited about non-profit led projects the City has been able to support:
- The first project with Beyond Home has already opened for housing-unstable families, providing housing, therapy, childcare, job training, and “life-training” services (such as balanced budgeting, understanding credit, etc.), the program aims to move “graduates” out and into home ownership by the time they are ready to leave.
- A second project with Family Tree will provide options for hard-to-house individuals with significant needs and wrap them in tailored on-site supports.
- Finally, I believe in the work that The Community Table is doing, not only providing access to food but also to jobs, medical care, filing for benefits, and more. I look forward to working with them to expand their navigation services and helping residents in need across our amazing city.
Make no mistake, it is nearly impossible to successfully support and treat a person who does not have safe, stable housing, and we cannot criminalize our way out of this crisis. By addressing basic stability alongside care, we will get people off of the street and into an environment where they are able to focus on treatment, set and achieve personal goals, (re)connect with loved ones, and become empowered to take ownership of their journey forward.