Is the city of Denver doing enough to avert its affordable housing problem?

When a new property management company took over her apartment building, Denver native L.J. Harker had to choose between moving or coming up with nearly $6,000 to cover her new security deposit and first/last month’s rent to stay in her home. The rent for the three-bedroom apartment she shared with her four children jumped from $1,300 to $1,800 overnight, despite the fact she had resided in the building for 4 1/2 years.

Read More
Ana Temu
Aurora kicks off symposia series on affordable housing

AURORA — Aurora kicked off an affordable housing symposia series Monday morning to discuss innovative ways to provide more housing options.

The conference, which was held inside City Council Chambers, aimed to spark a conversation between community groups to find a collaborative solution. Several guest speakers presented their ideas for tackling the problem.

Read More
Ana Temu
House Democrats Force Senate to Negotiate Civil Rights Division Reauthorization

The Colorado Civil Rights Division and its commission have endured several twists and turns this legislative session as Republicans have mounted a fierce restructuring campaign.

Republicans on the Joint Budget Committee tried to de-fund the CCRD. Then House Republicans tried to significantly restructure its commission. While both efforts were thwarted and the CCRD will be fully funded for the next fiscal year, the campaign to change the state agency charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws in employment has not ended.

Read More
Ana Temu
Republicans Are Still at It With Anti-LGBTQ Bills That Have No Chance of Passing

Last month, Republicans tried to pass one of the most sweeping religious exemption laws in state history, one that would have opened LGBTQ Coloradans to discrimination by religious institutions, individuals and government employees. One-fifth of the Colorado General Assembly sponsored the Live and Let Live Act, with Senator Kevin Lundberg and Representative Stephen Humphrey leading the effort.

Of course, the bill did not fly in the Democrat-controlled House, but the anti-queer agenda under the guise of religious liberty is still rampant at the Capitol.

Read More
Ana Temu
Republican lawmakers propose more changes to Colorado Civil Rights Commission — and they meet more pushback House Bill 1256 passed out of a Senate committee with new Republican changes

The partisan battle over the future of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission continued at the state Capitol on Wednesday, with Republicans introducing a series of new proposed changes to the panel and Democrats and advocacy groups pushing back.

House Bill 1256, the legislation to renew the commission and the Civil Rights Division that it’s housed under, got its first hearing in the GOP-controlled Senate, where it was heavily amended in the Judiciary Committee.


Read More
Ana Temu
Guest Post: No right to rest

Tears streamed down my cheeks last night as I listened to Sophia Lawson Cornish, a longtime outreach worker in Denver, speak at the Capitol. She’s spent years trying to help people. Trying to find them housing. Trying to connect them to the services they need. The truth is there simply isn’t enough housing. And there aren’t enough services. So, mothers are left hiding with their children under tarps on the banks of the Platte River. Women are sleeping in alleys to try and get a little rest. Many wind up having their belongings stolen. Some wind up getting raped. They try travelling in packs to protect one another. But they are consistently pushed out and told to move. Camps are dispersed. And, inevitably, these people without homes, desperate for a place to rest, fade further into the shadows, vulnerable and alone.

Read More
Nathan Hunt
Cross-section of opinions at latest Olympics bid listening session

The crowd of nearly 50 representatives of Colorado community groups shared a mash-up of optimism for bringing the Games into their backyards — accompanied by many qualifying statements and concerns.

Dilpreet Jammu, with faith-based nonprofit Interfaith Alliance Colorado, said the alliance loved the idea of hosting the Olympics but wondered if it could cause harm to the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Our homeless and other marginalized communities should not wind up with a last minute sweep, trying to clean up and hide them,” Jammu said.

Read More
Ana Temu
Faith leaders raise their voices in opposing rights of Christian baker in Supreme Court case

Major religious groups, as well as nearly 1,300 individual Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders, signed on to briefs filed Monday with the Supreme Court, arguing that religious business owners should be required to serve same-sex couples.

"Personal religious views are entitled to the utmost respect, but do not provide a license to disregard neutral civil rights laws that do not directly and substantially burden actual religious exercise," reads an amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief filed on behalf of the 1,300 clergy members.

Read More
Ana Temu
LivWell Donates $10,000 to Complete Funding for Tiny Homes Village

Beloved Community Village in RiNo, a tiny-home development that houses fifteen people who were previously homeless, is now debt-free thanks to a donation from LivWell Enlightened Health.

Built by the Colorado Village Collaborative — a coalition of organizations including the Beloved Community Mennonite Church, ASAP, the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Bayaud Enterprises and Denver Homeless Out Loud, as well as individual members — the Beloved Community Village had to raise around $265,000 to complete the project, according to organizer Cole Chandler. As the group was on the edge of reaching that goal, ASAP principal member Kayvan Khalatbari contacted LivWell about a possible donation.

Read More
Ana Temu
Beloved Community Village could transform services for transgender Americans without homes.

On this night in River North, Jamiah Rawls is homeless. It's hushed in this part of Denver. Trains snake north carrying oil pipelines. Rawls is on guard duty as a future resident of Beloved Community Village, the city's first ever tiny home villagecreated to provide private houses for 22 homeless people.

On other nights, Rawls may be in another district, enduring the cold in search of a place to eat and space to rest. For 49-year-old Rawls, who is part of the transgender population vulnerable to divisive conditions in homeless shelters, this is a good night.

Read More
Ana Temu