Runoff voting on June 6, 2023
Explanations for endorsements are below.
“For far too long, Denverites have suffered as rents have skyrocketed and the opportunities to purchase a home have become limited to only the wealthy few,” says Ryan Keeney, President of YIMBY Denver. “Mike Johnston’s housing and homelessness plans are the most comprehensive put out by any candidate in this race. As mayor, we are confident that Mike will be a champion for housing policies that will give Denver the chance to grow its housing supply, end homelessness, and create a sustainable, climate-friendly future for all Denverites.”
Denver is facing a housing crisis of its own making, and the city needs a new leader that is willing to prioritize good policies for Denver over politically safe decisions. Mike’s past work on Proposition 123, along with his support for the current plan for Park Hill Golf Course has made it clear that Mike is truly committed to his pro-housing platform, and will prioritize the housing needs of Denver’s poor and working class over the wishes of a vocal minority.
“As housing prices skyrocket and more and more Denverites are experiencing homelessness, Denver is facing a critical tipping point,” said Denver Mayoral Candidate Mike Johnston. “As Mayor, I will take immediate action to make housing more affordable and help people get off the streets and into stable, dignified housing. YIMBY Denver has been a leader in fighting for comprehensive and effective housing policies, and I’m honored to have their support. Together, I know we will make Denver a city where everyone can afford to live and thrive.”
Mike Johnston has a proven record of working to grow affordable housing for the residents of Colorado, investing in mobility solutions, and supporting working families throughout the state. It’s time for leadership in Denver that will prioritize making sure all residents can afford housing, and YIMBY Denver’s members are excited to get out the vote for Mike Johnston on April 4th.
Gonzales-Gutierrez understands the broad contours and the tiny details of housing policy, and she’s been effective at making housing more affordable. As a state legislator, she secured hundreds of millions of dollars for housing. Her knowledge of the city and county of Denver is crucial for a position representing all of Denver. We’re honored to be able to endorse her.
Hoffman knows that insufficient and unaffordable housing is at the root of many of the challenges facing Denver. Tim has seen the stresses of housing instability having downstream consequences for public safety in his time as a prosecutor. We all make decisions in the systems we live in, and recognizing how our housing system can be better makes Tim a winner in our book.
Herr connects the problems he hears about in southwest Denver to proven solutions, AND connects people together to build a better future for all of Denver. As the Director of Sustainability for the Auraria campus, he knows how important abundant housing is all across Denver to meet environmental goals. He has a proven track record in engaging with his community with the Wealth in Community Knowledge organization and using his expertise to advocate with the Colorado Energy Office’s Electric Vehicle Coalition, and the Downtown Denver Partnership Mobility Council. That know-how of the policy and the politics are a winning combination in our book. He says “Let’s welcome more people from more diverse backgrounds into our communities.” We agree, and are happy to endorse him.
Torres has been a champion for the people in District 3 while on Denver’s City Council. From supporting Safe Outdoor Spaces to expanding ADU construction in her district through the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative, and leading legislation for the Rental Registry bill, she has a legislative track record to be proud of. We know how hard it is to advocate for the most marginalized, and we recognize that’s how Councilmember Torres has spent her first term. We heartily endorse a second term.
Hughes has decades of experience bridging technical knowledge with public policy consensus building. His Master’s in City Planning demonstrates his expertise, and his long history of involvement with public process facilitation are unparalled. He demonstrates a depth of knowledge of how to navigate civic and government organizations to effect meaningful changes, which is no easy task. His body of work reflects his values – “justice, fairness, inclusion, a commitment to public service” – and we trust his ability and his character to lead Denver in District 5.
Estroff, as the former president of YIMBY Denver, understands how central housing policy is to how we all experience Denver. We as an organization have been proud to advocate for Safe Outdoor Spaces and Group Living, and that reflects a boldness in leadership. We believe he has the knowledge and urgency to meet Denver where we are and to move us towards a Denver that works for all.
Lewis understands the deep connections between how we use our land in Denver and how we get around. She knows that more housing across all of Denver is an important but insufficient anti-displacement tool. Her lived experience as a transit rider and RTD board member gives her a perspective seldom seen in many civic leaders. Her policy platform is driven by what policies work. We trust her to advocate for people across all walks of life in District 8.
Watson is a kind and emphatic advocate for more housing and more support for tenants in Denver. His personal history motivates his work, and is reflected in his detailed knowledge of our housing problems in Denver. His long list of endorsements from civic and political leaders we trust shows how he is already valued by his community, and we’re happy to give him our support as well.
Hinds tells us “My record is clear: I’m pro-housing and pro additional density. Denver is not full.” We have looked at his voting record and agree. Whether it’s more housing, or more tenant protections, or more support for the unhoused, Chris has long been on the side of more and better housing for everyone. We’re glad to endorse him for District 10.
Ensuring that residential tenants in Denver facing eviction will be guaranteed legal representation is part and parcel of what we mean when we say “Yes In My Backyard.” Yes to more housing; yes to legal protections for our neighbors so that they are not unfairly evicted; yes to legalizing all housing in all of Denver. Along those values, YIMBY Denver endorses the No Eviction Without Representation (NEWR) ballot initiative.
A functional city has a transportation network that stitches everyone together. Our sidewalk network has long been treated as a second-class citizen in Denver. This happens despite the fact that everyone is, at the end of the day, a pedestrian of some sort. It’s time to respect our city, and all of our neighbors, by respecting our sidewalks.
The funding mechanism for Denver Deserves Sidewalks incorporates lessons from the Denver Auditor’s assessment of the city’s failed attempt to bring our sidewalks up to standard. A predictable fee is simply better governance than the alternative we’ve already tried. Ballot Initiative 307 is a cost-effective way to make Denver a more functional city. We encourage you to vote yes.
Making housing affordable is a “Yes, and” problem which requires many changes. Yes, we need to make it possible to build more housing with less red tape, and Yes, we need to dedicate funding to support affordable housing.
Housing affordability is a spectrum—everyone deserves a house, but some people need a little bit of support. As Dr. Jenny Schuetz, author of Fixer-Upper and Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro, identified
Proposition 123 supports those 20% who need help. That keeps people sheltered and not displaced from their community. It’s a well-crafted bill targeting an important need. You can read more at Yes on 123.