After an extensive review process by the YIMBY Denver Leads Council, and with ratification by dues-paying members, YIMBY Denver is proud to announce our city council endorsements in the 2023 Denver Municipal Elections.
Today, more than 115,000 Denver households are housing-cost burdened. The Denver Metro Area is facing a shortage of more than 125,000 homes, but on almost 80% of land in Denver, it’s illegal to build anything other than a single-family home. Housing developments that could bring thousands of new affordable and market-rate homes to Denver are taking years to get approval.
YIMBY Denver and the YIMBY movement arose out of a recognition that the current housing crisis has been driven primarily by decades of zoning and housing policies that prioritized wealthy neighborhoods at the expense of working-class and minority communities. As Governor Polis and the state legislature pursue statewide housing and land use reforms that will start to dismantle a century of exclusionary housing and land use policies in Colorado, it’s more important than ever that Denver has leaders who share our passion for creating a future of inclusive, affordable, sustainable, and abundant housing in Denver.
YIMBY Denver is proud to endorse the following candidates because they have shown us that they recognize the driving force behind Colorado’s housing crisis, and share our passion for abundant housing in Denver. If elected to the Denver City Council, we are confident they will work to advance policies that will make it easier to produce new homes for Denverites of all income levels and make Denver a city that is welcoming to everyone:
Serena 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.
Tim 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.
Chris 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.
Jamie 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.
Mike 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 is unparalleled. 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.
Adam 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 toward a Denver that works for all.
Shontel 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.
Support and volunteer for Shontel
Darrell 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 his community already values him, and we’re happy to give him our support as well.
Chris 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, 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.