President’s Message – February 2022

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Welcome to UpDoNA’s website.  We have been busy getting our organization up and running, creating websites, newsletters, social media, and filing for incorporation and 501c3 status. 

We’ve also defined our committee structure, identified committee chairpersons, partnered with the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association (LoDoNA), and worked on many other things too numerous to mention.

In the middle of all that we’ve kicked off our membership drive, getting 70 new members in the first month of 2022.  Most of the volunteers that helped out in the formative months of UpDoNA were from Spire, so that is where most of the initial members came from.  We are reaching out to the other buildings in our neighborhood to generate a wider range of membership representing all of Upper Downtown, and we have given two presentations so far, one to Skyline 1801 and the other to Brooks Towers.  We hope to set up many more meetings soon.

Our Core Values – Safety, Cleanliness and Compassion

In an effort to make our streets safer, we are forging relationships with various officials from the City of Denver.  We have met with Commander Sanchez and three of his Lieutenants from Denver Police District 6 (our district), and we have a meeting set up with Evan Dryer, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Hancock.  We envision future meetings with Alex Valdez (State Representative for our district and a resident of the Upper Downtown area), representatives from the District Attorney’s office, Department of Housing Stability, the Street Enforcement Team (SET), the Sheriff’s office and many more.

Top: Photo of Rob Squire by Rob Squire Photography.  Above: Volunteers Clean Up Neighborhood by Rob Squire Photography

Janet Apter and Kristen Deak continue to hold Community Cleanups with well over 20 volunteers at the last one on January 8th.  As our membership grows to other buildings, we’ll expand the area, and coordinate teams cleaning multiple areas at once.

We are putting equal emphasis on compassion.  It is true that we don’t want to live in the middle of illegal encampments, but even more, we want to help people escape life in a tent or cardboard box in the middle of winter with no kitchen or sanitary facilities.  We have named Kristin Bennett as the chair of UpDoNA Cares, a committee dedicated to raising funds to help those living on the street who are the most visible of the overall homeless population.  We are currently engaged in surveying the homeless charities and agencies available in our area to find one or two with which we will align.  Our next step will be to arrange and execute fundraisers for them.

We are also going to have fun.

Our social committee, led by Sheryl Clark will hold social events such as Happy Hours at local area venues.  We will delay the first events until the current COVID environment improves, but those fun times are coming soon.

So let me say that I hope you enjoy our website, and thank you for being a part of UpDoNA and for being a part of this exciting movement to represent residents’ interests to the City of Denver.

Rob.

Previous Working together to revitalize our neighborhood

UpDoNA is a City Registered Neighborhood Organization representing the community of Denver’s Upper Downtown.

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