President’s Message – August 2023

Welcome to August!  In just a couple of weeks, the Broncos will open their preseason.  The first home game is against the LA Rams on August 26th.   As you have heard, $100 million has been spent in stadium improvements in the off season.  Empower Field, or Mile High as most of us still call it, now has the fourth biggest scoreboard in the NFL measuring 72’ high and 225’ feet wide!  In addition to the scoreboard, there are more concessions, including autonomous markets, an expanded Broncos Team Store, and better WIFI throughout the stadium. I can’t wait to see Broncos’ fans downtown.  Go, Broncos!

DOWNTOWN DENVER NATIONAL NIGHT OUT IS AUGUST 1 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in Skyline Park!  Don’t miss this great event.  Our planning committee has a fun, interactive evening planned for everyone!   In addition to several emergency vehicles for you to explore, the Mounted Police and Max, the award winning, bomb-sniffing dog, will be there to say hello.  The Denver Health EMTs will demonstrate hands-only CPR and bleeding control.  Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas and Denver Fire Chief Desmond Fulton will say a few words.  Also, make sure to introduce yourselves to our newly elected City Councilmen Chris Hinds and Darrell Watson.  There will be music, food, and games.  However, the most important part of the evening is the opportunity for us to build community and to thank those who serve and protect us.  See you there! 

Police Chief Advisory Board – The second meeting of the Police Chief Advisory Board will be held on Tuesday, August 2nd, so I will be disseminating more information in the September newsletter.  However, I’d like to introduce you to two things:

First is the Denver Police Foundation.  The Denver Police Foundation is funded entirely by donations.  Funds are used for such things as bleed-out kits for police cars, bullet-proof vests, and outreach to those in need by providing things like train tickets, a hotel room for the night, a car battery, etc.  There are other funds as well such as K9, School Supply Drive, Thanksgiving Meals, etc.  If you’d like to donate to one of the funds, please go to https://denverpolicefoundation.salsalabs.org/how-you-can-help/index.html.  Then, choose the designation drop down and select “Outreach Case Manager Support.” 

Second, is Dashboards.  The Operational Innovation Bureau has recently released Dashboards for the public to utilize as a form of information sharing.   There are many dashboards from which to choose.  Start by going to https://www.denvergov.org/Government/Agencies-Departments-Offices/Agencies-Departments-Offices-Directory/Police-Department/Performance-and-Transparency.

Once there, start exploring the various Dashboards for Officer-involved Critical Incident, Internal Affairs, Response Time Trends, Use of Force, and Department Performance 2022.  

On July 17th, Mayor Mike Johnston was sworn in as the 46th mayor of Denver.  Prior to his inauguration, UpDoNA’s Safety & Quality of Life Committee members attended a meeting with Mayor Johnston to let him know that we are here to support him in his efforts to address issues that we are facing in downtown.  On July 18th, Mayor Johnston declared a State of Emergency on homelessness.  The city’s Emergency Operation Center and Joint Information Center began operations on July 24th.  Our committee will monitor the progress of the operation.  In addition to setting his priorities and filling his administration, Mayor Johnston is considering adding a Night Mayor to Denver.  The role of a night mayor is to serve as a liaison between the city’s day-to-day operations and its nighttime culture.  In addition, a night mayor can help with code compliance and safety in entertainment districts like the bar scene in LoDo.  Cities such as Austin and New Orleans have instituted a night mayor with great success.  Mayor Johnston has many issues to address to make downtown Denver a destination once again.  UpDoNA is here to support him in any way that we can. 

Name Change – the Clean Sustainable Denver committee has a new name:  Clean Upper Downtown.  Kristen Deak and Carolyn Benton will continue to lead this committee in monthly clean ups and will work to keep Upper Downtown clean and safe.

Some exiting news for Upper Downtown is the opening of the Populus Hotel later this year.  In addition to its unique design inspired by Aspen trees, it will be the first carbon-positive hotel in the United States.  To offset its carbon footprint, the design plans include a commitment to plant trees equivalent to over 5,000 acres of forest.  See the hotel design and learn more by going to:  https://urban-villages.com/portfolio/populus/

Talk to you in September!

Lisa L. Pope


Upper Downtown Neighborhood Association

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