President’s Message – December 2023

EXCITING NEWS!!  I am very excited to announce that UpDoNA now has over 200 members!  As you know, UpDoNA registered with the city on 12/7/21.  My goal was to have 200 members by our second anniversary, and we beat that goal!  Thanks to all our members and volunteers who work so hard to support UpDoNA and continue our work to make Upper Downtown a safe, clean, and compassionate place for all who live, work, and play here!

As we are all acutely aware, Downtown Denver is still recovering from the pandemic, but progress is being made.  According to an article in the Denver Business Journal, the Downtown Denver Partnership’s State of Downtown 2023 report shows several good signs on downtown’s recovery:  pedestrian traffic is at 225,000 a day, just 25,000 shy of pre-pandemic levels, approximately 1,000 new residents moved into downtown’s core, and more than 27 new ground-floor businesses opened so far this year.  There are also big projects being discussed such as Ball Arena, River Mile, Auraria Campus redevelopment, and, of course, the 16th Street Mall project is already underway.   You can have a say in what the city should consider for activating downtown.  Please complete the Downtown Denver Partnership survey:


It seems everyone is on board to ensure that Downtown Denver gets back to its former glory.  Recently, Mayor Johnston announced the Dynamic Downtown Denver Plan which has $350,000 in grant money available for reactivation events.  Councilman Hinds recently announced that his office also has grant money available.  Both grants are designed to elevate and activate downtown.  Several UpDoNA committees have applied for available grant money.  A big thank you to Councilman Hinds’ office which just awarded UpDoNA $1,250.  We will use that money to purchase additional equipment for our third and fourth Clean-Up Day locations!

HOLIDAY GIVING:  Once again, we have some amazing opportunities for our members to donate much needed items to the two organizations that we support, STEP Denver and The Delores Project.  STEP Denver is a men’s residential recovery center helping men overcome addiction through sobriety, work, accountability, and community.  Please use this Amazon link to donate items to the men at STEP:  https://a.co/hBnp9Kv   The Delores Project provides safe, comfortable shelter and personalized services for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness.  Please use this Amazon link to donate items to The Delores Project:  https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1TQBDKQBEJL2A/ref=hz_ls_biz_ex?blm_aid=151221  Amazon will mail your donated items directly to the organizations. 

If you’d rather give your time, the mayor’s office is looking for volunteers for the Housing 1,000 Initiative.  Currently, the city needs volunteers to help at hotels and micro communities.  Volunteers will welcome passengers from buses, direct them to an intake table, and help move items into guest rooms.  If you are interested, please sign up for dates in December by using this link:


Speaking of volunteering your time, two of our committees, UpDoNA Cares and the Scooter Committee, need additional volunteers.  Please contact rontownsend@updona.org to volunteer for the UpDoNA Cares Committee or contact david_kurth@msn.com to volunteer for the Scooter Committee.

Article Correction.  In November’s newsletter, an article was published regarding District Attorney Candidate Leora Joseph.  The intent of the article was to educate our members, but unfortunately a draft of the article was published instead of its final version.  Some elements of the article, which had been removed from the final version, could be deemed as an endorsement of Ms. Joseph.  We apologize if any member was offended by the article.  It has been removed from the UpDoNA website.

The District Attorney election next November is important.  UpDoNA’s goal is to educate our members so that each of you can be informed voters.  Like the District 10 Candidate Debates that we previously hosted, our Election Committee, which consists of both UpDoNA and LoDoNA members, will prepare a set of identical questions that will be sent to each candidate.  The candidate’s answers will then be shared with our members.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

UpDoNA has not deviated from its mission to be a partner and advocate for the betterment of Upper Downtown and will continue to do so in a manner consistent with our status as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Have a wonderful holiday and don’t forget to support UpDoNA’s business members this holiday season!

Lisa L. Pope, UpDoNA President

Thumbnail attribution – Lisa Pope

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

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