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UpDoNA Accomplishments – June 2023 to June 2024

By Rob Squire & Lisa Pope

UpDoNA is a very active organization.  We have been busy, and we’ve accomplished a lot.  Here is a summary of our most significant accomplishments since the last Annual Meeting was held in June of 2023.

Organizational Level

Accomplishments

  • When we learned that a major Oil & Gas company was going to leave Downtown Denver with hundreds of employees, we met with the Building Owners and Managers Association and organized a meeting with them and the city to discuss the amazing things being done to revitalize downtown.
    • Based on that meeting, the Oil & Gas company decided not to move, and to remain downtown
  • UpDoNA was the first organization that the City of Denver and Progressive Urban Management Associates (PUMA) met with to discuss the proposed investment of $500 million in downtown Denver.  We think that shows that we are a known and respected organization.
  • UpDoNA was asked to participate in several meetings where ideas were being solicited regarding the best ways to improve and revitalize Upper Downtown.  One was a Ground floor Activation meeting by PUMA where ideas for emphasis areas for populating empty storefronts in Downtown Denver were being solicited 
    • Several of our ideas were included in the final report to the city
  • Partnered with LoDoNA and Lodo District to arrange a debate between candidates for DA Office
  • Developed and released a survey, which solicits member feedback on our success in several areas, and on emphasis items for the future

In Progress

  • Lisa met with Mayor’s office and business owners  to address significant permitting issues that exist in Denver.  She’ll be reporting on that in the upcoming newsletter.

Safety & QOL Committee co-chaired by Lisa Pope and Rob Squire

Accomplishments

  • Invited on DPD Ride-along and to attend Virtra training to help us understand the life of a police officer
  • Invited to attend DA Academy to help us understand the work of the DA’s office
  • Established regular bi-weekly meetings with Armando Saldate and Lt Albi on problems specific to Upper Downtown
  • Held our first annual Downtown Denver National Night out last August where we honored police, firefighters, and all first responders

In Progress

  • Working on next DDNNO to be held on Aug 6
  • Working with city and DPD to kick off the Ambassador Program

Scooter Subcommittee chaired by David Kurth

Accomplishments

  • Ran PSAs on electronic signs in Upper Downtown indicating that scooters need to NOT be ridden on sidewalks
  • Provided flyers to Downtown Denver Partnership to be distributed to their members on scooters
  • Worked with Armando Saldate to use Street Enforcement Team and Denver Police officers at Rockies Opening Day and at the Convention Center to use passive enforcement on violators
  • Distributed brochures to Upper Downtown hotels regarding proper scooter usage

In Progress

  • Working with DOTI to correct signage in bike lanes
  • Working with Dept of Safety to increase passive enforcement to possibly weekly or bi-weekly
  • Making recommendations on technology requirements in next contract with scooter providers

Clean Upper Downtown Committee co-chaired by Kristen Deak and Carolyn Benton

Accomplishments

  • 12 cleanups around Spire and OLP involving UpDoNA members, employees of JARS cannabis and employees of Pacific Premier Trust
  • Received a total of $2,750 in grants from Councilman Chris Hinds and DOTI which was used to purchase supplies for monthly cleanups

In Progress

  • Meeting with businesses to provide cigarette butt containers

Good Neighbor Committee co-chaired by Garis Smith and Gary Gottesfeld

Accomplishments

  • Negotiated 5 GNAs with La Diabla, Que Rico, Bombshells, JARS and Lime
    • La Diabla
    • Que Rico
    • Bombshells
    • JARS 
    • Lime

In Progress

  • Working on GNA with the Populus Hotel

Outreach Committee (Chaired by Rob Squire, members: Andrew Weiner, Teri McGinley, Carly Ebenstein, Stephanie Springer Coassin and all contributors)

Accomplishments

  • 68 articles
  • 54 events 
  • 12 first class newsletters
  • 1 website

Arts & Beautification Committee chaired by Sal Tripodi

Accomplishments

  • Applied for and received a $25,000 Dynamic Denver Activation Grant for commissioning outdoor artwork in Upper Downtown

In Progress

  • Working with Dominion Towers to paint a 30 story tall mural with an integrated climbing wall
  • Mayor Johnston has joined the effort to get permission to proceed
  • Parks and Rec contacted the committee to paint a mural along the Cherry Creek path
  • Develop the green space on Welton at Broadway into an education/outdoor space, spearheaded by the OLP members on our committee and the Denver Expeditionary School.

UpDoNA Cares co-chaired by Ron Townsend and Helen Hedrick

Accomplishments

  • Held a clothing drive for homeless that were being moved into hotels due to Mayor Johnston’s House1000 program
    • Delivered 127 bags of clothing & toiletries
  • Helped to set up one of the hotels that homeless were being moved into
  • Prepared and served lunches for Delores Project 
  • Helped with neighborhood cleanups, and performed painting /staining at STEP Denver
  • Supported fundraisers at both Dolores Project and STEP Denver

In Progress

  • Working with Urban Peak to see if they are an organization that UpDoNA should be affiliated with

Social Committee formerly chaired by Terri McGinley, currently chaired by Dale Dewitt

Accomplishments

  • Held 3 social events
  • Planned the annual meeting
  • Instituted monthly UNOs on 2nd Wednesday of each month 

Membership Committee – Looking for a chair, currently run by Sue Townsend and Deborah Friedman

Accomplishments

  • Total membership has grown by 35% from 167 to 226 members
  • Business Membership has grown by 133% from 12 to 28 memberships

 

Previous UpDoNA Cares – July 2024
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UpDoNA is a City Registered Neighborhood Organization representing the community of Denver’s Upper Downtown.

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