2015 Denver City Election

Voter Guide

Vote by Tuesday, May 5th

This independent voter guide is designed to give you the quickest, most important information on your ballot and why it’s important to vote.

In Denver’s May 5th, 2015 city election, Denverites will vote for a Mayor, a City Councilperson to represent their district, two At-Large representatives to City Council who’ll represent the whole city, plus the Clerk & Recorder (who runs elections & issues marriage licenses) and the Auditor (ensures that the city government operates efficiently & with integrity).

Use the “find your district” look-up tool to pull up the candidates who are running for your area in Denver! And click here if you need more information on how to cast your ballot, or if you want the scoop on what City Council does.

Click "Find Your District", and then scroll down to see the candidates in your district

About What’s Inside

This voter guide compares candidates’ stances on some of the most pressing issues facing Denver, especially those facing young people. We asked the candidates if they’d raise Denver’s minimum wage to $15 (if they had the authority to), if they would support increasing protections for renters in Denver (we have some of the worst renters’ rights in the country), if they would support increased accountability for Denver police, and if they’d support putting a carbon tax on our utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs to fight climate change. The candidates answered yes/no questions on a survey of ours, and we supplemented that info with their explanation of “Why or why not?” when appropriate.


Brought to you by

New Era Colorado Action Fund is a local non-partisan, non-profit organization reinventing politics for our generation through innovative social and political action. We inspire young Coloradans to move our state forward, engaging our generation in our city- and state-level democracy. New Era Colorado Action Fund is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. You can learn more or sign up to volunteer at NewEraColoradoAction.org.

And you can find all the code and whatever right here and oh yeah it was built by this person.

Mayor of Denver

What they do

Signs bills into law (or not), writes the city budget, appoints chairs of offices like Parks and Rec, Public Works, etc...

Paul Fiorino

Former Director of Ballet Arts Center, former State Business Chairman of National Republican Committee, three time candidate for Governor

Vocal advocate for ballet and dance, wants to make Denver the creative capital of the Rocky Mountain region, doesn’t solicit campaign contributions or maintain a website.

endorse

Marcus Giavanni

Nightclub owner, believes Denver’s lucky numbers are 7 & 13, write-in candidate for Governor in 2014

Frequent candidate for mayor and governor, strong dislike for establishment politicians. Touts “Social Global Optimization Platform,” his plan to bring jobs to Denver.

endorse

Michael Hancock

Current Mayor of Denver, served on City Council for 8 years prior to becoming Mayor, including 2 terms as City Council President

Pushes for extensive public-private development projects to make Denver a global destination, supports body camera laws for police, wants to expand public transit in Denver and the metro region.

endorse

"Chairman" Seku

Former President of Metro State University student body, “CEO/ Chairman of Board of Da Black Starz International Actionz MoveMent-4-SelF-DeFenZe,LLc”

Wants to “arm the locals” to convince criminals (which he considers “politicians, business folk, and police”) to not commit crimes; supports de-centralizing schools.

endorse

Denver City Council

District 1:

Northwest Denver: Regis, Highland, West Highland, Berkeley, Sunnyside, Chaffee Park, Sloan’s Lake, Jefferson Park

Rafael Espinoza

Website Facebook
Architect, platform calls for increased constituent involvement
endorse

Susan Shepherd

Website Facebook
Current councilwoman, former labor organizer, vocal environmentalist
endorse

Rafael Espinoza

Susan Shepherd

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? Yes Yes
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? Yes Yes

District 2:

Southwest Denver: Marston, Fort Logan, Bear Valley, Harvey Park / Harvey Park South, South Mar Lee

Fran Coleman

Website Facebook
Former state legislator, worked primarily on public & consumer safety issues; small business owner, served on Denver Corrections Board & Welfare Reform Board
endorse

Kevin Flynn

Website Facebook
Public information manager for RTD's public-private partnership on the light rail, former City Hall reporter for Rocky Mountain News
endorse

John E. Kidd Jr.

Website Facebook
CEO of insurance & financial services business, member of the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry, board member and treasurer of Grant Ranch Master Homeowner's Assoc.
endorse

Jeanne Labuda

Website Facebook
Former state legislator, served on the Finance committee & the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs committee; represented SW Denver on the Planning Board, President of Harvey Park Improvement Assoc.
endorse

Danny Lopez

Supervisor in Denver Public Works, two time mayoral candidate, youth sports coach
endorse

Fran Coleman

Kevin Flynn

John E. Kidd Jr.

Jeanne Labuda

Danny Lopez

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? Yes No response No Yes Yes
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes No response No Yes Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes No response No Yes Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? Yes No response No Yes No

District 3:

Central West Denver: North Mar Lee, Westwood, Barnum, Vicca Park, Sun Valley, Lincoln Park, Sanchez Park

Paul Lopez

Website Facebook
Current councilman, running unopposed; former community organizer, successfully introduced amendments to increase independent oversight of the Denver Police Department
endorse

Paul Lopez

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? No response
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? No response
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? No response
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? No response

District 4:

Southeast Denver: Kennedy, Hampden / Hampden South, Goldsmith, Southmoor Park, University Hills

Kendra Alexis Valis Black

Website Facebook
Former administrator of a CU Denver academic program, co-chaired Denver Public Schools 2012 Bond Oversight Committee
endorse

Carolina Klein

Colorado native, does not have a website
endorse

Halisi Vinson

Website Facebook
Managing partner at media & marketing firm that works with nonprofits and small businesses, adjunct professor at the University of Phoenix
endorse

Kendra Alexis Valis Black

Carolina Klein

Halisi Vinson

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? No Yes Yes
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes Yes Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes Yes Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? No Maybe No

District 5:

Central East Denver: Windsor, Lowry, Hilltop, Hale, Montclair and Northern Washington Virginia Vale.

Mary Beth Susman

Website Facebook
Current Councilwoman & former City Council President, champion of increased infrastructure for transit, bikes & pedestrians; former VP of CO's community college system
endorse

Mary Beth Susman

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? Yes
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? Yes

District 6:

Harvard Gulch/Rosedale, Washington Park, University & University Park (DU campus), Bonnie Brae, Cory-Merrill, University Park, Virginia Village/Ellis, Virginia Vale, Cook Park and Indian Creek.

Liz Adams

Website Facebook
President of nonprofit that supports East High School, served 14 years at the Capitol as policy analyst, prioritizing transit & public safety
endorse

Paul Kashmann

Website Facebook
Publisher of the Wash Park Profile newspaper, prioritizing constituent services, land use & transit
endorse

Liz Adams

Paul Kashmann

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? No response No response
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? No Yes

District 7:

Central South Denver: Baker, Speer, Washington Park West, Platte Park, South Platte, Valverde, Athmar Park, Ruby Hill, College View, Overland Park, Valverde.

Mateos Alvarez

Website Facebook
City Director at Stand for Children Colorado, and has worked at 2 other community organizations
endorse

Luchia Brown

Website Facebook
Director of City Club Denver, President of Baker Historic Neighborhood Association
endorse

Jolon Clark

Website Facebook
Serves on Denver's Parks & Rec Advisory board, environmental educator, PTA President
endorse

Aaron Greco

Website Facebook
Local Govt liaison for CO Transportation Dept, former congressional aide, Baker Historic Neighborhood Assoc. board member
endorse

Ian Harwick

Website Facebook
Entrepeneur, consultant, co-founder of CycloVelo, an app designed to support the bicyclist community
endorse

Mickki Langston

Website Facebook
Founder & Director of Mile High Business Alliance, led Denver's "buy local" campaign, former janitor, dishwasher and doula
endorse

Michael Levy

Website
Pres. of Rider Rescue Roadside Assistance for motorcycles & scooters, member of Lincoln Elementary School’s PTSA
endorse

Anne McGihon

Website Facebook
Three-term state representative & chair of House Health & Human Services Committee, former outside counsel to City Attorney
endorse

Jake Viano

Website Facebook
Contractor, veteran, builder & project manager, opposed to increasing population density
endorse

Mateos Alvarez

Luchia Brown

Jolon Clark

Aaron Greco

Ian Harwick

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? Yes Yes Supports state-level increase Yes Yes
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? Yes No Yes Yes Yes

Mickki Langston

Michael Levy

Anne McGihon

Jake Viano

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? Supports state-level increase No, supports $12/hr Yes No response
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes Yes Yes No response
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes Yes Yes No response
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? Yes Yes Yes No response

District 8:

Northeast Denver: Stapleton, Park Hill & East Colfax.

Christopher Herndon

Website Facebook
Current Council President Pro Tempore. U.S. Army Veteran, recognized as one of Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40
endorse

Christopher Herndon

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? No response
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? No response
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? No response
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? No response

District 9:

Auraria, LoDo, Globeville, Elyria, Swansea, RiNo, Curtis Park, Cole, Clayton, Whittier, Skyland, Five Points, Union Station, Central Business District, City Park West, City Park

Michael Borcherding

Website
U.S. Army veteran, business executive; runs Mile High Gives, a fundraising and service nonprofit
endorse

Albus Brooks

Website Facebook
Current councilman, serves on the board of the 5 Points Business District, has championed leadership development & higher education access for young leaders from communities of color
endorse

Ean Tafoya

Website Facebook
Former legislative assistant to Denver City Council; VP of City Park Jazz, serves on municipal advisory committees
endorse

Michael Borcherding

Albus Brooks

Ean Tafoya

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? No response Supports state-level increase No response
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? No response Yes Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? No response Yes Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? No response Yes Yes

District 10:

Capitol Hill, North Capitol Hill, Congress Park, Civic Center, Country Club, Cherry Creek.

Chris Chiari

Website Facebook
Business owner & consultant, board member of Uptown neighborhood organization & a marijuana advocacy organization
endorse

Anna Jones

Website Facebook
Economic development consultant, adjunct professor at UCD master's of urban and regional planning program
endorse

Travis Leiker

Website Facebook
Environmentalist and board president of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Foundation, works at University of Colorado Anschutz
endorse

Wayne New

Website
Retired hospital executive, past president and current board member of Cherry Creek North Neighborhood Assoc.
endorse

Chris Wedor

Website Facebook
Audit manager in the Denver Auditor's office, resident DJ at Tracks Nightclub
endorse

Chris Chiari

Anna Jones

Travis Leiker

Wayne New

Chris Wedor

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? Yes No Yes No Yes

District 11:

Northeast Denver: Montbello, Green Valley Ranch, DIA.

Sean Bradley

Website Facebook
Co-founder of Bradley Capital Enterprises, LLC, has education reform experience, former President of the Denver Urban League Young Professionals, member of the Green Valley Ranch Citizen's Advisory Council
endorse

Shelli Brown

Website Facebook
Community Site Manager for the Step to Success project to reduce youth violence behaviors & risk factors; 2013 recipient of Growing the Dream Community Leader Award
endorse

Tim Camarillo

Website Facebook
Research Assistant for the Colorado Center for Community Development, veteran of the United States Army Reserve, board member of Green Valley Ranch Metropolitan District
endorse

Stacie Gilmore

Website Facebook
Co-founded Environmental Learning for Kids nonprofit, honored in 2014 by the White House as a Champion of Change for Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders
endorse

Tea Schook

Website Facebook
DIA administrator, Democratic Party activist and district chairwoman, wrote and lobbied for Denver's Anti-Discrimination Ordinance
endorse

Sean Bradley

Shelli Brown

Tim Camarillo

Stacie Gilmore

Tea Schook

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? No No, supports $10 or $12 No, supports $.67/hr increase each year Yes Yes
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? Yes No Yes Yes Yes

At-large District

Two at-large councilmembers represent all of Denver. Everyone votes for two.

Kayvan Khalatbari

Website Facebook
Co-owner of Sexy Pizza, Denver Relief (second oldest dispensary in Colorado), and Sexpot Comedy
endorse

Robin Kniech

Website Facebook
Current Councilwoman, first out member of the LGBT community on city council, leading efforts to keep housing affordable in Denver
endorse

Deborah Ortega

Website Facebook
Current Councilwoman, former Exec. Director of Denver’s Homeless Commission, >30 years city government experience
endorse

Jose Silva

Website Facebook
Youth education advocate, serves on the Denver Latino Commission
endorse

Jeffery Washington

Website Facebook
Former Republican state house candidate (District 8), anti-choice, supports open carry of guns in Denver
endorse

Kayvan Khalatbari

Robin Kniech

Deborah Ortega

Jose Silva

Jeffery Washington

Raising Denver's minimum wage to $15? Supports state-level increase Yes Yes Yes No
Strengthening renters’ rights (i.e. eviction protections, lease requirements)? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Increasing accountability of Denver police officers? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
A carbon tax on utility bills to fund investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, & green jobs in Denver? No Yes No response Yes No

Clerk and Recorder

Debra Johnson

Current Clerk & Recorder for Denver, leads efforts to make voting more convenient and accessible for Colorado voters

endorse

Joan Poston

Former healthcare technology worker & former at-large candidate for Denver School Board

endorse

City Auditor

Chris Nevitt

Served two terms as City Council President and on the 'Structural Financial', Good Governance, and Better Denver Bond committees. Former labor organizer and public interest nonprofit leader.

endorse

Timothy O'Brien

Former state auditor, Certified Public Accountant, has produced over 750 audit reports

endorse