Denver’s diversity is what makes us strong, and it enriches the experience of living here. No matter what our backgrounds are, we all have a role to play in helping to ensure all members of our community feel safe and have the same chance to thrive in Denver.
Inclusion is an important value in this city. Local and national events of the last several years have brought renewed attention to racism and other forms of oppression and discrimination that persist against members of our community. This requires leaders to speak up and act more assertively, and I have made doing so a focus of my work.
Advancing Public Safety by Ensuring Immigrant Trust in Police:
I co-sponsored the City Council-led Denver Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act to maintain existing limitations on the city’s participation in immigration enforcement, to ensure that immigrant members of our community trust and cooperate with the City’s public safety agencies. The city has and will continue to comply with all federal laws, but it ensures we are not using scarce city resources to do the work of the federal government where the law does not require it. An informational flyeris available to help explain the new law to community members.
Denver has no influence over the decisions of federal agencies on the enforcement of immigration laws, but we cannot stand idly by while families are torn apart by increased raids against parents and others who pose no threat to public safety. Many individuals targeted by ICE have a legal basis to remain in the country, but have a hard time asserting those rights without a lawyer. The City Council fought to ensure funds were committed for an immigrant legal defense fund to help keep families united. Investing in legal defense can help the City avoid the expense incurred by Denver’s social service system to care for children in the case of the deportation of a parent.
Improving Community Trust in Police:
As a member of the City Council’s Safety, Housing and Homelessness Committee, I work to ensure there are enough men and women to protect our growing city and that they meet the highest standards when they interact with our community. Denver has high expectations for the integrity of our police. But we also put them in danger each day in the cause of protecting us. The most important thing we can do is be engaged partners and ensure that they have the officers, tools, information, and community support they need to keep our neighborhoods safe. Being engaged partners also means continually updating policies and training on de-escalation and alternatives to force, and consistently upholding strong standards of conduct so that everyone is treated respectfully and fairly by the police.
Inclusion for residents of all sexual orientations and genders:
As the first out lesbian elected to the Denver City Council, I have been able to bring a unique perspective to conversations where the LGBTQIA community might not have always been represented. That perspective allows me to make impacts like working collaboratively with colleagues and the community to ensure that gender neutral signage was used on all single-stall (stand alone) bathrooms in the City. It also helped me identify and work to advance training for shelter providers and the City Council ourselves on serving transgender homeless individuals. Denver’s non-discrimination ordinance was one of the first in the nation and has been an important legacy of our inclusive history, but some of the language has fallen behind the times and I will champion the updating of the ordinance to narrow loopholes and strengthen protections for our residents and clients receiving city services.
By: Robin Kniech Great news! As you know, I’ve been working on a bill to ensure that no one is turned away from a home they can afford just because of how they will pay for it. Earlier this week, the Denver City Council voted to pass the initiative! The overwhelming victory means that single mothers … Continued
By: The Denver Channel Denver’s housing market is tough for everyone, but it can be even tougher for people lucky enough to get a voucher from the Denver Housing Authority that could pay for some of their rent. That’s because many landlords refuse to accept rent payments from housing assistance programs like Section 8. On … Continued
A Personal Mother’s Day Reflection: Six years ago, I was early in the adventure of elected public service while parenting a preschooler. I wrote the piece, Before I Was a Mom, at the only possible time I had available to write or reflect, 2 a.m. Today, my son is halfway through childhood at 9 years old and I’m … Continued