Sunday, April 29, 2007

Compare and Contrast

Check out our local neighborhood associations by way of their websites. Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods City Park North City Park South City Park West Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. Whittier Any conclusions? Please comment.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Plague in Denver - City Park Squirrels Infected

Written by Staff (
Friday, 27 April 2007

DENVER--State health officials Thursday confirmed that plague has been found in a dead tree squirrel in the vicinity of City Park. A citizen had noticed a die-off of squirrels in the neighborhood and reported it to Denver Animal Control. A carcass was collected Wednesday and tested at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment laboratory where preliminary tests were positive for plague.

John Pape, an epidemiologist who specializes in animal-related diseases for the department's Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division, said, "Plague is a disease seen every year among rodent populations in rural areas of Colorado, including the Front Range. It is unusual to find plague in the center of an urban area although it has happened before." In Colorado, plague-infected animals are most likely found in the foothills and mountains, he added.

According to Pape, "Plague is a bacteria that is maintained in various species of rodents and rabbits and transmitted by fleas. When an infected rodent becomes sick and dies, its fleas can carry the infection to other warm-blooded animals, including humans. People also can be exposed through direct contact with infected rodents, rabbits and cats."

"The risk of Denver residents contracting plague is extremely low," said Denver Public Health Director Dr. Chris Urbina. "We want people to be aware of what to look for and take a few simple precautions to further reduce that risk." He indicated that Denver Health, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Denver Environmental Health are working together to investigate the case and to determine the extent of the die-off in the area.

When plague appears in an area, there is usually a die-off of the rodents and rabbits. When the animal dies, the fleas leave the carcass to find another host thus spreading the disease. Most human plague cases result from infected fleabites. Less commonly, people are infected by direct contact with blood from an infected animal or from cats which can become infected and transmit the disease.

People should not directly handle any dead rodents they find and should keep their pets away from them. If a dead rodent is found, do not handle the animal directly. Use gloves and place in a plastic bag. Contact CO-HELP (Colorado Health Education Line for the Public) at 1-877-462-2911 to report a dead rodent or rabbit.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Latest YouTube Hits

As before, insert standard disclaimer here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Flag This! (Part 2)

Denver City Flag
Madison Campaign Literature

Years ago I worked in a trademark law office in Washington, D.C. It was my job to see if our clients’ proposed trademark was “confusingly similar” to existing trademarks. In those days it was a manual search, looking through “boots” of paper registrations. One had to be very careful with the use of symbols and signs.

So it was with interest that I first noticed Madison’s use of the Denver City Flag in all of her campaign materials and yard signs. I figured they wouldn’t be stupid enough to just appropriate the City flag without permission or acknowledgement. Its use seemed to me to be “confusing” in the sense that it looked like a subtle City endorsement of the Madison campaign.


From: Gerald Trumbule
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:36 PM
To: Lynn Kimbrough
Subject: Denver City Flag

Can you direct me to any ordinances or rules governing the use of the Denver City Flag in advertising? See Thanks for the info.

Gerald Trumbule


Mr. Trumbule, I don’t have this information, but have asked my colleagues in the Mayor’s Office to find the right person to help. They should contact you soon.

Lynn Kimbrough
Communications Director
Denver DA's Office
201 West Colfax Avenue, Dept. 801
Denver, Colorado 80202


From: Sargeson, Stacey L. - OED
To: Gerald Trumbule
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 4:36 PM
Subject: Denver City Flag

Mr. Trumbule,
I wanted to get back to your regarding your inquiry on rules or ordinances in regards to the Denver City flag.

I checked with our attorneys and although there are currently no ordinances in place regarding use of the City flag, we do have common law rights. Therefore, the use of the City flag by private persons or entities for non-City purposes is strongly discouraged. If the City has not granted permission for use of the flag, we will ask those using the City flag to cease and desist use or, alternatively, print the following language near the depiction of the flag:

"Use of the City flag is done without permission of the City and County of Denver. The City and County of Denver is in no way associated with this business (or individual as the case may be) and the City in no way endorses, approves, nor sponsors the products and services referenced in this publication."

Thank you for your email.


Stacey Rohrer
Denver Marketing Office
City and County of Denver

From: Gerald Trumbule
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 4:52 PM
To: Sargeson, Stacey L. - OED
Subject: Denver City Flag

Thanks for your reply. I guess my next question is: Does the Madison campaign have specific permission to use the City flag as indicated here: without the language you specify. And if not, should the City issue a cease and desist order.

Thanks for looking into this.

Gerald Trumbule


To my knowledge, they do not have permission. Vicki Ortega and I are going to place a call to the Madison campaign staff early next week. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we will definitely follow up.



"Why are You Being So Mean to Me?"

Carla Madison asked as we accidentally happened to leave the Denver Democrats Spaghetti dinner at the same time last Saturday night.

“I’m not being mean, I’m just trying to expose the truth.” I said. “I think we need to sit down and have a talk.” I added as we walked toward the parking lot.

“Well, let’s do it now.” replied Madison, candidate for Denver City Council District 8 and the subject of a number of postings on this blog.

So it was that we stood in the parking lot for the next half hour discussing her campaign and issues. No video camera, not even a notepad, the following is my best recollection of our conversation.

CM: Why are you writing all that stuff about me?
DD: I’m just using your own emails to demonstrate the facts.
CM: I guess I’ll have to be more careful about what I put in emails.

DD: What is the current paid membership of the City Park West Neighborhood Association?
CM: 20.
DD: Really?
CM: Well, probably 15.
DD: Rasheed says they have over 400 paying members in Greater Park Hill Community, Inc.
CM: (laugh) And you believe that?

DD: What about the fiscal mess the Association is in?
CM: Nobody really cares. (Madison did agree that an independent audit would be a good idea, but CPWNA could not afford it. Ok if somebody else pays.)

DD: You repeatedly violated the by-laws of the Association with loans to and from yourself and your husband.
CM: We were just putting in seed money. Maybe we should get rid of the by-laws.

DD: What about the fact that your husband Paul stormed out of meetings whenever he was asked to document his expenses?
CM: Oh that Paul.

DD: Why do you think the membership of CPWNA is so low?
CM: I've tried but you just can't get people to come out unless there is a burning issue.
DD: I think its because of the autocratic way you run the meetings and the lack of outreach.
CM: I've been told that people are tired of the constant complaints to the NPO (neighborhood police officer) about Coleman Manor and the blacks.

DD: Why do you claim you started the CPWNA Festival when we know it started before you ever showed up?
CM: It was just a little street fair and I turned it into a Festival of the Arts.

DD: Why do you claim that you implemented the overlay when we know that only the City can do that.
CM: The City waived the $50,000 application fee when I asked them to, and I did most of the work to get approval.

DD: What about the over 400 people in the overlay district who never responded and still had their zoning changed by the overlay?
CM: They had their chance. We did two mailings.

DD: Yes, but they weren't even sent by registered mail.
CM: That's not a City requirement.

DD: Every R-4 lot owner who was overlaid lost about $150,000 of value in the transaction.
CM: That’s what people are willing to pay to preserve their neighborhoods.

DD: How did you get the power to go around changing people's zoning without their permission?
CM: That’s just the way it is. They could have spoken up. They were notified.

It was getting cold and my back was killing me. I thanked Madison for the interview and we went our separate ways.

My opinion: Madison is a one-trick pony. If you like zoning overlays, you'll love Madison. She even thinks scrape-offs are causing inflation. Her position on other issues is a mash-up of other candidates' statements. (See the interview at Colorado Confidential in which she recites Rasheed's position on youth almost verbatim.) She doesn't communicate her ideas well in public. Despite her claims, she has very little experience in governing or leadership.

She claims she is "smarter than she seems". I think she's a nice lady in over her head.

Oh darn, I forgot to ask her about that giant gargoyle in her front yard.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lack of Transparency

Saturday, April 20, 2007 Denver Democrats Annual Spaghetti Dinner Dennis Gallagher, Denver's Auditor, is running for re-election. I've heard him talk (and sing) many times, and he's always good for a laugh. But Mr. Gallagher, sir, you are not transparent. Fiscal transparency is one thing, but physical transparency is more difficult. The TV camera cannot see through you. But nevermind, the jokes in Latin were a scream.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Change of Pace

Unexpected, unannounced, hundreds of cyclists streamed past my house on York late one night.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

CPWNA – The Overlay Railroad

Madison insists that she “implemented a 30-block overlay with 100% approval”. Wow, can one person implement an overlay? No, the City implements overlays after Council votes. And how can you possibly get 100% approval? 1. Eliminate all of the property owners who don’t respond.(78%) 2. Remove all of the no votes from the overlay by letting them out if they agree to support it.(15% of those returning cards.) This is a long (and probably boring to most) story, so I’ll try to be brief. I helped Madison stuff the envelopes mailed to over 600 property owners. (Regular mail, not registered.) I’ll let the emails (between Madison and me) do the talking. (I've removed individuals names and replaced them with [ ].) Sept 10, 2002 Hey Jerry, I want to stress that people can request their property out of the overlay and still be for the overlay in general. We are not looking for no votes. We are looking for support of the overlay and working with people to get eveyone on the same page. See, [X] can still vote yes but request to be removed from the overlay. ... What we hope for is 100% support of the overlay from the folks we are leaving out. Part of the deal we hope to strike is letters of support for the overlay from all the parties that are being taken out. So, maybe that's what you meant in the first place but I hope you're not talking down the overlay in general. I know if the [Z] guys are way against it there's nothing much you can do. I hope you catch my general drift. Anyhow, I'm pretty much considering you guys off the overlay. I can't speak for Kiersten but I don't think she'll have much problem. See you tomorrow, Carla October 12, 2003 Carla … I'm in the process of considering what to write re the overlay. Do you have the results of our mailing? I recall that we sent out over 600 letters to the residents of CPWN, but I don't recall hearing the results. Number of returns, number in favor, number against, number of owners of R-4 property who responded etc. Please bring me up to date. Thanks. Jerry October 12, 2003 Hi Jerry, We got 130 postcards back. 110 for the overlay and 20 against. That was about a year ago. We talked with a number of the people that sent in the negatives - [X] and [Y] were responsible for 6 of them - and we were able to adapt the overlay for them. ... I don't think I got any cards form the R-3 portion of the overlay so they all would have been R-4. Many of them were from the area that is now OD-1. I'm sorry I can't be more exact since I no longer have the cards to refer to. I'm not sure if you know that we held the NW R-4 application back because of protest along Downing and Marion. We'll see what we can do to work things out with those folks. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks, Carla [Full disclosure: I am one of the property owners who voted against the overlay and, along with my neighbors on York Street, was removed from the overlay.] Okay then, the 470 property owners who did not send in their cards were not included in the count. But what about the 20 who voted no? We were told that if we wrote a letter of support for the overlay we would be removed from it. October 10, 2003 Jerry … We are sending out our final request for support letters from those neighbors that we removed from the overlay. We would very much appreciate a letter from you. We are asking that letters be submitted by 10/17 so we can get them together and to Council a week before our hearing on 10/27. Or, if you like, you could come and speak in support of the overlay, 6:30, Oct 27th at City Council Chambers. Below is a letter I drafted for your convenience. Feel free to change it in any manner that you like, but please have it sound like you do support the overlay as a whole. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, Thank you, Carla Madison City Park West Neighborhood Association president Proposed letter City Council 1437 Bannock Street #451 Denver, CO 80202 Dear City Council Members: As a member of the City Park West Neighborhood Association I was aware of the boundaries of the overlay as soon as it was proposed. I support the basic concept of the overlay and understand the desire to protect the low rise feel of the bulk of the neighborhood blocks, but felt that the property that I owned along the 1600 block of York did not have the "neighborhood feel" that the overlay was designed to protect. After talking with a number of other property owners on the block who also preferred to be excluded I talked with Carla Madison, the association president, and Kiersten Faulkner the city planner involved with the project. We all were in agreement that since this block was on the the perimeter of the overlay and along a major transit corridor it was appropriate to remove this block from being overlaid with the OD9. I appreciate the willingness of the neighborhood association and the city planner to work along with the property owners of this area and exclude the 1600 block of York. I wish to express my support of the overlay as a whole. Sincerely, I want to make it clear that Madison did work very hard to get this overlay implemented. Unfortunately, she was working on behalf of the City and a small group of individuals and not for the majority of the 600 property owners. Is this what you want your representative to do?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Flag This

Denver City Flag - Adopted in 1926

Is it legal to incorporate the Denver City Flag into your election advertising? Just asking.

Check Out Sharon Bailey's Updated Website

Dr. Sharon Bailey has updated her website, and, what's this? A video! Way to go Bailey team! Oh, that's right, I shot that video. But it looks good if I do say so myself. Also check out her new Q and A section. Dr. Bailey provides some very thoughtful answers there.

Monday, April 16, 2007

This Just In

The “Vote Lady” as they call her in the precinct, reports that as she walks the neighborhood, folks who voted are not getting their ballots. One lady, who stood in line to vote last November, and definitely voted, didn’t get a ballot. When she called, they told her the records showed she hadn’t voted. Saddened, she said “I guess that means my vote didn’t count.” What is going on? Update: Susan Rogers of the Denver Election Commission states that the machine votes were recorded but not used for the active list, which was compiled from workers lists of voters. Oh well.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

People Are Pissed Off

I hadn't heard this question asked before of the candidates for Denver District Council District 8.

Buzz Abounds

Watson Buzz

Harold Brewer, long-time politico of District 8, came out with a letter restating his support for Darrell Watson. Apparently an article appeared in “a small newspaper” alluding to his support for another candidate, so he felt compelled to counter it with this letter.

Well, there’s no question now. Brewer states, “Over the past 13 years I have come to recognize Darrell as a leader with a unique ability to work productively with a variety of people and their issues. His knowledge of needs and concers for neighborhoods, and the growth of the city is impressive.

And “I am asking you to join me with your vote to elect Darrell Watson …”

Bailey Buzz

Denver Politics reports a strange email regarding Bailey yard signs and threats.

I’ve seen numerous Bailey flyers placed in mail boxes illegally.

Bailey postcards (I got one) quote “Senator Paul Groff”. Who is he? On the other side of the postcard “Senator Peter Groff” is listed as a supporter, but the rumor is flying around that Groff does not support Bailey. Can anyone clear this up? Senator Groff?

A Touch of Irony?

Is the person who placed this illegal sign (at 21st and Lafayette) a supporter or a prankster?

Rasheed on Denver Direct

You gotta love this guy. He lets his human out. He talks about hugging and making connections. Not afraid to crack a joke, sometimes at his own expense. And I’m not saying that just because he said this at the Merchants Candidate Forum. Rasheed on Denver Direct Later he encouraged me to ask him more questions online. I'd have to say he gets it. Anyone have any questions for Mr. Rasheed? or any other candidate? Post a comment.

Candidate Responsiveness

Have you ever had to call your Council Representative? What kind of response did you get? Hiawatha Davis never returned any of my calls. Elbra Wedgeworth always responded or had her staff respond and follow-up. (Until she went missing.) Who among the current candidates will be the most responsive? Some have actually said they will return our phone calls. Hard to predict, but we can look at who has been the most responsive to blogger's questions. They can always say that they didn't see the question, but I send them individual emails asking them to respond. 1. Early on Denver Politics posted 3 questions to all candidates. Only Madison responded to two of them. 2. This blog posted 3 general and 3 specific questions to each candidate (which were fortunately reposted at Denver Politics). Three responded to the specific and one to the general. Combined Internet Responsiveness Score Rasheed 67% Madison 56% Watson 33% Bailey 0% Smith 0% Insert standard disclaimer here. This may be a measure of how much time candidates and staff spend checking the blogs. By the way, Smith has no website and says she doesn't do email. Therefore, not a serious candidate in my opinion.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Conflict of Interest - Part 2

Note: I have reposted this comment from the previous post as I felt it was too important to get lost in the comments section. Paul Weiss is the former Director of Festival of the Arts for the City Park West Neighborhood Association (CPWNA), husband of and campaign manager for Carla Madison, candidate for Denver City Council District 8. Jerry, I have been committed to and successful in keeping the Festival of the Arts solvent on a shoestring budget. For seven years, we have given away soda, offered $5 meals, charged return artists only $50 and non-profits only $10, while not allowing sponsorship from businesses that do not have a direct stake in this community. It is an immense and complex undertaking getting 600 exhibitors, entertainers and volunteers to work together for one common day of art, music, entertainment, education and community without the normal fundraising mechanisms. I have been dedicated to the singular goal of building this event with Carla's original mission statement. "(We remain) a community directed and neighborhood-organized event. (We continue) to focus on building neighborhood participation, increasing the cooperation and respect that brings neighborhoods together, developing leadership, supporting the Arts, positively impacting local businesses, and developing and sustaining our community's sense of identity and pride through culture,arts, music, dance, education and performance." The Festival of the Arts will continue to have a positive impact on this community, on encouragement and development of skills, and building a community where all of us feel pride and hope for the future. I will continue to believe that cooperation, education and community are a valuable and worthwhile goal. Paul Weiss My response: Hey Paul: Thanks for your response. I really appreciate your signed comments. In fact, I agree with everything you said. You know that I have been an ardent supporter of your Festival from the beginning, and even produced a TV spot for it. You also know that I appreciated the enormous amount of work you put into the Festival, and often publicly stated that you were underpaid for your efforts. But you didn’t respond to the point of my post – Were you paid $4250 by CPWNA in 2003 and if so, why does Carla make a point of saying you were never paid more than $3000? And Paul, you miss the larger point. Ever hear of “arms length”? You may recall that I repeated told you that you needed to separate the finances of your Festival from the CPWNA. Do you remember my saying that if you didn’t if would come back to “bite you in the ass”? Well, it’s nipping at your heels right now. You stormed out of two public meetings of the CPWNA when you were asked to produce the receipts to document your expenditures. You ran screaming (literally) from my office when then Financial Chair of the CPWNA, Pat Manning (my partner) asked you to provide this documentation. (Full disclosure: and you later apologized to me.) To my knowledge, this matter of “fiscal irregularities”, resulting in the resignation of Manning and the public reproduction of copies of all of the financial records available to her, has never been cleared up. When you write a $1500 check to yourself and a $2175 to your wife from a CPWNA account without documentation, you can expect questions. Especially when loans are expressly prohibited by the CPWNA by-laws unless approved by the Membership. Until this is cleared up, by an independent audit of the accounts of CPWNA, it will continue to haunt you, Carla, and the CPWNA. No one will be willing to “step up” into a big pile of crap. And yes, I do know that you quit the CPWNA and finally separated the finances of your fantastic Festival into a separate entity. The Festival is everything you say it is, and I wish you the best in that endeavor in upcoming years. Jerry

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Conflict of Interest?

In her recent answer (posted on Denver Politics) to a question regarding payments by CPWNA to her husband Paul Weiss, Carla Madison states:

“The money Paul gets for organizing the festival is not significant, never topping $3000 for 6 months worth of work.”
But in an email to CPWNA members on June 15, 2003 Madison stated:

“Paul Weiss's fee as event coordiator (sic) for the City Park Festival of the Arts is $3500. This is based on the figure that Uptown pays to it's event coordiator (sic) for the Sampler. If there are remaining monies left that had been raised for the Festival, Paul and the CPWNA will split the next $2000.Money left beyond this amount will stay in the Festival fund as seed moneyfor the Festival for the following year.

The way it went this year, with our increase in costs, after Paul's fee is taken out of the balance, there will be approximately $1500 left. This means that the neighborhood association will have $750 put into it's regular account for any use the Association sees fit. Paul will also get an additional $750. The reason this last amount is a split between Paul and the CPWNA is as an incentive to increase fund raising, which Paul is also solely responsible for."

That year Weiss received $4250, well over the $3000 Madison claimed. That year the entire budget for CPWNA (exclusive of the Festival Special Account run by Weiss) was $3224.25. So the amount paid to Weiss was very significant.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

City Park West Neighborhood Association Goes Dark

Apparently there is not much going on at CPWNA these days. “President” Carla Madison sees no burning issues and has (by email, in quotes): 1. cancelled the meeting in December, 2006, (“We are going to take a break and there will be no meeting for the month of December. But I don't want you all to just forget about the neighborhood.“) 2. held a questionable election (in the sense that the Association by-laws for holding elections were ignored) in January at which she was “re-elected” for a 7th consecutive term by the few remaining members, and 3. cancelled the monthly meeting in March (“We have no presentations scheduled this month for the City Park West Neighborhood Association and no burning issues. I think that rather than schedule a City Park West meeting I will instead ask the membership to try to take the time this month or next to educate yourselves and make it to a Council District 8 Candidates Forum.”) 4. and now cancelled the April meeting (“Another month is going to slip by without a City Park West Neighborhood Association meeting. Once again there are no vital issues, no rezonings or happenings within our borders that need to be addressed.”) Funny, but I see the election of a new representative for District 8 as a burning, vital issue. CPWNA has not sponsored a Forum this year, but the Merchants at 22nd and Humboldt have picked up the slack and will hold a Public Forum on April 12 – Thursday - 6pm - Kaiser Franklin Street building (sw corner of 21st and Humboldt), Reimer Room in the basement. This Forum will feature questions from the audience. All current and former members of CPWNA please note – this is your chance to address those "non-burning" issues!

Sunday, April 8, 2007


If you've been checking out the candidate videos on this site, you may be interested in how many views each candidate has received. Let me first state that I know this is not a "scientific" survey, any more than the number of yards signs is a true measure of popularity. That said, I couldn't resist plotting the results (I was a scientist in a former life.)

Of course the graph only represents those who have computer access and visit blogs and candidate sites that link to YouTube. It may also include those who stumbled upon the videos and are not Denver voters.

The first 3 bars on the left are for the 3 at-large candidates who have only one video on this site. Linkhart is the clear winner.

The next 5 bars to the right are based on 4 videos each except for Smith who has three videos. These results are static and reflect the results as of the date of this post.

Smith Responds

Still waiting.

Bailey Responds

Still waiting.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Watson Responds

ElectWatson said... I appreciate the opportunity to respond. Q. Why aren’t you gay enough? (Please click on link to understand this question.) A. I was the Co-Chair of Colorado Stonewall Democrats. I served on the National Executive Board of National Stonewall as their Secretary as well as one of their regionally elected board members. The founding convention for NSDF of which I attended (actually at that convention we were called Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Democratic Federation) was in Kansas City in 1999. The organization was named, by-laws approved at that convention, hence the organization was founded in 1999…the call to the convention was a call to the ‘founding convention of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Democratic Federation in Kansas City. The organization was sponsored and formed by Congressman Barney Frank and in 1998. I have strong support in the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered community. That support is demonstrated by the house parties, fundraisers and the amount of ‘queer’ folks volunteering on my campaign. I am grateful for their support. My partner is one of the most visible persons on my campaign. He did an amazing job as my replacement in the candidate forum at San Rafael. I’ve never stated nor accepted credit for the Juan Diego project. The city and county of Denver had only one racial profiling task force. I collaborated with Chief Whitman’s office, city council and community leaders to create what became “The Denver Biased Policing Task Force”. It was renamed Biased Policing Task Force because we added sexual orientation, age, and gender to the list of biased policing activities that were not acceptable. Over a 3 year period, I chaired and facilitated the community meetings, steering committee meetings, we coordinated the outcomes from the small groups and coordinated the communication with the officers in the Chief’s office. There were hundreds of community members that worked hard for 3 years and their dedication is why the task force was successful. Retired Sgt. Mike Anderson, formerly working within Chief Whitman’s office and one of the Chief’s liaisons on the Biased Policing Task Force, is on the steering committee of my campaign and is one of my main advisors on community and police issues. I’m asking folks in District 8 to vote for me because I am qualified, competent, and will provide innovative leadership. I’ve participated in all but one debate and I haven’t heard any of the other candidates proclaim that they were ‘straight, gay, bisexual or heterosexual’. There are people who believe I’m too gay and others not gay enough. My partner and I have a strong, loving relationship. I’m extremely hopeful about my future, my family and this campaign. Q. What do you actually do at your day job, and how are you connected to foundations and boards of directors of other organizations? A. I am a Wealth Management Manager for TIAA-CREF Wealth Management Group. I have 14 employees. TIAA-CREF is an annuity and pension company that serves educators, research and non-profits. We’ve been around for over 85 years. I am on the Board of Trustees of the Denver Foundation. I was formerly on the Strengthening Neighborhood Program Board of the Denver Foundation. Q. Serious accusations have flown your way, and people are now accusing you of exaggeration and taking credit for others work. Yet, you refuse to respond. What gives? A. I’ve been walking and speaking with folks during the last year and ½ about this campaign. I’ve answered each of the questions above and I look forward to answering any others. Darrell B. Watson, Candidate Denver City Council District 8 General questions as yet unanswered: Q. Three of you have experience in neighborhood associations. How many dues paying members did you have then and how many now? Q. Does it take “fire in the belly” to run for any public office these days given the cost, the media, Internet and press? What, if any, office will you seek after your tenure as Councilperson, and will you promise to fill your term if elected? Q. Do you think it appropriate for the Denver City Council to issue a position statement on the Iraq War? How would you vote?

Madison Responds

Carla For Council said... I am happy to reply to your questions, and they are most reasonable questions. Q. You’ve seemed apologetic for being “nervous”, “smarter than you seem”, and “white”. Why are you running for this “black seat”? Unfortunately, the BWPA debate was one of our first, and yes, I was nervous. I've worked in the neighborhoods for years but other than speaking before council half a dozen times or so, most of what I do is behind the scenes or in front of small groups. Yes, that night the TV cameras made me nervous, but I'm getting used to it. Had you attended any of the subsequent forums, you would recognize that. Public speaking has always been one of my fears and I've had to work very hard to face it and get past it. However, in no way did I apologized for being white. I was addressing the Black Women's Political Action group. That is why I mentioned the fact that I was not black but a woman. Although I understand that in the past District 8 has been considered a black seat I do not consider this district, that is now split evenly in thirds between whites, Latinos and blacks, anybody's seat. . Q. Some of us thought your husband Paul started the Festival of the Arts, now you say it was you. Why did CPWNA pay Paul to run the festival? I started the Festival on my own, with the help of the neighborhood secretary, Mary Jo Cartoni, in spring 2001. We created an event to showcase the talents of the City Park West neighborhood and bring neighbors together. The next year, Paul and I did it together and extended the involvement to all the neighborhoods around the Park. As the years have continued I have had less active involvement and Paul, because he loves it and what it stands for, has taken on most of the responsibilities. I have remained, as Paul will tell you, the moral compass of the festival, making sure we remain community focused, only charging low booth fees, only accepting money from neighborhood involved businesses, no out of town artists, etc. The money Paul gets for organizing the festival is not significant, never topping $3000 for 6 months worth of work. Last year, Paul received absolutely nothing and the entertainment coordinator received a token $350. CPWNA also received money from the festival although last year it became a State Registered Non-Profit and seperated from CPWNA. Q. Didn’t the City waive its $50,000 fee from CPWNA, control, direct and implement the overlay and achieve “unanimous participation” only after allowing all dissidents to have their property removed from the overlay? An overlay district takes a bit of work to have happen. The City waived our fees because the zoning change was in line with what they wanted to achieve in Blueprint Denver and because we agreed to do all the foot work. Kirsten Faulkner was our neighborhood planner at the time and I am indebted to her for valuable input and working along with us to make the overlay happen but the public process/communications piece and mapping application was entirely left up to the neighborhood. The overlay was directed and controlled by the wishes of the neighborhood. The City limited us to choosing between existing overlay language but a survey and public meetings helped us choose which overlay best represented what the neighbors wanted. We wrote the letters, we drew up the maps and built the consensus. We brought the application through Council. I never considered those that questioned the overlay "dissidents". They are property owners with a right to question a potential change in their zoning. There were dozens of landowners who questioned the overlay but I was able to get them to understand why it's implementation was in the their best interest and that of the neighborhood. I did remove a number of landowners who had properties along the corridors because I feel that that is where growth, height and density belong. I gained consensus from all landowners within the neighborhood blocks. All the residential properties south of 16th and north of Colfax have been brought into the OD9 with the Mainstreet rezoning of Colfax as was agreed at the time. Sincerely, Carla Madison Candidate City Council District 8 No answers yet to the general questions: Q. Three of you have experience in neighborhood associations. How many dues paying members did you have then and how many now? Q. Does it take “fire in the belly” to run for any public office these days given the cost, the media, Internet and press? What, if any, office will you seek after your tenure as Councilperson, and will you promise to fill your term if elected? Q. Do you think it appropriate for the Denver City Council to issue a position statement on the Iraq War? How would you vote?

Rasheed Responds

Trying to make up for the previously closed comments section, I am reposting the answers from the comments section of Denver Politics. Hi, This is Greg Rasheed. candidate for City Council District 8. I would like to respond to your questions: Q. What did you conclude when you were told “we know who you are”? A. That statement was said to me by the Denver Ministrial Alliance. I guess it means they know my community work and my radio program on KUVO. I would ask one of those members what they meant. Q. Please get real. You can’t meet 26,500 people face to face. What will you actually do to foster communication? Radio? Internet? A. I will try my best. If you believe, anything is possible. Obviously I can't get in apartment buildings unless I have a key or am a cat burgler. Q. Do you have the knowledge of the workings of City government that well enable you to “hit the ground running” or will it be more like “on the job training”? A. Running a neighborhood association involves a lot of detailed work. I spend the majority of my time as director of Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. reading ordiances, laws passed by City Council, etc. I also am a Denver Channel 8 junkie, so I actually enjoy watching the proceedings on the station. The issue of experience is one that has cropped up many times in my life. In talking to my fellow black male associates, they also go through the same thing. I was asked in 1993 if I had the experience in running a social justice organization like the American Friends Service Committee. I ended up running that organization from 1993 - 1997. I was asked in 1998 if I had any experience in handling a major government grant. I worked from 1998 - 2001 as the program director of a 6 figure Department of Justice grant involving crime issues in Park Hill. I was asked in 2000 if I had any experience hosting a radio program. I have hosted a music program on KUVO 89.3 FM for the past five years, as well as hosted two shows on Denver cable television. The issue of experience always comes up when it involves a black person. You can look at what is going on now with Barack Obama. He is always questioned about if he is experienced enough in running for President. He has only been in state and national government for over 10 years. I guess you would favor experienced people like W. Bush, who has put our nation in a crisis situation with his policies. Unfortunately in the 21st century, the experience continues to come up when it involves a person of color. Q. Three of you have experience in neighborhood associations. How many dues paying members did you have then and how many now? A. Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. has 1300 members, 408 are dues paying members. Q. Does it take “fire in the belly” to run for any public office these days given the cost, the media, Internet and press? What, if any, office will you seek after your tenure as Councilperson, and will you promise to fill your term if elected? A. That is why I am running. If I win and serve my two full terms, I can see myself running for the House of Representatives. I would be 61 at that time. But I probably would have to still answer questions about experience. Q. Do you think it appropriate for the Denver City Council to issue a position statement on the Iraq War? How would you vote? A. I must certainly would! As the only progressive candidate, I would be remiss if I did not speak out on the war. Look at the tapes of the forums again, and maybe you will see where I stand on this and other issues.

What's Up With That?

This is why I like questions from the audience. Unrehearsed answers are the most revealing. From the Candidates Forum for Denver City Council District 8 at Park Hill police station on April 5, 2007.

Friday, April 6, 2007


I guess if I'm going to post questions to the candidates I should at least make it possible for them to answer. After reading Madison's and Rasheed's thoughtful answers at Denver Politics (which had kindly reposted the questions) I discovered that the comments on this blog were turned off. Ooops! So go to Denver Politics and read the answers. As a bonus, you'll find lots of good new stuff over there. And the comments are now turned on here.

District 5 Denver City Council Candidates Forum - Bonus Footage!

Arriving at the new police station at 39th and Holly was a pleasant surprise. Severe Modern architecture with a nice meeting room equipped with police radio antennae on the walls and about 80 citizens ready to listen to the candidates.

District 5 candidates were first, and I figured why not? I'm presenting the footage a little differently here, uncut with titles. See what you think.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Unsolicited Advice and Unanswered Questions for the Candidates for Denver City Council District 8

Watching each of your Forum tapes four or five times in the process of editing and uploading I can’t help but blurt out my unsolicited advice and questions. You know, yelling at the TV! So instead of yelling, I'm posting them here. My TV never answers but maybe you will. (I checked Denver Politics to see if any of the candidates had answered any of the three questions posted to them there. Only Madison answered two. Poor showing for the rest of you.) But before we get to my questions… General Advice to all Candidates (Let me apologize in advance if I seem impertinent or rude to be so bold as to advise you. Feel free to respond “none of your business” or “you shut up”.) - Please be more specific. Don’t say “the task force” if you mean “a task force”. Don't say you started something if you merely participated. People are getting picky now. No more vague generalities. - When you are given 4 minutes, use 3. We’ll be so shocked we’ll remember you and vote for you. This means honing your message down and then shutting up. No more blah blah blah. - Sorry, body-language counts. You are all we have to look at. - Getting up from your chair and standing tall before us is better than slouching toward your microphone from your chair. Pop your mic out of the stand and come to the front of the table. But don't pace. - Please make sure your people are placing yard signs legally (in yards) and not illegally (in the verge). Illegal signs make us think you don't care about the letter of the law. General questions to all - Three of you have experience in neighborhood associations. How many dues paying members did you have then and how many now? - Does it take “fire in the belly” to run for any public office these days given the cost, the media, Internet and press? What, if any, office will you seek after your tenure as Councilperson, and will you promise to fill your term if elected? -Do you think it appropriate for the Denver City Council to issue a position statement on the Iraq War? How would you vote? Specific Questions To Lynn Smith 1. What was the “technicality” that kept you off the ballet? 2. What was your total development activity in the last 10 years? 3. Isn’t your candidacy based on your reaction to difficulty you’ve had working with the City bureaucracy? Since Hickenlooper promised to fix that, and apparently didn’t, how can you have any effect on it? To Greg Rasheed 1. What did you conclude when you were told “we know who you are”? 2. Please get real. You can’t meet 26,500 people face to face. What will you actually do to foster communication? Radio? Internet? 3. Do you have the knowledge of the workings of City government that well enable you to “hit the ground running” or will it be more like “on the job training”? To Sharon Bailey 1. Your biography indicates that you were a consultant for 12 years after and before government jobs. Isn’t this the revolving door they talk about? 2. You mention being elected to the Denver School Board. Are the current sad state of Denver Schools (high-drop out, low scores, closed) your legacy? 3. Are you trying to prove something to your husband? To Carla Madison 1. You’ve seemed apologetic for being “nervous”, “smarter than you seem”, and “white”. Why are you running for this “black seat”? 2. Some of us thought your husband Paul started the Festival of the Arts, now you say it was you. Why did CPWNA pay Paul to run the festival? 3. Didn’t the City waive its $50,000 fee from CPWNA, control, direct and implement the overlay and achieve “unanimous participation” only after allowing all dissidents to have their property removed from the overlay? To Darrell Watson 1. Why aren’t you gay enough? 2. What do you actually do at your day job, and how are you connected to foundations and boards of directors of other organizations? 3. Serious accusations have flown your way, and people are now accusing you of exaggeration and taking credit for others work. Yet, you refuse to respond. What gives? And finally, let me praise the efforts of all of the candidates so far. Keep up the good work. We hope it will lead to our picking the best candidate to represent us all.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Forum Number Four in District 8, Denver City Council Race

April 2, 2007

Back to the Caldwell Public Library for a second try at videotaping a public Forum there (see Hatchett). No problem this time. To those kind folks who came up afterward to thank me, you are welcome.

The candidates did seem a bit road-weary. Some continue to read from prepared statements most of the time, even when talking about themselves.

I think this Curtis Park Neighborhood Association sponsored event was the first to take written questions from the audience, pre-selected by a Board member. The questions were general, and answered by all four candidates.

But why this filtering of the questions, or worse, canned questions given to the candidates beforehand? What is everybody afraid of? Shouldn't those running for office be able to take questions directly from their potential constituents? And speak extemporaneously? Or maybe the constituents prefer anonymity for fear of angering a potentially powerful person? Maybe it's condsidered to be too dangerous. It seems like an accepted ritual.

I'd like to see the moderator call on people to direct specific questions to specific candidates. But then, that's just me.

Something like that apparently went on at the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance. According to my sources, Madison was asked why a white woman like her was running for the "black seat", Watson was dismissed as being gay, Rasheed was told "we know who you are", and the rest of the time was spent interviewing Sharon Bailey. Sounds like a religious group to me.

On with the show! In the order in which they will appear on the ballot: