Saturday, April 7, 2007

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?


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