2021.05.31 – Month in Review

/ May 31, 2021

May is in the books! Here’s a quick look back at some of what we got up to and some news you can use.

2021 Colorado Remembers Ceremony

I had the privilege to attend the Colorado Remembers ceremony on Saturday, May 29th with several of our community members and council colleagues. You can catch the opening comments from Rick Crandall, Representative Jason Crow, and Mayor Coffman here. You can also catch a powerful speech from Jack Alder and the history of the 157th Infantry Regiment by Lieutenant Colonel Russ McKelvey here. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Colorado Freedom Memorial yet, I highly recommend you visit the site if you are able.

Engage Aurora

Engage Aurora is the city’s new online public engagement portal for all manner of projects in the works. We had a brief presentation on this at our May 12th Ward IV meeting which you can catch here.

You can create your Engage Aurora account here. After you a registered you will be able to provide feedback on the projects listed on the website. The projects will be updated over time as they move through the process and new projects will be added when they are ready for public engagement, and be sure to check out the Nine Mile Bridge Design Enhancement survey and the Alternative Homeless Sheltering Options survey before they close!

Short-term Homelessness Solutions Open House

The city’s Alternative Shelter Options open house took place on Wednesday, May 19th. You can watch a quick walk-through of some of the options here. We had hundreds of residents come out to Restoration Christian Fellowship, tour the shelter options, and provide us with feedback on which options they think might work best and where they think they should be set up. Staff will be compiling feedback from the event and from the Engage Aurora survey and bring a presentation back to council in the near future.

I am excited that staff is moving in this direction, but I want to stress that the options presented at the event are meant to be a stop-gap measure. Real solutions to addressing homelessness such as permanent supportive housing, housing-first programming, and work-first programming will take time and regional resources to build. Until then, I think we can all agree that we’d rather folks have safe and sanitary alternatives available to them than camping out in the wetlands or off I-225.

Proposed Utah Park Improvements

I heard a lot from our neighbors around Utah Park about updating the amenities available at Utah Park. The most ask was to return of basketball courts to the park. We had a presentation from staff at the May 28th Parks, Foundations, and Quality of Life policy committee meeting about where we might be able to accommodate a few courts.

The proposed locations would be accompanied by a modest parking expansion that would likely be located near the eastern curve of the lot shown in the image above. The final location of the courts would likely be a little closer to Peoria to accommodate the parking. A public comment period will be kicked off in the months to come to gather feedback on this change as it would require changing the park’s master plan to include the courts. I’ll be sure to share that out when the process begins, and would like to know your thoughts about this addition.

July Ward IV Meeting

As a reminder, we will not be having a June Ward IV meeting as I will be attending the International Making Cities Livable conference in Carmel, Indiana. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, July 14th at 6:30 PM on Webex and Facebook Live. We’ll be recapping the highlights from the IMCL conference and I would love to get your feedback on how you think we can apply some of what we learned from the event in Aurora.

As always, you can reach me at 720.634.6927 (text preferred) or at jmarcano@auroragov.org. Stay safe, and I hope to see you soon!

In solidarity,

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