COVID-19 has impacted our lives more than any other issue in recent times. I am proud of how Edgewater has responded. We have leveraged mostly federal dollars to provide over $800,000 of direct assistance to our residents and small businesses since the start of the pandemic. We have also partnered with other government entities and nonprofits to ensure that adequate testing and vaccination sites are available to all residents. When faced with difficult decisions, the city has relied heavily on the advice and guidance of public health experts and agencies. As we continue to navigate and adapt to the pandemic, I am confident this approach will help us to emerge healthy and positioned for a bright future.
In the face of climate change, cities must become more sustainable and resilient. What does that mean at the community level? It’s about taking steps to reduce the consumption of resources, energy, and materials that will in turn improve current and future residents’ health, vitality, and way of life. Doing this as a community does make a difference. Fortunately, Edgewater is becoming known for its leadership in this area. In 2017, I ran for City Council promising to accelerate the city’s sustainability efforts. Since getting elected, Edgewater has accomplished the following:
2018—City Council authorized a temporary Sustainability Committee to write Edgewater’s first Sustainability Plan
2019—In September, the Sustainability Plan was unanimously adopted by City Council after months of community engagement, and in November, a permanent Sustainability Board was created to implement the plan
2020—The city implemented a residential curbside composting program and joined Xcel’s Partners in Energy program to implement our clean energy plans
2021—The city installed LED city streetlights, purchased its first electric vehicle, and set up a free energy audit program for residents; the city also joined Colorado Communities for Climate Action, which gives Edgewater a voice on state and federal climate matters
As Mayor, I’ll continue to support the Sustainability Board’s efforts and ensure that Edgewater continues to lead in sustainability.
A decade-long run of housing appreciation has increased the average home value in Edgewater from $190,000 in 2011 to $575,000 today. Although this change has brought many positives to our community, rising rents and property tax valuations have financially strained and even displaced many families. As Mayor, I’ll continue to work regionally to address housing insecurity, and I’ll support innovative solutions locally that create home ownership opportunities that maintain neighborhood context. I also believe it is critical to lead by example in order to address affordability. In 2020, I was proud to sponsor legislation that ensures every City employee and subcontractor is paid a living wage now and in the future.
Edgewater’s three schools are in the middle of receiving $27.5 million in voter-approved capital improvements, adding momentum to education here. City investments in the Heritage Center have allowed the Gold Crown Foundation’s after-school program to flourish. Partnerships between the Edgewater Collective, Jeffco Schools Foundations, and area businesses have created summer learning opportunities and helped our students better navigate learning through the pandemic. As Mayor, I’ll work to grow and promote our local schools in hopes of better connecting them with our community and helping all our students achieve success.
Edgewater has made historic investments and improvements in public safety in recent years. The opening of the new Civic Center in 2018 brought state-of-the-art police facilities that are helping to improve police officer recruiting, retention, and service. In 2021, Edgewater contracted two police co-responders to assist with on-scene de-escalation, family support, and crisis and mental health assessments. The city has promoted transparency and accountability with a timely and well-attended public presentation made in 2020 on police policies and procedures and with ongoing assessments to ensure best practices and adequate resources. In addition, infrastructure investments in street design are under way, helping to address long-standing speeding issues and pedestrian safety. As Mayor, I’ll continue to support these types of investments in public safety as well as accountable, equitable, and community-based policing practices.