“We Have a Vision!” Globeville Elyria Swansea Coalition to Speak About Equitable Community-Directed Planning for Public Land at National Western's "The Triangle" Before City Council’s Votes on $450M of the Mayor's Bonds for November Ballot Measures
DENVER – AUGUST 23rd, 2021 Globeville and Elyria-Swansea community members will share a community-centered vision for planning, developing and stewarding the remaining public land on the “Triangle” at National Western.
This community-directed plan will provide a pathway that returns economic growth for the City of Denver while also offering important services and investments for the GES community. And unlike the City’s plan, the community-plan will be developed through a detailed, equitable planning process with the community as equity partners.
The Press Conference will begin in front of the City and County Building today at 4pm, before City Council's final vote to include 2021 GO Bond packages as ballot measures in November's election.
Background: Despite early and wide-spread opposition, Mayor Hancock has rushed the 2021 “RISE Denver” GO Bond package to include $190M of public funding (about 42% of the $450M proposed in the bond) in order to to develop a new 10,000 seat Arena and a Public Market at the 1909 Building, on public land known as “The Triangle”, located at the National Western Complex. The Mayor, who has led much of the development process at National Western since 2015, is now pushing for more bond funding without a formal plan. The Mayor also continues to ignore recommendations of the City of Denver’s own feasibility study, based on ten-year old data. The feasibility study, conducted in 2017, shows much of the proposed development may also be economically untenable, even without considering the ongoing economic fallout to the tourism and entertainment industries, which have been thrown into great economic doubt through the entire pandemic.
Through this rush of GO Bond activity this month, it is important to keep in context the last decade of economic activity-- Some remember that National Western already received $865M in public funding in 2015 from the 2C “Tourism/Lodging Tax” ballot initiative and other public funds. At this time Mayor Hancock made many empty promises to the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville communities, and after six years, the majority of these so-called “community benefits” remain unadvanced and unfulfilled today. The Mayor has not been able to deliver on the most basic of promises to the community, has not made any real equitable commitments to the community, has prevented an equitable process and prevented meaningful participation or partnership with the community. The Mayor’s development process of the public land at National Western’s “Triangle” has been formally rejected by organized neighbors with GES Coalition as both unjust and inequitable, first in May 2020 and again earlier last week. Even neighbors who were unaware of the Mayor's bond proposal voice their opposition.
The last remaining public land at the National Western should be used specifically to develop a community vision through the community-ownership of land, as an act of reparations for National Western’s ongoing legacy of dispossession, which began with the forced removal of indigenous peoples from this land. Decade after decade since, much of what is public land today at the “Triangle” has been taken by dispossession and eminent domain.
GES Coalition Spokesperson: Alfonso Espino, (720) 829-2340 - somos bilingües en inglés y español
General media enquiries: Sarah Lake, (720) 601-8763