Citizen Involvement in Government
Immediately after taking office, Paul began to make good on his commitment to public involvement in government by leading Council in passage of a resolution establishing the first ever opportunity for the public to offer general comment on city business before the full Council on Monday nights. Beginning with a 30-minute session before the first meeting of each month, the success of that program has led Council to expand public comment to the 1st and 3rd meetings each month. Since being instituted, hundreds of Denverites have taken advantage of the Public Comment sessions.
Paul is committed to working with residents, City Council and the Mayor to strengthen Denver’s Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO) system, to empower residents to better represent their communities.
For decades, Denver’s population hovered around 450,000-500,000. The continuing in-migration of people from all over the country and the world has pushed that number to over 700,000, putting intense pressure on our housing stock and civic infrastructure. Paul has been a consistent voice calling for policies that mitigate the impact of our increased population on our housing stock and civic infrastructure.
Traffic and Mobility
The most frequent concerns expressed by District 6 residents involve controlling traffic in our neighborhoods. While working non-stop with Denver Public Works to make signaling and signage improvements throughout the District, Paul took the initiative to provide neighbors with lawn signs declaring “DRIVE 25 – It won’t kill you!” – urging drivers to follow posted speed limits on local streets.
As chair of City Council’s Sidewalks Working Group, Paul led the successful effort to establish the first comprehensive program in our City’s history that will repair Denver’s broken sidewalks in the coming years. The 2017 and 2018 city budgets, and 2017 GO Bond program devoted over $55-million toward fixing broken sidewalks, and filling gaps in the sidewalk system. Paul also sits on the Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee in further oversight of programs devoted to getting people safely around our city by non-motorized means.
Twice appointed to lead Council’s expansive committee focusing on Safety, Education, Health, Housing and Homelessness, Paul has been aggressive in insisting that appropriate affordable housing be part of large-scale rezonings throughout the city, notably casting the only “no” vote when 100-acres of Downtown, known as Arapahoe Square, was rezoned for commercial and residential uses without a single affordable component.
A member of Council’s Housing and Homelessness Working Group, Paul has played an important role in improving conditions in Denver’s network of emergency shelters. He led the effort to see that Denver’s newest men’s shelter on E. 48th Ave. opened with steel beds, rather than mats on the ground.
Recognizing that an important element to combating homelessness is to help those in temporary financial straits to remain in their homes, Paul joined Councilwoman Robin Kniech in creation of a unanimous Council coalition that funded a pilot program providing free legal assistance to those facing eviction proceedings. He played in important role in passage of an ordinance expanding the verifiable sources of income – veteran’s benefits, child support, student loans, etc. – that landlords should acknowledge as valid in a rental application.
Paul’s office regularly works with area service providers and homeless residents to move them off our streets and trails and into more supportive housing that will better help them get back on their feet.
Inspired by the commitment of neighbors throughout District 6, Paul successfully sponsored a Conservation Overlay District for 176 homes in the Krisana Park section of Virginia Village as well as the application for a Vassar School Bungalows Historic District in the Rosedale/Harvard Gulch neighborhood that will come before Council in the coming weeks. He was pleased to join University Park neighbor’s in celebrating the historic designation of the stunning Ormleigh House, sitting on 9 lots at 2145 S. Adams St.
Paul has supported increases in personnel and technology aimed at increasing the speed of delivery of licensing, permitting, inspection and project review services so they facilitate commerce in the Mile-High City rather than hinder it. Time is money, and business owners need to maximize the time serving customers and minimize the time spent with regulations and city procedures.
While speaking forcefully in opposition to the expansion of I-70 through the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods, largely populated by people of color, Paul worked with colleagues to increase the scope of mitigation efforts to increase protections from the effects of construction and traffic for the residents of more than 300 homes living closest to the highway.
As the national dialogue has cast uncertainty over the stability of Denver’s refugee and immigrant population, Paul has lent support through school visits, resolutions and ordinances to the more than 3,000 students, from some 100 countries, attending Place Bridge Academy, Merrill Middle School, South High School and the University of Denver.
Paul serves on the board of the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, which designs projects protecting life and property throughout Denver and parts of the six surrounding counties. He is focused on ensuring that a trio of plans for flood mitigation along Harvard Gulch proposed by the City, Urban Drainage and the Army Core of Engineers maximize protection for life and property, while minimizing the need for relocation of residents.
As a member of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Advisory Council, Paul supports efforts to make sustainability an integral part of the operations of every city department. He was pleased to join with his colleagues in funding expansion of Denver’s curbside composting and recycling programs.
Construction / Development
Paul worked with Councilmembers Wayne New (District 10) and Deborah Ortega (At-Large) to pass an ordinance update that strengthens programs requiring minority and woman participation in awarding of city contracts, as well as ensuring that subcontractors are paid fully and promptly by the general contractors awarded city projects.
Many neighborhoods across District 6 have been impacted by home construction every spring, summer and fall for decades. Paul is working with Councilman New and the Department of Public Works to see that developers act more responsibly in managing the effects of that construction on surrounding neighborhoods.
Paul is looking forward to working with neighbors through the Neighborhood Planning Initiative process slated to create Small Area plans for the Virginia Vale, Virginia Village and Goldsmith Gulch neighborhoods in 2019. These plans will also focus on the Evans Avenue corridor, and are critical to guiding future development in South and Southeast Denver.
Denver’s greenspaces must be enhanced and expanded. We need to create additional parkland, and better maintain our current inventory. Paul has been pleased to join in the creation of new playgrounds at Washington Park and Ash Grove Park, as well as the reconstruction of a much-improved Harvard Gulch Trail between Colorado Blvd. and University Blvd. He is looking forward to major park improvements across the district funded by the 2017 Elevate Denver general obligation bonds program. Tennis court repairs have taken place at Observatory Park and Washington Park, and a visioning process has begun to guide improvements at Potenza and City of Chennai parks, both honoring cities in other countries as part of Denver’s Sister Cities program.
As Chairman of City Council’s Safety Committee, Paul has lent support for increases in safety agency staffing and purchase of equipment critical to Denver’s police, sheriff and fire department operations. Paul authored an ordinance ensuring that, should a Police officer lose his or her life in the line of duty, the survivors’ insurance benefits would continue, paid and uninterrupted for a full year. This benefit was already on the books for the Denver Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department. During drafting of the ordinance, it was decided to extend the benefit to all city employees.
South-Central Improvement Association, Good Neighbor Award, 1985
Colorado State Senate Commendation for 20 Years of Community Service – 2000
South Pearl Street Merchants Association, Paul Kashmann Day, 2000
Washington Street Community Center, Jane Craft Good Neighbor Award, 2000
Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, Gold Star Award, 2007
Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation Presidents Dinner Keynote Speaker, 2008
In Person Polling Center in District 6
-Denver Police Department District 3: 1625 S. University Blvd.
24 hour drop off boxes in District 6
-Denver Police Department District 3: 1625 S. University Blvd.
-Washington Park Recreation Center: 701 S. Franklin St.
-Cook Park Recreation Center: 7100 Cherry Creek S. Dr.
-Register to vote and vote at the election center located at the Denver Police Department District 3: 1625 S. University Blvd. Register and vote till and on election Day.
ABOUT CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 6:
According to Denver law, the city must be redistricted at least once every 10 years to ensure that each Council member is representing a similar number of residents so that the concept of “one person, one vote” is maintained. In 2011, City Council refigured the boundaries for Denver’s 11 City Council districts. These new boundaries will take effect along with the next election, May 5, 2015.
Based on the most recent census data, the new District 6 will include 55,921 people, of which 10.7% are Hispanic, 76.7% Caucasian and 5.5% African American. The averages citywide are: 31.8% Hispanic, 52.2% Caucasian and 9.7% African American. The total population of Denver at the time of redistricting was estimated to be 600,158, with the average district size 54,560.
Following the May 2015 elections, District 6 will represent the following neighborhoods: (from west to east) Harvard Gulch/Rosedale, Washington Park, University, Bonnie Brae, Cory-Merrill, University Park, Virginia Village/Ellis, Virginia Vale, Cook Park and Indian Creek. These neighborhoods are represented by some 20 registered neighborhood organizations. Portions of the new District 6 stretch as far west as Broadway, east past Quebec St., as far north as Speer Blvd., and south to Dartmouth Ave.
District 6 is blessed with a rich diversity in housing stock and retail shopping districts, some of Denver’s most beautiful parkland and one of Colorado’s premiere educational institutions, the University of Denver.