District 1 City Council Candidates Make Their Final Cases

By Eric Heinz

Now less than a month away from the April 4 municipal election, the two candidates in the District 1 City Council race spoke with The Denver North Star about what what they believe makes each of them the best candidate overall.

The names and responses of the candidates appear in the order they are appearing on the ballot.

Ava Truckey

Truckey is leaning on her experience as a business owner in Denver, and she said she would want to support micro-business owners in the district in operating and thriving, particularly helping them in any permitting processes and essential financial assistance.

Ava Truckey

“Some of the stuff that I experienced in terms of licensing and working with the city, it gets really convoluted and isn’t super easy to navigate,” Truckey said. “I would like to see some (better) accessibility around that so that it’s not so intimidating for folks, but also for folks whose first language isn’t English.”

Truckey said she would also be in favor of expanding any programs within the city that would help small businesses.

“The way it is right now, it gets confusing in terms of the rules, the fees, license requirements, and I think that it ends up really being a deterrent to folks that have a vision or have a dream from even getting anything off of the ground,” she said.

Truckey said she would work with Denver’s Excise and Licensing department and be involved in the City Council’s process of approving the mayor’s budget to streamline an easier procedure for people when they are ready to open a business.

If elected, she said her first choice for being appointed to a City Council committee would be on the Business, Arts, Workforce and Aviation Services committee. Truckey said there are some issues that are more important to her than others, and she said she would work hard to come up with compromises to get things done.

“As a new candidate and all, somebody that doesn’t come from a political background, I think that it is important for me to listen more than I speak,” Truckey said. “But I want to listen to my community and listen to what folks actually need, and I think that that is something that is important.”

“There’s a very specific reason why I chose to run for City Council,” she said. “I have my belief system and my own convictions, but I do think that there has to be some level of compromise if we’re going to make sustainable change.”

Amanda P. Sandoval, Incumbent

Sandoval said her first term in office was rewarding, but also came with challenges and was a learning experience. She said weathering the COVID pandemic really fractured the community and that she wants to continue to reconnect people.

“I didn’t exactly know what my role was, and I found it by vaccinating our community and making sure that northwest Denver residents, especially our most vulnerable residents who are frontline workers, who are people of color, had access to the vaccine,” Sandoval said.

Amanda P. Sandoval

Sandoval said her office gave financial support to registered neighborhood organizations during that time to host meetings online and to do outreach virtually and through mailed newsletters. She said getting the name of La Raza Park established was also a challenge during the pandemic because they needed petition signatures, but the park was eventually renamed in 2021.

Sandoval said getting the Tennyson Street design overlay passed, which made several height and building use restrictions along the corridor from about 38th to 46th avenues, was one of her top achievements in city planning.

The overlay is intended for the business corridor to retain accessibility to small businesses and its walkable areas. Other achievements Sandoval talked about were rezoning many neighborhoods in District 1 to allow for the construction of accessory dwelling units and reshaping the Board of Adjustment.

“One of the things I’m really proud of is I’m the first woman to ever have chaired the redistricting process in Denver,” Sandoval said. “We did it in a very equitable way. We went to the community and (surveyed) communities of interest, which had never been done before, and we added those as a base layer in the GIS system so that was very intentional.”

Going forward, Sandoval said she feels like she still has work to do in the community and that she should be re-elected to finish what she started.

“All of these initiatives that I’m working on and that I’ve done over the last three-and-a-half years are all people-powered; they come from the people,” she said. “I’m just working (for) the residents of northwest Denver, and they helped me set the agenda.”


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