Community-first has always been and will always be my model for how I lead. From my family to my leadership in District 1, it is the people-powered progress and collective unity I wish to see as your councilwoman.
Access to housing is difficult in Denver even for those with resources. People who live and work in Denver deserve better, more affordable rentals and pathways to home ownership. Balancing building new housing with supporting generational ownership, increasing options like ADUs, and carefully regulating short term rentals is a great place to start.
There is a large gap between what it costs to live in Denver, and what the majority of people can afford. We need affordable housing that is not just the fully subsidized section 8 system, but that is designed for people with multiple jobs, children, or other complex life circumstances. I will work to create a deeper pool of affordable housing that can work for all kinds of people.
Recently, we have seen some good improvements, such as rezoning district 1 to allow for accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which allows for more short term housing, increases income for homeowners. But we need to do more to support generational homeowners who have been in the community for years.
The large gap between what it costs to live in Denver and what it pays in Denver. As a person who currently lives in subsodized housing, my experience was not the norm. I was able to move in easily and readily, but I know that is not what happens for others.
We need affordable housing that is not just full section 8, but is in the middle. People with multiple gigs and jobs. If you don’t end up in subsodized place, finding a decent place to live that is safe, clean and well cared for within a budget for a mom and 2 children is impossible in proper city.
Rezoning District 1 to allow ADUs has opened up a lot of possibilities for short term housing, increasing revenue for property investors and piqued developers into incentivizing the sale of family owned homes. But what about the homeowners who have been our neighbors, our friends, our families, for generations? Instead of further stabilizing the development market and giving way to further gentrification of our neighborhoods, let’s give the financial stabilization and increased housing opportunities of ADUs back to the people and families who have made our district what it is. Owner occupation requirements for short term rentals will help halt corporate and real estate investor impact on families being able to hold on to their homes, generational wealth, and the history, art, and culture of our district.
Making sure that owner occupation is required for short term rentals doesn’t solely bridge the gap for low income home owners to prosper. Along with that requirement, I will fight to build and fund a program to subsidize the building of ADUs for the individuals and families who have made our district what it is, so that rising property taxes and utility costs can be covered by short term rental income, families will have more space for multi-generational aging in place, and can have more opportunity to continue maintaining and building generational wealth for years to come.
Local business owners & micro businesses
Building and owning two of my own businesses allowed me to build a life with my children that is more supportive, more stable, and with more opportunity. The cost of opening and running a micro business in Denver almost made it unattainable, which would have restricted my ability to create the stable life my children deserve. The system is not structured for success.
Our community deserves access to fresh produce and kitchen staples that aren’t marked up by convenience store pricing. Too much of our district does not have easy, close, or affordable access to the foods that not only bring us joy, but keep us healthy and thriving.
There is one grocery store north of I-70 in our district, on the east end of Chaffee Park. With high costs of public transit, inaccessibility of sidewalks and intersections, work schedules, and daycare limitations, food access for too many remains severely limited. Working with local farms, current city programs, and community organizations, I will work to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program and similar options to bring more fresh foods to our district to ensure everyone has the access they deserve, and to bring more support and sustainability to our local farmers, especially the ones in District 1.
If you have kids, like me, and have spent most of their lives poor like I have, you understand the importance of programs like CCAP not only for single mothers, but for so many families. Programs like CCAP allow so many parents to work, to live, to maintain, but when you’re faced with losing access to funding to keep your kid in daycare, directly affecting your ability to keep your job, or having to put them on a 1-5 or more year waitlist for a new daycare, it doesn’t give you the ability to thrive.
Programs like CCAP allow so many parents to work, to live, to maintain, but when you’re faced with losing access to funding to keep your kid in daycare, directly affecting your ability to keep your job, or having to put them on a 1-5 or more year waitlist for a new daycare, it doesn’t give you the ability to thrive. I want to make sure that parents have the ability to use CCAP for as long as they need to, and to have access to affordable, immediate daycare options when CCAP is no longer an option. Bridge vouchers for housing exist to bridge that gap between payment standards and actual costs (and I intend to look into bringing those to Denver as well), why can’t we replicate that with gap vouchers for childcare? Bridging the gap between CCAP eligibility and maintaining daycare access when you’re in that grey area between poor and not quite poor enough for support is so necessary to support families in maintaining financial growth. Making sure kids can go to daycare in the neighborhoods they live, parents can go to work and/or school, strengthens the future of those families, and the future of our communities.
Ready to take the next step and support Ava?
Come door knock, make phone calls, or host an event.