To those of you peacefully protesting, I see you. Black Lives Matter. I do know a struggle, but I do not know your struggle. I am ready and willing to protect your right to speak, assemble, and express your rage and anger.
To those of you cleaning up after the protests, I see you. Our community is strong, and you are helping it be stronger. This means a huge thanks to our neighbors – after all, I live here too – and it also includes the many city employees who aren’t police, aren’t protestors, and are trying just to keep our community as presentable as we can make it.
To those of you who are not protesting but still affected, I see you. My home in North Capitol Hill has experienced the gas multiple times, just as many of you have reached out about how your home has been forced into a war zone you did not ask for.
To those of you struggling to keep your small business open, I see you. Part of what makes District 10 perfect is the ability to get anything you need in just a few blocks. Having COVID and now protests that disrupt your business and destroy your livelihood further hinders that perfection.
To those of you demanding body cameras on police, they already have them. Let’s make sure they’re used correctly. Used correctly, they are protecting good citizens from bad cops. They are also protecting good cops from bad citizens. To be sure, if you are peacefully protesting, you are a good citizen performing your constitutionally protected rights. Also to be sure, if you are a bad cop, I encourage you to move along before we find who you are and bring justice for our people.
To those of you conscripting an otherwise respectful movement for mayhem, I don’t want to see you. You are destroying our communities, our neighborhoods, our homes.
To those of you who say this is the only way you can react, I see you. Now is the time to express yourself peacefully. Another time would have been during the last election. And the one before that. The situation we are in wasn’t created in a day, and, respectfully, it won’t go away in a day.
So here’s what I believe comes next:
– Contact your state elected officials and demand a state independent monitor over our police. There’s a bill already under consideration that can do just that, but we need to tell our state legislators to get it done.
– Contact your Denver elected officials – including me – and demand we give our Denver independent monitor the resources it needs to ensure we have oversight over our police.
For both of those, we need a truly independent investigation.
– Third, we need a full investigation of what happened in our community. Let’s look at those body cameras to see who did what. To be clear, this is unprecedented in Denver, and let’s ensure we have accountability now and a plan to make sure it never happens again. I’m one vote on Council, and I’ll be working to get more.
– Fourth, complete your census. That ensures we get the funding we need for lots of programs, including and particularly ones that protect underserved communities.
– Finally, I want you to vote.
Primaries are June 30th; vote for the person who you feel best represents you and your values. The November 3rd election is soon; vote for the person who you feel can best lead our nation. Keep voting until you’ve completed the ballot. If you don’t like how our city is run, the next Denver election is May 2023. If you don’t like your options, find someone you do like and get that person ready for that election by telling your friends and neighbors about them. Now is a great time to get involved, engaged, and activated so you are fully informed about who you want to represent you in government. Our democracy is stronger if we are all educated and engaged – and if we all vote.
Good legislation doesn’t happen in crisis mode. Good legislation happens when we listen. That’s why I’m in the community again today. That’s why I’ve been here, in our community, constantly on this topic since Thursday. My role now is to observe and document. My role now is to listen to you. I am here, and hold me accountable if I am not listening to you.
Link to photos I’ve personally taken of the protests: https://www.denverperfect10.com/2020/05/29/protest-photos-in-district-10/ .