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I am honored to be the elected representative for Denver City Council's District 8, which includes Northeast Park Hill and the former Park Hill Golf Course. I am deeply committed to ensuring my constituents' voices are heard and their interests are represented on Council and in city processes. That's why I'm voting no on ballot initiative 301, which would drown out both the voices and the votes of the diverse communities I represent.

The first attempt to get initiative 301 on the ballot asked City Council to refer the measure, without the initiative's organizers ever reaching out to long-standing neighborhood groups representing historically marginalized communities. Council overwhelmingly rejected the measure but 301 proponents pushed on, falsely describing the measure as a way to protect parks. In fact, all 301 protects is a long history of disenfranchisement.

Many of the neighborhoods around the former golf course are facing real challenges — displacement, housing affordability, a lack of economic investment and opportunity. Ultimately, I will support whatever the residents of the communities surrounding the Park Hill Golf Course want for this piece of private property. What I will not support is taking the decision away from the residents who are most impacted and asking the rest of the city to decide what’s best for these neighborhoods.

Initiative 301 is not about parks. It’s about drowning out the voice of a historically marginalized community, taking away their ability to decide what’s best for them. This is not how we should make policy in Denver. I’m voting to protect the choices and the voices of local communities by voting no on 301.

Chris Herndon

Denver City Councilman, District 8

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