Who is Terrance Roberts? Denver mayor candidate Q&A on the issues

Terrance Roberts

Residential / Commercial Property Inspector
Vocational/Building Systems
20 years of community organizing, community development, legislation drafting and running a successful nonprofit for over a decade.

Briefly describe the single most urgent issue facing the city of Denver and how it should be addressed.
Housing availability and pricing is Denver’s biggest issue. Other issues like violence and small business retention stem from our housing issues and cost. Rental and purchase prices are too high. Instead of continuing to focus on ‘affordable housing,’ it’s time to focus now on more public/social housing and rent controls. Denver needs to also bring a public banking system to pay to for the new build or retrofitted housing. Safe encampments and services are needed for those who are chronically homeless.

What should Denver leaders do to address the city’s lack of affordable housing?
More public/social housing is now needed in Denver; our city is only continuing to grow. ‘Affordable housing’ is owned by developers, and it’s only a percentage of what they build. There are nearly 20,000 “affordable housing’ units available in the metro area. Public housing is owned and maintained by the city and its tax-paying constituents. A public banking system needs to be implemented in Denver

Do you support redevelopment at the Park Hill golf course property? Why or why not?
No I do not support the development. Why would Westside Investment purchase an open space with an easement already attached? $2,000,000 was paid by citizens for it to become a conservation easement. Green space is limited, and as I stated, there is not a need for that type of ‘affordable housing’ in the area. It will totally gentrify the remainder of NE Park Hill. I do not support a citywide ballot measure vote for developers to decide on development to make money.

What should Denver leaders do to revitalize downtown Denver?
Denver needs to become a 24-hour city and have more of a focus on small business retention and safety for the area. The 16th Street Mall should be an arts district, with thousands of people safely walking through the area, all night even if they feel the want or need. More services for unhoused neighbors and safe encampments that lead the unhoused population to areas safer for them outside of downtown can make it safer for them and everyone else as well. People without proper resources congregate downtown looking for warmth and resources.

What is Denver’s greatest public safety concern and what should be done about it?
Youth violence and domestic violence make up the bulk of our homicides. Last year, there were 88, in 2021 there were 96, and there were 95 in 2022. We need more youth centers and arts-related services to engage that population. We need more mental health and family services to be prioritized here in Denver.

Should neighborhoods help absorb population growth through permissive zoning, or do you favor protections for single-family neighborhoods?
I support permissive zoning. Density and diversity is needed to address our housing crisis and for better environmental justice. High housing prices, HOA fees, RNO’s, and security regimens are in place in many single-family neighborhoods. I do not think any additional protections at this time needed to be added.

Should the city’s policy of sweeping homeless encampments continue unchanged? Why or why not?
No they should not. Not having money is not a crime. With more availability for housing by growing our public housing stock and implementing rent controls, and adding city-sponsored safe encampment spaces with showers, trash receptacles, outdoor restroom facilities, mental health services, safe lighting, etc., will really elevate the need for our unhoused neighbors to encamp in various spaces that they feel are a safe haven if these services are not available.

Should Denver change its snow plowing policy? Why or why not.
Denver needs to have a fully staffed, and well managed fleet of snow plowing vehicles. There should be a special attention paid to our side streets, school areas, and senior living communities like Windsor Gardens or Kappa Towers. Our side streets are where we really live in this city concerning walking, parking, driving to and from home, etc. Main roads and side streets need to be plowed as soon as the snow begins to fall, like how CDOT stays ahead of the inches that could pile up on our highways. Small businesses should be contracted with, or incentivized to maintain walking and biking areas the city can not reach.

What’s your vision for Denver in 20 years, and what would you do to help the city get there?
Denver needs to be a world class, 24-hour, diverse, fully serviced city in 20 years. Denver is in danger of being a tale of two cities in one, either you’re in a high-rise barely staying afloat, or you’re sleeping in the mean streets. Adding housing availability, and true affordability at all levels of income, focusing our small business and large business retention will make sure Denver is ready in the near future and in 20 years. Adding a public banking system to generate additional infrastructure income and banking services, and bringing the arts, trade market, and entertainment industries here to make sure Denver is a leader in the arts industries that will bring jobs, tax and tourist revenue, and positive energy and comradery to Denver.

How better can city officials protect Denver’s environment — air quality, water supply, ground contamination? And should the city take a more active role in transit?
Environmental justice starts with housing justice and getting vehicles off of our streets. Air quality, water quality, and ground contamination are being affected by people needing to use gasoline and propane tanks for warmth. There are no trash receptacles and true services for the unhoused in Denver. Recycling from large businesses, and festivals, working to lower emissions from Suncor in Commerce City. Working with RTD for better public transportation schedules for buses and trains, and helping to push the conversation of them using more clean energy vehicles will give us a much better air quality.

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