Page 1


Inside This Issue

Economic Opportunities in Montbello...2 Denver Blueprint - Speak Out Montbello...5 Montbello Business Beat...7 Montbello Makes National News...10 Families Forward Making A Difference...12 Youth On The Move…13 Misty Copeland Comes To Denver...14

Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition • Volume 1 Number 2 • November/December 2016

What does the future hold?

Economic Opportunities in Montbello Issues and Options...2

jobs • affordable housing • retail • grocery store • reliable public transportation • fresh food access • support for the elderly • youth activities • cultural hub •

Writing Happy Endings for Over 25 Years When the time is right for that next big move in your life, trust the team that has been serving Coloradans for over 25 years.

Do you want to know what your home is worth in today’s thriving Denver market?

Call the Huff Team right now!

FROM THE EDITOR’S TABLET Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This issue of the Muse is all about finding and using one’s voice. Communicating is not just about speaking. It is more often the avenues through which we vocalize. Some find their voice speaking the truth through the poetry of “spoken word” while others speak eloquently through the silence of the ballet. It might be the singular vote cast in the voting booth but when added to the other singular voices across the country can result in a deafening roar. An entire community might organize its shared voice to demand that the powers that be do the right thing. And, for some, using their voice means weaving words across a page to tell a story, to sell an idea, to encourage others to speak. All of these voices are reflected in this month’s newspaper. As the front cover suggests, it is unclear (as we look into our crystal ball) what the future holds. We can see that many opportunities exist for Montbello and the people who live here. We can’t see what those opportunities will bring. While the community is clearly growing, it isn’t clear if the current residents will benefit or if they will simply be pushed out. Will Montbello quietly go the route of other Denver neighborhoods that succumbed to the forces of gentrification or will we make our voices heard? One thing is for sure, unless we use our collective voices, the options will not go in our favor. Use your voice now. Speak up.


2016 Election in Montbello

2016 Elección En Montbello Editor:

Editor: It is needless to say that this election is all but void of enthusiasm and excitement for both major party campaigns. This is also the case in our neighborhood. Since is its inception, Montbello has been considered a safe voting block for Democrats in Presidential Elections, but in 2016 the enthusiasm is just not there. In 2008 and 2012 you couldn’t take a drive through Montbello without seeing dozens of Obama yard signs and bumper stickers, many of which still adorn many of our neighbors’ cars. Compare that to this election, and I can assure you there are more yard signs out in our community for initiatives and amendment measures than for any candidate. Could it be that again we are being forgotten by major campaigns or that our votes are being taken for granted? How could this be in Denver’s largest neighborhood, in a state that is vital to victory for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? There should be dozens of canvassers from local and national campaigns out knocking on doors registering people to vote and asking for our votes. I’m not saying that there are many people considering voting for Donald Trump, but there could be thousands of people who do not turn in their ballots either because of outdated information or because they are new to our community and are not familiar with our mail-in ballot process. Let me remind you that in 2008 the strategy for Obama’s campaign in Colorado was to carry Denver in order to carry the state. It was a strategy that worked. Of course we must take ownership in our community and self-advocate in order to bring forth our issues and demands change at every level of government. I urge you to register to vote, help your friends and family to register, and participate in local party politics. I also ask the candidates for State Senate and State Representative in our House District 7, especially those we selected from the Democratic Party, to not be comfortable in the fact that they have all but won, but instead engage their campaigns in voter registration and getting our community to vote. Let us show up with force to turn in our ballots this November. You can register to vote at The deadline is Oct. 31. If you have already registered, then watch your mailbox for your mail-in ballot. Be sure to sign it and return it no later than Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 8.

No cabe duda que a estas elecciones le hacen falta entusiasmo y emoción en las campañas de los dos partidos principales. Esto también es el caso en nuestro vecindario. Montbello ha sido considerada un bloque de votos seguro para el partido demócrata en las elecciones presidenciales, pero el entusiasmo no esa ahí. En el 2008 y 2012 no podías manejar por Montbello sin ver decenas de anuncios de yarda y calcomanías de Obama en carros, algunos de estas que hasta hoy día adornan los carros de nuestros vecinos. Comparen eso a estas elecciones, y les aseguro que ay más anuncios en nuestra comunidad de iniciativas y enmiendas que de cualquier candidato. ¿Podría ser que otra vez hemos sido olvidados por las campanas o que nuestros votos están siendo tomados pro hecho? Como puede ser esto en la comunidad más grade de Denver, en un estado que es vital para la victoria de Hillary Clinton o Donald Trump? Debería de haber decenas de gente tocando puertas de parte de las campañas registrando gente para votar y ganándose nuestros votos. No estoy diciendo que ay mucha gente considerando votar por Donald Trump, pero puede haber miles de personas que no entregan su boleta por causa de información vencida o por ser nuevos a nuestra comunidad y no están familiarizados con nuestras boletas de correo. Permítame acordarles que en el 2008 la estrategia de la campaña de Obama era de ganar Denver para así cargar con todo el estado. Por supuesto debemos tomar posesión de nuestra comunidad y tenemos que ser defensores propios para que nuestros temas de importancia vengan al frente y así demandar cambio en todo los niveles de gobierno. También pido a los candidatos, especialmente a los que elegimos del partido demócrata, al Senado Estatal Distrito 33 y Cámara de Representantes Distrito 7, que corresponden a Montbello, de no estar satisfechos en que su victoria esta ya casi dada por echo. Pero mejor, utilicen sus campañas en registrar votantes y en aumentar la participación en el voto. Hay que presentarnos con fuerza a entregar nuestras boletas este Noviembre. Regístrese para votar y también a familia, amigos, y compañeros antes del 31 de Octubre 2016 Miguel A. Ruiz Ceballos Montbello Residente

Miguel A. Ceballos Ruiz Montbello Resident

PUBLISHER - Rosalind J. Harris MANAGING EDITOR - Donna Garnett

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS - Dave Bechhoefer, Shelli Brown, Angelle Fouther, Donna Garnett, Khadija Haynes, Turner Wyatt ART DIRECTOR - Bee Harris ADVERTISING SALES CONSULTANT - Melovy Melvin

Donna M. Garnett Managing Editor, MUSE

The Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition (MUSE) is a bi-monthly publication produced and published by the Denver Urban Spectrum (DUS) and the Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC). Contents of MUSE are copyright 2016 by Denver Urban Spectrum and the Montbello Organizing Committee. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. MUSE is circulated throughout Denver’s Far Northeast community. MUSE welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment and may be submitted to the editor at For advertising information, email or call 303292-6446.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016



What Does The Future Hold?

It’s a perfect storm. All the elements are coming

By Donna Garnett

A second issue impacting this neighborhood is that of jobs and the lack of those for many Montbello citizens. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the Denver Area Economic Summary for August, 2016. Denver, at an unemployment rate 3.0 still fares better than the national rate of 5.0. The summary data is not specific to the Montbello zip code, but anecdotal data suggests that those statistics do not reflect Montbello. “I am concerned about the number of young men, especially young men of color, that I see wandering the neighborhood every day,” says Terry Liggins from Montbello Organizing Committee’s Leadership Council. “When I talk to these young men, it is not that they are not looking for jobs, but there are so many barriers to their securing a job. Those barriers can be lack of transportation, poor educational background, past brushes with the law, and so on.” Liggins chairs the MOC Transportation Task Team which has worked tirelessly with RTD over the past year to ensure that bus routes continue to serve the needs of the neighborhood despite the opening of the commuter rail and the closing of the Park and Ride. One way that RTD can work with the community is through the regional Workforce Initiative Now (WIN). WIN is a collaborative partnership between RTD, Community College of Denver (CCD), Denver Transit Partners (DTP) and the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver. WIN helps job seekers, companies, and local communities through demand-driven workforce services and the creation of career pathway opportunities in the transportation and construction industries. MOC’s Transportation Team is planning a “get a job fair” before the end of the year to reach out to those who are unemployed or looking to improve their employment. The vision for the fair goes beyond the typical job fair in that the objective will be to help applicants leave the event with a job in hand. Working with WIN and other business owners in the community, such as those in the cannabis industry, this vision can be accomplished. Recent conversations with representatives from the cannabis industry have been enlightening to even the toughest dissenter. These business owners extol the virtues of Montbello’s industrial center west of Peoria, touting the attractiveness and safety. These responsible business men and women are eager to give back to the community and are eager to hire people who live within easy walking distance in a myriad of jobs – accounting, human resources, marketing and public relations, cultivators, managers, and so on. These Jobs come with decent pay, benefits, and opportunities for continuing education. These conversations should lead to more discussion about how to capitalize on the assets of Montbello’s industrial area and how to woo other industries to that location. These are only a few of the opportunities inundating Montbello currently. As leaders move forward, they and the residents will need to be thoughtful, creative, and intentional. Each of these opportunities can be a blessing or can spell the end of this charming community rich with diversity and brimming with pride and dignity. As many a wise elder has advised, “be careful what you wish for.” Metaphorically speaking, Montbello, be careful what you ask for. A heavy rain storm can be the saving grace for a garden, but it can also ruin a picnic. What will it be Montbello – a perfect storm or a perfect miss? 

together in a powerful and focused way. Except in this case it’s not a hurricane or a winter blizzard. It is a “storm of opportunity” and Montbello is directly in the path of the storm. “The time is right now for this community that has been skipped over and historically excluded,” KSolutions owner, Khadija Haynes remarks in a phone interview with representatives of a national foundation. KSolutions is a locally-owned governmental, corporate and community relations firm has been working with the Montbello Organizing Committee to make sure Montbello is not a storm victim, but rather storm-chasers. Across the community, groups like Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC), Montbello 20/20, Far Northeast Health Alliance, Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO), Far Northeast Neighbors and others have worked to enjoin their neighbors in efforts to improve education, take on health disparities, address transit, and bring fresh food to this food desert. Those efforts are finally paying off as local leaders including Mayor Hancock, Denver City Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore, Denver Office of Economic Development head, Paul Washington, among others, have turned their attention to Montbello with dedicated staff and resources. The attention doesn’t stop there. Funders locally and from across the nation are focused on Denver’s Montbello neighborhood. With this focus comes attention in the form of funding and technical assistance. Recent grants from the Denver Foundation, Mile High Connects, Chinook, Colorado Health Foundation, Livewell Colorado, and Kresge Foundation are but a few of the contributors that have stepped into the gap with monetary resources to foster the work and passion of the residents of this community. This article will address two economic opportunities within the community and identify a few of the issues and options characteristic of those opportunities. In coming months, the MUSE will feature several other economic opportunities and the issues and options that accompany those. First, economic development opportunities in the form of housing development abound in and around Montbello. Drive along 48th Avenue/Green Valley Ranch Boulevard and see the vast number of multi-family units under construction. These housing units are an indicator of what is to come with more than 1,200 units expected to be built in Montbello, Gateway, and Green Valley Ranch in the next year. This growth is in part, a response to the impending construction of Denver’s Aerotropolis. The new development is expected to create thousands of middle and high wage jobs and those employees will want a place to live. Hopefully, many of these new jobs will be filled by current residents, but realistically, a substantial number will be filled by people from other communities and even from out of state. As the new Aerotropolis (“Airport City”) takes shape between Montbello and Denver International Airport, the economic impact to the immediate area is projected to be around $29 billion. The question is how will that good fortune impact Montbello? Already investors are trolling the neighborhood, buying up properties and renting them out in the short term, waiting for the opportunity to sell at a higher profit to those who will be eager to get a home at a good price near the developing Aerotropolis. At the outset, this looks like a good deal for those who are making a modest profit on the home that they have owned for years. But many long-term residents have remarked, “Where would I go? Even with the money I make on my house, I can’t afford to buy anywhere else in Denver.”

Editor’s Note. Montbello Organizing Committee welcomes participation at all levels. If you are interested in hands-on action and in shaping Montbello’s future, contact for information on task teams, upcoming events and activities, and involvement in developing the MUSE. Be sure to Like MOC at Montbello Organizing Committee Facebook Page.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016



¿Qué Depara El Futuro? Por Donna Garnett

Es una tormenta perfecta. Todos los elementos se unen en una man-

Una segunda cuestión que afecta este barrio es el de puestos de trabajo y la falta de esos para muchos ciudadanos de Montbello. La Oficina de Estadísticas Laborales de los Estados Unidos publicó recientemente el Resumen Económico del Area de Denver de agosto, 2016. Denver, en una tasa de desempleo de 3.0 todavía salió mejor que la tasa nacional de 5.0. Los datos del resumen no son específico al código postal de Montbello, pero los datos anecdóticos sugieren que esas estadísticas no reflejan a Montbello. “Estoy preocupado por el número de jóvenes, especialmente hombres jóvenes de color, que veo vagando por el barrio cada día,” dice Terry Liggins, del Consejo Directivo del Comité Organizador de Montbello. “Cuando hablo con estos jóvenes, no es que no están buscando trabajo, pero existen muchos obstáculos para la obtención de un trabajo. Esas barreras pueden ser por la falta de transporte, pobre formación académica, los problemas del pasado con la ley, y así sucesivamente.” Liggins preside sobre el Equipo de Trabajo de Transporte de MOC, que ha trabajado incansablemente con RTD durante el año pasado para garantizar que las rutas de autobús continúen a satisfacer las necesidades del barrio a pesar de la apertura de los ferrocarriles y el cierre del Park & Ride. Una forma en que las actividades de RTD pueden trabajar con la comunidad es a través de la iniciativa, Workforce Intitiative Now (WIN). WIN es una colaboración entre RTD, Community College of Denver (CCD), Asociados del Tránsito de Denver (DTP) y la Liga Urbana del Area Metropolitana de Denver. WIN ayuda a los buscadores de empleo, empresas, y comunidades locales a través de la demanda del servicio de empleo y la creación de carreras vía oportunidades en la industria del transporte y la construcción. El Equipo de Transporte del MOC está planificando una feria llamada “Consigue un Trabajo” antes del final del año para ayudar a aquellos que están desempleados o esperando mejorar su empleo. La visión para la feria va más allá de la feria de trabajo típica, en la cual el objetivo será ayudar a candidatos a salir del evento con un trabajo en la mano. Trabajando con WIN y otros empresarios en la comunidad, como aquellos en la industria de canabis, esta visión puede ser llevada a cabo. Recientes conversaciones con representantes de la industria del canabis han sido esclarecedor, incluso los disidentes más duros. Estos dueños de negocios alaban las virtudes del centro industrial de Montbello en el oeste de Peoria, exaltando lo atractivo y la seguridad. Estos hombres y mujeres responsables de negocios están ansiosos de devolverle a la comunidad y están dispuestos a contratar a las personas que viven a poca distancia en una miríada de trabajos - contabilidad, recursos humanos, mercadeo y relaciones públicas, cultivadores, gerentes, y así sucesivamente. Estos trabajos vienen con un salario digno, beneficios y oportunidades para la educación continua. Estas conversaciones deberían conducir a más discusión acerca de cómo aprovechar los activos de la zona industrial de Montbello y cómo cortejar a otras industrias a esa ubicación. Estas son sólamente algunas de las oportunidades inundando a Montbello actualmente. Como líderes avanzan, ellos y los residentes tendrán que ser reflexivo, creativos e intencional. Cada una de estas oportunidades pueden ser una bendición o puede significar el fin de esta encantadora comunidad rica en diversidad y lleno de orgullo y dignidad. Como muchos ancianos sabios han aconsejado, “ten cuidado con lo que deseas.” Hablando metafóricamente, Montbello, ten cuidado con lo que pides. Una fuerte tormenta de lluvia puede ser la salvación para un jardín, pero también puede arruinar un picnic. ¿Qué será Montbello - una tormenta perfecta o una perfecta oportunidad perdida?  Nota del Editor. El Comité Organizador de Montbello celebra la participación en todos los niveles. Si usted está interesado en tomar acción y en la formación del futuro de Montbello, póngase en contacto con para obtener información sobre los equipos de trabajo, eventos y actividades, y la participación en el desarrollo de MUSE. Asegúrese de gustar la página de Facebook de Montbello Organizing Committee.

era poderosa y bien enfocada. Excepto que en este caso no se trata de un huracán o una tormenta de nieve en el invierno. Se trata de una “tormenta de oportunidad” y Montbello está directamente en el camino de la tormenta. “El tiempo es ahora mismo para esta comunidad que se ha saltado y históricamente excluida“, comenta la dueña de K-Solutions, Khadija Haynes, en una entrevista telefónica con representantes de una fundación nacional. K-Solutions es una firma de propiedad local gubernamental, corporativo y de relaciones con la comunidad que ha estado trabajando con el Comité Organizador de Montbello para asegurarse que Montbello no es una víctima de tormenta, sino cazadores de tormentas

A través de la comunidad, grupos como el Comité Organizador de Montbello (MOC), Montbello 20/20, Alianza de la Salud de Nordeste Lejano, Organización del Liderazgo, la Defensa y la Investigación Latina de Colorado (CLLARO), Vecinos del Nordeste Lejano y otros, han trabajado para imponer a sus vecinos en esfuerzos de mejorar la educación, tomar disparidades de la salud, abordar el tema de tránsito, y traer comida fresca a este desierto sin comida. Aquellos esfuerzos han dado resultado finalmente ya que los líderes locales incluso el Alcalde Hancock, la Concejala de la Ciudad de Denver, Stacie Gilmore, El Jefe de la Oficina del Desarrollo Económico de Denver, Paul Washington, entre otros, han concentrado su atención en Montbello con personal dedicado y recursos. La atención no se para allí. Financiadores locales y de todo el país están enfocados en el barrio de Montbello de Denver. Con este enfoque viene la atención en la forma de financiación y asistencia técnica. Unas donaciones recientes de la Fundación de Denver, Mile High Connects, Chinook, Fundación de Salud de Colorado, Livewell Colorado y la Fundación Kresge son solamente algunos de los colaboradores que han dado un paso en la brecha con los recursos monetarios para fomentar el trabajo y la pasión de los habitantes de esta comunidad. Este artículo abordará dos oportunidades económicas dentro de la comunidad y determinarán algunas de las cuestiones y las opciones características de esas oportunidades. En los próximos meses, el MUSE presentará varias otras oportunidades económicas y las cuestiones y opciones que los acompañan. En primer lugar, las oportunidades de desarrollo económico en la forma de urbanización están llenas en y alrededor de Montbello. Tome un paseo a lo largo de la Avenida 48/Green Valley Ranch Boulevard y vea el número enorme de unidades de multi-familia bajo de construcción. Estas unidades del alojamiento son un indicador de lo que debe venir con más de 1,200 unidades esperadas ser construidas en Montbello, Gateway, y Green Valley Ranch en el próximo año. Este crecimiento, es en parte, una respuesta a la construcción inminente del Aerotropolis de Denver. Se espera que el nuevo desarrollo cree miles de empleos de salarios medio y altos y aquellos empleados querrán un lugar para vivir. Con suerte, muchos de estos nuevos puestos de trabajo serán ocupados por los residentes actuales, pero realísticamente, un número sustancial serán ocupados por personas de otras comunidades e incluso de fuera del estado. Mientras el nuevo Aerotropolis (“Airport City”) toma forma entre Montbello y el Aeropuerto Internacional de Denver, el impacto económico de la zona inmediata es proyectado al alrededor de $29 billones de dólares. La pregunta es ¿cómo le afectará esa buena fortuna a Montbello? Ya los inversionistas están arrastrando el barrio, comprando propiedades en grandes cantidades y alquilándolos a corto plazo, esperando la oportunidad de vender a un mayor beneficio a quienes estarán deseosos de obtener una casa a buen precio cerca del desarrollo Aerotropolis. Al principio, esto parece una buena oferta para quienes están haciendo una modesta ganancia en el hogar que han poseído por muchos años. Pero muchos residentes de largo plazo han comentado, “¿A dónde iría? Incluso con el dinero que voy a ganar por mi casa, no me puedo permitir comprar en cualquier otro lugar en Denver. “

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


Voices From The Neighborhood Montbello In A Word

The Montbello 50 Celebration in September offered a wonderful opportunity to talk to neighbors about their views of the community. It was one of those perfect Colorado fall days – sparkling blue sky, just the right degree of warmth, good food, entertainment, friends and family. The mood of the day was one of happiness and folks were eager to talk about their neighborhood. Their minds were not on the negative news stories about Montbello from the past several weeks; their focus was on the positive elements of the community and the spirit of the day. As this reporter wandered the grounds of Montbello Recreation Center, clipboard and pen in hand, it was easy to strike up a conversation with neighbors young and old and in between. Older folks wanted to talk about how long they have lived in Montbello and the changes they have seen over thirty-two years, forty years, two decades. More than one respondent remarked that what they like best is the diversity in the community. As one gentleman remarked, “just look around here, nowhere else will you find so many different races all together and getting along.”

A couple of “millennials” new to Montbello shared that they didn’t know much of anything about the history or the politics of the community, but they added that they are very impressed with the Montbello Recreation Center and the Library. They added that they like the bicycle paths around the recreation center and that they have lots of safe places to walk their dogs. It was most fun (and eye-opening) to ask the youth and children about their views. Most were somewhat surprised that this adult wanted to know what they thought. Responses from the teens and tweens centered mostly on their friends and schools. They used words like “cool, tight, dope, lit.” When asked to define what they meant by those words, they rolled their eyes and said,

“You know, like its’ good.” At the end of each conversation, each person was asked, “if you could sum up Montbello in just one word, how would you describe it?” The word cloud included gives a quick glance of Montbello in a word. Enjoy!

4848 Chambers Road Aurora Colorado 80239 303.371.8531

Services: Cuts • Shampoo • Designs • Shave/Line-up • Texturizer

Charles Sagere

Barber Chief Operating Officer 720.298.1911

Gregory E. Allen, PMP, MS

Chief Executive Officer 303-587-6567 MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


Planning For Denver’s Future The Time Is Now To Share Your Ideas By Angelle Fouther

Civic leaders who had a vision for Denver 15 years ago creat-

The far northeast neighborhoods of Denver, including Montbello and Green Valley Ranch, have not been the focus of dedicated planning since 1991. This lapse is one potential determinant for selection of specific neighborhoods in the forthcoming planning process. Other criteria for prioritizing areas for small area planning include:

ed Blueprint Denver, a citywide plan to link land use and transportation. Blueprint promotes urban design goals that result in a more pedestrianand bike-friendly environment, increased transit service on major corridors, shared parking in business districts and more housing in mixed-use areas. Residents of Denver now have the opportunity to share input to update that plan as Denver looks to what we want Denver to be in the next 15 years. Blueprint Denver is an Integrated Land Use and Transportation Plan that calls for a balanced multi-modal transportation system, land use that accommodates future growth, and open space throughout the city. Traditionally it considers the neighborhoods of Denver within two categories: areas of change and areas of stability. Areas of stability have included stable residential neighborhoods where no significant changes in land use are expected over the next twenty years. The goal has been to maintain the character of these areas and accommodate some new development and redevelopment that maintains the vitality of the area. Areas of change have been those where the majority of development has been directed. These areas include the new growth areas of Lowry, Stapleton, the Gateway area, downtown, around transit stations, and along major street and/or transportation corridors. In 2014, Denver saw a 5 to 1 ratio of private investment in areas of change compared to areas of stability. How these terms are used and applied may be altered during the current planning process. The city planning process also includes Small Area Plans. A small area plan is any plan that addresses the issues of a portion of the city. Small area plans can cover three different geographic scales—neighborhood, corridor, and district regardless of the size of the area. Small area plans cover a specific geography that often has a cohesive set of characteristics.

•Evidence of disinvestment and deteriorating housing - high vacancy, unemployment and poverty rates •Significant change is occurring or anticipated •Public facilities and/or physical improvements need to be addressed •Opportunities for substantial infill or redevelopment are present •Opportunities arise to influence site selection, development or major expansion of a single large activity generator •Transit station development opportunities Blueprint Denver has a task force. Task force appointees were selected by city leadership to represent a broad range of perspectives with a key role of vetting the principles and policy recommendations for the plan. They are also responsible for shaping community outreach approaches and informing the decisionmaking processes. Task force members will also be responsible for sharing plan information with the communities they represent and gathering feedback from the public. Community input is key. Here are some ways you can get involved:

•Visit •Take the online surveys found at the link •Attend Blueprint meetings, held monthly, and share your suggestions and concerns. •Look out for Denveright and Blueprint Denver community meetings and attend •Share your thoughts, hopes, and expectations with your neighborhood representatives Angelle Fouther, or Councilman Chris Herndon,

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


My Montbello/Shots

Local Amateur Photographers Invited To Participate

November 2016 November 12

10 a.m. to Noon Office Hours with Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore Green Valley Ranch Library For more information (720) 337-7711

November 12

MY MONTBELLO/SHOTS Noon to 2 p.m. As part of the Kresge Foundation’s 2016 FreshLo grant to the “How To Build Family Wealth Through Homeownership” Seminar LOCAL AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHERS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC), the Colorado Black Arts Montbello Branch Library. Movement (CBAM) announces “My Montbello,” a series ofOrganizing artistic and ƐƉĂƌƚŽĨƚŚĞ<ƌĞƐŐĞ&ŽƵŶĚĂƚŝŽŶ͛ƐϮϬϭϲ&ƌĞƐŚ>ŽŐƌĂŶƚƚŽƚŚĞDontbello Committee For more information call 303-785-1267. RSVP required. cultural projects that highlight the best of the Montbello neighborhood. (MOC), the Colorado Black Arts Movement (CBAM) announces ͞DLJDŽŶƚďĞůůŽ͕͟ĂƐĞƌŝĞƐŽĨ The opening project is “My Montbello/SHOTS”, a photographic essay November 17 artistic and cultural projects that highlight the best of the Montbello neighborhood. of Montbello as seen through the eyes of Montbellans. In keeping with 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. theproject work ofis the Montbello Organizing Committee and purpose ofas seen The opening ͞DLJDŽŶƚďĞůůŽͬ^,Kd^͟, a photographic essaythe of Montbello Office Hours with Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore the FreshLo grant, the subject of each photograph should center Arie P. Taylor Building Council District 11 Office through the eyes of Montbellans. In keeping with the work of the Montbello Organizing around food in our lives in Montbello. Whether it is a shot of your family For more information (720) 337-7711 Committee the purpose ofproduce the FreshLo grant, subject of each photograph atand dinner, beautiful from thethe grocery store, people of anyshould age center around food in our lives in Montbello. Whether it is a shot of your family at dinner, beautiful cooking a meal, vegetables from your garden, the sports team picnic November 26 produce from the grocery store, people of the any candles age cooking from your or cousin Richard blowing out on aameal, cake,vegetables show us what 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. eating good food in Montbello looks like. This project is open to any pergarden, the sports team picnic or cousin Richard blowing out the candles on a cake, show us 100 Men Who Cook -- A Black Tie Fundraiser son who lives, works, plays or prays in the Montbello neighborhood. All what eating good food in Montbello looks like. This project is open to any person who lives, Renaissance Denver Hotel. ages to participate. For more information call 800-998-5984 works, plays or are prayswelcome in the Montbello neighborhood. All ages are welcome to participate. You don’t need any special equipment – your cell phone camera is perfect. In order to be considered to becell included the My zŽƵĚŽŶ͛ƚŶĞĞĚĂŶLJƐƉĞĐŝĂůĞƋƵŝƉŵĞŶƚʹ your phone in camera is perfect. In order to Montbello/SHOTS show in the spring, photographers must participate in be considered to be included in the My Montbello/SHOTS show in the Spring, photographers one free master class with one of our professional photographers. must participate in one FREE master class with one of our professional photographers. Master Master classes will be offered three times between November and December 8 classes will be offered three times between November and March. All photographs must be March. All photographs must be submitted digitally on or before April 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. submitted2017. digitally on person or before April 1, 2017. Each person may submit one image.will Selected Each may submit one image. Selected photographs Office Hours with Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore photographs will be re-produced and exhibited a community-wide show. be re-produced and exhibited in aincommunity-wide show. Arie P. Taylor Building Council District 11 Office Editor’s note: For more information, visit the CBAM Facebook page at Colorado For more information (720) 337-7711 For more Black information, contact CBAM via our Facebook page at Colorado Black Arts Movement. Arts Movement.

December 2016

December 10

10 a.m. to Noon Office Hours with Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore Green Valley Ranch Library For more information (720) 337-7711

December 10

Noon to 2 p.m. “How To Build Family Wealth Through Homeownership” Seminar Montbello Branch Library. For more information call 303-785-1267. RSVP required.

If you have a Save The Date activity to be listed in the January/February issue of MUSE, send details to MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


Happy 50th Birthday Montbello!


By Donna Garnett


Event Chair Chris Martinez is surrounded by his “Festival Angels”

sk around Montbello, “Where can a fellow get good Chicago-style soul food around here?” And, the answer will undoubtedly be at Trina’s Place. Located at 4611 Peoria Street in the row of stores just down the way from the Arie Taylor Municipal Building is this welcome relief from fast-food chains. Trina’s Place is family-owned by husband and wife team Sidney Robinson and Angie Brown and managed by their son, Benjamin Irvan. While the small store only opened in February, 2016, this family is not new to the food industry. Sidney started out several years ago selling sub sandwiches out of a cooler in his car. Sidney’s Subs’ customers were patrons of barber shops, salons, and other small businesses in Montbello, Green Valley Ranch, and Capitol Hill. On a whim and at the suggestion of the couple’s daughter, Katrina, they made up a bunch of sandwiches to sell after a Snoop Dog concert at Fiddler’s Green. To their amazement, hungry concert-goers snapped them up and asked for more. A new business was born that night – Bertha’s Chicken and Fish. Sidney added in his own special barbequed ribs, bought a roach coach and a smoker, and expanded his business to construction sites and other businesses. Eventually the growing business needed a bigger venue and the search for a location began. While the current location was available, the building owner was reluctant to lease the space because of his own business plans. It wasn’t until that owner and Sidney realized that they were both from Chicago and both had an appreciation for Chicago-style barbeque that the deal was sealed. After nearly a year, the work to get Trina’s Place up and running began and the restaurant opened last February. Along the way tragedy struck when Katrina was killed in a car accident on her birthday in July, 2015. Her parents can’t talk about the success of their business without talking about their beautiful daughter and her inspiration to them and many others. “Trina was just good-hearted and very giving. If not for her, we wouldn’t have this place,” tells Angie through her tears. Sidney shares further while wiping tears from his own eyes, “She loved food and was a big eater. She was always bringing food to her friends who didn’t have enough to eat.” As if this tragedy wasn’t enough, the family lost another daughter a few months later in December. Business in Montbello has been good. Many of their previous customers have happily followed them to the new storefront. Advertising is mostly by word of mouth and social media. Angie adds, “The community has been gracious and grateful for the addition of good down-home food and reasonable prices.” Trina’s also caters events and works with the customer to design a menu that meets their needs and their budget. “We can handle events for 200 or so with a couple weeks’ notice and a quicker turnaround for smaller jobs,” says Ben Irvan, manager. When asked about future plans, Sidney speaks to expanding to other communities with franchises some point down the road. But for now, “we want to reach as much of our community as possible and also to give back to the community.” Trina’s has smoked meat for the shelter around the corner and is interested in working with a local nonprofit to smoke turkeys for those less fortunate during the holidays. Trina’s Place is open seven days a week from 11 am till midnight and Ben anticipates beginning to serve breakfast in the near future. Follow them on Facebook at Trina’s Place and let them know about your dining experience. 


hat a glorious day was had by more than 2,500 guests who attended the Montbello 50th Birthday Celebration! The day was as perfect as anyone could have hoped for and the Celebration parade kicked off right on time. Cheerleaders, Warriors’ Drumline, fancy cars, police cars, kids, dancers, floats, etc. passed along the streets where spectators cheered and called to their friends and some even joined in as the participants wound their way to Montbello Recreation Center. The fun didn’t stop there. Montbello Celebration Committee hosted more than 50 businesses, nonprofits, community organizations and food vendors. A special Youth Zone was established for the kids which included carnival games, face painting, a puppeteer and a full day of youth entertainment. Equally exciting were the “suped” up Denver Police Department police cars, the Denver Fire Department Trucks, and the Denver Police Department Mounted Patrol. Councilwoman Gilmore was on hand celebrating with old and young alike and the photographer even caught her dancing with husband, Scott. The Celebration Committee served over 1800 free meals. Two hundred participants watched and then sampled from the Healthy Food Demonstration. To their surprise they found that tofu and zucchini pasta covered in a sauce made from fresh picked tomatoes and onions from Montbello Urban Farm hit the spot. Nonstop entertainment on the Main Stage rounded out the full day with some of the top local acts including the Mary Louise Lee Band, Freddie Rodriquez Jr. and Sr., Gregory Goodloe and the Light Years Ahead Band, Of Sound Mynd, Linda Theus-Lee and Heartstrings and also Goatfish and Friends featuring special guest performer Jah Ice. The entire day was a true celebration of 50 Years of Diversity. As one celebrant remarked, “this is just what we needed, something that brought us all together.” The MUSE salutes festival Chair Chris Martinez, the entire Montbello 50th Birthday Celebration Committee, and all the volunteers who made September 24, 2016 a very special day in Montbello. Thank You! Montbello 50th Birthday Celebration Sponsors Montbello Organizing Committee Big Jon Platt Colorado Healthy Living Denver Urban Spectrum Safety Youth Program

Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore Citywide Banks Boys & Girls Club – Montbello Henry Price - Up From the Ashes McDonalds – Montbello Save-A-Lot Huff Real Estate Team Church of the Ascension Bern Ukolowicz Chris Martinez Teresa Hailey Land Rover KIPP

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


Rep. Angela Williams/James Coleman

Xcelerated Signs Native Roots Veritias Cannabis C-H LLC Montbello Barbers Shop Talk Live Natural Remedies Seed and Smith Kind Colorado Denver Water Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development Chick-fil-a Larry Maynard Mayra Gonzales Family Fifty-Two 80 Club

Steps for Success Montbello 20/20 Far Northeast Neighbors Montbello Library

Montbello Recreation Center Families Forward Resource Center


Celebrating 50 Years of Diversity

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016



Photos by “Lifestyle Photography by Vanessa”

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fund Montbello’s Steps to Success for 5 More Years

SNAP Delivery for Elderly and Disabled Comes to Montbello By Turner Wyatt

By Shelli Brown

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado Boulder has received a $5.9 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand its youth violence prevention work in two Denver neighborhoods. One of those neighborhoods is Montbello. The mission of the newly formed Denver Youth Violence Prevention Center is to reduce violence among 10- to 24-year-olds in Montbello and Northeast Park Hill. Both neighborhoods face struggles related to violence but also have people passionate about making a difference in their communities. The larger goal of the project is to develop a scalable, localized approach to empower communities to curb violence. The initiative builds upon the five-year violence prevention efforts also run by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence called Steps to Success, a $5.4 million CDC partnership in Montbello that wraps up in 2016. Steps to Success is transitioning to a community-led non-profit but will continue to intersect with the new Denver Youth Violence Prevention Center. Steps to Success and the Denver Youth Violence Prevention Center will implement Communities That Care, an evidence-based, communitylevel prevention system that provides a data-driven framework for community decision-making. Possible projects within the framework include: community-wide implementation of Safe2Tell; positive recognition campaigns for youth and adults to combat negative stereotypes or messaging; a social norming marketing campaign; and the creation of community gardens to strengthen pro-social bonds, engage youth and decrease health disparities. The selection of these projects will be made by the local community based on their data-driven priorities. “(The award) gives us the ability to keep promises made early on, sustain strides made and strengthen relationships built in support of Montbello’s young people,” said Project Director Shelli Brown. “Our community partners have worked hard alongside us, and we hope to bring this type of energy and passion to Northeast Park Hill.” Supporters of the project include: Steps to Success Community Board, Denver Office of Children’s Affairs, Denver Public Safety Youth Programs, Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver, District 8 and 11 Council Offices, Families Forward Resource Center, True Light Baptist Church, Boys and Girls Club, Northeast Park Hill Coalition, Denver Police DepartmentDistricts 2 and 5, and the Mental Health Centers of Denver. 

Editor’s note: Montbello community members interested in being involved in the initiative can contact Project Director Shelli Brown at

The USDA Food & Nutrition Service announced a trial program in late August authorizing five SNAP (food stamps) service providers the ability to deliver SNAP qualified food items to the homes of SNAP eligible elderly and disabled. Previously, SNAP purchases could only be made in person, which acted to a barrier for many SNAP participants who have trouble leaving the house. Denver Food Rescue, a Denver-based nonprofit is one of five nationally included in the pilot program for the year trial period. “This policy is a big deal for those working on healthy food access in the city” says Denver Food Rescue Executive Director Turner Wyatt. “We are honored to be a frontrunner in this opportunity and are seeking to build partnerships and gain feedback as we move forward.” The decision comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has faced increasing pressure to make SNAP more accessible to the nearly 24 million Americans living in food deserts, and the one in five SNAP participants who is elderly or disabled. Montbello carries that federal designation of “food desert.” Denver Food Rescue (DFR) will add the new service to its current operations in the next few months. Currently, DFR picks up food (mainly fresh produce) that would otherwise go to waste from grocery stores and wholesalers and delivers it by bike directly to resident-led free grocery programs at schools and other community centers in low-income neighborhoods. These deliveries are done by a team of more than 120 volunteers, who face the elements on their bikes 365 days per year, hauling an average of 1,000 pounds per day. With 12 of these No Cost Grocery Programs (NCGPs) operating weekly, DFR provides healthy food for more than 500 families every week. Until now, strict federal SNAP guidelines prevented non-brick-and-mortar food businesses from delivering food purchased with SNAP, but the new Farm Bill redefined this after increasing concerns about how the more than 8 million elderly or disabled SNAP participants actually get to the grocery store to purchase the food they rely on. Technology also hindered SNAP delivery, but now mobile SNAP card readers and receipt printers give nonprofit food deliverers the ability to accept the payment at the doorstep of the participant. The fact that Colorado is one of so few places that the pilot is being launched exemplifies Denver’s growing role as a leader in the healthy food access movement. Last year, The City and County of Denver’s Office of Economic Development hired the first ever Manager of Food Systems Development to coordinate the countless sustainable and

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016



healthy food focused efforts. Many of these efforts are connected in some way to the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, a council of residents and professionals that advises the Mayor’s Office on food related policies. Denver’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative aims to enroll 50 local convenience stores to sell healthier options by end of next year. Most importantly, Denver residents are more organized than ever, demanding better access to healthy foods through community based efforts, nonprofits, and government. Due to the unique size and layout of the Montbello neighborhood, members of this community decided that there should be multiple No Cost Grocery Programs across the neighborhood to reach the maximum number of families. Through a long community listening and feedback integration process, the Montbello community decided on three locations for their NCGPs: KIPP College Prep, Maxwell Elementary, and Academy 360, all DPS schools, equally spaced across the neighborhood. This model is a first for DFR, but has shown incredible success and room for growth since its implementation in the spring of 2016. Each program occurs on Thursday afternoons as the schools are letting out, giving families the ability to conveniently pick up fresh produce as they are picking up their kids from school. These programs each provide fresh produce for about 50 families every week, and operate throughout the year. All programs are open to the surrounding community.  Editor’s note: For more information, keep an eye site or visit their Facebook page.



Colorado Health Foundation Funds Montbello Project


By Donna Garnett

heart failure, obstructive sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux, and osteoarthritis. The most effective way to address the health concerns among children and youth is to provide opportunities for them and their families to adopt healthier eating habits and increase physical activity. Ultimately, the desired result is that no more than one in three of Montbello’s children under the age of 18 are obese. MOC will work with local and state agencies to track demographic data related to childhood obesity. What is a Fresh Mob, one might ask? It resembles the popular Flash Mob concept where scores of individuals descend upon a location and engage with unsuspecting people who just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Flash mobs range from dance troupes to orchestras to Zumba devotees—just regular people bringing culture, and whimsy to light. Add food, physical activity, and a special focus on outreach to low – income families to create places and spaces in under – utilized public venues and you have a Fresh Mob!

Editor’s note: Over the next year, 4 to 6 Fresh Mob events will take place in public places in the neighborhood. Residents and non-profit organizations are invited to participate in the planning and activation of this project. Some funds will be available to make infrastructure improvements at Fresh Mob sites. To join the Fresh Mob Project team or to find more information, contact Donna Garnett at

The Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC) recently announced that The Colorado Health Foundation has awarded a grant to assist Montbello in creating locally-defined, place-specific efforts to get people outdoors and actively engaged in their neighborhoods – together. The goal of the funding opportunity is to help activate existing infrastructure in public places that contribute to a community’s overall health through residential usage and positive experiences. The grant specifically targets children pre-k through 12th grade and their families. The funded program – tagged the Fresh Mob Project – takes a unique approach to engaging residents of all ages in physical activities and healthy living. The Fresh Mob Project is particularly relevant to the Colorado Health Foundation’s stated Healthy Living Priority to “ensure every kid in Colorado has the opportunity to eat healthy and engage in physical activity,” MOC’s ultimate goal is to create diverse places and spaces where the health concerns of all Montbello residents can be addressed. That goal is made more imperative by the alarming statistic that almost 1 in 4 children in Montbello under the age of 18 are obese. Obese youth have increased short-term risks of health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Excess weight in childhood and adolescence also substantially increases risks of being overweight or obese in adulthood, which in turn increases risk for chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


Nonprofits Making A Difference In Montbello Families Forward Resource Center

Meets Families Where They Are And Helps Them Move Forward

Whether it’s helping families to keep their heat on, reunify with their

By Dave Bechhoefer

added last year to support immigrant and refugee families. Family Leadership Training Institute - Offered in both English and Spanish, FLTI is a one-of-a-kind leadership development and civic engagement program to assist community members with making the positive changes in the community that they wish to see. •Today’s Fathers - FFRC works with men to help remove the barriers they may encounter in their pursuit to spend time with their children. Visitation, custody, child support, and co-parent relationships all impact a Dad’s ability to be a father. Layer that on the employment, transportation, and housing issues that affect all parents and you have a nearly impossible scenario for many dads. Fatherhood advocates work with dads to overcome these barriers and increase parenting skills. •Healthy Babies, Strong Families To combat African American Infant Mortality rates that are 3-5 times higher than Caucasian rates in metro Denver, FFRC has a team of family advocates dedicated to supporting African American families that are pregnant or have children under the age of 2. Over 100 children have been born in the program in the past two years, with zero fatalities •Strengthening Families - Offered in partnership with Steps to Success, this program is for families with tweens (that in-between age of 10 – 14 years). The seven-week program is for both the child who has been referred as a result of some poor choices and their parents and provides life skills and parent education has been proven to make a difference for families. •Nurturing Parenting - This parenting skills development program is available to all parents, regardless of their skill level. The program specializes in assisting parents who want to embrace more strengths-based and nurturing parenting techniques and is for parents of children of any age. In addition to these core programs, FFRC also supports families with toys during the winter holidays, Thanksgiving baskets, school supplies, utility assistance, infant and baby supplies, and a number of other programs throughout the year. 

children in the child welfare system, or support vulnerable infants to make it to their first birthday, Families Forward Resource Center (FFRC) has worked for over 20 years to strengthen families in Montbello, Green Valley Ranch and northern Aurora. FFRC works directly with families to help them achieve their goals, by building on each family’s strengths. Families Forward originally opened as Lowry Family Center following the decommissioning of the Lowry Air Force Base in 1995. At the time, many neighborhood families were employed by the base, and many area children relied on the base for recreational, summer and after-school programming. FFRC helped families with basic needs, applications for public assistance, connections to job training, and navigation through child welfare and other systems. The center’s first executive director, Kathy Hill-Young, also envisioned a program where all kids could experience a high-quality traditional summer camp experience, regardless of income. As Lowry, Stapleton, and the Fitzsimons Army Base became more affluent, many families could no longer afford to live in their neighborhoods. Many relocated east and north into Montbello and Aurora where they could afford to live. As families left the community, FFRC followed them to the new communities, opening a Montbello office and later, a satellite office in north Aurora. The Great Recession of 2008 decimated the resources of already vulnerable families and put tremendous strain on the organization to serve the seemingly endless numbers of families in need. FFRC tightened their proverbial belt and reached out to even more desperate families by extending services into Far Northeast Denver. In the last five years FFRC tripled in size and currently operates three offices – one in Montbello, one in Green Valley Ranch, and one in northern Aurora. Through it all, the mission to strengthen families has always remained the same. Among the many FFRC programs, several bear mentioning. • Kathy’s Kamp and Kathy’s Kamp International - Renamed for beloved Kathy Hill-Young who was tragically killed in a hit and run accident in 2008, FFRC continues her vision by offering low-cost, high quality summer programs in the community. The International camp was

Editor’s note: Dave Bechhoefer is Executive Director of Families Forward Resource Center. Families Forward Resource Center in Montbello is located at 4725 Paris St. Suite 300. Learn more about Families Forward Resource Center at or by calling 303-307-0718.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016



Students From Noel Community Arts School Envision A United Community

and is a Denver Public School Innovation school focused on artsinfused education programs utilizing project-based, experiential learning and artistic demonstration of knowledge and skills. The mission of the school is to prepare students for success in college and career by ensuring high achievement and creative FAMILIES AGAINST VIOLENT ACTS thinking through rigorous academics and meaningful application of the  arts. Approximately 500 students are MISSION: enrolled in the school. Empowering families with resources As the meeting draws to a close, to Aid in restoration with a fresh new perspective on life the students are asked what steps they want to take next. The immedi ate goal would be a meeting where •A Support Group student representatives from all •Open Forum seven high schools in the community •Resource Referrals come together with DPS school •Fellowship with other families Board members, school administra tors, community leaders, and parFor more information and support group time, call: ents to find a common voice that Dianne Cooks or Michael Hope at will be powerful within Montbello. (720) 767–5901 or email: Francella Baker at “We want to put the arts out f.a.v.a57@hotmail .com there as a means to build communi ty,” Lubembela says. 4840 N. Chambers Road, Unit A These young people may not be Denver, 80239 leaders now, but they are leading the way right now.  

Left to right: Amayas Gonzales 15; Elena Martin-Hernandez 17; Areyana Proctor 15; Eliana Williams 16; Peter Lubembela 17.


Editor’s note: For more information, visit the NCAS Student Council Facebook page to like them and to see what these students are up to.

eet Montbello’s next generation of leaders. Sitting down with these five students from Noel Community Arts School (NCAS), one is struck by the earnestness, intelligence, and determination of these young people. “We are a group of passionate students,” says Peter Lubembela, 17 and a senior at the school. “We want to bring together students from across the community to sit down with adults from the community and leaders who make decisions about our school and Montbello.” Student body president and a senior, Elena Martin-Hernandez, 17 answers, “We want to stop the separation, stop the rivalries and bring us together,” when asked for what purpose. The students go on to describe their vision of having the Montbello Campus be a unifying force that brings the community together cutting across the racial and cultural and socioeconomic lines that characterize the neighborhood. Martin-Hernandez adds, “I was at the last Warriors game when Montbello High School was closing and it was exciting. The whole community was there, but now there is hardly anybody at the games. The community spirit just isn’t there.” The kids aren’t the only ones who are concerned about the loss of Montbello High School. Many residents view the dismantling of the school starting in 2010 as the destruction of one of the most important unifying institutions in the community. Lubembela expands further, “We want to bring the alumni in and talk about what we, the school, can do for the community, not just what it can do for us. We can do community service projects, like cleaning up our campus and working at the big garden across the street from us (the Montbello Urban Farm at the United Church of Montbello). If we did that, we could get fresh and healthier food to our students.” Amayas Gonzales, 15 and a sophomore, points out that the students want to help change the image of Montbello as a scary place. “We want people to look past that image and look past the clothes we wear to see how much we care – and this a good place.” When asked how this helps NCAS, Eliana Williams, 16 responds, “We are an arts school, but we don’t even have enough funding to put on our performances. If the community is more involved and using the school for community purposes and events, then there will be more support for the school.” Noel Community Arts School is located on the Montbello Campus

“Aggressively seeks to mend the hurting hearts of families affected by a violent act”

“We are committed, compassionate and competent, when caring for your child.”

Diana Gadison Owner

Licensed for birth to 12 years old - specializing in preschool development.

Early Success Academy Childcare 4870 Chambers Road • Denver, CO • Hours: 7 AM to 5:30 PM • For more information, call or email us. • Phone: 303-373-1335 • Email:

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


RENOWNED BALLERINA MISTY COPELAND Inspires Colorado Women’s Foundation

The room filled with more than 2000

By Donna Garnett - Photos by Flor Blake Photography

Misty Copeland shares the stage with Foundation President and CEO, Lauren Y. Casteel

Misty Copeland

attendees, listened in awe as Misty Copeland told stories of her childhood that preceded her skyrocketing journey into fame as the first African American woman promoted to principal dancer for the prestigious American Ballet Theater (ABT). Misty Copeland was the special guest at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s annual luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the Colorado Convention Center. Luncheon goers were treated to a liveinterview conducted on stage by Foundation President and CEO, Lauren Y. Casteel as she talked with Misty Copeland about her experiences growing up in chaotic family circumstances, her racial barrier-breaking accomplishments, and her advice to young girls and their parents. Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California, Copeland began her ballet studies at the late age of 13. At the time, she was living in a shabby motel room, struggling with her five siblings for a place to sleep on the floor. Through her participation at the local Boys and Girls Club, she joined a ballet class. From those humble beginnings, she soared to new heights that most young ballerinas can only dream of. A true prodigy, she was dancing en pointe within three months of taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer.

Throughout the interview, Copeland inspired the audience with her grace and passion – her passion for her art as well as her passion to speak on behalf of all girls and women living out their dreams and in giving back. She has worked with many charitable organizations and is dedicated to giving of her time to work with and mentor young girls and boys. In 2014, President Obama appointed Copeland to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Recently, she inspired a new Barbie doll in the “Sheroes” collection that honors female heroes who break boundaries. An important part of her message is that ballerinas are athletes who work long and grueling hours to hone their bodies into performance ready mode. One need only to look at her lithe, muscular physique to imagine the hours she puts in everyday to maintain a body that can stand up to the rigors of performing classical roles such as Firebird, Romeo and Juliet, and Nutcracker. “It is time that ballerinas get the opportunities for branding and endorsements that their fellow athletes in other disciplines experience,” she tells the audience. Through it all, her hope is that she can promote exposure to classical ballet.

Editor’s note: For more information regarding Misty Copeland’s life and accomplishments, visit Misty Copeland shares a laugh with an aspiring ballerina.

Misty Copeland is interviewed by MUSE editor/reporter, Donna Garnett

At 15, she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. She studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. Misty joined ABT’s Studio Company in September 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001, and in August 2007 became the company’s second African American female Soloist and the first in two decades. In June 2015, Copeland was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history. “Misty danced right through the racial, economic, and body image barriers that keep many women from pursuing their dreams and reaching their full potential,” said Lauren Casteel in her introduction of the ballerina. “Despite messages that she did not fit the mold of a traditional ballerina, she persevered and has become a symbol of hope, possibility, and perseverance for women and girls everywhere.” MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


Can’t find your favorite community publication? We can help! Pick up your copy of MUSE at the following distribution outlets:

4800 Chambers Plaza

45th & 46th and Peoria St.

US Bank Citywide BankArie Taylor Building

Nail Shop Montbello Barbers Mailbox Express Taqueria Bakery

Peoria Plaza

P/T Nails Coin Laundry Bocaza Mexigrill

Wal-Mart Plaza Chambers

Mickey’s Barber Cleaners Laundromat

Sable Ridge Apts.

China Chef Laundromat Loco Pollo

Peoria Albrook Plaza

(40th & Chambers)

Gateway Liquors

1st CHRISTIAN BAPTIST (12505 Elmendorf) Kinder Kollege (Albrook & Tulsa Court) Montbello Library (Albrook & Crown) Boys & Girls Club (Albrook & Crown) Montbello Manor (4356 Carson Street) United Church of Montbello (Crown & Andrews) True Light Baptist Church (14333 Bolling Avenue)

(40th & Tower Road)

48th & Tower Road

Towers Liquors GVR library Crowning Glory Salon African Bar & Grill

Enjoy the comfort of your own home with the convenience of a full or part-time caregiver. “Because The Best Care is Home Care”

Headquartered in Montbello; serving clients throughout Denver, Adams and Arapahoe Counties.

Services Include:

•In-Home Companionship •Meal Preparation •Light housekeeping •Laundry •Errand Services •Grocery Shopping •Grooming and Dressing Supervision For a free in-home assessment, call:


Looking for a part-time job?

We’re recruiting compassionate caregivers with experience (paid and unpaid) caring for elderly or persons with disabilities. We train, certify and insure all caregivers to meet State of Colorado Non-medical Home Care Agency requirements. Competitive pay and flexible schedules. To learn more or get an application, call 303-780-7339 or email

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


Steps to Success Celebrate Success of Community

Election 2016

Making Voting Accessible & Convenient Every registered voter in Colorado will receive a ballot in the mail at their address on file with the Secretary of State. If you need to register to vote or update your mailing address, you must do so on or before October 31st in order to receive a ballot in the mail. After October 31st, you can register to vote in person at any Voter Service and Polling Center (VSPC) in your county. You will be able to cast a ballot in person after registering.

How to Register to Vote

Coloradans can register to vote up to and on Election Day. If you have a driver’s license or identification card issued by the state of Colorado, you can register online at Alternately, you can register to vote in person at a VSPC beginning on October 24th. You must have been a resident of Colorado for 22 days by Election Day.

How to Vote

50 Years of Diversity: Honoring Montbello's Past, Present, and Future Leaders - Honorees

On September 23, Steps to Success and the Montbello Organizing Committee co-hosted a recognition event in Denver's Montbello community to kick off the Montbello 50th Anniversary weekend celebration. The event, 50 Years of Diversity: Honoring Montbello's Past, Present, and Future Leaders, aimed at recognizing individuals who have had a strong hand in shaping this community. Steps to Success and the the Montbello Organizing Committee put out a call for nominations, asking community members near and far to think about people who live, work, and positively impact Montbello, and help honor them for their commitment to uplifting our neighborhood. The result: 51 individuals youth and adults - were honored in one amazing evening.

(There are 3 different ways!)

 Return your ballot by mail. Remember to include postage! off the ballot you received in the mail  Drop at a VSPC or drop box. Visit to find your nearest VSPC or drop box.

Vote in person at any Voter Service and Polling Center in your county. VSPCs will be open beginning Monday, October 24th.

Remember: If you vote in person you must bring an ID, but it doesn’t have to be a photo ID. For more information, visit

ET!ved G R O ’T Fmust boev.re8ctehi N O D ballots7 PM, N arks t! All


tm un Posnot co o d 866-OUR-VOTE


Past Leaders

Visit to find answers to frequently asked questions, learn about your voting rights, and more. Call our Election Protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE for additional assistance or to report issues.

Joe Algee Isabella Allen Annie Ash Bill Brown Cyrus and Kathy Callum Diego Contreras Don Gatewood Artie Mae Grisby Rachel Kennedy Florine King Chris Martinez Morris Price, Sr. Lu Vason (posthumously)

Just Vote! Colorado Election Protection is a non-partisan voter assistance project and is not affiliated with or promoting any party, candidate or ballot issue.

Elecciones 2016 Hacer Que la Votación Sea Accesible y Conveniente

Preasent Leaders Gregory Bernard Sean Bradley Carmen Cereceres Paul Clifton

Cada votante registrado en Colorado recibirá una boleta en el correo en la dirección que se tiene registrada con la Secretaría de Estado. Si necesita registrarse para votar o actualizar su dirección de correspondencia, debe hacerlo en o antes del 31 de octubre a fin de recibir una boleta en el correo. Después del 31 de octubre, se puede registrar para votar en persona en cualquier Servicio de Votación y Centro de Casilla (VSPC, por sus siglas en inglés) en su condado. Usted podrá emitir su voto en persona después de registrarse.

Shelli Brown Steps to SuccessProject Director

Como Registrarse para Votar

Los residentes de Colorado se pueden registrar para votar hasta el Día de las Elecciones. Si usted tiene una licencia de conducir o una tarjeta de identificación emitida por el estado de Colorado, se puede registrar en línea en Alternativamente, se puede registrar para votar en persona en un VSPC comenzando el 24 de octubre. Debe de haber sido un residente de Colorado por 22 días antes del Día de las Elecciones.

Como Votar

(¡Existen 3 maneras diferentes!)

su boleta por correo. ¡Recuerde incluir  Devuelva la estampilla! la boleta que recibió en el correo en un  Lleve VSPC o en un buzón. Visite para encontrar su VSPC o buzón más cercano a usted.

en persona en cualquier Servicio  Vote de Votación y Centro de Casilla en su condado. Los VSPC estarán abiertos a partir del

lunes 24 de octubre. Recuerde: si vota en persona debe llevar su identificación, pero no tiene que ser una identificación con fotografía. Para más información, visite


! VIDn Equeeslear L O LO tiene 7 d e.

¡NaOs las bsoalenttaes8s ddee lnaosviellmobsr Todecibida en el atase n! r oche ta n os m uen

¡L no c 888-VE-Y-VOTA

Visite para encontrar respuestas a las preguntas más frecuentes, conozca sus derechos de votación, y más. Llame a nuestra línea de ayuda de Protección de Elecciones al 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA para ayuda adicional o para reportar algún problema. Just Vote! Colorado Election Protection es un proyecto de ayuda no partidista y no está afiliado y no promueve ningún partido, candidato o asunto en la boleta.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - November/December 2016


“MONTBELLO 50th ANNIVERSARY HONOREES” Claire Crouse Mary Davis Kendall and Kelvis Duffie Angelle Fouther Melvia Jo Golson Teresa Hailey Karen Hall Silke Hansen Leslie Juniel Joseph Marrujo Gregory McCoy Anika McCready Rosario Mendoza Julie Murgel Norma Paige Yazmin Pelayo

Montbello Organizing Committee

Sandra Tapia-Gonzalez Angela Tzul Bernadette Ukolowicz Noemi Venkatraj Ann White Louise William

Future Leaders

Mayra Gonzalez Nancy Gonzalez Ruvi Herrera Cody Jackson Edward Perea Erik Perez Louis Ray Janneyla Rodriguez-Martinez Quincy Shannon Christopher Urias Isaira Urias

MUSE November/December 2016  

This issue of the MUSE is all about finding and using one’s voice. Communicating is not just about speaking. It is more often the avenues th...

MUSE November/December 2016  

This issue of the MUSE is all about finding and using one’s voice. Communicating is not just about speaking. It is more often the avenues th...