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Inside This Issue

Elected Officials Speak Out...6 Montbello In The News...8,9 Voices In The Neighborhood...10,11,12,13 Healthy Living In The Community...14,15 Happenings Around Montbello...16,17 Resources In The Community...18,19 Creative World‌20 Kudos...21

What Does It Mean To Be A Community?...........4


FROM THE EDITOR’S TABLET

Time...

Time’s up. Time is of the essence. Where does the time go? Time flies. Time to act! The time is now….Time matters in our everyday life. For many of us, most of our day is arranged in finite pockets of time and we race through one pocket to the next rarely appreciating how we just spent the last bit of time. As I write this missive today, my grandchildren are getting up and preparing to go to their first day of school for the 2018-19 school year. This is a milestone year for them both. One starts kindergarten and the other starts middle school. I wonder - where did the summer go, where did time go? That reflection leads to – where did life go? Enough of the musings about time. What I really want to talk about is how important our collective attention and actions are going to be in this midterm election cycle. Many important offices are up for election in November and it is important – no, imperative – that we take the time to make ourselves as informed as possible about all the candidates and initiatives that are before us. Be informed and then vote. Here are just some of the important decisions to be made on November 6, 2018 that will directly affect Montbello residents: U.S. House of Representatives, Governor, Lt. Governor, Colorado House of Representatives for District 7, CU Regent, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Attorney General, RTD Representative for District B. Undoubtedly you can expect to see literature on your doorstep, political ads on your television, and candidate forums at local venues by the time the next issue of the MUSE hits the streets in November. In addition to being informed, be sure you are registered to vote; submit a change of address if you have moved since the last election, watch for your mail ballot, and vote by Election Day. For more information and to get a list of candidates and the content of amendments and initiatives that will appear on your ballot go to https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/main.htm or contact https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-elections-divison/2018-general-election.html. Actually, this message is about time. This election year, the time to act is now! Donna M. Garnett Editor Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition

PUBLISHER Montbello Organizing Committee/Denver Urban Spectrum EDITOR AND LEAD WRITER - Donna Garnett

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS - Senator Angela Williams, Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore, Khadija Haynes, Angelle Fouther, Esteban Hernandez, Allan Tellis, Evelia Soriano, Dr. Kimberly Grayson, Norah Lovata, Silke Hansen, Ann White, Brenda Tierney TRANSLATOR - Marta Welch

PHOTOGRAPHERS – Kevin Beatty, Khadija Haynes ART DIRECTOR - Bee Harris

ADVERTISING SALES - Melovy Melvin

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). MUSE is circulated throughout Denver’s Far Northeast community.

Contents of MUSE are copyright 2018 by Denver Urban Spectrum and the Montbello Organizing Committee. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. 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 montbellonews@gmail.com.

For advertising information, email montbelloadvertising@gmail.com or call 303-292-6446.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

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What Does It Mean To Be A Community? By Donna Garnett

Community = a group of people that care about each other and feel they belong together.

If you haven’t noticed Montbello (after fifty years of isolation and being overlooked by city leaders, philanthropists, developers and others) is suddenly in the limelight. Now it seems as though funders and government agencies are eager to dedicate resources to the community – provide the “community” collaborates and the “community” leads the way in making change. As nonprofit organizations, churches, and schools struggle to make ends meet in the pursuit of their mission, the constant task of raising funds is made more complex by this requirement. At the very least, several questions are raised. Who is the community? What does it mean to be a community? This author recently posed these questions on social media to see what people think. The responses were as diverse as the people who answered the question. Here are a few of the responses – some are tangible and some are abstract: “Community is all the people who live in the same place.” “It is all the people who live or work together.” “Community is where everyone’s gifts and talents are appreciated, where those talents are used for the greater good for everyone in the community.” “A group of people that have some of the same goals to better our neighborhood, by making a change and continuing to strive for the betterment of the community.” “People who rub elbows, raise families alongside each other, and breathe the same collective cultural air.” “Your community is where you go for rest and revitalization and leaves you feeling renewed and awakened.” “There are many different types of communities that we all belong to, bringing us together across differences for a specific interest or identity that we are willing to stand behind and be united for.” Traditionally, community relates to the geographic location people are born into and is defined by the people who live in close proximity to each other. Contemporary marketing and politics have skewed the meaning to create virtual and arbitrary pockets of community – e.g. Facebook community, the business community, the Latino community, the Black community, and so on. People latch on to the labels in an effort to find identity. In a world where one’s geographic community may simply be the place where one was born or the place one goes home to sleep and get a change of clothes, people are searching for their own communities and a sense of belonging.

Fabian Pfortmuller, author, community builder and entrepreneur

Montbello is not alone in trying to ferret out the meaning of community. Universities, researchers, marketing firms and others expend millions of dollars in the exploration of the term and the ramifications of one’s identification with a community. The American Journal of Public Health reported on a study that utilized scientific research methodology to give contemporary meaning to the term community. After dozens of interviews and the application of statistical analysis, the researchers concluded that community is defined similarly but experience differently by people with diverse backgrounds. As a result, they posited the following: A common definition of community emerged as a group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives, and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings. The participants differed in the emphasis they placed on particular elements of the definition. (American Journal Public Health, 2001 December). Over the summer, Montbello has had many occasions to come together as a community through festivals and celebrations. None, however, were more poignant than the coming together of the community on the occasion of the disappearance and death of a little seven-year old boy. Out of concern for the child, the family, and for one’s own children and family, hundreds of people suddenly found themselves as part of a “community.” Holding a vigil and standing on the lawn at Marie L. Greenwood Academy, this group of people epitomized the definition of community. They were a group of people that cared about each other and felt they belonged together. Make no mistake. Montbello welcomes the resources that are now coming with outside attention. But in the end, the people of this neighborhood must be allowed to define their community and not be forced into ‘togetherness’ for the sake of a few dollars. Y

Editor’s note: In addition to being the editor of the MUSE, Donna Garnett is the Interim Executive Director of Montbello Organizing Committee. She brings 35 years of experience facilitating collaborative projects among diverse communities.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

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What Does It Mean To Be A Community? By Donna Garnett

Comunidad = un grupo de personas que se preocupan el uno por el otro y sienten que pertenecen juntas.

Si no ha notado, Montbello (después de cincuenta años de aislamiento y de ser ignorado por los líderes de la ciudad, los filántropos, los desarrolladores y otros) está de repente en el centro de la atención. Parece que los financiadores y las agencias gubernamentales están ansiosos por dedicar recursos a la comunidad, siempre que la "comunidad" colabore y la "comunidad" guíe camino para lograr el cambio. Como las organizaciones sin fines de lucro, las iglesias y las escuelas luchan en la búsqueda de su misión, la tarea constante de recaudar fondos se hace más complejo por este requisito. Al menos, se plantean varias preguntas. ¿Quién es la comunidad? ¿Qué significa ser una comunidad? Este autor recientemente planteó estas preguntas en las redes sociales para ver lo que la gente piensa. Las respuestas eran tan diversas como las personas que respondieron a la pregunta. Estas son algunas de las respuestas – algunas son tangibles y algunas son abstractas: “La comunidad es toda la gente que vive en el mismo lugar.” “Son todas las personas que viven o trabajan juntas.” “La comunidad es donde se aprecian los dones y talentos de todos, donde esos talentos se utilizan para el bien de todos en la comunidad.” “Un grupo de personas que tienen algunos de los mismos objetivos para mejorar nuestro vecindario, haciendo un cambio y continuando esforzándose por el mejoramiento de la comunidad.” “Personas que se conocen, crían familias una junto a la otra y respiran el mismo aire cultural colectivo.” “Su comunidad es donde va a descansar y revitalizarse y lo deja sintiéndose renovado y despierto.” “Hay muchos tipos diferentes de comunidades a las que todos pertenecemos, que nos unen a través de las diferencias para un interés o identidad específica que estamos dispuestos a respaldar y unir.” Tradicionalmente, la comunidad se relaciona con la ubicación geográfica en que las personas nacen y es definida por las personas que viven en estrecha proximidad una de otra. La comercialización y la política contemporánea han sesgado el significado de crear bolsas de comunidad virtuales y arbitrarias, por ej. La comunidad de Facebook, la comunidad empresarial, la comunidad latina, la comunidad Afro-Ameriana, y así sucesivamente. La gente se agarra a las etiquetas en un esfuerzo por encontrar identidad. En un mundo donde la comunidad geográfica de uno puede ser simplemente el lugar donde nació o el lugar donde uno va a su casa a dormir y cambiarse de ropa, las personas buscan sus propias comunidades y un sentido de pertenencia.

Fabian Pfortmuller, autor, constructor de comunidad y emprendedor

Montbello no está solo en tratando de descubrir el significado de la comunidad. Las universidades, los investigadores, las empresas de marketing y otros gastan millones de dólares en la exploración del término y las ramificaciones de la identificación con una comunidad. El Diario Americano de Salud Pública informó sobre un estudio que utilizó metodología de investigación científica para dar un significado contemporáneo al término comunidad. Después de docenas de entrevistas y la aplicación del análisis estadístico, los investigadores concluyeron que la comunidad se define de manera similar, pero la experiencia de las personas con diversos antecedentes es diferente. Como resultado, postularon lo siguiente: Una definición común de la comunidad surgió como un grupo de la gente con características diversas que son unida por lazos sociales, comparten perspectivas comunes y toman parte en acciónes conjuntas en localizaciones geográficas o ajustes. Los participantes se diferenciaron en el énfasis que colocaron en elementos particulares de la definición. (Diario Americano de Salud Pública. Diciembre de 2001). Durante el verano, Montbello ha tenido muchas ocasiones para unirse como comunidad a través de festivales y celebraciones. Ninguno, sin embargo, fue más conmovedor que la reunión de la comunidad con motivo de la desaparición y la muerte de un pequeño niño de siete años. Debido a la preocupación por el niño, la familia y por sus propios hijos y familia, cientos de personas se encontraron de repente como parte de una "comunidad". Celebrando una vigilia y parándose en el césped en la Academia de Marie L. Greenwood, este grupo de las personas personificaron la definición de comunidad. Eran un grupo de personas que se preocupaban entre sí y sentían que pertenecían juntas. No se equivoques, Montbello da la bienvenida a los recursos que ahora vienen con la atención exterior. Pero al final, la gente de este vecindario debe ser permitida a definir su comunidad y no ser forzada a ' convivencia ' por el bien de unos pocos dólares. Y

Donna Garnett, además de ser la editora de MUSE, es la Directora Ejecutiva Interina del Comité Organizador de Montbello. Ella aporta 35 años de experiencia facilitando proyectos de colaboración entre diversas comunidades.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

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ELECTED OFFICIALS SPEAK OUT

Property Tax Refund program and Financial Empowerment services to support Denver Residents

energy assistance). To schedule a time to meet with a financial coach, call 720-944-2498 or email fec@denvergov.org. To get more information about this resource you can visit www.denvergov.org/financialempowerment. We need your help in sharing these resources with our community! The Montbello Leadership Cabinet has now doubled in size and we have formed a working group to start to develop how we can provide a financial empowerment educational series for the public. We look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions. Y

Almost 3 years ago now, my coun-

By Councilwoman Stacy Gilmore

Editor’s note: To get involved with the cabinet, email Magen Elenz in the District 11 Council Office at Magen.Elenz@denvergov.org.

Receipts – Common Sense Business

cil office formed the Montbello Leadership Cabinet and the group’s purpose is to find tactics that we can use as a community to address displacement head on. Initially, we brought together representatives from community organizations in Montbello and we’ve grown to include experts in financial planning, Denver commissions, real estate agents, housing representatives and much more. Through our meetings, we started to prioritize our work and settled on addressing the needs of our most vulnerable populations - seniors and/or persons on fixed incomes. We want to make sure our seniors can age-in-place and not lose their homes or become victims to predatory home buying companies. Along with affordable housing security, the Cabinet also determined that we needed an expanded platform to provide financial empowerment services to help residents navigate the changing economy of our city. City Council District 11 dug in to what the city provides now and how we could leverage these programs to help more residents directly. One of the programs, the Elderly or Disabled Refund Program is an opportunity to receive a partial refund on your property tax. For seniors who may be on fixed incomes and have their mortgage paid off or almost paid off, the growing rate of property taxes in Denver could certainly keep them from staying in their homes. In partnership with Councilwoman At-Large Robin Kniech, we began reviewing the current ordinance and the eligibility requirements of this Denver program and we found that the income level is drastically low ($15,900 for single persons or $23,100 for couples). We are currently bringing together a working group to discuss potentially raising the income threshold as well as exploring opening the program to families with children. The data so far shows that renters utilize this program much more than homeowners which is great, but we need to bring it to a place where more homeowners can also take advantage of the program. Currently, the way that the program works is that when you get your property tax bill you do have to pay the whole bill. But then once processed starting in May of the following year you can submit a form asking for a partial refund for the Denver property tax portion. This refund is a gift and, therefore, there is no lien attached to the property. To qualify currently, you need to be a resident who is 65 years or older and income limited or totally disabled. To find out more about this program, go to: https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-human-services/programs/adults-and-seniors/elderly-and-disabled-refund-payment.html We also have a Financial Empowerment Center at the Arie P. Taylor Building, 4685 Peoria St., Suite #251, Denver 80239. The Financial Empowerment Center offers free, one-to-one financial coaching in English and Spanish to address your unique circumstances. Topics include improving your credit; reducing debt and resolving issues with bill collectors; student loan counseling; budgeting and credit skills; access to safe, affordable, and convenient financial services and products; and information on public or private benefits to increase income (free tax preparation, housing support, home

Denver’s growth brings problems

By Senator Angela Williams, Senate District 33

for seniors, and problems attract predators. When staying in your home is difficult and finding a new one impossible, a dishonest landlord has the leverage to exploit the vulnerable. On August 8th, a new law went into effect that keeps fraud away with a simple common-sense protection: when you pay your rent, you can ask for a receipt. Once I learned that receipts weren’t readily available, I set out to fix it. While running a bill, I met “M” who testified in favor of my solution. “M” lives in Denver. She speaks Spanish, and a little English. After 15 years of being a good tenant, her landlord threatened to kick her out for not paying rent. The staff at The Gathering Place, a drop-in shelter for homeless women in City Park West, knew for a fact that it just wasn’t true. They approached her landlord and he abruptly changed his story. He now claimed she paid every month, but not the full amount. The transactions were all in cash, and if it went to court it would be his word against hers. The Gathering Place saw his pattern of bulling her into paying more, but there was no paper trail that could prove that she was being shaken down. Even after she took refuge with them, the landlord pursued and harassed her. When he started harassing the staff, they banned him from the building. Still threatened with an eviction that would crush her ability to find housing, The Gathering Place paid a $400 eviction fee to clear her debt, and she agreed to find a new place to live. But that didn’t happen. Unable to find another place, the landlord pulled her aside and said she could stay in the rental. It wasn’t long before he filed another eviction, kicked her to the streets, and she has been homeless in Denver ever since. It was one case of many, where proper documentation would straighten everything out. I was surprised that a tenant could be refused a receipt for cash rent paid, or even a copy of the lease itself. As a business professional, I know that good records protect both sides in an honest transaction, and with this new law in place that protection will finally be available. Runaway rents make it hard enough for our elders to stay in their homes, connected to the churches and neighborhoods that support them. As the State Senator representing “M.” and the Gathering Place, I was happy to address this issue and make it a little easier for everyone. It might not be a big change in the law, but it is the sort of change that makes a big difference to the people in North East Denver, and the many people across Colorado who are struggling but doing the right thing.Y

Editor’s note: Angela Williams is a Colorado State Senator serving Senate District 33. Senator Williams can be reached at sen.williams.sd33@gmail.com.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

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Community Transportation Forum

FY18-19 (the fiscal year beginning this July) and $150 million in one-time funding the year after. Following the initial two years, the state will provide $50 million each year thereafter, for 20 years. Additionally, the bill combines the $1.9 billion from last years’ omnibus bill (that re-classified the Hospital Provider Fee as an enterprise and therefore not under the TABOR cap) with an additional $1.327 billion to enable voters to approve the sale of $2.337 billion in bonds in 2019. Both of these recent bills are important steps in addressing Colorado’s infrastructure needs. But they do not add new revenue to address 20 years of deferred transportation maintenance and improvements. Overviews of the two proposed ballot initiatives to address the funding issues were shared at the meeting. Carla Perez from Let’s Go Colorado shared that the sales-tax initiative would raise $766.7 million in transportation funding annually for twenty years and authorize up to $6 billion in state bonds. The alternative initiative is a plan from the Independence Institute, which is vehemently opposed to any tax increase. The think tank is circulating its “Fix Our Damn Roads” petition to push for $3.5 billion in state transportation bonds for road and bridges without a new revenue stream. If one or both of the anticipated ballot initiatives planned for 2018 pass, the bonding question will not go to voters in 2019. The two competing ballot initiatives are the Denver Chamber of Commerce’s Let’s Go Colorado plan to ask for 0.62 percent sales tax increase (six cents on a $10 purchase) to pay for roads and multi-modal needs, and the Independence Institute’s initiative to require the legislature to set aside $350 million each year from general tax revenues to repay transportation bonds. The sales tax initiative is the only proposed plan to bring in new revenue which will 1) fund major state projects such as highways, widening of lanes, improved safety, replacing of bridges and wildlife crossings, 2) address local priorities such as street repaving, new intersections, bike lanes, and sidewalks; and 3) support multi-modal options such as urban and rural bus service, large scale bike lanes and paths, and improvements for pedestrians. Whatever voters decide, doing nothing is not an option if Coloradans want to support a growing economy and a high-quality of life in the State of Colorado. Y

Op-ed by Angelle C. Fouther

Colorado has decades of deferred transportation maintenance issues.

Despite a growing population, we lack the resources to maintain our roads, highways, and local bus routes. Further, the number of drivers on Colorado roads has nearly doubled since 1991, while we now spend half the amount per driver and we are currently struggling to keep up with basic maintenance much less address growing needs. Following are some of the facts: •78 percent of Colorado’s roads will need to be repaired in the next 10 years, but the state lacks the budget to keep up. •Potholes and rough roads damage a vehicle’s tires and suspensions, costing the average Colorado driver $468 in repairs each year. •Each dollar spent on road improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 by reducing delays, fuel consumption, and improving safety. •Nearly one hundred thousand people are moving to Colorado every year. Growth is taking a toll on our infrastructure. •We need a new funding source to fix our roads. More than 80 million tourists come to Colorado every year, filling up our roads. Community members from Denver’s northeast neighborhoods (including Montbello and Green Valley Ranch) gathered in late July at the Park Hill Library for a Transportation Forum presented by District 33 State Senator Angela Williams—in partnership with LiveWell Colorado and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The purpose of the gathering was to share information about Colorado’s transportation infrastructure needs, the growing budget shortfall, and possible solutions for a sustainable, consistent funding stream to address the backlog. Andy Karsian, Legislative Liaison, CDOT, gave an overview of prioritized projects from the Colorado Transportation Commission. The project list can be viewed on CDOT website. (https://www.codot.gov/programs/coloradotransportation-matters/together-we-go/interactive-project-map). During the 2018 legislative session, Colorado General Assembly passed Senate Bill 18-001, Transportation Infrastructure Funding, sponsored by Senators Randy Baumgardner (R, Hot Sulphur Springs) and John Cooke (R, Greeley) and Representatives Terri Carver (R, Colorado Springs) and Perry Buck (R, Windsor). The law provides $495 million in one-time funding for

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

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MONTBELLO IN THE NEWS

Among Big Plans for Montbello is a Proposed $30 Million Community Center

“This is a wonderful project, it’s very far-reaching,” Garnett added. “I love it that people are starting to call it transformative. But in the end, we don’t want the people who created this vision to be displaced. We want it to be…where they get to enjoy the benefits.” The farm market is a jumping-off point for this much bigger project. The FreshLo Farm Market first opened last year to provide fresh food options for residents living in Montbello, where some residents still struggle to find fresh produce. Food for the market is grown locally at Montbello Urban Farm at the United Church of Montbello. Garnett said she the farm produces a majority of the food through the season, with additional food produced by gardens in three local schools. The FreshLo Farm Market will reopen on July 28 and will run every Saturday starting at 9 a.m. to noon through September. It will be located at 12300 Albrook Drive. “We’re thinking we’ll probably be able to supply somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 pounds of food this summer,” Garnett said. The seeds for this market — and really the entire project — were planted in May 2016. That’s when MOC was one of 26 organizations in the U.S. chosen by the Kresge Foundation to receive a $75,000 award to plan a “FreshLo” market, which is shorthand for “Fresh, Local & Equitable: Food as a Creative Platform for Neighborhood Revitalization.” Kresge Foundation describes itself as a private foundation that tries to expand opportunities in U.S. cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts, culture, and health and human services. It is based in Troy, Michigan. Garnett said the Colorado Health Foundation matched the Kresge grant. Before anything was open, Garnett said MOC members knocked on doors, rode buses, hosted meetings and traveled the community to figure out what they needed most. They found access to fresh food was one area in need of improvement. “A lot of those people that are in those lower income categories actually do most of their shopping at the convenience store,” Garnett said. “Both the Family Dollar and the 7-11 have participated in programs to bring some fresh fruits and vegetables, but it’s not adequate for people by and large.” Those involved hope the center help keep Montbello’s characteristic diversity intact in the face of more development. As we saw last week, not everyone is necessarily sold on how changes to the area will positively impact Montbello. “People have talked about the fact that we’re such a diverse community,” Garnett said, adding Montbello has a mixture of African-American, Latino, African and white residents. She said the cultural hub will give people an opportunity to celebrate and learn about their culture. Martinez said their plan adds affordable housing options for residents as they begin to face, “a lot of gentrification.” He said they want to make sure Montbello remains diverse. Providing a space for performances, concerts, talents shows and other community-oriented events give people space to both see and possibly even develop art, Martinez said. “We want to set it up so that it has a theater, which is something we don’t have in Montbello,” Martinez said. “We want to have a place where people can enjoy the arts, express their creativity.” Erik Penn, who’s lived in Montbello for about 5 years (he lived in southeast Denver before that) and provided feedback to MOC’s plan, said having a centralized community space could help alleviate some of the wounds left after Montbello High School closed in 2014. Penn is running for the Denver City Council District 8 seat. “We have the opportunity here to make something more,” Penn said. “One of the things that was pretty traumatic for the community was the closing of Montbello High School … I think for this new space, it’s a homegrown idea, it allows the community to get back together.” “These are the things that are going to start pulling people together,” Penn added.Y

By Esteban L. Hernandez

Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the Denverite on July 16, 2018 and is reprinted here with permission.

Gailand Allen examines a potential piece of the Far Northeast Area Plan during a comment meeting at the Montbello campus cafeteria, July 12, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A

s the potential for significant changes looms in far northeast Denver, a project in Montbello that could end up becoming a flashpoint for these and other changes is slowly taking shape. Donna Garnett, executive director of Montbello Organizing Committee, discussed the ambitious project publicly last week during a The Far Northeast Area Plan meeting in Montbello on July 12. It’s part of The Montbello FreshLo initiative, which is a broader plan to create a community space centered around a food market. Garnett spoke to Denverite at length about the proposed project a day later while she visited the Dahlia Campus Farms and Gardens in Park Hill. The project involves building a $30 million mixed-use development called FreshLo Cultural Hub, which Garnett said would be a multi-floor space that will include a grocery store, meeting and retail spaces, a cultural center with a theater and 120 affordable housing units. The grocery store would be operated by Family Tree Food Market. “We are in the final stages,” Garnett said. “Now we’re raising money. We’ve hired a developer. We’re in the final stages of negotiating for the piece of property that we want. We’re looking to have this whole cultural hub and grocery store located on the west side of Montbello.” Garnett said they’re hoping to break ground on the project by the end of August. She said a technical proposal has been submitted to the City of Denver, but they’re still working on the land acquisition. Currently, the project has funding from the Kresge Foundation, The Colorado Health Foundation and The Denver Foundation, which have so far have funded about $400,000 toward the project. Garnett said they have funded planning and some of the early pre-development costs. They’re currently in the process of working with private investors, other foundations and government agencies to put together the funding package to pay for the Cultural Hub, Garnett said. “We know it’s very ambitious but it meets a couple of goals,” Montbello Organizing Committee Board Chair and neighborhood resident Chris Martinez said. Funding for the project would come from “a combination of grants and loans, on the local and national level.” Martinez declined to name the property MOC is looking at for its site since he said it’s still on the market. He added they do have a Plan B and Plan C in place just in case. Once it’s completed, Garnett said they will use the location for their summer pop-up shop, FreshLo Farm Market. She said she expects the new development will also have space to grow food for the market and develop a walkable loop linking nearby gardens to the facility. “It’s really important to us that this project reflects what the community wants and so we’ve worked with a local developer, we’ve worked with people who are committed to this being what the residents have planned for and have created and envisioned,” Garnett said.

Editor’s note: To get the latest Denver news and community interest stories online every morning, go to https://denverite.com and sign up.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

8


MONTBELLO IN THE NEWS

A Nearly $3 Million Outdoor Education Center Could Come To Far Northeast Denver By Allan Tellis

Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the Denverite on August 9, 2018 and is reprinted here with permission.

A nearly $3 million outdoor education facility run by Environmental Learning for Kids could be soon coming to Denver’s Montbello neighborhood at 12680 East Albrook Dr., and construction could begin as early next year. Kim Weiss, ELK’s associate director, said the organization wanted to be closer to the communities they serve than they are at their office near the intersection of I-25 and I-76. Their programming helps underserved youth connect with the outdoors with the hope of fostering a long-term relationship with nature. “We were 10 miles away from our service area,” she said. “So we really want to be in the service area and having the open space in the building will be kind of seamless into the park.” In community planning meetings, ELK heard that neighbors wanted, Weiss said, and that it could satisfy multiple needs in the far northeast part of the city. “Montbello and northeast Denver, they do need a community hub,” she said. “This education center could play that role. It is not just for our offices.” There will be two large classrooms in the building that will be open to the community and that ELK hopes will allow the building to fill that void and create place that residents can use. Parents and kids who use ELK services

were able to meet with architects to help design the building in a way that seemed most useful to the community. Weiss said that they’re still in the fundraising stages and won’t begin building until all of the money for the 7,400-square foot building is raised. They are optimistic about their prospects of staying on track with their timeline. The land for the center would have to be rezoned as a park, and Denver’s planning and parks departments proposed those changes to Denver City Council’s land use committee this month, and passed unanimously by council. While every committee member present was in favor of the idea of adding amenities like the ELK center and a new park, Councilman Paul López raised a concern about the priorities of land use in the state. He cited other nearby parks and pressing issues in far northeast Denver — the area is a food desert, and the city is facing a housing crunch — that this park can’t address. The changes could also lead to the dedication of that park land so that it could forever be designated as a park unless the people of Denver vote to use the land differently. Subscribe to Denverite’s free, useful and delightful newsletter at denverite.com/newsletter.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

9


VOICES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Making A Difference For My Kids And Others In Montbello I

By Evelia Soriano

grew up in Denver Public Schools. I hated reading and writing and felt as if nobody could help me because the teacher had 30+ kids and no time to focus on me. I felt left behind and only got bounced from grade to grade, falling further behind each year. My schooling was in English while my parents only spoke Spanish and had limited schooling so were unable to help me. I also was never read to as a child because my parents were too tired from working all day. My family moved a lot so I enrolled in many different Denver Public schools. When I would have been in 8th grade, I lived in Mexico with my grandma who was illiterate. I am positive there are many kids with these same experiences right now in our schools. Later as a parent of four children, I watched my second daughter struggle with reading. She was almost out of middle school and I had no idea how to support her. My son’s second grade teacher reported to me that his reading level was below grade level. I am positive there are many families in our schools getting this same message who don’t know what to do. When I looked at my children, I knew if I wanted to be a positive role model for them succeeding in school, I needed to complete my GED and, as busy as my family expectations kept me, I did! I know there are many parents who want more education themselves but are so busy with family responsibilities that it seems like an unattainable goal. Then I had a life-changing experience. A friend invited me to join Each One Teach One: No More Gap (EOTO), a literacy program at Marie L. Greenwood Academy where my children were in elementary school. Together with other parents, I studied an article written for educators, “The Early Catastrophe: the 30-million-word gap by age 3.” I could see myself, my parents, and my children reflected in the article. All the newly learned information swirled in my head, and I began to make small changes in my own life.

• I learned to use positive encouragement instead of negative words with my children. It has been difficult to get rid of some habits like getting upset over a spill that can easily be cleaned up. • I learned to listen and have conversations about the world with my children. When my children asked what a word meant or how something works, I now say, “Let’s Google it to find out” and we usually end up having conversations that they remember long after. • I learned to use sophisticated words with my children. Now when we go to the zoo, we talk about the lions, tigers and cheetahs as “felines” and the elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamus as “pachyderms” because they all have thick skin. • I learned that learning about the world together with my children is so much fun! My two youngest children have benefitted from all I have learned. My son who was in second grade when I joined Each One Teach One (EOTO) is now a fifth grader reading above 6th grade level and happy! My second son, now a first grader, struggled so much in ECE that he was going to be retained. I found out in the last month of ECE that he needed very high prescription glasses. With all that I now know about developing my children’s literacy and with his new glasses, he has been a top achiever on literacy tests and is reading chapter books in first grade! In EOTO I have seen many children grow in such a short time like butterflies emerging from their chrysalis (see the sophisticated language I use now even with a kindergartner!) I am certain there are many kids achieving below grade level right now in our schools who would be at or above grade level if their loving parents learned to make just small changes in how they talk with their children. I asked myself, “How am I going to make a bigger difference for all the kids and families just like mine in Montbello?” EOTO has helped build my knowledge as a parent to help my children succeed in their education because I know teachers can’t do it all with so many students in a class. I now also have the confidence to talk in front of an audience and to parents of our community who I want to share what has helped me as a parent. My big idea is for EOTO to be integrated into daily learning in every class and every grade. EOTO makes learning so much fun and wakes up children’s and parents’ curiosity and hunger for more and more knowledge. Support MUSE! One thing leads to another and the The Montbello Urban learners cannot stop asking for more Spectrum Edition information. My hope is one day we will see EOTO in every Denver To advertise your product, school, not just Montbello schools, so service or event both children and parents believe in in the Nov/Dec MUSE, their power as learners to make a difference in our city. Y or for more information,

email Melovy@urbanspectrum.net or call

303-292-6446

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

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Editor’s note: Evelia Soriano is an Each One Teach One parent tutor and parent of 4 DPS students. The next issue of the MUSE will include more information about the Each One Teach One: No More Gap program. For more information, e-mail Friendsofmlg@comcast.net


VOCES EN EL BARRIO

Marcando La Diferencia Para Mis Hijos y Otros En Montbello Por Evelia Soriano, Tutora parental de Cada Uno Enseña a Uno y padre de 4 estudiantes de las Escuelas Públicas de Denver

Crecí en las Escuelas Públicas de Denver. Odiaba leer y escribir y sentía

como si nadie pudiera ayudarme porque la maestra tenía más de 30 niños y no tenía tiempo para concentrarse en mí. Me sentí dejada atrás y solo conseguí rebotar de grado a grado, cada vez más atrás cada año. Mi escolarización fue en inglés, mientras que mis padres solo hablaban español y tenían escolaridad limitada, por lo que no pudieron ayudarme. Además, nunca me leían cuando era niña porque mis padres estaban demasiado cansados por trabajar todo el día. Mi familia se mudó mucho, así que me inscribí en muchas escuelas públicas diferentes de Denver. Cuando yo hubiera estado en octavo grado, viví en México con mi abuela que era analfabeta. Estoy segura de que hay muchos niños con estas mismas experiencias en este momento en nuestras escuelas. Más tarde, como madre de cuatro hijos, vi a mi segunda hija luchar con la lectura. Ella casi había terminado la escuela secundaria y no tenía idea de cómo apoyarla. La maestra de segundo grado de mi hijo me informó que su nivel de lectura estaba por debajo del nivel de su grado. Estoy segura de que hay muchas familias en nuestras escuelas recibiendo este mismo mensaje que no saben qué hacer. Cuando miraba a mis hijos, sabía que si quería ser un modelo positivo para que tuvieran éxito en la escuela, tenía que completar mi GED (Examen General de Desarrollo Educativo) y, a pesar de lo ocupada que las expectativas de mi familia me mantenían, ¡lo hice! Sé que hay muchos padres que quieren más educación, pero están tan ocupados con las responsabilidades familiares que parece una meta inalcanzable. Luego tuve una experiencia que me cambió la vida. Un amigo me invitó a unirme a Cada Uno Enseña A Uno: No Más Brecha (EOTO), un programa de alfabetización en la Academia de Marie L. Greenwood donde mis hijos estaban en la escuela primaria. Junto con otros padres, estudié un artículo escrito para educadores, "La Catástrofe Temprana: la brecha de 30 millones de palabras a la edad de 3 años." Pude verme a mí mismo, a mis padres y a mis hijos reflejados en el artículo. Toda la información recién aprendida se arremolinó en mi cabeza, y comencé a hacer pequeños cambios en mi propia vida. •Aprendí a usar un estímulo positivo en lugar de palabras negativas con mis hijos. Ha sido difícil deshacerse de algunos hábitos como enojarse por un derrame que se puede limpiar fácilmente. • Aprendí a escuchar y tener conversaciones sobre el mundo con mis hijos. Cuando mis hijos me preguntaron qué significaba una palabra o cómo funcionaba algo, ahora les digo: "Vamos a buscarlo en Google para descubrirlo" y generalmente terminamos teniendo conversaciones que recuerdan mucho tiempo después. • Aprendí a usar palabras sofisticadas con mis hijos. Ahora cuando vamos al zoológico, hablamos de los leones, tigres y guepardos como "felinos" y del elefante, el rinoceronte y el hipopótamo como "paquidermos" porque todos tienen la piel gruesa. • ¡Aprendí que aprender sobre el mundo junto con mis hijos es muy divertido! Mis dos hijos más pequeños se han beneficiado de todo lo que he aprendido. ¡Mi hijo que estaba en segundo grado cuando me uní a Cada Uno Enseña A Uno (EOTO) ahora es un alumno de quinto grado que lee por encima del nivel de sexto grado y está feliz! Mi segundo hijo, ahora un alumno de primer grado, luchó tanto en ECE que iba a ser retenido. Descubrí en el último mes de ECE que necesitaba anteojos de recetados muy altos. ¡Con todo lo que ahora sé sobre el desarrollo de la lectoescritura de mis hijos y con sus nuevos anteojos, ha sido un gran triunfador en las pruebas de alfabetización y está leyendo libros de capítulos en primer grado! En EOTO, he visto crecer a muchos niños en tan poco tiempo como las mariposas que salen de su crisáli-

da (¡mire el lenguaje sofisticado que uso ahora incluso con un niño de kindergarten!) Estoy segura de que hay muchos niños que alcanzan un nivel inferior ahora en nuestras escuelas que estarían a un nivel de grado o superior si sus amados padres aprendieran a hacer pequeños cambios en la forma en que hablan con sus hijos. Me pregunté a mí mismo, "¿Cómo voy a hacer una gran diferencia para todos los niños y familias como la mía en Montbello?" EOTO me ayudó a desarrollar mi conocimiento como madre para ayudar a mis hijos a tener éxito en su educación porque sé que los maestros no pueden hacerlo todo con tantos estudiantes en una clase. Ahora también tengo la confianza para hablar frente a una audiencia y a los padres de nuestra comunidad a quienes quiero compartir lo que me ha ayudado como madre. Mi gran idea es que EOTO se integre en el aprendizaje diario en cada clase y cada grado. EOTO hace que el aprendizaje sea tan divertido y despierta la curiosidad y el hambre de niños y padres por más y más conocimiento. Una cosa lleva a la otra y los alumnos no pueden dejar de pedir más información. Mi esperanza es que algún día veamos EOTO en cada escuela de Denver, no solo en las escuelas de Montbello, por lo que tanto los niños como los padres creen en su poder como estudiantes para marcar la diferencia en nuestra ciudad.Y

Nota del editor: La próxima edición de MUSE incluirá más información sobre el programa Cada Uno Enseña A Uno: No Más Brecha. Mientras tanto, para expresar su interés, envíe un correo electrónico a Friendsofmlg@comcast.net.

For tickets and more information, visit www.pbs1914colorado.org or call 303-800-9212.

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

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VOICES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

New Graduation Requirements From a Principal’s Perspective By Dr. Kimberly Grayson

Success after high school can take different forms for different students, but we

want the same thing for all of them: to have the opportunity to choose what’s next for them. Whether graduates choose to go after a college degree, a certification program, or start a career, we want all our kids to feel knowledgeable and prepared for whatever comes after their high school diploma. As the proud principal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College (DMLK), I am deeply moved as I watch our students embark on this journey each school year and want to make sure that each of them has the opportunity during their high school experience to create a plan that sets them on course for success. Over the past five years, we have worked hard to build a school culture that prepares all of our students to take the next step after they graduate, starting in middle school. From day one, we give our students multiple exposures to college. Within their first month of school, every single middle school student will tour a college campus. Our first week of the school year is called “College and Career Readiness Camp.” During that week, teachers build lesson plans around what students need to know to begin getting ready for college and career. We know all the different ways that students can show they’re ready for college and career, and we celebrate students who are reaching their goals by posting their names in hallways throughout our school. Because many colleges use student assessment results to make decisions about student admissions, we start our students early on how to be successful. For example, we give our students practice tests throughout the year, make sure they know what the scores mean and help them set goals for improvement. We post the scores along with our targets right on our walls so that we’re all accountable and students know exactly how they are progressing. It’s a major point of pride to hear one of my middle school students say, “I went up 10 points on this month’s practice assessment,” or “I didn’t meet my goal yet, but I’m almost there!” As important as test scores are, we know that assessments alone can’t prepare students for college and 21st century careers. That’s why DPS has updated its graduation requirements for all students, starting with the Class of 2021. We want our graduates to be able to demonstrate competency through courses that reflect Colorado’s updated academic standards and 21st century skills. In order to earn a diploma, all students will need to complete three requirements: •an Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP), which helps students plan for the future and identify their academic path to get there; •24 units of course credit in required areas; •demonstrating competency in English and math – or career readiness – by

completing one or more requirements from a menu that includes approved assessments, a Capstone Portfolio project, or by attaining an approved career certification. These new requirements go beyond a “one-size fits all” approach. There are now more ways than ever for students with different learning styles and career goals to demonstrate they’re college and career ready. One way students can demonstrate competency is a Capstone Portfolio, which collects examples of their best work over their school career. This option allows students to use their best work to show they are ready for the future without relying on standardized tests to show what they’ve learned and how it applies in the real world. At DMLK, we tell our kids we want them to be able to demonstrate all of their growth from sixth to 12th grade, showcasing their knowledge, and to be comfortable speaking and explaining it to others. Our students put together digital portfolios, which include one example of their best work from each quarter. Then, the student leads a discussion with his or her teacher and family about the portfolio. We also ask students to defend their portfolios by talking through all of their achievements, explaining their results, whether they met the graduation cut scores, how they prepared and what they would do differently. This helps our students build 21st century job skills and prepare for DPS’ new graduation requirements. Parents can help their students by learning more about the new graduation requirements and working together with teachers as partners. I encourage parents and students to explore the many career pathways and internships available to our students. These can help students explore potential careers and identify the steps to get there. The right planning and preparation can make careers that didn’t seem possible very realistically within students’ reach. As our school’s namesake, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded us, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Y

Editor’s note: By Dr. Kimberly Grayson is the principal at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College Starting with the Class of 2021 (students who are freshmen during the 2017-18 school year), DPS has new graduation requirements. There are three components:

THE ICAP Plan your work, and work your plan. Students begin creating their ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plan) as early as sixth grade with support from counselors, teachers and parents. An ICAP is a very useful guidance tool in college and career planning, as it helps students identify what they’re passionate about, which courses to take to fulfill graduation requirements and what they’ll need to do now to be successful in their futures.

COMPLETE REQUIRED COURSEWORK As students work through their ICAP goals, they’ll pick out classes to take in high school that will help them successfully meet graduation requirements. The course requirements for graduation total to 24 units of credit in required areas, all meant to provide each student with a well-rounded education. Generally, you can think of a “unit of credit” as essentially a year; so when we say four units of English Language Arts are needed, think of that as four years, or one for every grade in high school. However, there are exceptions, so you should check with your counselor. Here is how the 24 units of course requirements are broken down by subject area: • English Language Arts: Four units • Math: Four units • Science: Three units • Social Studies: Three units • Physical Education: One unit • Arts or eligible CTE: One unit • Approved electives: Eight units

COMPETENCY DEMONSTRATIONS Show what you know in English, math, career. The “what’s new” with our graduation requirements is students now will show a level of understanding in English, math or career readiness through the competency requirement. This requirement helps us make sure our students are absorbing what they’ve learned, are able to build on their skills and abilities and can apply them to the real world. Each of the options in our competency requirement menu opens the door to a future opportunity for a graduate. We know our students learn in many different ways — some love working on projects, others feel comfortable taking exams, whereas others might look for ways to use their college-level courses — therefore, we have a full menu of ways students can demonstrate competency. Reference: Denver Public Schools. Graduation Requirements for The Class Of 2021 and Beyond.

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VOCES EN EL BARRIO

sional, completando uno o más requisitos de un menú que incluye evaluaciones aprobadas, un proyecto de Portafolio Capstone o al obtener una certificación profesional aprobada. Estos nuevos requisitos van más allá de un enfoque de "talla única". Ahora hay más formas que nunca para que los estudiantes con diferentes estilos de aprendizaje y metas profesionales demuestren que están listos para la universidad y la carrera. Una forma en que los estudiantes pueden demostrar su competencia es una Portafolio Capstone, que recoge ejemplos de su mejor trabajo a lo largo de su carrera escolar. Esta opción permite a los estudiantes utilizar su mejor trabajo para mostrar que están listos para el futuro sin depender de pruebas estandarizadas para mostrar lo que han aprendido y cómo se aplica en mundo real. En DMLK, les decimos a nuestros hijos que queremos que puedan demostrar todo su crecimiento del sexto al duodécimo grado, mostrar sus conocimientos y sentirse cómodos hablando y explicándolo a otros. Nuestros estudiantes crean portafolios digitales, que incluyen un ejemplo de su mejor trabajo de cada trimestre. Luego, el alumno dirige una discusión con su maestro y su familia sobre el portafolio. También les pedimos a los estudiantes que defiendan sus portafolios hablando sobre todos sus logros, explicando sus resultados, si cumplieron con los puntajes de corte de graduación, cómo se prepararon y qué harían de manera diferente. Esto ayuda a nuestros estudiantes a desarrollar habilidades de trabajo del siglo XXI y prepararse para los nuevos requisitos de graduación de DPS (Escuelas Públicas de Denver). Los padres pueden ayudar a sus alumnos a aprender más sobre los nuevos requisitos de graduación y trabajando juntos con los maestros como socios. Animo a los padres y estudiantes a explorar las diversas trayectorias profesionales y puestos de internos disponibles para nuestros estudiantes. Estos pueden ayudar a los estudiantes a explorar posibles carreras e identificar los pasos para llegar allí. La planificación y preparación correctas pueden hacer que las carreras que no parecían posibles sean muy realistas al alcance de los alumnos. Como el tocayo de nuestra escuela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., nos recordó, "Da el primer paso en la fe. No tienes que ver toda la escalera, solo da el primer paso."Y

Nuevos Requisitos de Graduación Desde la Perspectiva de Un Director Por Dr. Kimberly Grayson

El éxito después de la escuela secundaria puede tomar diferentes formas para los diferentes estudiantes, pero queremos lo mismo para todos ellos: tener la oportunidad de elegir lo que sigue para ellos. Ya sea que los graduados opten por un título universitario, un programa de certificación o comiencen una carrera profesional, queremos que todos nuestros niños se sientan informados y preparados para lo que venga después de obtener su diploma de escuela secundaria. Como la orgullosa directora de Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College (DMLK), estoy profundamente conmovida al ver a nuestros alumnos embarcarse en este viaje cada año escolar y quiero asegurarme de que cada uno de ellos tenga la oportunidad durante su experiencia escolar para crear un plan que los encamine hacia el éxito. En los últimos cinco años, hemos trabajado arduamente para construir una cultura escolar que prepare a todos nuestros alumnos para dar el siguiente paso después de graduarse, comenzando en la escuela intermedia. Desde el primer día, ofrecemos a nuestros estudiantes exposiciones múltiples a la universidad. Dentro de su primer mes de escuela, cada estudiante de escuela media recorrerá un campus universitario. Nuestra primera semana del año escolar se llama " Campamento de Preparación Universitaria y Profesional”. Durante esa semana, los maestros construyen planes de lecciones sobre lo que los estudiantes necesitan saber para comenzar a prepararse para la universidad y la carrera. Conocemos todas las diferentes maneras en que los estudiantes pueden demostrar que están listos para la universidad y la carrera, y celebramos a los estudiantes que están alcanzando sus metas al publicar sus nombres en los pasillos de nuestra escuela. Debido a que muchas universidades usan los resultados de la evaluación de los estudiantes para tomar decisiones sobre las admisiones de los estudiantes, comenzamos a los estudiantes desde el principio sobre cómo tener éxito. Por ejemplo, le damos a nuestros estudiantes exámenes de práctica durante el año, asegurando de que sepan lo que significan los puntajes y ayúdenlos a establecer metas para mejorar. Publicamos los puntajes junto con nuestros objetivos directamente en nuestras paredes para que todos seamos responsables y los estudiantes sepan exactamente cómo están progresando. Es un gran motivo de orgullo escuchar a uno de mis estudiantes de secundaria decir: "Subí 10 puntos en la evaluación de práctica de este mes" o "Aún no cumplí mi objetivo, ¡pero ya casi llegué!" A pesar de la importancia de los puntajes de las pruebas, sabemos que las evaluaciones por sí solas no pueden preparar a los estudiantes para la universidad y las carreras del siglo XXI. Es por eso que DPS ha actualizado sus requisitos de graduación para todos los estudiantes, comenzando con la Clase del 2021. Queremos que nuestros graduados puedan demostrar competencia a través de cursos que reflejen los estándares académicos actualizados de Colorado y las habilidades del siglo XXI. Para obtener un diploma, todos los estudiantes deberán completar tres requisitos: • un Plan Académico y de Carrera Individual (ICAP), que ayuda a los estudiantes a planificar para el futuro e identificar su camino académico para llegar allí; • 24 unidades de crédito de curso en áreas requeridas; • demostrando competencia en inglés y matemática, o preparación profe-

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

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HEALTHY LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY

Take Control Of Your Personal Finances With Free Coaching

allows you to receive individual attention and detailed financial advice for your unique situation. “Financial coaching is not just financial education or literacy. Coaching helps you to apply the education and literacy to help make long term sustainable behavior change. It moves our residents to achievable and measurable outcomes such as debt reduction, increased credit scores and developing savings,” said Jay Salas, Director, Office of Financial Empowerment.Y

By Norah Lovato, MSW, Denver Office of Financial Empowerment Knowledge is power when it comes to understanding your personal finances. But how are you ensuring that you are making the best financial decisions you can make? It’s getting easier in Denver thanks to a program that offers free one-onone financial coaching in English and Spanish at seven convenient locations. Editor’s note: To meet with a Financial Coach, call The Denver Financial Empowerment Center, staffed by trained professionals, 720-944-2498 or email fec@denvergov.org. can provide answers to all your financial questions. Appointments are available in English and Spanish. We are flooded with information about financial services and it can be hard Meetings can take place in- person or via phone. Evening appointments are available upon request to know if what we hear is accurate — or if it’s even relevant to us. Even with notice. Group coaching is also available. All servworse, many of these financial products or services may not be in our best ices are free of charge. interest or aligned with our financial goals. The Denver Financial Empowerment Center offers trustworthy services from a About the Office of Financial Empowerment coalition of nonprofit partners. Since its inception, the program has helped residents The Denver Financial Empowerment Center is reduce over $4 million dollars in debt and a program of the City and County of Denver’s, helped families save over $1.2M dollars. Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE). Whether your concern is related to debt, credit, homeownership or perhaps a lack of OFE works to improve economic mobility for savings for your retirement, the Denver all residents by coordinating financial empowFinancial Empowerment Center can help. erment programs and strategies across the city and region. OFE develWe can show you what a healthy finanops solutions that advance financial capability and wellness to ensure all cial picture looks like for you and give you residents are financially secure. the tools and support you need to implement financial practices that that will help For more information visit www.denvergov.org/financialempowerment your family advance. One-on-one coaching

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

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HEALTHY LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY

Tome el control de sus finanzas personales con entrenamiento gratis

zación. El entrenamiento le ayuda a aplicar la educación y la alfabetización para ayudar a cambiar el comportamiento sostenible a largo plazo. Mueve a nuestros residentes a resultados alcanzables y mensurables, como la reducción de la deuda, el aumento de los puntajes de crédito y el desarrollo de ahorros ", dijo Jay Salas, Director de la Oficina de Empoderamiento Financiero.

Por Norah Lovato, MSW, Oficina of Empoderamiento Financiero de Denver El conocimiento es poder cuando se trata de entender sus finanzas personales. Pero, ¿cómo se asegura de tomar las mejores decisiones financieras que usted pueda tomar? Se está volviendo más fácil en Denver gracias a un programa que ofrece capacitación financiera individualizada en inglés y español en siete lugares convenientes. La Oficina de Empoderamiento Financiero de Denver, atendido por profesionales capacitados, puede brindarle respuestas a todas sus preguntas financieras. Estamos inundados de información sobre los servicios financieros y puede ser difícil saber si lo que oímos es exacto--o si es relevante para nosotros. Aún peor, muchos de estos productos o servicios financieros pueden no estar en nuestro mejor interés o alineados con nuestros objetivos financieros. La Oficina de Empoderamiento Financiero de Denver ofrece servicios confiables de una coalición de socios sin fines de lucro. Desde su inicio, el programa ha ayudado a los residentes a reducir más de $ 4 millones de dólares en deudas y ha ayudado a las familias a ahorrar más de $ 1.2 millones de dólares. Ya sea que su preocupación esté relacionada con la deuda, el crédito, la propiedad de la vivienda o quizás la falta de ahorros para su jubilación, La Oficina de Empoderamiento Financiero de Denver puede ayudarlo. Podemos mostrarle cómo se ve una imagen financiera saludable y darle las herramientas y el apoyo que necesita para implementar prácticas financieras que ayudarán a su familia a avanzar. El entrenamiento individual le permite recibir atención individual y asesoramiento financiero detallado para su situación particular. “El entrenamiento financiero no es solo educación financiera o alfabeti-

Para reunirse con un entrenador financiero, llame al 720-944-2498 o envíe un correo electrónico a FEC@denvergov.org. Las citas están disponibles en inglés y español. Las reuniones pueden realizarse en persona o por teléfono. Las citas por la noche están disponibles bajo petición con aviso. El entrenamiento de grupo también está disponible. Todos los servicios son gratis.

Acerca de la Oficina de Empoderamiento Financiero La Oficina de Empoderamiento Financiero de Denver es un programa de la Oficina de Empoderamiento Financiero (OFE) de la Ciudad y Condado de Denver.

OFE trabaja para mejorar la movilidad económica de todos los residentes mediante la coordinación de programas y estrategias de empoderamiento financiero en la ciudad y la región. OFE desarrolla soluciones que mejoran la capacidad financiera y el bienestar para garantizar que todos los residentes estén seguros financieramente. Para más información, visite a www.denvergov.org/financialempowerment

MUSE - Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition - September/October 2018

15


HAPPENINGS AROUND MONTBELLO

District 11 Councilwoman, Stacie Hosts 3rd Annual Senior and Youth Tea

By Silke Hansen The 3rd annual District 11 Senior and Youth Tea, hosted by Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore, took place on Saturday, August 4 at the Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center. While tea was one of the options available, guests were also able to choose coffee or juice, as well as cookies, muffins, scones, and a variety of fruits. About 100 people were there to enjoy the refreshments, offer services, and listen to an inspirational keynote speaker, Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler, founder of the Equity Project LLC. While the delicious food was still on everyone’s mind, she offered recipes for life – recipes which result in cooperation and mutual understanding between youth and the elderly. The recipe tidbits included: • learn by watching, before trying to do it by yourself; • your greatest wealth is not necessarily made up of things you can put in a box. • don’t judge a person by a single moment. The Tea was one of over 200 events which were part of Denver Days. This occasion brought Mayor Michael Hancock back to Montbello, and he was warmly welcomed by all present. He praised Councilwoman Gilmore for all she has achieved since becoming District 11’s City Council representative. Those present responded enthusiastically. Sponsors and vendors for the event included: Green Valley Ranch Foundation, Xcel Energy, William Lyon Homes, Paul Court Corporation, SP Plus, Walmart, AG Spanos, Leevers Foods, Fair Capital

LLC, L C Fulenwider, and Westside Investment Partners.

Editor’s note: Silke Hansen is a long-time resident of Montbello and active member of United Church of Montbello who continues to use her retirement to organize community members, volunteer in the Democratic Party, and ensure that food is available to all who need it.

Meeting Report

By Ann White As a Registered Neighborhood Organization, our mission is to: Inform, Educate, and Empower our neighbors through varies outlets. This month, we had the pleasure of inviting Brittany Saunders and Dave Ruppel to our meeting to present and inform the community on Spaceport Colorado. During the meeting, we had the opportunity to learn that Colorado is enthusiastically working to create the ability to horizontal launch in the state. This will increase our competitiveness in the aerospace industry and change how we use transportation. The plans include: space tourism, point-to-point travel, space pilot training, and payload delivery to just name a few. Spaceport Colorado will be located at the Front Range Airport in Adams County. This was decided due to its convenient location. It is seven miles Southeast of DEN Airport, 29 miles to downtown Denver, and has 1,000 acres on the airport to develop and grow. Aerospace companies that will come to the area will be looking to fill positions such as: technicians, engineers, and scientists. Aerospace Science can be that pipeline to get students interested in STEM careers,

and presents another opportunity for our youth to be exposed to new career fields practically in their backyard. To stay up-to-date on the information regarding Spaceport and the opportunities that will follow, visit www.spaceportcolorado.com. To conclude, please join us for our next meeting on Oct. 4 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Montbello Rec Center. We are inviting a representative from Denver Right-Of-Way. We have received many complaints regarding violations such as cars parking too close to driveways, excessive number of vehicles blocking signs, obstructing sings, construction trailers, and many other violations. We are hoping to educate our neighbors on the correct City codes to follow and understand what Denver Right-of-Way can do. We hope you can join us! Without the support of the community, Montbello 2020 wouldn’t be able to continue to do the work we do.Y

Editor’s note: Ann White is the chair of Montbello 2020, RNO, a 501-C-3. Follow Montbello 2020 on Facebook at Montbello2020. To be added to the eNewsletter database, email Montbello2020rno@gmail.com.

Central 70 Construction Begins to Impact Montbello Provided by Brenda Tierney, Central 70 Communications Team Reconstruction of the 10-mile Central 70 Project begins this summer. Commuters and residents in the Montbello neighborhood will see preliminary construction activities on and around I-70 between Quebec

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Street and I-225. Early-construction activities such as clearing and grubbing will take place near I-70 at the Quebec, Havana, Peoria and I-225 interchanges. This includes removing trees, shrubs and prairie dogs, as well as installing storm water protection. An additional activity near the Montbello neighborhood includes widening I-70 between Quebec Street and Chambers Road. This will begin in early fall as crews widen the interstate to accommodate for one Express Lane in each direction. To do this, eastbound I-70 traffic will be shifted inward toward the median while construction work occurs on the outside. The Peoria intersection will be built in phases to maintain traffic flow. Motorists can expect to see intermittent traffic shifts on the roadway to accommodate bridgework. Central 70, between I-25 and Chambers Road, is one of Colorado’s economic backbones. It is home to 1,200 businesses, providing the regional connection to Denver International Airport and carrying upwards of 200,000 vehicles per day. It’s time to bring this aging highway into the 21st century and rejoin communities along the way. The Central 70 Project will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road, add one new Express Lane in each direction, remove the aging 54-year-old viaduct, lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards, and place a 4-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate. CDOT has made a number of commitments to local communities as part of the Central 70 Project. These cover a range of issues, from mitigating the impacts of construction noise and dust, to contributing funding to affordable housing and fresh food access. Commuters can receive construction updates and alerts through email by signing up at c70.codot.gov or, text Central70 (Proyecto70 for Spanish) to 77948 for text alerts. A Kiewit Meridian Partners’ Community Liaison is available at the Arie P. Taylor Municipal Building to answer questions every other Friday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. See the Community Outreach calendar at c70.codot.gov for the most up-todate community hours and


HAPPENINGS AROUND MONTBELLO

Montbello Launches Its Own Farmers Market

Humans2Nature, Inc provides a pop-up playground that entices children and adults to play in sand, water, and other natural elements. Visitors to the market can even engage in a chess game or try their hand at Janga. The Montbello Farmers Market is funded, in part, in conjunction with the Montbello FreshLo Initiative as a means of addressing the lack of access to fresh food within the community. Montbello has been classified as a food desert under the federal definition applied to communities where people, especially low-income residents, live a mile or more from a large grocery store or farmer’s market. In Montbello, nearly 1 out of 2 children and 1 out of 4 adults fit those criteria. Next Saturday, plan to visit the Farmers Market and stay for the fun.Y

Fresh from the field Silver Queen and Peaches and Cream varieties of

By Donna Garnett

corn; vine-ripened tomatoes so sweet; Palisade peaches picked on the Western Slope just a couple of days ago; cabbage and collards picked just this morning. These are just a few of the choices of fresh produce available at the Montbello Farmers Market every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon at 12300 Albrook Drive (the old Montbello Park and Ride) through September. Every Saturday morning at 7 a.m. in August and September, members of the Montbello FreshLo Initiative team, owner of Family Tree Market, adult and youth volunteers, and assorted vendors and community resource providers descend upon the defunct Montbello Park and Ride and in the span of two hours transform that big concrete pad into a little hub of canopies, fresh produce, games and entertainment, and music! Most of the produce is picked fresh within the last 24 hours and is grown locally in Montbello, Parkhill, or Brighton. The fruits and vegetables are provided through Montbello Urban Farm and the Farm-School Network, Dahlia Farm and Greenhouse, and Palombo Farms in Brighton. Other items not grown locally are made available through Alpine Summit Sales in Montbello. In addition to the very reasonably priced food (shoppers can get a whole bag of produce for $10 or so), local vendors provide a selection of items ranging from homemade jellies and relishes to handmade art and jewelry.

Editor’s note: Donna Garnett is the Interim Executive Director of Montbello Organizing Committee and has facilitated the FreshLo planning phase. For more information about the Farmers Market or FreshLo email montbellofreshlo@gmail.com.

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RESOURCES IN THE COMMUNITY

Montbello Students Attending Emily Griffith High School Get School Bus Service

Welcome to the start of the new school year! With great excitement,

Emily Griffith High School (EGHS) announced that as of this school year, Montbello and Green Valley Ranch students will have bus service to school in downtown Denver. In February, 2018 MUSE reported a story regarding the need for school bus service for Montbello students attending EGHS. Stacy MacDonald, a counselor at the school, who was shepherding efforts to address the transportation issue commented, “Students tell us their commute is up to two hours each way to get to and from school. Many take one or more buses and the train to get downtown. They still have to catch the mall shuttle and walk some distance to get to school. It can take longer if the train or bus is late – weather is a huge factor, she says.” This means that at those times students are late for their first class. “Amazingly, they still keep coming.” Thanks to collaboration between various DPS departments and the City, 1860 Lincoln Street has acquired a school bus drop off/loading zone. Two parking meters in front of the old Anaconda building (just south of EGHS), will be unavailable to the public, between the hours of 7-9am, in order for buses to deliver students to EGHS. This is an incredible accomplishment and EGHS is hopeful that it will improve the way that transportation is more equitable for students. On August 27, EGHS will commence the first pilot route, from the far North East. The bus will pick up students at Green Valley Ranch Elementary and Montbello High School, and deliver them to EGHS at 8:15 am. McDonald noted that it was the efforts of many that brought about this win and is helping to make choosing EGHS, truly an equitable choice! Y

Editor’s note: For more information about enrolling in EGHS call Stacy MacDonald at 720-423-4941 or email stacy_macdonald@dpsk12.org; call Rob Dilworth, Dean of Culture at 720-423-4924 or email robert_dilworth@dpsk12.org

Women’s Witness Police Watch Monitors Denver Police During the past year you may have seen older women in blue reflector-

ized vests out and about in our neighborhood. Who are they? Two years ago, shortly after the killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, a group of older women of multiple faiths and racial backgrounds began meeting to develop responses to police violence in the Denver Metro Area. The group’s

convener, Eva Hutt, learned that Alton Sterling’s killing was initially exposed by Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed, who leads an organization in Baton Rouge called “Stop the Killing.” Reed had been monitoring a police scanner, heard the call, and went to investigate. Armed with his cell phone camera, he brought the police killing of Sterling to public attention. Years before, Dr. Hutt had been on a peace mission to Israel and Palestine where she met a group of older, primarily Jewish, Israeli women called “Machsom Watch.” Machsom Watch women monitor border checkpoints between Israel and the Palestinian territories to observe and report on the behavior of Israeli soldiers. Their theory is, in part, that young soldiers might behave better in the presence of their grandmas. Using Machsom Watch and Stop the Killing as models, the women organized themselves as Women’s Witness Police Watch (WWPW), and began to meet with concerned citizens and Denver’s Office of the Independent Monitor. Denver Justice Project and former members of Denver Cop Watch trained WWPW in citizen observation of law enforcement. Because Montbello is geographically well-defined and has a high proportion of African American and Latino residents, and because some WWPW members live in Montbello, WWPW elected to start patrols here. WWPW met with District Five Police Commander Thomas. He invited members to attend Police Roll Call last fall and explain their work to police officers. WWPW told the officers that the goal is to provide a reliable witness and promote civil and safe interactions between citizens and police. Some officers offered friendly and helpful comments, though others were condescending and defensive. WWPW is part of Together Colorado, a non-partisan, multi-racial, multifaith community organization that unlocks the power of people to transform their communities through community organizing. Together Colorado was responsible for a Martin Luther King Weekend gathering at Shorter AME Church in 2017 that led Denver Police Department Chief White to create a Citizen Advisory Committee on the proposed Use of Force Policy. Comprised of 150 congregations, schools, clergy and faith leaders from Pueblo to Fort Collins, “Together Colorado” works to put human dignity at the center of public life. Together Colorado is a member of the Faith in Action National Support MUSE! Network: 50 organizations representing The Montbello Urban more than 1 million people in 20 states Spectrum Edition and 5 countries. Over the next few months, WWPW To advertise your product, will be reaching out to young people in service or event the neighborhood to learn where its efforts would most helpful. Where in in the Nov/Dec MUSE, Montbello are the best places for it to or for more information, show its presence? Would an escort email service be helpful? WWPW welcomes Melovy@urbanspectrum.net new women members.Y

Editor’s note: For more information or to request a presentation to your church or community group, call Eva Hutt at 303-3222726 or Lorita Watson at 303-371-7831.

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or call

303-292-6446


RESOURCES IN THE COMMUNITY

Boosting Montbello and Green Valley Ranch Back-to-Schoolers: Club Z!

AV4YL Book Club For Young Men

Tutoring Services will Help Local Children Reach Grade Level and Beyond

Area Director of Athletics and Beyond, Narcy Jackson aims to support families in Denver, Aurora and surrounding areas by helping local children build confidence and reach their academic potential.

It’s that time of year again! Children are flocking back to school, and

parental choruses of “Have you done your homework yet?” are echoing nationwide. For many families, too, this is the time of year when it first becomes apparent that a child needs a little extra help. Worrying about a child who is struggling in school is a terrible strain for many parents – and the problem can’t always be solved by putting in an hour or two a night helping with homework or quizzing on test topics. Some children – even very smart children – simply need a bit more, whether more time, access to someone with subject matter or teaching expertise, a more neutral relationship between tutor and pupil, or some one-on-one assistance building study skills, organization, and focusing techniques. Luckily for many distraught parents in Montbello, Green Valley Ranch and surrounding Denver areas, this is where Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services enters the picture. The nation’s largest one-on-one, in-home tutoring program, Club Z!’s supportive methods have resulted in a high success rate and hundreds of thousands of happy clients. Tutoring is conducted one-on-one in the privacy of the student’s own home, where children already feel comfortable and distractions can be minimized. Scheduling is flexible and parent-friendly, and tutors meet with parents after each session to consult on their child’s progress. Club Z! tutors are highly-trained and pre-screened, and can provide instruction in any subject needed, from basic math and reading, to core academic subjects, to standardized test preparation. Club Z! hopes that local families will consider securing a tutor now as their children head back to school. Whether they are struggling with the new level of academic subject matter, or simply needing to catch up to their peers, Club Z! can help! Our tutors can be a great supplement to home-school programs, providing subject-area expertise, curriculum support, or standardized test preparation to pupils as needed, in conjunction with parents’ own efforts. In honor of the new school year, Club Z! is offering 1/2 off registration and one free tutoring session for all new clients who sign up for three hours or more per week - making back-to-school or supplemental tutoring an even more affordable option for many families. Our tutors’ schedules fill up quickly once school begins, so call NOW to ensure the most convenient days and times for your child’s tutoring.Y

Editor’s note: For more information about Club Z! Tutoring Services in Denver, Aurora and surrounding areas, call 303-399-2582 or visit www.clubztutoring.com/aurora/#

Our youth face so many challenges in today’s world. Recently a new

opportunity has begun as an alternative to those challenges in the form of a book club for young men. A Vision for Your Life (AV4YL) Book Club has been established in the Montbello Community for young men ages 12 to 24. It is an initiative of RJ Price Ministries, a universal faith ministry founded by Dr. Roosevelt “RJ” Price, II in 2011 to help empower individuals, families, and communities to live healthy, wholesome lives that lead to wealth, prosperity, and fulfillment. In addition to establishing the book club, Dr. Price is also a business consultant, community organizer, and planning leader for the Montbello Alive! 5K and FEASTival, the 52nd anniversary of the Montbello Community. The origins of the book club go back to 2016 when Dr. Price, an ordained minister, began a bible study at the Wilson Group Home also located in Montbello. The catalyst came from a young man at the home who became aware that Dr. Price was a minister and wanted to learn more about the bible. Starting with this young man, opening it up to others, and offering a variety of snacks; jelly donuts, pizza, chips, hot chocolate, juice, and soda, the majority and the young men at the home found themselves in bible study week after week. Profound positive changes in the behavior of these young men were noticeable in a relatively short time. Even after leaving the group home April 2017, Dr. Price continued to mentor two of the young men. They spent time together at the mall, the library, and local eateries discussing self-motivational and inspirational quotes, life skills, sacred scriptures from various faiths, and pray. Eventually these discussions led to formation of the book club. The long-term vision is to establish book club chapters across the neighborhood and the City. Each chapter will consist of two mentors and twelve young men. This first chapter is in the building phase and has two mentors and six young men. The first book chosen for the group this summer is “The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power” by Brendon Burchard. Each young man has also chosen their own book for individual reading and will share what they read with others at their monthly meeting. Y

Editor’s note: For information about participating in the book club, email rjpriceministries@gmail.com. Community members are needed to sponsor young men. Sponsorships are a $25 per month commitment to help provide snacks, materials, and to fund outings. To contribute a sponsorship, visit www.rjpriceministries.com.

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CREATIVE WORLD

Camilla Edwards – Art on Display at the Blair-Caldwell Library By Khadija Haynes

many pieces of fabric that she eventually began donating piles to the African American women quilters at Zion Baptist Church and other quilting groups in the community. At her own church, the United Church of Montbello, her friend Josephine kept inviting her to join her at one of the quilting gatherings of the Wa Shonaji group. Finally, she went and she “was awestruck at the beauty” of the quilts. Edwards says she was “like a kid in a candy store.” She couldn’t get enough of it; she wanted to know everything about what they were creating. She decided right then to join the group. Now 18 years later, Edwards sits recalling some of her favorite memories with the group. One of those happened in 2003 when the Central City Opera House produced the first opera about a black woman, Colorado’s own Aunt Clara Brown. Aunt Clara Brown was a seamstress and a quilter and holds a place of honor in the State Capitol where a stained class depiction of her rises above the Old Supreme Court Chambers. The RMWSQG was invited to display their quilts and were special guests at the opera’s production. Edwards recalls she had never seen so many quilts in one location. “It was inspiring,” she said. “So Delicate” and “Hummingbird Lane” by Camilla Edwards Beside Hummingbird Lane, one of her two pieces currently hanging at the Blair Caldwell African Library, is a caption that reads “I have never wavered in my desire to quilt.” That desire, mixed with a bit of creativity has brought her artwork to a new level. Recently, Edwards has been creating what she calls ‘rust’ quilts. The fabric and patterns for these quilts have been produced by a process she created which involves soaking and wrapping the fabric around rusted metal items. Her large star quilt features the result of that process using a rusted brake rotor that she hauled here from Alabama. Like many of the other RMWSQG members, Edwards has taught workshops on quilting. Hopefully, the group will be present at Montbello Alive! in September to give Montbello neighbors a taste of quilting.Y

Quilts. Early on they were simply made for utility; a functional and important item in the house. They were made from scraps of clothing, old curtains, vegetable and cotton sacks — any old piece of fabric. The women would gather and piece together the scraps, bonding in community as they worked. The yields of their labor were passed down generation to generation, until they too were pulled apart, their pieces parsed out as scraps of fabric to become part of new ones.

Quilts. They keep us warm in the winter, remind us of our grandmothers and frequently hold family secrets and stories that get handed down from generation to generation with them. Those were the quilts of days gone by. Today’s quilts, though just as functional, have begun to lean more toward extraordinary pieces of art. The art exhibits at the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library presented by the Rocky Mountain Wa Shonaji Quilt Guild (RMWSQG) is pure eye candy! Montbello’s own Camilla Edwards has two of her extraordinary pieces (“So Delicate” and “Hummingbird Lane”) hanging in the exhibit. We had an opportunity to sit with her this week to learn her quilting story and to learn more about the Wa Shonaji Quilt Guild. Edwards comes from a long line of wa shonaji, which translates from Swahili as “people who sew.” She grew up in a family of seamstresses. It was said that people would come from miles around - their Sears catalogue in tow - to have her great-grandmother, Savannah, take one look at the photos and drawings and then make their clothes. Savannah encouraged Edwards and her aunts to sew. Her Aunt Missy was an accomplished seamstress and owned a foot-powered sewing machine. As time went by, Edwards became skilled enough that she asked her Aunt Missy if she could learn to sew on that machine. Her first time on that machine was when she was 10 years old and that same machine sits in her home to this day. As a young adult, Ms. Edwards made her living as a seamstress and tailor in a shop in Cherry Creek. When she became a single mother, she left that work behind to join Xcel Energy, where she could better provide for her three boys. But the joy of sewing and quilting was never far from her mind. She started saving pieces of fabric, always intending to turn them into quilts once she retired. For years, she saved so

Editor’s note: The Wa Shonaji exhibit continues at the Blair Caldwell African Research Library through Sept. 27. For more information about RMWSQG, visit www.washonaji.org. The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library is a branch of the Denver Public Library in Denver, Colorado and is located at 2401 Welton St. in Denver. For more information, visit https://history.denverlibrary.org/blair. Editor’s note: Khadija Haynes is co-founder of Colorado Black Arts Movement. CBAM’s offices are located in Montbello. The organization was founded to promote, encourage and advance the artistic creations of Black artists.

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KUDOS!

Mayor Hancock, State and Educational Leaders Dedicate Building to Lifetime Activist, Anna Jo Garcia Haynes

and I knew they were saying, ‘job well done.’ I realized that the advocacy work I have accomplished with my coworkers and colleagues lives not only in the hearts of the children and their families at the center, but also in the hearts of the many people in our community who recognize the importance of ensuring quality care and education for Denver’s children and their families.” “Anna Jo has devoted her life to guaranteeing that our most vulnerable children have what they need to thrive and grow,” said Dr. Pamela Harris, President and CEO of Mile High Early Learning. “We are gratified that we can commemorate her legacy by naming an early learning center in her honor.” Anna Jo Garcia Haynes is a proud Denver native who grew up and still resides in the Five Points neighborhood where she started her career. Today, she continues to advocate for the education of the children in Denver and supports initiatives working to improve and develop systems that provide all children high-quality childcare and early educational opportunities.Y

Last month,

Mayor Hancock, joined by city, state and educational leaders, dedicated one of the Mile High Early Learning centers to lifetime civil rights activist and advocate for early childhood education, Anna Jo Garcia Haynes. The center, located at 2851 Tremont Street, is now called the Anna Jo Garcia Haynes Early Learning Center. Anna Jo Garcia Haynes founded Mile High Early Learning, Denver’s oldest and largest provider of subsidized, quality early childhood care and education. She has served as president and president emeritus for more than 35 years, and in 1965, spearheaded the efforts to bring the Head Start program to Denver. Anna Jo has been Denver’s driving force for early childhood care and education, spending her entire career, well over 50 years, providing visionary leadership to improve the lives of children and families across the state of Colorado. As a co-founder of the Colorado Children’s Campaign and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, she chaired both the Mayor’s and Governor’s Early Childhood Commissions, and was a pillar for the establishment of both the Colorado Preschool Program and the Denver Preschool Program. “Anna Jo has been engaged as a champion activist for women and early childhood education for more than 50 years and has led the efforts to campaign for city and state policies that promote and support the changing and diverse educational needs of our children,” Mayor Hancock said. “Her service and contributions made on behalf of our children have been invaluable, and there is no one more deserving of this dedication than Anna Jo.” “When the banner fell to reveal my name, my heart swelled with pride and sheer joy,” said Anna Jo Garcia Haynes. “I saw a sea of smiling faces,

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September/October 2018 (September 2018)

September 8 10 a.m. to Noon Office Hours with Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore, Green Valley Ranch Library, 4856 Andes Court (Denver) For more information, call 720- 337-7711 or email Magen.Elenz@denvergov.org

September 12: 5 to 6:30 p.m. MOC Community Engagement Task Team, Montbello Organizing Committee, 12000 East 47th Ave. Ste 110 (Denver) For more information, email montbelloorganizing@gmail.com September 17: 6 to 7 p.m. MOC Transportation Task Team, Montbello Organizing Committee, 12000 East 47th Ave. Ste 110. (Denver) For more information, email montbelloorganizing@gmail.com

September 22: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. MONTBELLO ALIVE! Montbello 52 Anniversary, 5000 Crown Blvd. Montbello Campus. (Denver) For more information, email montbelloorganizing@gmail.com September 25: Steps To Success Community Board Meeting, Montbello Recreation Center 15555 E. 53rd Ave., (Denver) For more information, email Dave at david.bechhoefer@colorado.edu

September 27: 10 a.m. to Noon Montbello Office Hours with Councilwoman Gilmore, Arie P. Taylor Building Council District 11 Office, 4685 Peoria St. Suite 215 (Denver) For more information, call 720-337-7711 or email Magen.Elenz@denvergov.org

(October 2018)

October 1: 3:30 to 5 p.m. FreshLo Initiative Stakeholders Quarterly Meeting. Location to be announced. For more information, email montbellofreshlo@gmail.com. October 4: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Montbello 20/20 Community Meeting, Montbello Recreation Center 15555 E. 53rd Ave. (Denver) For more information, email Montbello2020rno@gmail.com October 10: 5 to 6:30 p.m. MOC Community Engagement Task Team, Montbello Organizing Committee, 12000 East 47th Ave. Ste. 110 (Denver) For more information, email montbelloorganizing@gmail.com

October 13: 10 a.m. to Noon Green Valley Ranch Office Hours with Councilwoman Gilmore, Green Valley Ranch Library, 4856 Andes Court (Denver) For more information, call 720-337-7711 or email Magen.Elenz@denvergov.org October 15: 6 to 7:30 p.m. MOC Transportation Development Task Team, Montbello Organizing Committee, 12000 East 47th Avenue Ste. 110 (Denver) For more information, email montbelloorganizing@gmail.com

October 23: 10 a.m. to Noon Steps To Success Community Board Meeting, Montbello Recreation Center 15555 E. 53rd Ave. (Denver) For more information, email Dave at david.bechhoefer@colorado.edu.

October 25: 10 a.m. to Noon Montbello Office Hours with Councilwoman Gilmore, Arie P. Taylor Building Council District 11 Office, 4685 Peoria St. Suite 215 (Denver) For more information, call 720-337-7711 or email Magen.Elenz@denvergov.org

If your organization has a Save The Date activity to be listed in the 2018 November/December issue of MUSE, send details to montbellonews@gmail.com.

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MUSE September/ October 2018  

The Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition (MUSE) is a bi-monthly publication produced and published by the Denver Urban Spectrum (DUS) and the Mo...

MUSE September/ October 2018  

The Montbello Urban Spectrum Edition (MUSE) is a bi-monthly publication produced and published by the Denver Urban Spectrum (DUS) and the Mo...