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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT


TABLE OF CONTENTS 4 5 6 8 18 32 38 44 51

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INTRODUCTION KEY PARTNERS REGISTERED NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATIONS NEIGHBORHOOD DATA DIAGNOSTIC COMMUNITY SURVEY RESULTS COMMUNITY GAPS ANALYSIS WDCC OUTREACH RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT CONCLUSION


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

INTRODUCTION

KEY PARTNERS WEST DENVER RENAISSANCE COLLABORATIVE

Registered Neighborhood Organizations (RNOs) in Denver suffer from distinct challenges when it comes to accurately representing the diversity of the communities they serve, disproportionately impacting low-income residents, renters, and communities of color. RNOs in Denver are volunteer organizations and are often constrained by a lack of resources to perform time- and cost-intensive outreach and engagement to identify cultural gaps, structural barriers, and creative solutions. According to West Denver Renaissance Collaborative’s (WDRC) research, several West Denver RNOs have identified lack of diversity and representation as a challenge that they would like to overcome. This RNO Equity Toolkit Pilot collaborated with two Registered Neighborhood Organizations—West Colfax Association of Neighbors (WeCAN) and Villa Park Neighborhood Association (VPNA)—to identify population gaps in each RNO by comparing RNO participation data to neighborhood demographics, determine population-specific barriers, and develop data-driven recommendations for the RNOs to consider on their journey to becoming more accessible, inclusive, and equitable. In partnership with WDRC, Radian collaborated with WeCAN and VPNA on research and data collection that would support their efforts to increase representation in RNO participation and leadership. This pilot project consisted of three phases of data collection: Neighborhood Diagnostic, RNO Assessment, and Barrier Identification. The goals of the RNO Equity Toolkit Pilot are three-fold: • The identification of under-represented groups and community-specific barriers in RNOs to support data-driven solutions. • An increased capacity and confidence in the RNOs and neighborhoods to understand, plan, and perform more inclusive activities and events that are accessible to everyone. • A more proportional representation of neighborhood demographics within the local RNO as members or in positions of leadership in West Colfax and Villa Park.

The West Denver Renaissance Collaborative (WDRC) is a collective impact organization integrating the efforts of community members, public agencies, non-profits & foundations working to create and implement a model for resilient urban regeneration in West Denver. The WDRC footprint is made up of nine neighborhoods: Athmar Park, Barnum, Barnum West, La Alma/Lincoln Park, Sun Valley, Valverde, Villa Park, West Colfax & Westwood.

WEST DENVER COMMUNITY CONNECTOR PROGRAM The West Denver Community Connector program (WDCC) was established in June 2020 through a partnership between BuCu West Development Association and the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative. The WDCC program is developing a mission driven fee-for-service model to employ and invest in valued neighborhood leaders who provide community connections to underserved residents. The program supports a cohort of Connectors who contract with community-focused partners to provide advocacy, outreach, and engagement services in west Denver. Drawing upon their local expertise and networks of trust, Connectors prioritize outreach to the most disadvantaged households and businesses, helping more residents access COVID-19 and anti-displacement resources and elevating responsive solutions that highlight inclusive system change. WDCC invests in the professional development of Connectors through integrated training, coaching, and the direct support of program leaders.

THE COLORADO HEALTH FOUNDATION The Colorado Health Foundation is singularly focused on helping Coloradans live their healthiest lives by advancing opportunities to pursue good health and achieve health equity through grantmaking, policy and advocacy, strategic private investments and convening to drive change.


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

DEFINITION REGISTERED NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATIONS Per the City of Denver's Website, "RNOs are groups formed by residents and property owners within a neighborhood who meet regularly and whose organizational and contact information is kept on file with the City’s Community Planning and Development Department. Like all organizations active in the Denver community, RNOs are an important part of the fabric of the city and play a key role in the ongoing effort to make Denver a great place to live and work. To register with the city, neighborhood organizations must meet a set of eligibility requirements laid out in the Denver Revised Municipal Code, Chapter 12, Article III. RNOs receive notification of proposed zoning amendments, landmark designation applications, planning board and board of adjustment hearings, liquor and cabaret licenses and other activities occurring in the neighborhood as stipulated in the ordinance." Source : www.denvergov.org

WECAN

PILOT PROGRAM RNOS WEST COLFAX ASSOCIATION OF NEIGHBORS WECAN The West Colfax Association of Neighbors (WeCAN) is the Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO) for the West Colfax neighborhood in the City and County of Denver. WeCAN, a registered nonprofit 501(c)(3), was founded in 2009. WeCAN’s boundaries stretch from 19th Avenue and Sloan's Lake on the north to the Lakewood/Dry Gulch Park on the south, from Sheridan Boulevard on the west to Federal Boulevard on the east. WeCAN has expressed the desire to build community capacity and strengthen social cohesion through a more equitable and inclusive representation of the community and has a vision to elevate community voice, especially from those who are traditionally not represented in the planning process. WeCAN has a goal of developing deeper relationships with the community, specifically increasing input from long-term residents, renters, and communities of color at RNO meetings, so that its efforts can accurately reflect the residents’ perspectives, ideas, and concerns.

VILLA PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION VPNA The Villa Park Neighborhood Association (VPNA) is the Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO) for the Villa Park neighborhood. Villa Park is bounded by Federal Boulevard on the east, Sheridan Boulevard on the west, the Dry Gulch on the north, and 6th Avenue on the south in Denver. Villa Park Neighborhood Association has concerns that their RNO membership does not accurately reflect the long-term residents and renters in the neighborhood, which disproportionately affects communities of color. This creates barriers in authentically and accurately representing the demographic diversity of Villa Park. VPNA wanted to focus on overcoming cultural differences, accessibility issues, and lack of trust in traditional civic processes that the Villa Park Neighborhood Association faces.

VPNA


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

NEIGHBORHOOD DATA DIAGNOSTIC

9,479 POPULATION

West Colfax

9,400 Villa Park

WEST COLFAX

VILLA PARK


RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

NEIGHBORHOOD DATA DIAGNOSTIC WEST COLFAX

PAGE 10

Less than High School 18% Bachelor White/Caucasian White/Caucasian Completed Highschool Grad/ Hispanic/Latino/Latina Hispanic/Latino/Latina 9% Education Professional Degree Other Other Some 0 5 10 15 20 College BlackAmerican/African American/AfricanEducation American Black American

POPULATION

10,825

Other

9,740 9,479

4%

American Indian/Native American

-

Asian

2000 - 2010 - 2017

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

-

There is a 10% decrease in Hispanic population and 10% increase in white population within last 15 years.

40 30 20 10

Hispanic

--

UNDER 5

Families without children in West Colfax has changed from 24% in 2000 to 38% in 2017

5-17 18-24

35-44 45-54 55-64 OVER 65 0%

5%

10%

Source : denvermetrodata.org denvergov.org

15%

20%

25%

-

17% 17% self identify as speaking English less than very well

34%

47% 47% 11% 11%

18%

5%5%

2%2%

2%2%

0

17% 17% 34%

9%

27%

5

10

10 10

15

20

25

20 20

30 30

40 40

50 50

60 60

30

17%identify identifyas as 17% 34% Speak a born language foreign born foreign other than English

72% 70 70

80 80

11%

1%9%

Completed Completed Highschool Highschool 5 10 15 20 Education Education Asian Pacific Islander Some Some College College Education Education

5%

0

2%

2%

72%27% are High School graduates 4% 22% 22%

25

Professional Professional Degree Degree

24% 24%

1%

17% identify as foreign born

18% 18%

60 0

70

00

80

5

10

15

20

25

30

10 10

15 15

20 20

25 25

30 30

9% 9%

55

17%

28%

Completed Highschool Education

Spanish Spanish

Some College Education

17%self selfidentify identifyas as 17% speakingEnglish English speaking 72% are High less than very well less than very well School graduates

17%

30

2%

Indo European Bachelor Bachelor

EDUCATION 0 10 20 30 40Grad/ 50 Grad/

17% 17% 72%

28% 28%

Less than High School

34% 34% 34%Speak Speakaalanguage language 34% otherthan thanEnglish English other

17% self identify as 27% English 27% speaking less than very well

22%

24%

Other Other

4% 4%

72% 72%

18%

Bachelor

Asian9% PacificIslander Islander Asian Pacific 0

5

10

15

20

34%

2% 2%

25

55

10 10

15 15

34% Speak a language other than English

20 20

25 25

30 30

BIRTHS IN LAST 5 YEARS 27%

12% - African American

2016 Other

72% are High School graduates

2%

Indo European

49% Latino

1%

0

3% - Other

72%

4%

Asian Pacific Islander

72%are areHigh High 72% Schoolgraduates graduates School

30

1% 1%

00

Spanish

24%

9%9%

Lessthan than Less High High School School Other

IndoEuropean European Indo

2017

80

75% 75% 22%

47% Spanish

2017

Grad/ Professional Degree

African American

AGE

70

28%

00

2%

Two or More

CHANGING RACIAL DEMOGRAPHICS

50

60

75%

Indo European Black American/African American

60

50

NativeHawaiian/Pacific Hawaiian/PacificIslander Islander Native

Other

POPULATION IN 2010

White

Grad/ TwoororMore More Two Professional Degree Asian Asian

Hispanic/Latino/Latina Asian Pacific Islander

70

40

17% self identify as speaking English less than very well

White/Caucasian

POPULATION IN 2000

80

30

24%

AmericanIndian/Native Indian/NativeAmerican American American

Spanish

POPULATION IN 2017

20

LANGUAGES OTHER 25 30 THAN Speak a language ENGLISH SPOKEN AT HOME 34% other than English Bachelor

The overall population of West Colfax has decreased by 1,346 people over the last 15 years.

0

10

22%

Some College Education

25-34

WEST COLFAX

0

Completed Highschool Education

5

10

15

20

25

30

37% - White

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HOME OWNERSHIP Owner-Occupied Housing

Median Home Values

24%

$202,350

$354,000

2000

2010

HOME VALUES 40% OF TODAY'S RESIDENTS IN WEST COLFAX MOVED IN BETWEEN 2010 to 2014

The median home value in West Colfax has increased by 75% from 2000 to 2010 and continues to rise, while 73% of the neighborhood’s residents are earning well below Denver’s Area Median Income. Fifty-seven percent of West Colfax neighbors are cost burdened, leading to economic insecurity and the displacement of long-time residents, specifically Hispanic and Latinx households.

CHANGE IN HOME OWNERSHIP BY RACE 2000 - 2010 - 2017 80

70

POPULATION

63% 60 55%

White Hispanic African American Asian and Pacific Islander Native American

53%

50 45%

40%

40

30

White Hispanic African American Asian and Pacific Islander Native American

10 4%

1% 0

2000

2010

2% 2017

RENTAL OCCUPANCY

19% INCREASE IN RENT BETWEEN 2010-2017

AVERAGE RENTAL COST IN WEST COLFAX 2017

Source : denvermetrodata.org denvergov.org

HISPANIC HOME OWNERSHIP HAS DECLINED BY 30% OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS WHILE WHITE HOME OWNERSHIP HAS INCREASED BY 23%.

HOME OWNERSHIP

25% 20

$772

WEST COLFAX

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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

NEIGHBORHOOD DATA DIAGNOSTIC WEST COLFAX

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AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME

57%

RENTERS SPENDING MORE THAN 30% OF INCOME ON HOUSING

$51,437.94

8%

73% OF HOUSEHOLDS IN WEST COLFAX HAVE AN INCOME LESS THAN DENVER'S MEDIAN INCOME (<$60,000)

19%

73%

19% OF HOUSEHOLDS IN WEST COLFAX HAVE AN INCOME 100% TO 200% OF DENVER'S MEDIAN INCOME ( $60,000 - $124,999) HOUSEHOLDS WITH WEST COLFAX WITH INCOME GREATER THAN 200% OF DENVER'S MEDIAN INCOME ( > $125,000)


RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

NEIGHBORHOOD DATA DIAGNOSTIC VILLA PARK

PAGE 14

Some College Education Completed Highschool Education Less than high school Bachelor

POPULATION

53%

20% White/Caucasian

75%

Hispanic/Latino/Latina

70%

53% Speak a language other than English

15%

Other 3% Black

18%

American/African American

64%

2%

White/Caucasian Asian

75%

1%

Hispanic/Latino/Latina Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Spanish

9,997

Black American/African American

POPULATION IN 2017

8,758

POPULATION IN 2010

CHANGING RACIAL DEMOGRAPHICS

Hispanic/Latino/Latina

VILLA PARK

Black American/African American American Indian/Native American Two or More

2000 - 2010 - 2017

Asian Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

80

The Hispanic population in Villa Park has decreased by 1,417 people over the last 15 years and the White population has increased by 1,816 people within last 15 years.

70 60 50 40 30 20 10

White

Hispanic

American Indian/Native American Grad/ Professional Two or More Degree

Other White/Caucasian

African American

10 2017

Grad/ Professional Degree

20

30

40

37%

Some College Education Completed Highschool Education Less than high school Bachelor

UNDER 5

Families without children in Villa Park has changed from 27% in 2000 to 37% in 2017

5-17

25-34 35-44

VILLA PARK

45-54 55-64 OVER 65 10%

Source : denvermetrodata.org denvergov.org

15%

20%

High70 school80 5064%60 Graduates 27% Foreign Born as 26% Self identify speaking English less than very well

37%

37%

2% 75%

0

5

27%

20

30

40 20%

5027%60 70 Born 80 Foreign

26% Self identify as 53% SpeakEnglish a language speaking less other thanthan veryEnglish well

15%

37%

10

15

50 60 70 80 Education Completed Highschool Education Less than Spanish 37% high school 3% Bachelor

Other

0

25%

VILLA PARK

26% 53%

26%

20

25

20%

15%

26% 35

30

26%

40

26% Self identify as speaking English less than very well 51% 51%

5

10

2%

15

20

53% 35

25

30

15%

Indo European

40

53% Speak a language other than English

1%

Spanish

51% 51%

0 5

10

15

20

25

30

35

10

20

30

40

50

2%

Indo European

1%

0

60

64% High school Graduates

40

64%

2%

51% 51% Indo European

5% - Other 64% High school Graduates

1%

0

Other

53% Speak a language 64% than High school other English

64%

3%

0

53% 64%

Graduates

20%

BIRTHS IN LAST 5 YEARS

2017

5%

40

26%

Spanish2016

0%

30

2%

Other

AGE DEMOGRAPHIC

20

18%

4%

Some Asian 70%1% College 18% Education 1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Completed 10 4% Highschool 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Education 2% Less than 2% high Grad/ 37% school Professional 3% 1% Bachelor Degree

0

VILLA PARK

10

2%

EDUCATION Some College

26% 27%

70%

51% 51% 0 Other

9,400

Indo European Other

0

PAGE 15

27% Foreign Born

4%

0 5 10 Indian/Native 15 20 25 OTHER 30 35 40 THAN American American LANGUAGES Two or More ENGLISH SPOKEN AT HOME

The overall population of Villa park has fluctuated over the last 20 years and is currently increasing.

POPULATION IN 2000

27%

2%

18-24

VILLA PARK

26%

10

22% -20White30

40

50

60

73% Latino 10

20

30

40

50

60


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

NEIGHBORHOOD DATA DIAGNOSTIC VILLA PARK

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HOME OWNERSHIP Owner-Occupied Housing

44%

$152,100

$224,300

2010

2017

HOME VALUES 41 % OF TODAY'S RESIDENTS IN VILLA PARK MOVED IN BETWEEN 2010 and 2014.

Similar to the West Colfax neighborhood, the median home value in Villa Park has increased by 47% from 2000 to 2010 and continues to rise. Villa Park is also composed of majority renters who have seen a 24% increase in rent between 2010 and 2017. Although neighborhood change is occurring more slowly than in West Colfax, long-time residents are feeling the pressures of gentrification and displacement.

CHANGING IN HOME OWNERSHIP BY RACE 2000 - 2010 - 2017 POPULATION

80 70

White Hispanic African American Asian and Pacific Islander Native American

67% 63%

60

61%

50 40

32%

35%

29%

30

HOME OWNERSHIP White Hispanic African American Asian and Pacific Islander Native American

20 10

4%

2%

3.5%

0 2000

2010

2017

RENTAL OCCUPANCY

70% OF VILLA PARK'S RESIDENTS ARE LATINO AND 60% OWN HOMES. BOTH RESIDENTS AND HOMEOWNERS ARE IN DECLINE.

HOME OWNERSHIP Home ownership for White households is increasing proportionally to the decrease in Hispanic/Latinx home ownership in Villa Park. The majority of Villa Park residents earn well below Denver’s Area Median Income and are costburdened. As the cost of housing is growing in the area, salaries of long-time residents are not increasing at a rate to remain in the neighborhood.

AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME

8%

70% OF HOUSEHOLDS IN WEST COLFAX HAVE INCOME LESS THAN DENVER'S MEDIAN INCOME (< $60,000)

22%

$1091

VILLA VILLAPARK PARK

Median Home Values

24% INCREASE IN RENT BETWEEN 2010-2017

AVERAGE RENTAL COST IN WEST COLFAX 2017

Source : denvermetrodata.org denvergov.org

60%

60% OF RENTING UNITS IN VILLA PARK ARE UNAFFORDABLE TO RESIDENTS

$49,261.89

70%

22% OF HOUSEHOLDS IN WEST COLFAX HAVE INCOME 100% TO 200% OF DENVER'S MEDIAN INCOME ( $60,000 - $124,999) 8% OF HOUSEHOLDS IN WEST COLFAX WITH INCOME GREATER THAN 200% OF DENVER'S MEDIAN INCOME ( > $125,000)


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

COMMUNITY SURVEY RESULTS METHODOLOGY One hundred and twenty-one West Colfax community members completed the RNO Equity Assessment between April 1st and May 6th, 2021. Radian and WeCAN promoted the survey the following ways: • An online survey was created in English and Spanish and distributed via the WeCAN e-newsletter to community member subscribers. • Radian and WeCAN advertised the survey at WeCAN’s April monthly RNO meetings. • A targeted email was sent multiple times to WeCAN’s current Board members, leadership, and members atlarge. • Board members and WeCAN leadership leveraged their existing networks with a targeted email requesting key organizations distribute surveys on their behalf. • A paper survey was created in English and Spanish and hand distributed via WeCAN Board members and leadership at key organizations and religious institutions, such as the local and elementary schools, including Colfax Elementary. • A flyer with the survey QR code was placed in several local business store fronts with a request for employees and patrons to scan the code and take the survey. Fifty-five Villa Park community members completed the Villa Park Equity Survey from April 20th to May 14th 2021. Radian and VPNA promoted and distributed the survey in the following ways: • An online survey was created in English and Spanish and distributed multiple times via the VPNA e-newsletter to community subscribers.

WEST COLFAX

VILLA PARK

• VPNA encouraged RNO meeting leaders and members to take online survey at monthly meetings.


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

SURVEY RESULTS WEST COLFAX

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SURVEY PARTICIPANTS

DEMOGRAPHICS

One hundred and twenty-one community members in West Colfax responded to the WeCAN Equity Survey from April 1st to May 6th, 2021.

Twenty-two percent (or 20 out of 91) of respondents have lived in West Colfax for less than 5 years. Twenty percent (or 18 out of 91) have lived in West Colfax for 5-10 years. The majority of respondents, 54% (or 49 out of 91) have lived in the neighborhood for 10 years or more.

121

54% LONG-TERM RESIDENTS

TOTAL SURVEY PARTICIPANTS

80%

ETHNICITY

RENTERS

AMERICAN INDIAN/NATIVE AMERICAN ASIAN INDIAN ASIAN PACIFIC

60%

BLACK AMERICAN/AFRICAN AMERICAN

MULTI-RACIAL

MAJORITY ARE YOUNG ADULTS BETWEEN 24-40 YEARS OF AGE

NATIVE HAWAIIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER WHITE/CAUCASIAN/ANGLO AMERICAN TWO OR MORE PREFER NOT TO SAY OTHER 0

10

20

30

40

50

# OF RESPONDANTS

EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL

2

4

5

7

BACHELOR’S DEGREE

3

MASTER’S DEGREE 8 PH.D OR HIGHER TRADE SCHOOL PREFER NOT TO SAY 0

WEST COLFAX

Out of 111 respondents, approximately 50 percent identified as White, 23 percent identified as Native American, and 20 percent identified as Hispanic/ Latinx. Other identified races and ethnicities included Asian Indian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Black American, and two or more races. Out of 107 respondents, 25% (or 27 respondents) were born in another country.

Ninety percent (or 97 out of 107 respondents) have a minimum of bachelor’s degree, and less than ten percent selected completion of some or all of high school.

SOME HIGH SCHOOL 1

Out of 117 respondents, 8 percent are 19-25 year old, 60 percent are 26-40 years old, nearly 30 percent are 40-64 years old, and less than 1 percent are 65 years old or older.

Eight different languages are spoken in West Colfax including English, Spanish, Russian, Lakota, Arabic, Polish, Zuni, and Norwegian.

6

0

According to our survey, the majority of homeowners are comprised of White and Hispanic/Latinx families. Data suggests that White families are responsible for the majority of properties purchased within the last 5 years; conversely, Hispanic/Latinx and other homeowners of color have lived in the neighborhood for a minimum of five years.

While the majority of respondents identify as White/Caucasian, the WeCAN newsletter database is fairly diverse:

HISPANIC/LATINO/LATINA 8

The majority of survey respondents (or 80%) are renters, and 20 percent own their homes. Of the homeowners in West Colfax, the vast majority have lived in the neighborhood for at least five years, and a few homeowners purchased their homes within the last two years.

10

20

30

# OF RESPONDANTS

40

50


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

SURVEY RESULTS WEST COLFAX

PAGE 22

WECAN’S COMMUNICATIONS Because the survey was primarily disseminated through the RNO’s e-newsletter, the majority of respondents chose the e-newsletter as a preferred method of receiving information. Other preferences included word-of-mouth, social media, and RNO events.

WECAN MONTHLY MEETINGS The majority of survey respondents (83 percent) have attended an RNO meeting at least once. Of the sixteen percent (or 17 respondents) who had never attended a meeting, the majority shared that ‘not enough time’ or ‘conflicts with work schedules’ were the main reasons why.

27%

Twenty-seven percent (or 32 of 118) of respondents have never attended an RNO social event. The majority of those who have not attended an event have also not attended a meeting.

Overwhelmingly, the primary reason why community members had never attended an RNO event was due to lack of awareness. It is important to note that COVID-19 safety precautions and restrictions also played a role in reduction of participation within the last year.

“I have not heard of any social events.”

• “I am unaware of any social events or how to learn more about them”

HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU ATTENDED AN RNO MEETING? Twenty-one percent of respondents (or 22 of 105) regularly attend monthly RNO meetings, 17% (or 18 out of 105) participate only once a year, and 26% (or 27 out of 105) attend meetings quarterly. Never

Quarterly - 26%

Monthly - 21%

Once a Year - 17%

Forty-six respondents who have attended RNO meetings in West Colfax find them to be valuable because they learned new information about the neighborhood, 33 respondents experienced a greater sense of community, and 8 respondents felt meaningful connections with neighbors.

• “I was really hoping there would be better opportunities to meet leaders in our community.” • “Meetings give little opportunity for neighbors to discuss ideas and then come up with a plan that is actually implemented.” • “I feel really awkward coming along, but I want to be involved. I’m not sure how to remedy this.”

WEST COLFAX

WECAN SOCIAL EVENTS

• “I’ve never attended a meeting due to lack of time coupled with the impression that it is not relevant for me to participate.”

• “COVID! I’m now ready to participate more in my community.” • “I didn’t even know that this association existed.”

OTHER COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT The majority of survey respondents are also involved with other local community, government, educational, and religious organizations. These organizations include, but are not limited to: • Extreme Community Makeover • 40 West Arts • West Colfax Denver Urban Garden • Confluence Ministries • Education Group • Colfax Elementary • Denver House District 4 • Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee • Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez Library


BARRIERS Community members face a variety of barriers that prohibit them from becoming more involved in WeCAN’s monthly meetings and events. • Of the 90 respondents, nearly 40 percent (or 35 respondents) shared that they would participate more if there was flexibility in timing. • More than 30 percent of respondents listed child care services as a highly desired amenity at RNO meetings. • Language interpretation, translation services, transportation support, and ADA accessibility are all highly rated as community priorities to overcome barriers to participation. • “El tema del habla y el lenguaje es muy importante para mí sentirme escuchado.” [Translated: “The topic of speech and language is very important to me feeling heard.”] • A hybrid approach to attending RNO meetings, combining inperson and virtual meetings, is highly desired. • Because of many resident’s lack of awareness of RNO meetings and events, more targeted, inclusive outreach to all neighbors in West Colfax is considered an important priority for WeCAN. • Survey respondents were asked to rank access to the following technology: • Internet Speed: Ninety percent of respondents have participated in RNO meetings at least once; however one in four respondents shared that their Internet speed was ‘poor’ or ‘inconsistent’. • Internet Access: Nearly 20% of respondents have ‘poor’ or ‘inconsistent’ access to the Internet on a regular basis. • Computer Access: Twenty percent (or 18 out of 105 respondents) do not have adequate access to a computer to join online meetings. • Sixty percent of survey respondents stated that they have access to Facebook. The majority of those who have access are 19 - 40 years old, representing a significant digital divide, particularly with those 65 years or older. • Approximately 75% of survey respondents have access to e-mail.

WEST COLFAX

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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

SURVEY RESULTS WEST COLFAX

PAGE 24

DESIRE FOR EQUITY

95%

Ninety-five percent (or 107 out of 112) of respondents stated that it was ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’ to them that WeCAN advances equity through their work as neighbors. “We talk with our neighbors who pass by our house. And, when our peach tree has fruits we distribute and share with newcomers and our friends. This is community.”

90%

Ninety-nine of the 110 respondents (or 90%) shared that they are interested in participating in equity-centered work with WeCAN. Food equity and affordable housing concerns were the top two choices of interest

In response to “What is your vision of a more equitable WeCAN?”, the top three selected answers were: • Neighborhood History Tour • Community Trust and Relationship Building • Demographic Representation in Membership & Leadership


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

SURVEY RESULTS VILLA PARK

PAGE 26

SURVEY PARTICIPANTS

SURVEY DEMOGRAPHICS

Fifty-five Villa Park community members completed the RNO Equity Survey between April 20th and May 14th, 2021.

Forty-seven percent (or 25 of 53) of survey respondents have lived in Villa Park for less than five years. Thirty-six percent (or 19 of 53) have lived in Villa Park between 5 and 10 years, and 17% (or 9 of 53) have lived in the neighborhood for 10 years or more.

53%

55

LONG TERM RESIDENTS 5+ YEARS

TOTAL SURVEY PARTICIPANTS

83%

ETHNICITY

RENTERS

AMERICAN INDIAN/ NATIVE AMERICAN

BLACK AMERICAN

HISPANIC/LATINO

80%

WHITE/CAUCASIAN/ANGLO AMERICAN 6

80% SPEAK ENGLISH 20% SPEAK ENGLISH AND SPANISH

OTHER

0 4

0

1

2

10

EDUCATION

3

20

30

40

50

# OF RESPONDANTS

SOME HIGH SCHOOL HIGH SCHOOL

7

BACHELOR’S DEGREE

5 MASTER’S DEGREE

8 PH.D OR HIGHER

TRADE SCHOOL

VILLA VILLAPARK PARK

PREFER NOT TO SAY 0

5

10

15

20

# OF RESPONDANTS

25

30

Eighty-three percent of respondents (or 44 of 53) are renters, and 17 percent own their homes. Out of 51 respondents, only 1 respondent selected 0-18 years old and 1 respondent selected 19-25 years old. More than half selected 26-40 years old, and approximately 39% selected 40-64 years old. Twenty-one respondents identified as male, 26 identified as female, 3 identified as gender non-conforming, and 3 identified in another way that was not included in the multiple choice options. Multiple races and ethnicities were represented in VPNA’s outreach; the top three included White/Caucasian, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American. Only one Black American completed the survey. All survey respondents spoke English. Eighty percent of respondents speak exclusively English, and the other 20% are bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. Ten percent (or 5 of 51) respondents selected high school or trade school as their highest education level. More than half of respondents had earned a bachelor’s degree, and nearly 40% (or 19 of 51) of respondents had earned a master’s degree or higher.


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

SURVEY RESULTS VILLA PARK

PAGE 28

VILLA PARK’S COMMUNICATIONS The primary method of survey outreach was online, including advertising through the VPNA website, e-newsletter, and social media. Because of this digital engagement, the majority of respondents chose online methods as a preferred method for receiving information about the RNO, followed by the word-ofmouth. While Villa Park does not have an active NextDoor presence, NextDoor was a top preference selected by the community in staying connected to the RNO.

VILLA PARK RNO MEETINGS 20%

Twenty-five percent (or 13 of 53) of respondents have participated in more than three RNO meetings since 2019.

VILLA PARK AWARENESS & PARTICIPATION Survey respondents offered many helpful recommendations for VPNA to increase attendance and participation at RNO meetings and events. Notably, there was a general lack of awareness of the RNO, and additional bilingual community outreach is recommended. A few community responses include:

Twenty percent (or 11 of 53) of respondents have NEVER attended an RNO monthly meeting.

54%

More than half (or 29 of 53) of survey respondents, have attended 1-2 RNO meetings since 2019. Of those who have attended a VPNA monthly meeting, many suggested recommendations and improvements to the RNO meetings, including: • Providing follow through and next steps on the ideas that were shared at the RNO meetings • Being more welcoming and inclusive to renters and neighbors of color.

Hybrid-Approach • “Please keep Zoom going even after we go back to face to face meetings.” • “Virtual meetings allow for more flexibility which will help increase our participation.” ADA Accessibility • “Make sure that the physical meeting space is wheelchair accessible.” • “Sidewalks need to be updated on most streets, especially for people with disabilities.” Lack of RNO Awareness & Presence in the Community • “ I was not aware VP had a neighborhood association. Just saw the survey post on NextDoor.” • “There are so many opportunities to market the RNO, so that more people are aware of who we are and what we do.”

VILLA VILLAPARK PARK

ACTION & FOLLOW-THROUGH • “The meetings are good for being informed on what is happening in the neighborhood. However, very little seems to actually be accomplished at the meetings. I rarely left a meeting feeling like the association was contributing much to the neighborhood.” • “The last meeting I went to, people argued over the color of an elderly apartment complex that still isn’t up 10 years later.” •

“I wish the RNO would talk about more than zoning. Not one time did VPNA contact my senior living complex during this pandemic. They never offered food or showed any concern.”

• “Get out of the box and help fight to have all barriers removed.”


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

SURVEY RESULTS VILLA PARK

PAGE 30

LACK OF INCLUSIVITY •

VISION FOR THE RNO

“I don’t feel heard or that I am even a part of VNPA. Just a token to say we have diversity.”

• “They need to invest time in all their residents, not just homeowners.” • “An RNO that is inclusive of all races, colors or creed is very important.”

VILLA PARK RNO SOCIAL EVENTS

85%

Eighty-five percent (or 44 of 52) respondents have NOT participated in an RNO social event since 2019. This can likely be attributed to lack of events due to the pandemic.

BARRIERS TO PARTICIPATION

Flexibility in Timing

ADA Accessibility

Better Outreach

Child Care Services

Language Service

Lack of reliable internet access is a barrier to connecting to VPNA virtually. There is a great opportunity to present themselves to the community and define who they are, what they do, and how they intend to support community members. Underrepresented community members seem interested in participating in the RNO to develop a stronger sense of community.

VILLA VILLAPARK PARK

The top responses to building a more equitable RNO include a more accurate demographic representation and improved community trust.

“I think all of the initiatives and examples described in this survey are worthwhile and important. Any efforts made by VPNA members towards a more equitable and educated and mutually supportive community, I believe will resonate in a positive way.” “The more we know, the more we can grow. LOVE this initiative by the way. Makes me feel extra happy to be here!"


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

COMMUNITY GAP ANALYSIS

WEST COLFAX

VILLA PARK


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

GAP ANALYSIS WEST COLFAX

PAGE 34

AGE

EDUCATION

9,479

12

70

97

NEIGHBORHOOD POPULATION

50

RNO LEADERSHIP

70%

65%

60

RNO CONTACT DATABASE

80

60

27% 37%

22%

The racial/ethnic makeup of WeCAN’s leadership is 100% White/Caucasian. Inversely, the neighborhood is 46% Hispanic/Latinx, 36% White/Caucasian, 11% Black American, and 2% Native American. According to the outreach survey, the RNO participation in West Colfax is diverse, but the Hispanic/Latinx population is underrepresented at only 12%.

30%

28%

21%

19%

12% 27%

10%

10

COMPARING DATA

42%

40

30

0

84%

34%

40

20

100%

100

80

20

0

0-18 Years Old

19-25 Years Old

26-40 Years Old

40-64 Years Old

65+ Years Old

NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING POPULATION

ETHNICITY 10%

100%

100

0%

14%

80

Non English Speaking Neighborhood

Non English Speaking RNO Leaders

Non English Speaking RNO Participants

60 46% 36%

40

38%

26% 20

RENTERS

12%

11%

Renters in West Colfax are underrepresented in the RNO leadership and participation.

WEST COLFAX

Source : denvermetrodata.org denvergov.org

Other

Unknown

Prefer not to say

Two or More

White/Caucasian

Middle Eastern

East Asian

Black American/African American

Asian Indian

0

68%

Renters in Neighborhood

20%

RNO Leaders Renters

22%

RNO Communities Participants Renters


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

GAP ANALYSIS VILLA PARK

PAGE 36

9,400

5

NEIGHBORHOOD POPULATION

RNO LEADERSHIP

32

The age and education levels of the neighborhood are not accurately reflected in the VPNA board, specifically youth and seniors are underrepresented.

RNO CONTACT DATABASE

AGE

EDUCATION 80%

80

60%

60

70

50

47%

60

COMPARING RACIAL/ETHNIC DATA The racial/ethnic makeup of the VPNA’s leadership is 80% White/Caucasian and 20% Hispanic/Latinx. Inversely the neighborhood is 74% Hispanic/Latinx and 21% White/Caucasian. The RNO participation mirrors the RNO leadership, and the Hispanic population is underrepresented.

41%

40 30

40

50%

50

30

34% 27%

20

23%

30% 26% 20%

0

20% 15%

20 10

10

ETHNICITY

37%

0-18 Years Old

19-25 Years Old

26-40 Years Old

40-64 Years Old

65+ Years Old

0

Bachelor

100 80

80% 75%

74%

60

RENTER

40 21%

21%

The majority of Villa Park residents are renters; however, all of the VPNA leadership are home owners.

20

VILLA VILLAPARK PARK Source : denvermetrodata.org denvergov.org

Other

Unknown

Prefer not to say

Two or More

White/Caucasian

Middle Eastern

East Asian

Black American/African American

Asian Indian

0

56% Renters in Neighborhood

0%

83%

RNO Leaders Renters

RNO Contact database

Graduate


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

WEST DENVER COMMUNITY CONNECTOR OUTREACH WDCC used their network to connect with 20 community members to gain insight and feedback about their understanding and interest in Registered Neighborhood Organizations. The aim of the outreach was to gain insight on how the RNOs can be more includive and equitable for all community members.

12 20

Total Participants

West Colfax

8

Villa Park

WEST COLFAX

VILLA PARK


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

WEST DENVER COMMUNITY CONNECTORS

WEST COLFAX QUALITATIVE DATA WHAT DOES THE WEST COLFAX NEIGHBORHOOD MEAN TO YOU? With 6 of the participants growing up in the neighborhood, West Colfax means home to them. Multiple respondents stated that they have seen a change over the years and that the neighborhood is becoming “unsafe”.

WEST COLFAX RESULTS

COMMUNITY

WDCC interviewed 12 residents from West Colfax neighborhood.

100%

50%

100% of the West Colfax participants were not familiar with the definition “Registered Neighborhood Organization”.

50% of the participants noted that they grew up in the West Colfax neighborhood.

Spanish is the preferred language by 10 out of the 12 participants surveyed in West Colfax.

Two participants noted that they find community by connecting with the youth in the neighborhood through events and activities. A participant noted that they find community when they talk with people that speak Spanish. Some find it difficult to connect with neighbors because of the language barriers. 8 out of the 12 participants surveyed are interested in becoming a member of the RNO.

Q: How do you prefer to meet? 0

1

2

3

4

5

In Person

7

8

7

By Computer Both online or In person

6

5

1

7 participants do not have access to a computer

“"[I prefer to attend RNO meetings] Online, because no transportation.”

Life, because I have lived here my whole life and I am 30 years old.

WHAT NEIGHBORHOOD ISSUES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU? Seven out of the 12 respondents say that affordable housing is one of their biggest concerns. Many of these survey respondents have been residents in the neighborhood multiple years and have seen access to housing become harder. Childcare was another prominent issue with 6 of the respondents mentioning their concern of both access and affordability. Homelessness was a major topic of concern by 4 of respondents. They provided some suggestions on solutions and voiced their concern. One respondent stated that street lighting should be improved for safety.

Affordable housing because the older generation, like myself, had to move away because of the gentrification. WHAT SERVICE AND/OR RESOURCE WOULD MAKE ATTENDING RNO MEETINGS AND SOCIAL EVENTS MORE ACCESSIBLE AND WELCOMING?

WEST COLFAX

Interpretation service was the top way that respondents said RNO meetings could become more accessible. Childcare services would provide a support for 3 of the respondents that participated. They also recommended incorporating community activities like education classes, neighborhood cleanups, physical activity events, food events could also draw more people and make the meetings more welcoming.


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

WEST DENVER COMMUNITY CONNECTORS

VILLA PARK QUALITATIVE DATA A majority of the participants (6 out of 8) stated that the neighborhood is “calm” and “safe” and are happy with the neighborhood. One participant noted that there is good connection to downtown.

WHAT DOES THE WEST COLFAX NEIGHBORHOOD MEAN TO YOU?

VILLA PARK RESULTS

COMMUNITY

WDCC interviewed 8 residents from Villa Park neighborhood.

62%

0%

62% of the Villa Park participants were not familiar with the definition “Registered Neighborhood Organization”

0% of the participants have participated in an RNO event

Spanish is the preferred language by 6 out of the 8 participants surveyed

6 out of the 8 participants surveyed are interested in becoming a member of the RNO.

Q: How do you prefer to meet? 0

1

2

In Person

3

4 51%

4

By Computer

2

By Phone

1

Undecided

1

5

6

7

8

6 participants do not have access to a computer

“Yes, I would like to (attend) but I don’t have time. I have a son with a handicap and I have to attend to him.”

Multiple participants noted that they connect with their neighbors through impromptu interactions on the street, while biking, on the elevators, etc. One neighbor noted that she does not interact very much with her community because she does not speak English. School activities and fliers are another way that a participant stays connected.

It’s central to all of my needs.

WHAT NEIGHBORHOOD ISSUES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU? Some improvements that the participants would like to see for their neighborhood include trash pick up, better lighting, improved transportation, and affordable housing. Participants stated that more communication would help to support, promote, and advocate for the neighbors' concerns.

Just getting information out and hearing people’s voices, especially those less fortunate. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR VISION FOR A MORE EQUITABLE, DIVERSE, AND REPRESENTATIVE NEIGHBORHOOD? Participants feel that there should be more regulated housing prices and more opportunities for low-income housing for families.

WHAT SERVICE AND/OR RESOURCE WOULD MAKE ATTENDING RNO MEETINGS AND SOCIAL EVENTS MORE ACCESSIBLE AND WELCOMING?

VILLA VILLAPARK PARK

Flexible hours and interpretation service were some of the top ways that respondents said RNO meetings could be more accessible. Awareness of the meetings in general were also noted by two respondents.


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

TOOLKIT RECOMMENDATIONS

WEST COLFAX

VILLA PARK


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

BARRIER: LACK OF DIVERSITY AND REPRESENTATION IN RNO MEMBERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

BARRIER: LACK OF LANGUAGES REPRESENTED

Based on our research, we have identified several groups that are underrepresented in RNO membership and leadership in the West Colfax Association of Neighbors (WeCAN) and the Villa Park Neighborhood Association (VPNA). In WeCAN, these groups include Black Americans, Latinx folks, renters, youth, and seniors; in VPNA, these groups include Latinx folks, home owners, gender non-conforming individuals, and youth. One way to attract a more diverse membership is to reflect the full diversity of those the RNO is seeking to serve and hoping to participate in leadership positions. The variety of lived experiences and perspectives inherent in diverse leadership can support additional structural change, priority shifts, and a broader network that may influence the demographic composition of the RNO.

According to our research, 17% of West Colfax residents and 26% of Villa Park residents selfidentify as speaking English less than very well. Although other languages are also represented in West Colfax and Villa Park, including Arabic, French, Romanian and Chinese, offering Spanish interpretation at all meetings and events and translation of all marketing collateral (including flyers, surveys, newsletters, and websites) would encourage participation by those who are traditionally underrepresented. Spanish-speaking survey respondents identified not being able to speak English as a barrier to being aware of and participating in RNO events as well as connecting to neighbors.

• Proactively recruit more diversity in leadership in RNO board members and committee heads. • Decentralize leadership positions by creating new decision-making opportunities and empowering individuals who have not traditionally participated in RNO meetings to own and lead new initiatives that are important to them. • Collectively review bylaws to identify policies or practices that may dissuade particular groups from participating and collaboratively re-imagine what equitable policies and practices could look like moving forward. • Reconsider the role and participation of renters in the RNO, and what content might attract those who are not homeowners. • Co-develop an RNO Meeting Agreement to collectively define what it looks like to respectfully and meaningfully work together.

• Provide inclusive interpretation as a standard service at all RNO meetings and events. When possible, facilitate each meeting with two hosts: one speaking Spanish and one speaking English. • Offer all RNO materials in Spanish and English. When possible, include Arabic, French, Romanian and Chinese. • Host language exchange events that create opportunities to learn the alternate language from one another while building relationships and community.

BARRIER: LACK OF COMMUNITY AWARENESS OF RNO, PARTICULARLY WITH SPANISH-SPEAKING COMMUNITIES Based on our research, we have found that a common reason for those who have never participated in an RNO meeting or event in both neighborhoods is that they have never heard of an RNO in general or their local RNO more specifically. Many of the respondents who have never heard of an RNO are primarily Spanish-speaking.

• Co-define mission, vision, and values of local RNO that reflect the priorities of the entire neighborhood. Include annual goals and initiatives and who is needed to achieve them. • Develop an inclusive RNO outreach campaign in English and Spanish. • Leverage outreach with local organizations, institutions, community groups, and community navigators, especially those that reflect underrepresented community groups. This can include schools, churches, non profits, clubs, etc. • Create more opportunities to engage and build relationships with community members outside of RNO meetings. Leverage existing community events and gatherings to introduce the RNO to the community.


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

BARRIER: RNO MEETING SUBJECT MATTER Our research indicated that community members from traditionally underrepresented groups would like to engage with their local RNO in ways that might provide them with or connect them to services, resources, or education opportunities. Neighborhood priorities in West Colfax, specifically from the Latinx community, include economic security, access to technology, public transit, and multicultural language justice; the most frequently mentioned concerns were housing instability, increasing crime and gangs, and affordable childcare. Additionally, community interviewees requested that WeCAN offer learning opportunities surrounding financial literacy, home ownership, English classes, social service benefits, GED preparation, and health, and facilitate events or gatherings that promote physical activities and sports. Similarly, neighborhood priorities in Villa Park also included broadening meeting topics to address community engagement and support, community diversity, affordable housing, walkability, street lighting and security, neighborhood cleanliness, and better transit options. The neighbors in Villa Park also expressed explicit interest in more opportunities to interact with neighbors, but noted language barriers as a common challenge.

• Regularly poll the community to identify which topics are important to them, in addition to built environment issues (eg., zoning, new developments, etc.). • Partner or collaborate with local organizations and service providers to present on new topics of interest at RNO meetings and events. • Facilitate bilingual community events and small groups outside of the RNO meetings that focus on special interests.

BARRIER: FLEXIBILITY IN TIMING Flexibility in timing was a prominent barrier mentioned repeatedly in data collected from both neighborhoods from those who have and have not participated in RNO meetings. We know residents in West Denver are busy with work (including multiple jobs and jobs with nontraditional hours), childcare, parental care, engagement with other community groups, and commuting. Traditional, in-person meetings can be exclusive, offering opportunities to learn about and contribute to neighborhood change only to those who are able to be at a specific location at a specific time.

Post-pandemic, many community meetings will combine the benefits of in-person and virtual meetings to accommodate a broader range of community needs, including varying schedules and obligations, by offering hybrid meeting solutions and multiple ways to engage. • Implement a bilingual, hybrid meeting format that accommodates those who prefer to attend in-person and those who prefer to attend virtually. • Record and post meetings to an accessible, language-inclusive landing page for community members to review at their convenience. • Promote topics of interest and a diverse range of opportunities to engage in newsletters and on social media. • Include opportunities to give feedback in-person and digitally through surveys and other feedback mechanisms. • When possible, collect feedback at local events outside of RNO meetings or in collaboration with other organizations and institutions to get a broader reach.

BARRIER: DIGITAL DIVIDE The pandemic-related transition to digital meetings increased convenience and flexibility for those who had consistent and dependable access to technology and high-speed internet. However, it excluded those who did not have access, creating a digital divide that isolated many groups from social connection and community engagement. As we look forward to a hybrid future that combines in-person and virtual meetings, universal digital accessibility is essential in establishing representation.

• Include in-person and hard copy opportunities to engage. Partner with local businesses and institutions to disseminate hard copy newsletters and surveys. • Connect residents to local organizations, facilities, and opportunities that support community members’ access to technology. • Advocate for universal digital accessibility and high-speed internet solutions, specifically in facilities that cater to renters, seniors, and low-income families. • Launch a landing page that hosts RNO meeting recordings, meeting minutes, and surveys so community members can engage digitally when it is convenient for them.

BARRIER: LACK OF PROVISIONS OR SERVICES THAT WOULD SUPPORT A WIDER RANGE OF PARTICIPANTS In order to attract groups of residents who prefer to attend in-person meetings or those who do not have consistent access to computers or dependable high-speed internet, our research has indicated that offering additional provisions or services for in-person meetings might attract traditionally under-represented groups. Although these services can be cost-prohibitive for RNOs, there may be creative ways to collaborate on how to offer them at meetings including, sharing and/or rotating responsibilities, requesting sponsorships or small grants, or partnering with a local community space or caterer. These services include:

• Child care services • Food or light refreshments • Interpretation services


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RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 2021

BARRIER: NON-INCLUSIVE OR UNACCESSIBLE PHYSICAL LOCATIONS According to our research, residents in West Colfax and Villa Park prefer an inclusive and accessible space for all neighbors. It is often a challenge for RNO’s to find meeting space that is free, available, centrally located, transit friendly, ADA accessible, and socially neutral in a way that accommodates everyone. Anecdotal evidence has indicated that sometimes choosing one school or church over another may hinder the feeling of belonging and acceptance. Recognizing the limitations inherent in available community space, we recommend considering the following factors while choosing a physical location to meet:

• Neutral, centrally-located space where all feel welcome (eg., public library, community center) • ADA accessibility • Public transit-adjacent • Has access to technology updates to accommodate hybrid meetings • Has access to parking

BARRIER: ENGAGEMENT FATIGUE As community engagement and representation have become normalized as a best practice in the development process, the increasing rate of development in West Denver and accompanying engagement opportunities has resulted in residents sitting on several boards, committees, and attending multiple night and weekend meetings. This is leaving some community members overwhelmed and exhausted with the inefficiencies of duplicative community engagement efforts.

• Create multiple ways for residents to engage when and how it is most convenient for them. This includes options of hybrid in-person and virtual meetings as well as a landing page where residents can view meeting recordings and notes and contribute feedback when they are able. • Decentralize engagement structures when possible by leveraging existing networks and relationships with local organizations and institutions to disseminate information and collect feedback. • Empower and encourage residents who have not been over-engaged with various committees to take on leadership roles for tasks that they are particularly interested in.

CONCLUSION Based on extensive research and data collection with a wide range of West Colfax and Villa Park community members, we have learned that both neighborhood RNOs struggle with accurately representing the communities they serve due to several community-identified barriers and challenges. However, WeCAN and VPNA have prioritized this issue and have supported this project with their time and energy to learn more about the needs of those who are underrepresented and what they can do organizationally to better reflect the full diversity of their neighborhoods. Radian recognizes the challenges inherent in being a volunteer organization and the lack of resources that impede the ability and capacity to perform inclusive outreach and engagement. Although some of our recommendations are time- and resource-intensive, like offering interpretation and translation services, and may require funding, many of our recommendations are centered around relationship building and can be implemented through creative community collaborations. We encourage WeCAN and VPNA to leverage networks, relationships, and partnerships with local organizations and institutions and act as a conduit of resources to the community.


RNO EQUITY TOOLKIT REPORT 3264 Larimer St. Unit D Denver, CO 80205 730-708-5424 admin@radianinc.org radianinc.org

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