Prioritize people over cars

Sidewalk underwater

Construction shouldn’t keep people from getting around.

Getting around Denver isn’t easy, whether you’re stuck in growing traffic or living in a neighborhood without sidewalks. With 200,000 more people moving to the city in the next 15 years, we have to address our failing transportation system. Transportation must be a priority so that Denverites can access jobs, schools, healthcare, groceries, and entertainment.

Unfortunately, for many people driving is the only choice:

  • 40% of Denver has sidewalks narrower than 4 feet wide – not wide enough for a stroller, walker, wheelchair, or leashed pet to use
  • The vast majority of Denver has sidewalks either narrower than 5′ wide, or has crumbling sidewalks, or both
  • Denver is building just 1.8 miles of protected bike lanes in 2018
  • Denver spent $0 on sidewalks between 2012-2014

Denver is a growing city, and the right way to grow our city is by building for and encouraging walking, biking, and riding mass transit. I will advance and support measures to ensure that all people can access opportunities through walking, biking, and transit.

Make our streets a safe place for all

People should not be killed or injured while they are just trying to get around. There have been too many injuries and fatalities on Denver’s streets. The best way to ensure the safety of people walking is to make functioning sidewalks. The best way to ensure the safety of people who bike is to create protected spaces just for bikes. I support Denver’s Vision Zero commitment of achieving zero serious injuries or fatalities by traffic crashes.

Denver needs affordable housing, and we must be strategic

Apartments under constructionThe people who live in Denver already should be able to stay in our beautiful city, and we should be able to welcome new people also. Denver’s housing prices are skyrocketing, and we must take action to ensure that people are able to stay while we build new housing for all those who will move here soon.

As your city councilor, I will put the needs of neighborhoods over the desires of developers. Housing should be built to last, and we need to make sure that we’re building in a way that makes sense for our neighborhoods.  It’s better that we get a master plan and the right developers to partner with that plan than to just build willy-nilly.

Our housing problem isn’t unique to Denver. The entire state is experiencing a housing crisis. We must also work with our neighboring cities and with our friends at the state legislature to achieve a lasting solution. Until then, Denver can – and should – be a role model for the rest of the state. I will work with our partner councils in the metro region as well as legislators at the state level to build solutions.  Fortunately, I have plenty of relationships I have built over the last several years under the gold dome that will make it easier to forge lasting change.

 

 

Denver needs to rethink the concept of neighborhood

Decades ago, a neighborhood was anything reachable within a 20 minute walk.

Decades ago, the idea of a neighborhood was anything reachable within a 20 minute walk. However, in the late 50s and 60s, when automobiles became pervasive, cities like Denver forgot about that original idea. Commute times to work increased, grocery stores consolidated to a few mega-structures, and it became difficult to impossible to easily access basic necessities. Denver – and in particular District 10 because of its population density – needs to return the 20 minute neighborhood concept to its residents. We should encourage new development to make sure you can get dinner, groceries, entertainment, or even a hammer all within a 20 minute walk, roll, bus, or train ride. It saves the planet, it allows you to know your neighbors, and it replaces long car drives with time for more important things like spending time with family.

Some areas, like Cherry Creek, are fortunate to have easy access to the mall, but as Denver grows, we must ensure access to resources is no more than 20 minutes away.  Other areas of District 10, like Uptown, have no grocery options at all.  Residents must travel to Five Points or Capitol Hill if they want supplies for a home-cooked meal.

When I’m on City Council, I will work hard to return Denver to the 20 minute neighborhood concept.  My diverse endorsement list demonstrates that I can – and will – reach beyond traditional political divides to make a solution that works best for all of Denver’s residents.  I don’t have all the answers, but that’s not the role; instead, it’s more important that a representative of the people does just that: represents the people.  That means listening to you about topics such as public banking, providing real food to our hungry children and families, and substance abuse/mental health treatment.  District 10 residents are the experts about District 10, and I’m ready to listen.  I’ve demonstrated that I’m very good at meeting, listening, and learning how we can make our home a better place for us and our children.  It’s my commitment to bridge building that led to the Governor’s signing the Chris Hinds Act into law on May 29, 2018.

Denver, Cannabis, and Industrial Hemp

Legal cannabis supports the privacy, safety, and economic health of our city and its residents. For years, I’ve shared with legislators and others the benefits I’ve seen cannabis have on reducing pharmaceuticals and improving quality of life in the disability community.  I support legal cannabis, and that is why I testified in front of Denver City Council in favor of social cannabis outlet Utopia, a pot-infused spa concept, in June 2018. I support social cannabis outlets because I believe that it’s good for the public to have options, it’s good for consumers to know what they’re getting, and social cannabis outlets can help to ensure that much-needed tax revenues are collected to benefit our education system. Most importantly, this is the will of the voters, and it’s the right thing to do.

Denver is at the forefront of this budding industry, and we have an opportunity with legal cannabis to serve our residents and tourists while growing our economy. Social cannabis clubs give people who use cannabis for health-related reasons – including those people with disabilities or health issues who use cannabis as an alternative to opioids – a place to meet with others and participate in our economy. These clubs also give people who use cannabis recreationally a place to use away from others who do not want to be around it, including family members and children. Social cannabis clubs are spaces where people of all backgrounds, including people of different abilities and disabilities, can come together, enjoy each other’s company, and develop community. I will continue to support legal cannabis and places to consume responsibly, and look forward to seeing how this emerging industry will positively impact District 10.

In addition to legal cannabis, I support industrial hemp.  It’s hardy and renewable, and we would be bringing jobs back locally instead of importing hemp from overseas (a $580m import currently).

Denver and Art

Growing up, I’ve played the saxophone and photographed.  Many of my friends will recognize photos I’ve taken over the years, and legislators have come to expect my photos from Sine Die each year.  A vibrant Denver allows for creative expression – both your own expression and the viewing of others.  I am committed to our arts districts and state and local encouragement to attract artists to create and display within Denver.  It’s good for our residents and provides additional tax revenue as tourists view Denver’s treasures.

Meet Chris

I’m Chris Hinds and I want to represent you on Denver’s City Council! I’m running – ahem, rolling – on the belief that everyone in our city deserves access to opportunities – access to housing, transportation, fresh and healthy food, and everything necessary to thrive.