There are many issues of real importance facing Profile readers as we approach the mid-point of 2022. Denver’s cost of living has priced out entire sectors of hard working families who want nothing more than to call Denver home. We struggle to get unsheltered residents into housing with the services they need to return them to independent living. Violent crime, especially gun-related incidents, continues to rise while simple property crimes like burglary, car-theft, pilfering of catalytic converters and the like are driving residents to distraction. And our pledge to Vision Zero — reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roadways to zero in the coming years — has not born fruit, but is heading in the wrong direction despite the best efforts of our Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Each of these challenges could reasonably merit directing the entirety of our city’s annual budget in their direction, but the need to address our collective impact on climate change outpaces them all. As science continues to sound alarms with ever increasing frequency and urgency — alerting us to the accelerating pace of climate shifts around the globe — reducing our civic carbon footprint requires a primary focus. We must do what we can to reverse the trends our collective lack of attention has created. We have increased energy efficiency requirements on new and existing commercial buildings. We are considering options to increase Denver’s residential and commercial recycling and composting stream to reduce the greenhouse gas-emitting waste we send to the landfill. Creating a more robust mass transit system to reduce single-occupant auto trips has become ever-more urgent as Denver fails far more often than is acceptable to meet federal clean air guidelines.
On Sunday, June 26, from noon to 4 p.m., I will host a free climate-action event in the southern end of the main meadow in Washington Park. Called Earth Day Remastered: A Celebration of Our Commitment to A Healthy Planet, we will be joined by some 20 exhibitors presenting products and services to help you reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle. We’ll have live music from the Denver Municipal Band and blues maven Erika Brown with Dan Treanor. You’ll hear from great speakers including David Sirota, Oscar-nominated co-author of the movie, “Don’t Look Up;” former state representative and environmental activist Joe Salazar; and Linda Appel Lipcius, head of Denver Urban Gardens. And we’ll have food trucks to help keep your hunger and thirst at bay for the afternoon. The event is co-sponsored by the University of Denver, Denver Parks & Recreation and Love My Air, Denver.
Please come and join us and recommit to doing what you can do to combat climate change.
Paul Kashmann represents District 6 on Denver City Council. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-337-6666.
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