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About Councilman Espinoza

Rafael Espinoza
Council Distrtrict 1 

District 1 Councilman Rafael Espinoza is a neighborhood advocate and architect who has championed community input and collaboration for over a decade. Rafael took office with nearly 70 percent of the vote and a public mandate to provide meaningful representation to Northwest Denver by amplifying resident voice and ensuring residents had a say in the preservation and growth of their neighborhoods.  

As a champion of community voice, Rafael has created an open Neighborhood Council for residents of Northwest Denver to help advise the councilman and take action on issues concerning them. Responding to resident concerns, he is working with communities to ensure growth is appropriate and conforms to neighborhood plans and existing character; improve safety through police and civilian relations; enhance primary education; enhance District 1 infrastructure, ensure housing is available for working families; improve parks, recreation and walkability; and champion community voice to bring about win-win solutions for all Northwest Denver stakeholders.

Rafael’s success as a community advocate led residents to encourage his decision to run and eventually take office. Working in tandem with neighbors, Rafael helped negotiate community supported solutions to development in Jefferson Park, stopped excessive signage on Sports Authority Field; steered the committee to draft a 20-year vision for Jefferson Park; chaired a land-use committee that incorporated community input into a high-density apartment complex on Speer and 28th; and helped encourage small-business growth in his community while continuously protecting the interests of residents.    

Rafael’s ability to drive solution-based advocacy is shaped by his profession. With dual degrees in building science and architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, Rafael has worked for Fentress Bradburn Architects; the Colorado Department of Transportation; and Northeast Denver Housing Center on projects such as the State Capitol, Mile High Stadium, airports, affordable housing and numerous public and private designs. Using his past experience, Rafael considers the relationships between design, project budgets, regulatory compliance, development goals, neighborhood consensus and what does and does not improve the quality of life as he works with neighbors to grow and preserve Northwest Denver communities.

Rafael and his wife Kari, also an architect, live in a home they designed and built in Jefferson Park where they spend much of their free time cheering on the Colorado Rapids and trying to stop slugs from eating their garden. If you see them around town, please stop and say "Hi".

Council Committee Meetings

Denver City Council members serve on several different committees, each concerned with various areas of City government. Committees meet regularly to discuss and prepare proposed laws. For the latest information about Denver City Council committee meetings, full council meetings, and agendas,visit the Denver City Council Meetings page.

Councilman Espinoza serves on the following committees:

Meeting Times

Every other Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Check the calendar below for up to date meeting information

Agencies of Responsibility and Oversight

  • Board of Ethics
  • Clerk & Recorder
  • City Attorney
  • City Auditor
  • Office of Human Resources
  • Denver Employees Retirement Program
  • Mayor's Office
  • City Council & Council Rule Changes


Meeting Times
Every other Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Check the calendar below for up to date meeting information

Agencies of Responsibility and Oversight

  • Public Works
  • Denver Parks & Recreation
  • Arts & Venues
  • Scientific & Cultural Facilities District
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Denver Water
  • Denver Public Library
  • Denver Zoo
  • Museum of Nature & Science

Other Partner Agencies and Entities of Interest

  • Colorado Department of Transportation
  • Regional Transportation District


Meeting Times

Every other Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Check the calendar below for up to date meeting information


Agencies of Responsibility and Oversight

  • North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative
  • Community Planning & Development
  • National Western Stock Show
  • The Sharing Economy

Learn more about other council committees.


Contact Councilman Espinoza

Rafael Espinoza
Council District 1
(720) 337-7701

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