Community service and leadership has long been a piece of Albus Brooks' identity. Albus Brooks moved to Colorado in 1997 to study at CU Boulder and play football for the Buffs. Sports Illustrated named him one of the Top 10 Hardest Hitters. The National Football League took interest before injuries ultimately ended his career
Before his time in the political arena, Albus Brooks dedicated his life to working with young people in Denver’s urban neighborhoods. He served as the Director of the Issachar Center for Urban Leadership (ICUL), an organization that invests in emerging leaders throughout Denver. After ICUL in 2010, Albus Brooks helped then-Mayor John Hickenlooper get elected Governor of Colorado, acting as his Outreach and Political Director, managing field and constituency outreach operations.
In 2011, Councilman Brooks was elected to his first term on City Council where he represented the Great District 8. An eclectic yet disconnected district, Councilman Brooks campaigned under the motto, “Connecting Diverse Communities,” a rallying cry that spoke to the values of the community and helped him defeat his 38 challengers. In 2015 he ran for re-election and won with 68% of the vote to continue his mission of connecting grass roots to the grass tops.
Since taking office in 2011 Councilman Brooks has sponsored policies that have had an incredible impact on his community. These policies help further his goal of creating further economic opportunities for residents of District 9 preserving the unique culture and diversity of this district.
As a means of addressing the affordable housing crisis in Denver, City Council created an Affordable Housing Fund, co-sponsored by Councilman Brooks. These new fees and taxes will generate over $150 million in funds over the course of 10 years. This is the largest housing fund in the state and the first in Denver.
Councilman Brooks also sponsored a bill to decriminalize possession of marijuana by anyone under 21 years old. This bill has prevented thousands of young people from being carried through the criminal justice system.
Education and opportunity is an important issue to Councilman Brooks. In 2015 he sponsored a bill to increase the sales tax for the Denver Preschool Program. This program impacts 4,370 4-yr-olds students with a tuition credit of $10.9 million per year.
In the summer of 2016 Councilman Brooks was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a rare cancer. After overcoming his malignant 15-pound tumor, Councilman Brooks was elected City Council President by his peers, and began his first term as President of City Council. He was recently completed his second term as City Council President.
Councilman Brooks is always working on enhancing his leadership opportunities. Some of these include receiving his Masters of Business Administration at the Daniels School of Business University of Denver, along with participating in a few fellowship programs:
Although a growing global leader, it is District 9 in Northeast Denver where Albus feels most at home. He lives in the socioeconomically diverse Cole neighborhood with his wife Debi and their three young children, Makai, Kenya and Kaya.
38th and Blake Height Amendments
38th and Blake Station is the first commuter rail station from downtown Denver to DIA. This height amendment was created in response to public input on the development of the 38th and Blake Station. This height amendment encourages and promotes taller buildings near public transit stations with gradient building heights that lower as they get closer to historic neighborhoods. This design will be conscious of access to light and views of the Platte River, and potential traffic concerns.
Affordable Housing Fund
As a means of addressing the affordable housing crisis in Denver, City Council passed the creation of an Affordable Housing Fund, co-sponsored by City Councilman Albus Brooks. This fund will be comprised of two resources: a long-term stability property tax which was already supported by voters, and a one-time fee on new development projects. These new fees and taxes will generate over $150 million in funds over the course of 10 years. These funds will be used to provide financial support to low-income and median-income Denverites for rental properties and purchasing their first home. This is the largest housing fund in the state and the first in Denver.
Breathe Easy on the 16th Street Mall
Current Denver smoking policies include a smoking prohibition around city buildings and hospitals. The current ordinance, however, does not include electronic cigarettes/vape pens nor is it inclusive of the 16th Street Mall. Including electronic cigarettes in Breathe Easy is essential because of the dramatic increase in the use of such devices in recent years, the tendency of such devices to mimic traditional smoking and thereby “re-normalize” the act of smoking in public places and create the impression that the use of such devices is associated with a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore there is an increasing use of such devices for consuming marijuana which makes enforcing the prohibition of public consumption of marijuana difficult. Violating the Breathe Easy Ordinance is a civil offense and subjects an individual to a fine of no more than $100. However, Breathe Easy will continue to de-normalize smoking in public spaces through an extensive public outreach and education campaign. As a result of this policy, smoking along the 16th Street Mall has decreased.
Denver Preschool Program
This bill asked voters to extend the existing 0.12 percent sales tax to a 0.15 sales tax. This tax was dedicated for the Denver Preschool Program through December 31, 2026 and increased it to 0.15% on November 4, 2014. The results of this bill have been astounding: this legislation returned summer preschool programming for Denver kiddos and granted access to preschool for all 4 year olds in Denver. Over 4,370 students were enrolled in the Denver Preschool Program during the 2015 school year with the help up over $10.9 million in tuition support. Studies have shown that early education has life-long impacts on a child's success in school and in their social development.
District 9 Scholarship
Five students in Denver City Council District 9 received $5,000 each toward college expenses as part of the 2018 District 9 Scholarship program. City Councilman Albus Brooks, in partnership with the Picerne Family Foundation. District 9 high schools were asked to distribute application information to graduating seniors. Students were required to submit an application and an essay for consideration.
Decriminalization of Marijuana Possession
This bill decriminalized possession of marijuana by anyone under 21 years old. From 2012-2016, 1,840 citations were issued by the Denver Police Department to youth under 21 years of age for possession of marijuana. This bill prevented hundreds of young people from being carried through the criminal justice system.
Youth Justice Diversion Citation Initiative
The Department of Safety's Denver Safe City Office, in collaboration with our office, Denver County County-Courtroom 4F, the Denver Police Department and the Denver City Attorney's office rolled out a new Expedited Diversion program on July 1, 2012 for juveniles that are cited for municipal ordinance violations in Denver. The program will allow eligible youth and their families to resolve the matter without participating in a traditional court process. Diverting young people from the criminal justice system has proven to decrease incarceration rates and improve life chances of at-risk youth.
Chy Montoya, Emily Lapel, and Evelyn Barnes serve as Council Aides and provide a wide array of services to the office and our constituents.
Chy Montoya is the Chief of Staff for Councilman Albus Brooks in Denver City Council, District 9. She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice & Criminology from Metropolitan State University of Denver and a Master’s in Public Administration with a Local Government Concentration from the University of Colorado Denver. One of her many passions is helping young adults get back on track to become contributing members of the community. She has assisted Councilman Brooks with the following legislation concerning young adults: CB13-0961, which put forth a bill to decriminalize the possession of marijuana by anyone under 21 years old; and the Diversion Citation Initiative. Chy has also been the main contact for their office over the last three years in developing a Gang Job and Resource Fair called Integr8. Integr8 has created opportunities for disengaged youth to be trained in Work for Success (a job readiness and retention curriculum) and attend a job and resource fair. On the weekends Chy enjoys hanging out with family and friends and riding on her Harley.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (720) 337-7709.
Emily Lapel first moved to Denver to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA, after working in curriculum development in Slovakia. She then received her master’s in Criminal Justice Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. One of her many interests is criminal justice reform focusing on restorative justice practices for both adult and youth offenders.
Emily is responsible for constituent services, community engagement, social media, and policy research in the District 9 Office. On the weekends she enjoys hiking with her husband and dog and taking on new challenges.
You can reach her at email@example.com or (720) 337-7709.
Evelyn relocated to the Denver Metro area last summer and most recently served in the role of Administrative Assistant at the University of Colorado Anschutz. Previously, she served in the same capacity at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.
Evelyn earned her Master of Arts in Secondary Education from Wayland Baptist University and her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Arizona. She is passionate about education and for the past several months served on Denver Public School’s (DPS) African American Equity Task Force and plans to continue this important work. Evelyn will serve as the liaison between local African American organizations and DPS’s equity teams. She hopes to strengthen the relationship between DPS’s equity teams and the D9 office to ensure educational policies positively impact all students and educators, especially those of African American and Latino descent.
She is married to her high school sweetheart of 20+ years and is the proud mother of four children - two of whom attend a DPS school.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (720) 337-7709.
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