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Denver Agencies Acting to Implement Voter Supported Initiatives

New Revenue Will Fund Parks, Mental Health Services, College Affordability and Healthy Food for Kids

DENVER – The City and County of Denver, working with its partners in the community and members of City Council, is creating the infrastructure for the four initiatives passed overwhelmingly by Denver voters last year. Below is a description of each one including next steps, like establishing special revenue funds, filling board positions, community engagement and input, and timelines for delivering services.

Measure 2A (parks sales tax):

This measure will provide a projected $37 million per year for parks construction and maintenance.

First steps:

  • The Department of Finance will establish a special revenue fund with approval from City Council.
  • Per the ballot measure, Department of Parks and Recreation is developing a framework for a five year plan, using Game Plan for a Healthy City as a guide for the work, with community outreach and input being gathered through April.

Timeline: City Council will likely consider the Special Revenue Fund request in February. If the five-year plan is approved by City Council, residents could start to see projects funded by this measure before the end of the year.

More information: Department of Parks and Recreation

Initiated Ordinance 300 (college scholarship fund sales tax)

The measure will provide a projected $12 million per year for scholarships for Denver students who qualify to attend a public or not-for-profit college, university, community college or technical school in Colorado. The measure also creates a tax-funded nonprofit organization to provide oversight.

First steps:

  • The Department of Finance will establish a special revenue fund with approval from City Council.
  • A seven-member Board, acting as the decision-making body on the distribution of funds to organizations, will be established by the Mayor and City Council:
    • Six community members appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council
    • One City Council member, selected from the body

Timeline: City Council will likely consider the Special Revenue Fund request in February. The Mayor and City Council will seat the Board. Reimbursement from the Denver College Affordability non-profit to various organizations will happen first quarter 2020.

More information: Office of Children’s Affairs

Initiated Ordinance 301 (mental and behavioral health sales tax):

This initiated ordinance will provide a projected $37 million per year for mental health services and addiction services for children and adults.  

First steps:

  • The Department of Finance will establish a special revenue fund with approval from City Council.
  • Funding will be allocated to a non-profit (501c3) that will then distribute funding to various organizations working on addressing mental health. 
  • A 13-member Board will be established:
    • Six ex-officio members appointed by the Mayor (executive director of Public Health and Environment, executive director of Human Services, City Attorney, the CEO of Denver Health, the CEO of the community mental health provider, and the District Attorney or their respective designees)
    • Two members appointed by the District Attorney
    • Five community members appointed by the President of City Council

Timeline: City Council will likely consider the Special Revenue Fund request in February. The Mayor, City Council and District Attorney will seat the Board. The non-profit will develop a strategic plan to determine funding priorities. Funds are estimated to be available to agencies in late 2019 to early 2020.

More information: Department of Public Health and Environment

Initiated Ordinance 302 (healthy foods for kids sales tax):

This initiative will provide a projected $12 million in the first year to Denver organizations working to provide more healthy food to children in low-income families.

First steps:

  • The Department of Finance will establish a special revenue fund with approval from City Council.
  • A 13-member Denver Food Commission will be established to determine the allocation of funding:
    • 11 community members appointed by the Mayor
    • Two community members appointed by City Council

Timeline: City Council will likely consider the Special Revenue Fund request in February. The Mayor and City Council will seat the Broad.

More information: Department of Public Health and Environment

Applications to apply for one of the board positions appointed by the mayor can be submitted here. For positions appointed by Denver City Council or the Denver District Attorney, please contact their respective offices.