April 19, 2018 – Candi CDeBaca on gentrification

Our discussion of gentrification touched on how rising property taxes associated with gentrification force out longtime residents and how major development projects in Denver disproportionately affect low-income neighborhoods negatively and out-of-state developers positively (read about the Platte to Park Hill storm drains project here and the I-70 expansion here).

We also talked about the importance of being aware of local politics and news, which we are often distracted away from by national politics and news. The death of The Rocky Mountain News and the dire situation of The Denver Post can complicate this, but there are good local news outlets, including the Denverite.

You can find out who your state legislators are here.

You can contribute to Candi’s campaign for Denver City Council here.

Questions to continue the discussion: 

  1. A question to ask about any development project: Who benefits from the project in the short term and long term? Who is harmed by it? Who profits from it? Are these people and groups local?
  2. What are ways to measure the “progress” of a neighborhood besides rising real estate prices?
  3. When a development project is touted as creating jobs, what are those jobs, who gets them, how much do they pay, and how long do they last? Who ultimately benefits from those jobs—the people in the neighborhood or people from other areas?

Please continue the conversation, in real life and/or below!  

Candi CdeBaca is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Project VOYCE, Reviver & Member of Cross Community Coalition and Founder & Principal of Rebel Soul Strategies. She is a community advocate in her home community of Northeast Denver. She has been featured as an influential leader and advocate by several publications and outlets including Politico, Fortune, Forbes, New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, 5280 Magazine, Planetizen and Canadian Broadcast Corporation. She has also authored and co-authored publications featured in the Denver Post, Nonprofit Quarterly and Equity Alliance. She is a fierce advocate for justice. CdeBaca has an unwavering commitment to ensuring increased participation of underrepresented groups in the political process and in leadership and decision-making roles across sectors.

CdeBaca is a prominent voice in the Denver area on a range of social justice issues, policies and practices including: affordable housing, people-centric development, solidarity economics, environmental justice, community schools, youth entrepreneurship, school finance, and youth voice. She is accomplished in compliance, investigation, monitoring, training, motivating and leading diverse groups of people to share a mutual vision and achieve common goals. She effortlessly conceptualizes and transforms opportunities into action to achieve long term and short term goals. She has an entrepreneurial spirit and seeks to design creative approaches to overcome perceived challenges.

Before taking the role at the helm of Project VOYCE, Candi contracted with Denver Public Schools and lobbied for the Colorado Children’s Campaign for Colorado’s 2015 Legislative Session. Prior to returning to Denver in 2014 from the Nation’s Capital, Candi served as a New Leaders Fellow with the Center for Progressive Leadership, Education Policy Fellow for Excelencia in Education and as a Negotiator, Investigator and Compliance Monitor for the District of Columbia Public Schools. Prior to moving to DC in 2009 she spent time as an Education Policy Fellow for the National Conference of State Legislatures, Group Therapist for the Denver Center for Trauma & Resilience, and Program Coordinator at DU’s Center for Multicultural Excellence. She currently serves as a member of the GES Anti-Displacement Coalition, the Colorado Education Network, and COPA Fair-Lending Coalition. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado CdeBaca learned the importance of advocacy growing up as the eldest of three to a single mother living in poverty. She is a proud first-generation Daniel’s Fund Scholar and graduate of Manual High School, University of Denver, and University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Candi was one of the first appointments to the Denver Mayor’s Commission on Youth and was the first and youngest dual-degree graduate from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. She was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Latino Leadership Institute 2015 and the inaugural cohort of the Transformative Leadership for Change Fellowship in 2017.


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