The Denver Agency for Human Rights & Community Partnerships, with the support of Denver’s City Council, commissioned two studies related to improving community engagement and neighborhood safety in the City. Through CU Denver’s CityCenter, two faculty members, Carrie Makarewicz PhD, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, and Sheila Huss PhD, School of Public Affairs are carrying out these studies, respectively.
The community engagement study has three parts. The first is to offer recommendations that encompass the work of all city agencies in their efforts to increase the community’s knowledge of city government and to develop community partnerships in policy making and programming. The second part of the study is to analyze whether to change the ordinance for Registered Neighborhood Organizations and if and how the City of Denver may provide them additional support. The third part will analyze the effectiveness of constituent services and delivery of information through 311, pocketgov.org, the City’s website, and Council District offices. The final report will include a recommendation on whether and how to create, structure, and operate an Office of Community Engagement based on the analysis conducted for this three-part study.
The Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) study focuses on how an ONS would be structured and how it would best serve all of Denver’s neighborhoods given the different needs of the people and places within the city. The research on a prospective Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) encompasses a broad conceptualization of safety, including transportation, housing, environmental health and wellness, issues of public health, crime, and other areas.
We are collecting data for these studies through multiple means, including interviews, reports, data analysis, focus groups, and an online survey open to all Denver residents.
The online survey is integral to the effectiveness of this research. Understanding the sentiments and interests of Denver’s residents on RNOs, community engagement, constituent services, and a potential ONS, is integral to these studies.