Lauren Simpson

Lauren Simpson
Candidate for Mayor of Arvada


1. Describe your sense of the role of the City Council in planning for climate change. (Please comment on approaches to ensuring air and water quality. Please include your thoughts on the impacts of real estate development and urban renewal, road construction planning, local transit options such as buses, trains, bikes, and walkways, as well as water conservation and zoning decisions.)

As a member of the City Council and a candidate for Mayor of Arvada, I recognize the critical role that local government plays in planning for climate change. Arvada must take proactive measures to ensure a sustainable future for our community. To address climate change, City Council can prioritize approaches such as promoting renewable energy sources, implementing energy-efficient practices in city operations, and supporting initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, it is essential to focus on air and water quality by enforcing regulations that safeguard against pollution and promote sustainable practices. Real estate development and urban renewal must be balanced with environmental considerations, and we must consider environmental impacts in our efforts to grow. This includes incorporating green building practices, preserving green spaces, and implementing smart transportation planning. Water conservation efforts and thoughtful zoning decisions are also key elements in ensuring a sustainable and resilient future for Arvada.



2. Explain how you would use your time on City Council to address the needs Arvada residents have for affordable housing. (In addition, please comment on your sense of the ways Arvada City Council might contribute to providing support for Arvadans experiencing housing insecurity or for those who are in fact unhoused.)

Affordable housing is a pressing issue in Arvada, and as Arvada’s next mayor, I am committed to addressing this challenge. I would work diligently to foster partnerships between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to increase the availability of affordable housing options. This includes advocating for the implementation of affordable housing policies and incentives for developers, promoting mixed-income developments, and exploring creative solutions like community land trusts. Additionally, I will work alongside the city council, which can play a vital role in providing support for those experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness. This involves collaborating with local organizations and service providers to offer comprehensive support systems, such as access to affordable housing, rental assistance, and social services. It is crucial to approach these issues with empathy, compassion, and a commitment to ensuring that all Arvadans have access to safe and affordable housing.



3. Though often portrayed as comprised of people from homogeneous backgrounds, Arvada is diverse, with a wide range of ages, races, ethnicities, and socio-economic circumstances. (If elected, what key approaches might you use while on City Council to help ensure all Arvadans feel welcome and valued in Arvada? How might you ensure all Arvadans feel heard on issues that might vary across different parts of our community? Describe how you might have engaged with people experiencing interactions with law enforcement or receiving different treatment; for instance, some issues we have heard described include being followed while shopping, or the elderly being left behind by city plans.)

Arvada’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and as Mayor, I would strive to create an inclusive and welcoming community for all residents. I would actively engage with diverse communities, listening to their concerns and ensuring their voices are heard in decision-making processes. This includes fostering open dialogues, hosting community forums, and actively seeking input from underrepresented groups. Additionally, I would advocate for policies and programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, ensuring that all Arvadans feel valued and respected. It is essential to address any instances of unequal treatment, whether it relates to law enforcement interactions or city planning decisions. By fostering inclusivity and addressing these concerns head-on, we can build a stronger and more united Arvada.



4. How would you characterize your views on urban renewal in Arvada, and what do you see as the next steps for urban renewal here? (Please feel free to comment on issues such as Arvadans’ needs for different sorts of commerce (e.g., small, locally owned businesses versus big-box stores) or housing developments (apartments versus single-family dwellings), or residents’ concerns with how Arvada finances its infrastructure or how Arvadans live with disruptions that attend urban renewal or development efforts.)

Urban renewal in Arvada is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of community needs, economic vitality, and preserving our unique character. As Mayor, I believe in a balanced approach that supports both small, locally-owned businesses and larger commercial developments. It is crucial to strike a balance that fosters economic growth while preserving Arvada’s small-town charm and promoting sustainable development practices. Regarding housing, I would prioritize a diverse mix of housing options that meet the needs of our residents. Transparency, community engagement, and responsible development practices will guide my approach to urban renewal in Arvada.



5. In addition to the issues that APA members identified as of concern, what would you add that would help Arvadans better understand who you are and what other goals you might have for Arvada if you are elected to serve on City Council?

In addition to the issues previously discussed, I want Arvadans to know that I am deeply committed to enhancing community engagement and promoting civic participation. If elected, I will actively work to ensure that residents are well-informed about important city matters and have meaningful opportunities to provide input. I believe in the power of collaboration and building strong partnerships between residents, community organizations, and local government to address the diverse needs and goals of our community.

My vision for Arvada extends beyond specific issues. I am committed to building a strong, resilient, and inclusive community where all residents feel empowered and valued. By listening, collaborating, and taking action, we can work together to achieve a prosperous and vibrant Arvada that reflects the aspirations and values well all share.