Sharon Davis

Sharon Davis
Candidate for Arvada City Council, At-Large


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.)

City Council can make climate change and environmental protection a Strategic Result in the City’s Strategic Plan. The Strategic Result can range from research of climate change and environmental protection strategies to implementation of those strategies. The City Council Strategic Plan (CCSP) is the guiding document that lays the foundation for meeting current and future community needs.

One approach to ensuring healthy air and water quality is to conduct a review of building requirements that may adversely affect the environment. For example, rather than requiring parking lots to be sized to accommodate “the day after Thanksgiving shopping” volume should be reviewed. The off-gassing of those lots adversely affects air quality. The impermeable surfaces increase the rate of stormwater runoff, taking pollutants directly to the city’s waterways. Allowing businesses to install permeable parking lots to manage stormwater, reduce runoff, and reduce the adverse effect on air quality would be a sustainable alternative.

Water quality can be directly associated with water quantity. Poor water quality adversely affects our local waterways, increasing algae growth or killing local fisheries. Requiring property owners to have landscapes and irrigation systems contributes to polluting our local waterways by transporting pollutants quickly to waterways. Runoff carries pollutants such as fertilizers, insecticides, and pet waste directly to Ralston Creek, Clear Creek, and other waterways. Allowing landscaping alternatives to be installed is a measure to protect our waterways.

As development continues in Arvada, thought must be given to water conservation/water preservation measures. And it begins with city-owned properties. Managing irrigation systems to assure paved areas are not being watered, installing systems rainfall monitors, and modifying irrigation are strategies that may be implemented. Installing water-saving devices in new builds and retrofitting systems in existing facilities can be prioritized. Conservation systems must be required in new construction, renovations, and redevelopments.

Regional transit in Arvada is limited due to RTD’s operations, lack of operators, and perceived lack of riders in northern and western areas of Arvada. This makes TOD in those neighborhoods untenable. Therefore, Arvada should consider a local transit option. Arvada may explore requesting the fees for residents of the RTD unserved neighborhoods to implement a local transit option.



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.)

Property owners and developers in Arvada have expressed concern that the government voucher system is not attractive to them, there is no incentive. Landlords can currently get the going rental rate with little effort. Working with local property owners and developers to identify and remove roadblocks to affordable housing options.

Solutions to homelessness are as varied as the reasons for people to be unhoused. There should be a process for those who are on the brink of losing their stable housing to apply for assistance to stay where they are. In addition, there needs to be a process for those who have stabilized their lives but may not have the available resources to obtain housing (first & last months’ rent, documented savings, income requirement) to receive assistance. From there, addressing the human services needs of the unhoused, working with Jefferson County Social Services, the new Arvada Navigator, and other supportive services required a coordinated effort of several organizations.



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.)

The 2020 US Census reports Arvada’s population as 86% White alone, comprising the majority of Arvada’s residents. The same 2020 US Census reports Hispanic or Latino population make up 15.2% of Arvada’s residents. The average household income is reported to be $96,677 per year. These statistics may dissuade those of differing ethnic backgrounds or lower incomes from finding Arvada a desirable place to live based upon social equity.

I would activate the City’s DEI Team to begin the process of reviewing language of Arvada Procedures and revise DEI biased language from city processes and procedures. Working closely with the Festivals Committee and the community, I would identify cultural celebrations that Arvada has not celebrated in the past – Juneteenth for example – and funding sources where necessary. Using AI, make it a priority to translate important city processes into other languages to remove the confusion and frustration of those trying to live or do business in Arvada. Conduct education and outreach actions to community and neighborhood groups, sharing cultural beliefs and dispelling misinformation.

Conducting community outreach across the city is key to understanding the concerns of residents and businesses. Having listening events and follow-up meetings have been successful in building trust in the community. When necessary, having a translator available at these meetings also garners trust with non-English speaking communities.

It is important that members of the community, who perceive that they have had a non-positive experience with APD or a business, have an avenue to report these interactions to the City. As a City Councilmember, I would listen to the person, and ask for details, names – person or business, badge numbers, and details of the situation. Then, I would follow the chain of command, asking the Mayor for their consent to speak with the Police Chief or business to discuss the situation. (The Mayor should always be aware of these types of situations.) I would visit with the Chief or business owner to discuss the interaction and, if necessary, develop an action plan. Finally, I would follow up with the person that reported the interaction. This all would need to be documented.

An alternative would be an Ombudsman, or City staff who can directly address these concerns, is a direction for the City to explore. Following up with APD, the business (or Arvada Chamber of Commerce) for immediate action, and follow up with the person who reported negative interaction. It should be noted that with APD may be initiated by a report of a “concerned citizen” and not at the lead of APD. That distinction is important.

During Planning Activities, it is important that all City departments have a collaborative approach for city-owned properties. Example: There was a great planning process for the new clubhouse at West Woods Golf Club. However, accessibility at the clubhouse was left out of the plan. None of the doors have actuators for persons with mobility issues, permanent or temporary. This makes independent access to the restaurant and restrooms inequitable for all customers to the clubhouse.

Reviewing Arvada’s demographics is important in the planning process. Arvada has one of the oldest populations in the state! Taking that into consideration, as well as the desire for multi-modal transportation, the need for community transportation, and access for those with disabilities must be included in any planning checklist.



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.)

By definition, Urban Renewal means the redevelopment of dilapidated, slum, areas. In the eyes of social equity, these are older areas of Arvada where people live. Although undesirable to some, others call these places “home” and should be treated with the same respect as those properties in NW Arvada. Areas in southeastern Arvada are also in food deserts, where Arvada should consider concentrating resources on identifying alternatives to scrape and build. Encouraging local markets in areas where there are no big grocery stores would be a responsible use of City efforts. Alternatives could be a local market in an empty store front.

There is a lack of housing options in Arvada for those at or above the median income of $96,677. There is an extreme lack of housing options for those making less than the median income. Arvadans must first come to terms that there are people who live in Arvada that cannot afford to purchase a house in here. Having that empathetic realization may energize the community to build housing that is affordable to those in all income brackets.



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?

I consider myself a “Serial Volunteer”. I have been appointed by Council to the following Arvada Committees:

  • Citizens Capital Improvement Project
  • Park Advisory Committee
  • Gold Line Advisory Committee
  • Charter Review Committee
  • Golf Advisory Committee

I am a member of Arvada-Jefferson Kiwanis and Elks Lodge 2278. Both organizations serve children and families in our community.

When canvassing for a State House candidate, rising crime was a top concern. Reduction and prevention were top of mind for residents. Activating neighborhoods is a method of crime reduction. Neighborhood organizations such as the Friends of Britton Park are organized and act as a neighborhood watch. Community members know each other and their families. Working with Arvada’s Vibrant Community and Neighborhoods department to organize areas is one approach to dissuade criminals.

Arvada is growing faster than its water supply allows. Assuring that Arvada grows responsibly (reducing turf landscape, water conservation, both lend to environmental protection) is one of my goals.