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It's Time for

The Issues

  • Residents

    Resident-Driven Planning

    We will prioritize resident needs over developer greed through neighborhood-driven decision-making processes, including making affordable housing and multi-modal communities our top priority. We will hold them accountable to these commitments.

    Affordability Commitments

    We will require developers to commit to affordable and accessible housing units prior to the City providing subsidies and incentives.

    Monitoring and Compliance

    We will preserve affordable housing stock by discouraging the sale of public housing by Denver Housing Authority; Strengthening covenant compliance by leveraging the City’s public assets; and Increasing funding by generating revenue streams.


    We will invest in affordable housing in times of prosperity rather than in times of crises.

    Restructure Public-Private Partnerships (P3’s)

    We will take a people-centered approach to P’3 by transforming them into P4’s- Public, Private, People Partnerships to give residents an equal seat at the table with developers.


    We will promote thriving urbanism, preservation, and liveability when developers seek to use public land.

    Displacement Mitigation

    We will expand eviction and displacement prevention resources to reduce homelessness and work to keep residents in their communities.



    Parity and Protection

    We will advance gender-responsive policies that promote parity for women in the workplace including equal wages, opportunities and protections against gender discrimination and sexual harassment.



    Power Sharing

    We will create an even playing field between city employees and the Mayor’s administration by supporting unions and their collective bargaining rights without political retaliation.

  • Accountability

    Checks and Balances

    We will implement independent system of checks and balances by creating an independent appointing agency free of the mayor’s influence.

    Ethics Board

    We will strengthen the Ethics Board to give it authority to censure public officials for violating the public’s trust.


    We will partner with the Auditors office to identify system inefficiencies and implement recommended changes.


    We will ensure that the Mayor follows the same rules for upholding ethical standards as every city worker is required to do.


    Small Businesses

    We will overhaul the City’s contracting process to give small and minority/women owned firms a fair chance to compete.

    Fair Competition

    We will prohibit biased contracting processes intended to reward political cronies and punish vocal critics.


    Open Records

    We will implement new Open Records policies so that residents and the press have full access to public records by removing barriers to information dissemination.

    Public Notice

    We will ensure that the public receives notice of planning processes before decisions are made.

    Meeting Minutes

    We will require that substantive meeting minutes are posted online with public notice of meetings held by the Administration and Boards and Commissions.

  • Independent Agencies

    Charter Changes

    We will support a Charter change to create truly independent Public Safety agencies free from the political influence of the Mayor’s Office.


    We will support a charter change for an elected Sheriff who is directly accountable to voters with the latitude to reduce the jail population and increase treatment services.

    Independent Monitor

    We will support a charter change for the Independent Monitor to be appointed by an independent body, and with increased oversight authority over Public Safety agencies to enact, monitor and measure reforms.

    Public Safety Department

    We will downsize the Public Safety Department and shift oversight resources to the Independent Monitor’s office with the authority to implement reforms in the Police and Sheriff departments.

    City Attorney

    We will revamp the City Attorney’s role to focus on representing the interests of taxpayers rather than protecting the interests of the Mayor.


    We will overhaul the services to survivors of crime by updating policies and practices that are grounded in research, and that are responsive to the needs of diverse communities.

    Boards and Commissions

    We will support a Charter change to create an independent agency to make appointments to Boards and Commission free of the influence of the Mayor.

It’s Time for a New Direction in Denver

Watch Lisa Calderón announce her candidacy for Denver Mayor



I have known what it feels like to not have my voice heard. Because of this, for over 30 years, I have fought for the rights of women, people of color and those on the margins of society to be treated equally and fairly.

As a biracial woman born to teenage parents—a Mexican-American mother and African-American father—I inherited rich cultural legacies from both of them. My mother Elaine Calderón, a West High graduate, college activist and daughter of a migrant farm worker, had me on the picket line at four years old, fighting for better working conditions for the United Farm Workers.

My father, Dempsey Pugh, Jr., earned his GED and was a U.S. Army veteran. His sister Opalanga Pugh immersed me in the traditions and celebrations of the Black community. I have a large extended family, and we attended both Denver public and Catholic schools. I am a graduate of North High School, where I was a member of the tennis and debate teams.

Unfortunately, growing up, I also experienced the brutality of poverty and discrimination. I lived in public housing, and I endured the traumas of generational abuse, homelessness and, later, interpersonal violence. I am a survivor.

As a young single parent, I struggled to make ends meet and put food on the table. Despite attending college full-time while also working as many as two part-time jobs, I turned to public assistance and public health programs to support my son Tahjj. I was determined to overcome the discrimination and stigma of poverty, while also providing him a safe and secure home.

I ultimately graduated from Metropolitan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in English. After I had my daughter Savannah, who is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, I attained my Master’s degree in Liberal Studies, focusing on Native American Studies, from the University of Denver. I later earned my law degree from the University of Colorado Boulder School of Law. Finally, I acquired my Doctorate in Education from the University of Colorado School of Education and Human Development. I am currently full-time faculty at Regis University, teaching Criminal Justice and Sociology courses.

I have known what it feels like to not have my voice heard. Because of this, for over 30 years, I have fought for the rights of women, people of color and those on the margins of society to be treated equally and fairly.

As a nonprofit executive, I have managed staff who connected thousands of formerly incarcerated, re-entering persons with treatment, housing and jobs.

I have built programs to protect victims of violence and to rehabilitate offenders to create safer communities.

As a justice reform advocate, I have worked to reduce mass incarceration, while also working to hold our public officials accountable.

All of these experiences have prepared me to transition into a more formal public leadership role.

I believe the time has come to elect a mayor who will set a new direction for Denver by creating a more affordable, more accountable and more humane City where every voice matters. Quite simply, it’s time for new vision and new leadership where the principles of equity, fairness and justice are the touchstones by which we measure a great city.

In the News

Lisa Calderón: Denver voters should decide on the costs of the Olympics

Voters, not corporate investors or politicians seeking legacy projects, should ultimately decide whether the Olympics is worth the cost to taxpayers.
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Lisa Calderón speaks at City Park and Friends Forum

Calderón, a justice professor at Regis University and criminal justice advocate, shared a few more specific policy goals…
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Lisa Calderón For Denver Mayor Launch Party

The time has come to elect a Mayor who will set a new direction for Denver. Please join us for our official Lisa for Denver Mayor launch party November 14, 2018 at 6:00pm. Info and Required RSVP here!
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Lisa Calderón sits down with Kyle Clark of Channel 9

Shortly after announcing her bid for mayor Lisa was interviewed by Kyle Clark about her vision for a better Denver, including more opportunity for more people – in jobs, in housing, in our city.
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Lisa Calderón en El Semanario

Ya es hora!
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Lisa Calderón Running for Denver Mayor

Today, October 15, Lisa Calderón is launching a campaign to unseat incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock in May 2019. Her campaign slogan? “It’s Time” — which alludes to, among other things, her bid to become the first female mayor of the Mile High City.
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