By Joshua Wolpe, SPECIAL TO DENVER DAILY NEWS
Today marks the deadline for Denver’s November mail-in ballot election, which features the DPS School Board vote as well as a decision on the controversial initiative that would require Denver police officers to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers.
Initiative 300, which exempts rental car companies and victims of theft, aims to add a stipulation to the impound issue that Denver voters approved last year, which directed police to impound vehicles of unlicensed drivers while charging a $2,500 fee to get the vehicle out of the impound.
Whereas last year’s measure left it up to the officer’s discretion on whether to impound the car, this year’s measure makes it mandatory unless the driver has “convincing corroborating evidence” of their identity such as an insurance card or social security card.
I-300 supporters claim the ordinance is about traffic safety. The Future Denver Committee, run by I-300 founder Daniel Hayes, says that current estimates show one out of every 10 vehicles is driven by an unlicensed driver, and they are responsible for about half of the fatal accidents on the road.
Future Denver goes on to say that the victims in these “costly” accidents are the general public who must carry uninsured motorist coverage, liability insurance for passenger injuries, and health insurance for injuries to oneself.
The opposition, which includes the group Coloradans for Safe Communities, claims that police officers are already given the ability to impound a vehicle if they feel it is in the best interest of public safety, and I-300 is an “unnecessary initiative that micromanages police efforts” by forcing them to tow vehicles.
I-300 opponents also include the Denver City Council, which passed a proclamation last month urging voters to kill the measure because it would be too expensive for the city and tie up police resources.
School Board candidates
At-large seat: Mary Seawell and Christopher Scott
Seawell, who lives in Stapleton with her husband and three daughters, has professional experience in non-profit management and community engagement, and is on the Boards of Directors for the Odyssey School, the Denver Language School and the Bluff Lake Nature Center.
Scott, who grew up in Arvada, has two children who attend DPS, is a founding member of the Denver Education Advocacy Network and a past member of the Board of Directors of Northwest Parents for Excellent Schools.
District 2: Andrea Merida and Ismael Garcia
Merida, who has one son, has lived nearly her entire life in Southwest Denver and serves as a House District Captain in House District 2. She studied music at Metropolitan State College and enlisted in the U.S. Army, where she received an honorable discharge.
Garcia is Coordinator of Leadership Programs at Community College of Denver who has lived in District 2 since 2002. He served as a founding board member of West Denver Prep, a Denver Public School charter established in 2005. Garcia is an ordained minister who lives with his wife and their three boys who all attend Castro Elementary.
District 3: Jeanne Kaplan (uncontested)
Kaplan has lived in Denver for 33 years, and has worked in television news part-time as the director of the Colorado Electronic Election Pool, as well as a serving as PTSA president and many school committees. She and her husband have two children who attended DPS.
District 4: Alton Clark, Nate Easley, Jacqui Shumway, Andrea Mosby and Vernon Jones
Clark, who served in the U.S. Army for 16 years before being honorably discharged as a disabled veteran, was born in Denver and graduated from Metropolitan State College in 1996. He is the Associate Director for the Veterans Upward Bound Program and works part-time as an Addictions Counselor.
Dr. Easley serves as Deputy Director for the Denver Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit public charity that seeks to empower DPS students to “achieve their postsecondary goals.” Easley, who has also served as an Upward Bound counselor and an assistant director at Colorado State University, is a graduate of Montbello High School.
Shumway, who moved to Denver in 1988 and earned her master’s from the University of Northern Colorado in 1998, has advocated for healthier communities through physical fitness, music and art. She serves as Chair for The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity and on the Colorado Governors Council for Physical Fitness. Shumway and her husband started the Tai Chi Project while she directed fitness education at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Mosby, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver and a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado, currently works as a consultant and speaker. She has spent the past 30 years working in the Denver metro area, specifically in Park Hill. Her son has attended Knight Academy, Hamilton Middle School and George Washington High School.
Pastor Jones, who has three children currently in DPS and one future DPS student with his wife Jaymie, is the son and nephew of DPS educators. His mother has been an educator for nearly 20 years, and currently works at Marrama Elementary School, and his aunt teaches at Maxwell Elementary School. Jones has been on the Family School Linkage team, the Collaborative School Committee and the PTA.
Distributed by Colorado Capitol Reporters