March 2023: NOAAH Prime Publisher’s Page

Kevin Marchman, Founding Member/Publisher NOAAH Prime

Harold Laswell, the noted American political scientist, once observed and defined politics as, “who gets what, when and why.” Politics live in the papers, documents, treaties, agreements ensuring the divide between the haves and have nots. The who gets what they want and others get little of what they need.

The state of Colorado and city of Denver have an ongoing affordable housing crisis which has approached a critical juncture. While recent efforts and attentions have been forthcoming, it will take the state and its largest city a decade to catch up with a housing stock which is affordable to all its citizens. Colorado has always been a progressive western state recognizing money, increased taxes, and incentives to build will not overcome persistent community obstacles preventing affordable housing development.

Affordable housing development is a living organism and not the processes, planning, and its construction. It takes patience, understanding disparate needs, and resolutions which lead to agreement.

You need only to look at the torturous and divisive nature of the public and destructive discourse of the proposed development of the Northeast Park Hill golf site. For more than half a century individual, neighbors, civic organizations, resident groups, and others have fought for control of the site. The needs of the city’s residents are often trumped by the desires of a few. Common civil sense is replaced by more open space than any neighborhood could ask for.

We should be not surprised. The property which was once entitled to a few by segregation, redlining policies, and racism now sits next to a neighborhood who has lost its political strength to control its own determinations and destiny. The 155 acres sits dormant, unused and cornered by busy boulevard as well as an interstate highway, is now seen as an oasis of green dreams needing to be protected by papers and politics.

On April 4, Denverites aren’t choosing development or not, the city will be deciding who gets what, when and why.

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