Denver Mayoral and City Council Candidates on GND

The science is clear: we need climate solutions now, and we don’t have a moment to lose. We’re calling on Denver Mayoral and City Council Candidates to align their policies with science and their priorities with the moral imperative of this moment. We’re calling for real climate leadership.

We’ve asked candidates to note their positions on both fossil fuel divestment as well as the Green New Deal, both of which demonstrate bold climate action.

You can see the Candidate Questionnaire here. Stay tuned for more information on which candidates support these initiatives. The list below will be updated as responses are received.

For FAQs regarding Denver and fossil fuel divestment, click here. 

Also, 350 Colorado co-hosted a Mayoral Candidate Forum on March 21st, where candidates were asked questions about their positions on a number of issues, including divestment. To view the forum, click here or below.

The following candidates have responded to the candidate questionnaire and have expressed support for fossil fuel divestment:
Christine Alonzo

“I think as a city we have to take the approach that we care about the health and safety of our citizens who live in it. The only message that corporations and big business hear, is when it hurts their bottom line. We have to take the same approach with the health of our communities, the city will move it’s money or cease to invest where the best interest of our communities are not put first.”

*Alonzo also supports the Green New Deal

Veronica Barela

“We can find local causes to reinvest this money into. It is a win-win. We do our part to shift the energy economy and we can keep the money in Colorado.”

Lisa Calderon

“I support the city moving away from holdings related to the fossil fuel industry, and as a candidate, I will not accept donations from the industry. As a lifelong advocate for my community and the health of communities, I would not want city funds to be contributing to industries that are hurting people’s health and hurting the environment. I will work with stakeholders on plans to move away from such problematic priorities in our city savings, financing, and lending. 

My approach to environmental policy is holistic, including the impacts of industry and development on community health, the environment, and the economy. My own communities have been most impacted by air and water pollution caused by industry and fossil fuel combustion. We must move to use of sources that are clean and environmentally safer, and prioritize policies that move us tin that direction immediately. 

I was an advocate for my community and participated in activism to stop development of the I-70 corridor, because of the negative impacts it will have on our health. The project is moving forward, but the federal lawsuit I participated in as co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum, along with the Sierra Club, resulted in a settlement that requires a study of the health impacts of the corridor on the community. As mayor, I will continue this work, and task my administration to study the impacts of pollution and implement policies to respond to them. We must protect the health of ALL communities in our city.

I will take steps to divest from fossil fuels in a thoughtful way that also considers the impact on our communities and implement policies that ensure the transition to renewable energy is equitable, fair, and just, and that the new jobs created offer livable wages and fair, safe working conditions for the workers.”

*Calderon also supports the Green New Deal

Candi CdeBaca

*CdeBaca also supports the Green New Deal

Sabrina D’Agosta

“One of the three priorities in my policy platform is to advocate for Safe, Healthy and Welcoming Communities. I believe that part of a healthy community is one that acknowledges the very real threat of climate change, and doing our part to ensure we reduce our environmental impact. One of my other platform priorities is to advocate for Smart Growth, which includes improving transit and mobility options and creating more walkable, mixed-use communities so we can get in our cars less, which will help decrease CO2 emissions. Denver can and should be a leader in fossil fuel divestment and a 100% clean energy economy. We need bold leadership willing to take big steps now in order to do so. I am also one of only four candidates in District 1 who signed on to a pledge to ban fracking in Denver.”

*D’Agosta also supports the Green New Deal

Paul Noel Fiorino

“Fiorino for Colorado was the candidate that made water the first priority in campaigns since 2006, followed by years of developing Environmental Hope.
My brother and I brought the environmental problems and programs to the new Mayor of Denver -John Hickenlooper when it was deemed dead by TIME magazine. 
I recently gave him a present of coal cookies to have with his favorite drink, at Governor Polis inauguration. Denver and Colorado is in a great position to lead this challenge and finally put the health and safety of our citizenry first . A major hemp market will prevail and 2020 will show where we are and direction the State is going. 
I will also continue the commitment we had made with Proclamation 17-0452 and will be the UNAFFILIATED Mayor for Denver with the history, concern and cojones to bring environmental hope to the dialogue that we can make this change and Divest.”

*Fiorino also supports the Green New Deal

Kalyn Heffernan

“The city must prioritize the health and safety of our residents first and foremost. Every business and factory in the city must be held to a high standard when it comes to it’s impact and must set higher standards to protect our city from historic environmental racism. There are too many companies and factories capitalizing while they harm the lives of surrounding residents, pumping toxic waste into the air and soil. The city must take better action. If our EPA won’t do it, we must! This same standard must be met for the entire city, and if a factory cannot abide by it’s environmental safety standards, set by qualified environmental scientists, they must go. This has to be another emergency priority. As a water protector who sat on the front lines at Standing Rock, I would ban fracking immediately and plan to divest from the fossil fuel industry.”

*Heffernan also supports the Green New Deal

Paul Kashmann

“Denver needs to lead the way in transitioning to a green energy policy.”

*Kashmann also supports the Green New Deal

Debbie Ortega

*Ortega also supports the Green New Deal

Erik Penn

“While not potentially an immediate option, the city should send a clear and distinct message with its dollars and investments that we must move forward into a generation of green renewable energy and away from hazardous and polluting fossil fuels.”

*Penn also supports the Green New Deal

Tony Pigford

“We will never truly accomplish our goal of putting people before profits and protecting our environment, health, and safety if we do not sever financial ties and reliance to the Oil and Gas industry.”

*Pigford also supports the Green New Deal

Miguel Ceballos-Ruiz

*Ruiz also supports the Green New Deal

David Sabados

“Fossil fuel investments are increasingly a bad financial move as greener energy options become more robust and more common. I believe there are far better investments the city can be making that both support a cleaner environment and have a respectable ROI for the city. Throughout my campaign, I’ve advocated for divestment, instead using those resources to fund a new low interest loan program for builders who commit to building more affordable and attainable housing. We can invest in our own city: create more housing for working families, show our support for a cleaner environment, and earn a respectable return at the same time.”

*Sabados also supports the Green New Deal

Amanda Sandoval

“I would like to continue working on the legislation Councilman Espinoza has currently drafted. I commit to advancing this ordinance and working with other Councilmembers to ensure we can get a coalition of Council to get it passed!”

*Sandoval also supports the Green New Deal 

Amanda Sawyer

“In theory I support this. We need to fight climate change with every tool we have. Things like fracking should be banned in Denver, and we need to do more to protect our green space and our environment.”

Ken Simpson

*Simpson also supports the Green New Deal

Patrick Thibault

*Thibault also supports the Green New Deal

Colleen Zahradnicek

“Not only should the city divest from fossil fuel, we should have a public bank so we can use the interest to reinvest in our community instead of having a big bank profit off our interest.”

*Zahradnicek also supports the Green New Deal

Other candidates who provided a statement, but who have not formally endorsed Divestment:

Scott Durrah

“I believe that Denver should add a third layer of oversight, that can include neutral third parties, to ensure that investment partnerships in the Mile High reflect the wishes of the voters in the city. The City’s investment advisers and the Chief Financial Officer would be responsible for screening investments to assure compliance.”

*Durrah supports the Green New Deal

Stacie Gilmore

“I believe that we need to have a plan to divest from fossil fuel while also providing the workforce training support to ensure that our working families and local economies are not negatively impacted. I’m working on a workforce development training center concept along the Tower Road corridor to provide training for renewable and sustainable energy options in addition to maintaining our existing systems in a more public health/safety focused direction.”

Michael Hancock

“The city invests its financial holdings in a variety of portfolios including corporate debt obligations. The City is not permitted to acquire equities under its current Investment Policy. The amount invested in corporate debt is limited to 20% of the total investment portfolio. One goal of our investment strategy is to have adequate industry diversity to protect the city’s investment of public dollars. Currently, less than 1% of the city’s funds are invested in fossil fuel based industries, specifically Exxon Mobile and Chevron Texaco, and those will begin expiring this year.

I would support the city establishing an affirmative sustainable energy policy to prioritize investments in companies that develop/build sustainable technologies and/or promote social equity while limiting the city’s investment portfolio from future investments in direct fossil fuel companies. I have tasked the City’s Investment Advisory Committee with evaluating and developing such a policy.”

*Hancock supports the Green New Deal

Penfield Tate

“Understanding that the city must invest consistent with state law, to the maximum extent possible, I believe the city should transition investment from the fossil fuel/extraction industries to the renewable fuels industries.”

*Tate supports the Green New Deal

*Please note that 350 Colorado does not formally endorse any candidate, however does aim to educate Coloradans on issues related to climate change. 

Candidates who Responded to the Survey and Do *Not* Support Divestment

David Oletski

*David also does *not* support the Green New Deal