If you live in Denver, your ballot has likely arrived, and there is one item on the ballot that can impact our entire region: Initiative 300.
The initiative would allow people to camp indefinitely in all outdoor spaces, from parks to sidewalks to public venues like Red Rocks. The initiative prohibits enforcement of laws like park curfews that enhance public safety, protect public health and ensure our public spaces are open, safe and available for everyone in our community to enjoy.
We have joined Together Denver, a diverse coalition of neighborhood groups, nonprofits and businesses, to oppose Initiative 300 because we know that telling someone who is experiencing homelessness that their solution is to camp is nothing more than inhumane.
Even more appalling is that Initiative 300 would make it harder for service providers and outreach workers to approach someone who is homeless and provide support and much-needed services.
Such a proposal also causes great concern about public safety and health, and not just for those of us who work in Denver, but for those who are experiencing homelessness as well.
Watch Natalie, a woman who experienced homelessness with her daughter, share her perspective and how Initiative 300 would have kept her homeless longer:
We know our community can do better by developing real solutions to homelessness together that help people find housing and services. For us, this is an issue of basic human decency – we don’t believe the right answer to addressing someone in need is to suggest they camp as the solution. Join us in voting no on Initiative 300.
Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.