Damage to garage

Photo shows how truck damaged garage door and removed center support
Candy Markley's Expect Peace Click here to view the Soup Bowl as Art gallery pages

Carol e Campbell







Been a Victim of Crime?
Immigration & English Language Acquisition
Illegal Immigration
Overcrowding & Too Many Cars

Problem Contracts & Contractors (still to come)
Excise & Licenses (still to come)
BoA (still to come)

Boy, can I relate! Here's how crime has touched my family's life over the last few years...

  • Graffiti vandalism on our property and our neighbors' properties
  • Two years spent pursuing a sex offender through the justice system
  • Three drive-by shootings on my block
  • Our garage was burglarized
  • Officer Donnie Young was tragically killed at the Salon Ocampo, an event hall in my neighborhood
  • The uncle of a renter across the alley, driving illegally with a revoked license, crashed into our alley garage; the two people involved were arrested for outstanding warrants
  • The same neighbor and his friend were jumped and stabbed while walking on West Alameda Avenue
  • A friend's brother was beaten unconscious as he left a bar on West Alameda Avenue
  • Our car window was broken out while parked in front of our house
  • A group of kids engaged in dangerous traffic pranks all summer
  • A grill and a smoker were stolen from our backyard
  • A suspected serial killer was arrested while living on my block
  • A wrought iron table and chairs that had sat in our side yard for 17 years was stolen between 1-3 pm on a Friday afternoon
  • Neighborhood friends have had their homes burglarized and cars stolen
  • While driving to school, my daughter's car was rear-ended in a hit-and-run accident

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Business owners with properties along Federal Boulevard and residents in the neighborhoods adjacent to Federal need relief from the negative impacts of cruising.

Every weekend, particularly when the weather is mild, business owners feel a negative financial impact as customers stay away because Federal is bumper-to-bumper with vehicles and kids. Customers either are too intimidated by the atmosphere and congestion to attempt to visit businesses along Federal or, as in the case of Cinco de Mayo weekend, even may be physically prohibited from doing so by police barricades errected to control the miles and miles of cruising traffic and provide an open center lane for emergency vehicles.

Neighborhood residents also are subjected to impacts which adversely affect their quality of life and infringe on enjoyment of their properties. They experience sickeningly high levels of exhaust fumes; continuous noise from loud, thumping stereos, blaring horns and vehicle engines; trashed out yards; ruined flowers, shrubs, and trees; and the occasional indignity of having their yards used as a toilet, a fight scene or a hookup location. Even trying to get in or out of the neighborhood can be a frustrating experience for area residents when they have to show a driver’s license at a police barricade or drive blocks out of their way to gain access to their own residential street.

It’s time the city stopped condoning it and adopted an ordinance making cruising illegal in Denver.
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I’ve been working on graffiti issues since 1991 and currently serve on the Graffiti Task Force's abatement subcommittee. The immediate area around my home constantly gets tagged. Garages, schools, street signs, fences, dumpsters, and retaining walls are tagged more often than they are graffiti-free. Some believe graffiti is a property crime and, therefore, a victimless crime. I disagree. The response necessary to clean up graffiti carries an economic, physical, and psychological burden that becomes overwhelming after even one attack.

Graffiti vandalism requires the redirection of limited time and resources away from property improvements and creates unacceptable blight. Property owners who are repeatedly victimized develop an understandable feeling of futility. However, we must not allow the negative messages of unremoved graffiti to remain in the community. We must do what it takes to remove the blight.

There are so many positive ways for our community to spend time and resources to benefit and enhance the lives of our citizens— think how many more hours and days our libraries and recreation centers could stay open and be more adequately staffed if we weren’t forced to squander our resources on cleaning up graffiti.

Because graffiti vandalism is increasing and spreading into ever larger areas of our community, I believe we must develop very punitive consequences until the thrill is gone—replaced by penalties more painful than the thrill is exhilarating. It’s unfortunate, but necessary until this senseless destruction stops.

The Mayor has committed to a graffiti-free Denver in three years. The Graffiti Task Force that began work on new solutions in November will make recommendations this spring. I hope many of the recommendations rejected in graffiti ordinances of the mid-90’s will find their way to policy now, including:

  • Harsh consequences for vandals including delay of issuance, or loss of, a current driver’s license; impounding of a vehicle; loss of grants, loans, city jobs, public assistance; higher fines
  • Component of parental responsibility for minor’s actions
  • Component of victims' restitution and community service

Graffiti abatement measures to include:

  • Color matching of painted surfaces
  • Remove graffiti versus painting-to-cover on previously unpainted surfaces (stone, brick, plastic)
  • Move toward a system where private property owners are responsible for removing graffiti on their property, but, continue to provide assistance for those who are repeatedly tagged and request help or who need graffiti removed (not painted over) with either solvents or high-pressure equipment
  • Proactive policing to identify graffiti vandals
  • Digital record of graffiti as it is removed by the city
  • Dedicated staff to coordinate with police and district attorney's office to build cases
  • Zero tolerance
  • Adopt a methods similar to San Jose, California's model anti-graffiti program

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As a grandchild of immigrants from Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Italy, I embrace the past and present waves of legal immigration. I am proud to live in a country that welcomes over a million legal immigrants every year. I believe the diversity in our "melting pot" has made the United States of America strong and creative.

I admire the way so many immigrants have preserved their homelands' culture and language through activities in churches, synagogues, private schools, and cultural centers. I do not believe there is a role for government in these activities. Just as we have a separation of church and state, which protects our rights to practice whatever religion we choose while not imposing it on others; I believe we also should have a separation of culture and state. This ensures that all cultures exist, side by side, with tolerance and mutual respect.

I believe communication is the key to peace—be it peace in the family, community, country, or world. Trouble always starts with dishonest or a lack of communication. In the United States, our common language, English, is essential to our staying a united people. Multi-lingual skills are to be admired and praised. However, I believe government and education, outside of foreign language classes, should be conducted in English.

As a child, I lived in Germany for three years. I lived in a bubble community that insulated me from a necessity to learn the German language. In school, we had German lessons and I learned a few words and phrases, however, I did not become fluent in the language. Because of this experience, I strongly believe that immigrant students attending our public schools should be in immersion language classrooms.
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How do we frame the conversation about the issue of illegal immigration in a constructive manner? How do we separate a compelling individual story from failed public policy and the good of the country?

I believe massive illegal immigration into this country is a travesty of social and economic justice. The rich are getting richer, the middle class is shrinking, the poor are getting poorer and, worst of all, we are creating a shadow community of unprotected, underpaid workers who have an unequal role in the society in which they live. I believe this is un-American and immoral.

I ask that proponents of open borders and another amnesty take a close look at our own country's poor and underprivileged—travel to the back hills of Appalachia, the rural deep south, or any American Indian reservation. As evidenced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many of our urban poor are also living in dire conditions. We have so much work to do here in our own country to bring up the standard of living and opportunity for our own forgotten poor.

After eight failed amnesty programs, I do not support a ninth. Amnesty has proven to be failed public policy. I have come to believe the economic pull to attain an American job must end with tough employer sanctions and a fraud-free employee verification system. I would like to see the millions of illegal immigrants in our country take what's best about the way things work in the United States and go home to start businesses, run schools and towns, and change their culture and economies for the better.
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In many of Denver’s neighborhoods, residents are confronting a high-impact and troubling phenomenon which forces them to put aside the great American credo of ‘live and let live.’ The phenomenon? Over-crowding and too many cars connected with a single family residence.

Typically the scenario starts with an ownership change of what was a quiet, well-maintained single family home. The new neighbors don’t look like the typical nuclear family unit- mom, dad, and a of couple kids. Instead, the new ‘family’ is a conglomeration of multiple mom-dad-kid units with aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids plus a grandparent or two also thrown into the mix, the stereotypical 'extended family' of old. Also typical to the scenario, every person of driving age in the household has a car. In fact, typically so many cars now are associated with the house that parking them all on, or directly in front of, the property is impossible. And here the usual ’live and let live’ credo of neighbors dies a swift death as the activities of all the people, kids and cars negatively impacts the rest of the residents on the block.

The negative impact usually include over-flowing dumpsters, neighbors who can no longer park in front of their own homes, and lots of disruptive noise and activity. In severe cases, impacts also can include neglected, trashy yards; outdoor storage of furniture and junk; yards used as bathrooms or parking lots; the mischief of unsupervised children and neglected animals; drug and gang activity; and impacts from business uses like car repair or retail food production. Whatever the combination of impacts, they’re hard to ignore and change the ability of everyone else on the block to live in peace and quiet.

Over the years, I’ve been looking into viable solutions to the problem of over-crowded homes. City and federal representatives always point to the definition of family as the sticking point to limiting the number of people in a home. However, ordinances on the books currently limit the number of roommates in a 'one-family residence'- ordinances designed to address similar issues for neighborhoods near colleges and universities. It is common sense that we now address this latest housing phenomenon which has moved into and negatively is impacting other parts of our community.

I believe Denver’s method of calculating the square footage needed per person and the ratio of autos to a home is outdated. Current Denver law reads, nine people legally can reside in a 1,000 square-foot house. You need 150 square feet for the first person and 100 square feet for each additional resident. One thousand square feet minus 150 equals 850 square feet. One plus eight equals nine people. Never mind there may be only one or two tiny bedrooms and one bathroom in a house that size. The other part of the law creating a problem is how the number of cars per household is calculated. The law reads one car per licensed driver plus one for the household. So, in our 1,000 square-foot home example, if all the people are licensed drivers, legally ten cars could be registered at that house.

If elected, I would like to re-examine and update Denver’s ordinances surrounding the issue of over-crowded homes and the number of cars per household.
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Denver needs to adopt color matching— it avoids creating "canvases"


  • Fence shows why an unpainted surface should not be painted when removing
  • Pole shows why color matching is needed


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  Last updated March 24, 2008            Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved

Denver needs a color matching policy to avoid the blighted look: