Total participants at the start of meeting: 47.
The Ward 1 Town Hall meeting started at 6pm on the 27th of January. Crystal Murillo (Ward 1 Councilor), Meg Allen (Community Engagement Coordinator), Bill Gondrez and Nadine Caldwell (North Aurora Neighborhood Organization [NANO]) were on the call. A interpreter also was available to translate comments to and from Spanish.
The meeting opened with comments from Christina Amparan, the program manager of Aurora’s Youth Violence Prevention [YVP] program. Some points of interest include:
- The program’s age limit for “at-risk youth” is 14-24.
- There is communication between Denver and Aurora’s respective YVPs, the Office of Community Violence Solutions (formerly GRID), Denver Public Safety Youth Programs, as well as with various nonprofits.
- Salvation Army will partner to host weekly community events at 802 Quari Court, starting 18Feb at 6pm. It is possible that more will be added to the list as time goes on. Ms. Amparan is open to any and all suggestions for more events.
- Aurora’s YVP plans to keep a flat organization: 1 manager, 1 coordinator, and at least 2-4 specialists. At the time of this writing, there are no job openings on City of Aurora’s website.
The ward meeting continued with introductions from newly elected Aurora Public Schools (APS) board members. Attending were Dr. Anne Keke, Michael Carter, and Tramaine Duncan. At least half an hour was spent on discussion over the impending closure of Sable Elementary and other schools in Ward 1. Many teachers and community members are all firmly against closing the school. Crystal Murillo and Bill Gondrez are also in agreement that the school should remain open. Further discussions will continue on 5:30p, 8Feb at North Middle School Auditorium.
Meg Allen added that the Neighborhood Improvement Grant program is still underway. Over $5000 is slated to be granted to block parties, “meet your neighbor” events, and marketing materials. Two more online meetings are being held at 2Feb (12-2pm) and 3Feb (6-8pm).
To close, North Aurora Neighborhood Organization (NANO) unveiled a list of concerns their members had regarding the state of Ward 1. Among their concerns include safety, homelessness, and local jobs. A full list is set to be released to the public shortly. (UPDATE: The list has been made public.)
The meeting ended at 7:45pm, 15 minutes over its scheduled time. The next meeting is scheduled for 6-7:30pm, 24Feb2022.