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Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Residents Show Up To Save La Alma

This isn't just where I work....it's mostly where I live.  
The Denver Post
More than 100 passionate west-siders begged Denver city officials tonight not to mess with a recreation center that's considered the heart of the community.

Young and old, some angry and some fighting back tears, showed up for a meeting to discuss ways to try to preserve the La Alma Recreation Center just southwest of downtown at 1325 W. 11th Ave.
Faced with a $120 million deficit, the city is considering privatizing part of La Alma, while having the parks department oversee and improve the pool.

"Privatizing La Alma is like blowing out a candle," said neighborhood resident Chris Medina . "It is more than a neighborhood rec center. It is my home."

He and others fear that letting a nonprofit operate La Alma would change its character and could be the first step in its closure.

Craig Peña, a Santa Fe Drive businessman, talked about the role of La Alma in people's lives. He asked for a show of hands of how many people know "Rich from the rec center."

Nearly everyone raised their hand. Rich, it turned out, is the janitor at La Alma.
"I appreciate ... trying to balance our city budget, but I don't appreciate it being done on the backs of the west side," Peña said. "If privatizing were such a great idea it would be done all over the city. Don't start with us. Start with Wash Park."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As usual Denver Post is full of politicians. La Alma Residents do not BEG for anything! They are demanding what is left of a true commmunity. People who know people. Not a bunch of gentifiers who think their money can build a community. They have no roots - that's why they are called gentification of the neighborhoods. The Post should have said "La Alma property are AGAIN being stolen for pennies for the profit as it was done with Auraria!!!