Joe Anderson has lived in Englewood for nine years. He’s the director of Unite Englewood, a coalition of churches and nonprofits that works together to serve the city. He worked as a land surveyor and draftsman before beginning a career in Christian ministry. He also started a publishing company, Headwaters Christian Resources, that produces resources for churches and Christian schools.
He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wichita State University and a master’s degree in biblical studies from Rocky Mountain Seminary.
Contact: 720-998-6116 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign website: BringingEngle woodTogether.com
Why do you want to serve on the Englewood City Council?
I want to use my experience in building collaborative partnerships to serve our city. My aim is to address our most pressing needs so that my kids will grow up in a vibrant city with sound infrastructure, smart development and strong neighborhoods. I want them to be able to start a business out of the garage and grow it into a powerhouse without needing to move out of Englewood. I want to ensure that they grow up in a city with well-maintained roads, bridges and buildings, and a rich cultural life with strong neighborhood relationships.
What can city council do to increase revenue sources for the city?
No one wants to raise taxes, and that leaves us with two other options. First, we want Englewood to be the most business-friendly town in the metro area. We want people to come from all over south metro to start businesses here, and to spend money at Englewood businesses, which raises sales tax revenue. In order to do this, we need to continue to beautify South Broadway to make it a walkable downtown where people can dine, drink and shop. Second, we also need to explore other creative avenues like the biogas reclamation proposal for our wastewater treatment plant.
Amid rising housing prices, what can city council do to ensure young families are not priced out of Englewood?
City council has little influence over the supply and demand forces that shape the housing market. People want to move to the greater Denver area, and Englewood’s small-town feel, growing number of restaurants and retail establishments, and proximity to Denver and the Denver Tech Center via car and light rail make it an attractive place to live. What we can do is ensure that future housing developments include some lower-income and workforce housing.
What types of crime most need to be addressed in the city and what can be done?
I recently went on a ride-along with the Englewood police, and half of our time was spent addressing non-violent, nuisance- level issues created by the homeless. With homelessness on the rise everywhere, we can’t wish the problem away. We need creative and collaborative solutions that work for residents and businesses, but also treat our homeless with dignity. This year, I worked with Chief John Collins to help form a task force that brings the police department together with churches and nonprofits that serve our homeless population. We need a clear pathway out of homelessness and clear paths to available services.
What two issues need more attention than the current city council has given them?
The first is homelessness. Very little has been done to address this growing issue as I described above. The second is our city infrastructure: $77 million in critical updates are needed in the near future and we have no plan to pay for them. Our current budget is balanced for our operations (paying city staff and running our programs and services) but doesn’t account for capital improvements. City council needs to come up with a strategic plan to ensure that our roads, bridges and buildings are kept in good working order.