Election 2021: Candice Ferguson strives to center human voices on Littleton council

She vows to champion diversity and affordable housing

Candice Ferguson, a longtime community activist, volunteer and former candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives, wants big change for the City of Littleton. 
Affordable housing. Mental health resources. More support for immigrants. But all of it starts with listening to the community. 
“I would like to see more diversity in our city council conversations, specifically with our Black and Latinx communities,” the city council District 1 candidate said. “I don’t see them represented in city council meetings or in those conversations. And I don’t think anybody is extending a hand to invite them.” 
Ferguson is critical of the council’s recent decision to defund the Littleton Immigration Resources Center, a low-cost service that has helped hundreds of immigrants gain citizenship for over a decade. 
“I believe that immigrants are part of the fabric of Littleton,” she said. 
Ferguson, who is running against incumbent councilmember Patrick Driscoll, said she would bring a “drastically different” approach to how council members connect with their community. 
Driscoll was one of five council members who voted to defund the immigration center. Ferguson said those decisions are what leave out voices in Littleton’s community. 
She said she believes if more diversity is present in council conversations, it could open doors and expand ambitions for how Littleton can be a city for all. 
One of those areas is affordable housing, which Ferguson champions. She doesn’t see the interest from council that she believes is warranted. 
“What I’m seeing right now is a very narrow view of the definition of affordable,” she said. 
With rising housing and rental prices throughout the Denver area, Ferguson said younger people are at risk of being priced out of Littleton. Retired older people, she said, also face difficulties affording the city that they have lived in for so many years. 
“If we are not taking care of both generational end caps, we will no longer have a thriving, robust, diverse city,” she said. 
A flashpoint for the city recently has been the proposed redevelopment of Aspen Grove, a 33-acre shopping center in south Littleton that has long generated dwindling sales tax revenue. Developers are proposing a new vision for the site, cutting down on commercial space and creating up to 2,000 residential units. 
While Ferguson said she supports redevelopment she is also concerned about who housing is being built for. She said she has yet to see specifics about how much affordable housing would make up the residences being proposed. 
“It must include an inclusive plan for all, not just the affluent few,” she said. 
This campaign is not Ferguson’s first stint in politics. She worked with state representatives to write House Bill 1120, a youth suicide and prevention bill signed into law in 2019.
She also ran and lost in last year’s Democratic primary for Colorado House District 38. That experience, however, gave her the opportunity to hear from a range of voices, something she has made a cornerstone of her current campaign. 
“I learned that the residents of Littleton, and Arapahoe County, are deeply impassioned about this town,” she said. “And they just want to be heard, and that’s what I will fight for.”
Candice Ferguson


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