Carla Madison, Denver City councilwoman, dies after cancer battle: Colleagues pay tribute

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

District 8 councilwoman Carla Madison has been battling colon cancer for about two years, but the fight didn't seem to slow her down. That's why her sudden death yesterday came as such a surprise. Below, read the city's official goodbye to Madison, featuring remembrances from council president Chris Nevitt and acting mayor Bill Vidal, as well as the sort of personal details that are unusual in this kind of announcement.

City of Denver release:


Denver City Council lost one of their most vibrant members as District 8 Councilwoman Carla Madison lost her battle with cancer late Tuesday. Madison was elected in June 2007 and known for her bold style and outlook on life. She was passionate about neighborhoods and strengthening the community spirit of her East-Denver district. An ardent environmentalist, Carla was often seen riding around town on her cruiser bike or jetting to Council meetings on her orange scooter, sporting a colorful hat and a warm smile.

In her work as a Councilwoman, she carried on the District 8 community traditions of the Hiawatha Davis Senior Luncheon and the King Trimble Tea. She started her own tradition, hosting an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social in City Park each summer, complete with historic costumes and activities. Adoption of the City's new zoning code in 2010 was due in large part to her efforts to shepherd the massive overhaul through the political process, while being attuned to the needs of Denver's business and neighborhood organizations.

Statement from Denver City Council President Chris Nevitt: "On behalf of the Denver City Council, we are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague Carla Madison. Her spirit and love of the Denver community was unparalleled and Carla's passionate, selfless and considerate voice is a great loss for the City. Our love and support is with her husband Paul Weiss and her family in this time of deep sorrow."

Statement from Denver Mayor Guillermo (Bill) Vidal: "Carla was a dear friend who always had a warm smile and a kind word to share, and in turn, her positive energy and attitude brought happiness to others. She was a true and tireless champion for the many and diverse issues brought forward by her constituents in Council District 8, as well as a steadfast supporter of city-wide economic development and an outspoken advocate for the arts. Never too busy to take a moment to discuss an issue or a concern, Carla was known for her kind and selfless spirit. Carla will be greatly missed at City Hall but never forgotten in our thoughts. May peace be with her loved ones at this time of their loss."

Madison, a physical therapist prior to becoming an elected official, was a graduate of Marycrest High School, obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado in cartography, and a Master's of Physical Therapy from Boston University. Madison is survived by her husband Paul Weiss. The couple was well-known for their creative holiday greeting cards and love of their dogs.

Services for Madison are pending and will be posted on the Denver City Council website when available at www.denvergov.org/CityCouncil

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Medical marijuana dispensary closure: City council's Carla Madison defends amendment."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.