The prognosis for Denver Decides, the longtime election-education program co-sponsored by Denver and the League of Women Voters of Denver, looked indecisive at the start of 2019, as the city revamped communication strategies. But earlier this month the project's partners got together and came up with a plan for broadcasting seven forums in advance of the May 7 municipal election, with a focus on getting out into the community, rather than bringing candidates into the city's Studio D.
"Bottom line: It was time for Denver Decides to evolve with the times, as well as to become a more cost-effective production, so we’re trying out a new strategy this year," explains Jenny Schiavone, the city's chief marketing officer. "We’ll be tracking the attendance and viewership metrics and looking at what’s successful, what’s not, and continue to work with program partners to make sure the show is relevant and meeting a community need. But our hope is that by getting out into the community, airing live on Denver 8 and social media — and replaying on the channel and online — residents can see every Denver race at their convenience."
"The League has been part of Denver Decides since its inception twenty years ago, so we're quite pleased it is still going strong," says Pearlanne Zelarney, a member of the League board.
The forums will be aired live, then recorded for replay on Denver 8 TV and online at Denvergov.org. "It’s kind of a one-stop shop for voters, conveniently located close to home," Schiavone explains. Some of the races will be combined at certain forums, and the series will culminate with a mayoral forum in April as part of Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation's annual meeting; there will also be a recorded ballot show.
Here's the lineup of forums, which you can see in person, watch live, or catch later.
6 p.m. Tuesday, March 19
District 1 (Northwest), Auditor
Scheitler Rec Center, 5031 West 46th Avenue
6 p.m. Wednesday, March 20
Districts 2 (Southwest), 7 (Southwest-Central) and Ballot Issues
SWIC, 1000 South Lowell Boulevard (Sandos Hall)
6 p.m. Wednesday, March 27
Districts 4 (Southeast), 5 (East-Central), 6 (Southeast)
Cook Park Rec Center, 7100 Cherry Creek South Drive
6 p.m. Thursday, March 28
Districts 9 (North-Central Denver), Clerk and Recorder
Johnson Rec Center, 4809 Race Street
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6 p.m. Tuesday, April 2
Districts 10 (Central), At-Large (citywide)
Denver Art Museum (Sharp Auditorium)
6 p.m. Thursday, April 4
District 8 (Northeast), 11 (Montbello/Green Valley Ranch)
Montbello Rec Center, 15555 East 53rd Avenue
9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 13
Mayoral Candidates, District 3 (West-Central)
SWIC, 1000 South Lowell Boulevard
Denver Decides is a community partnership between Denver 8, the League of Women Voters of Denver and Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation; find out more at DenverDecides.org.