The Contenders: Former Boxer Aurelio Martinez Fighting to Be a Contender

Aurelio for Denver Mayor
This is the fourteenth in our series on the Denver mayoral candidates, based on their responses to a Westword questionnaire sent to every contender on the ballot last month; see PBS12's "Humanizing" piece on Aurelio Martinez below.

Aurelio Martinez
, a graduate of Manual High School, has a diverse range of experiences that he'd bring to the Denver mayor's office. He's run the concessions at City Park Golf Course; he also owned and operated Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant. Since retiring in 2020, Martinez has done volunteer advocacy work in the Curtis Park neighborhood, where he lives.

While he's not the only former athlete in the mayoral field, he's the most accomplished: He competed as a boxer at both the amateur and professional levels for ten years.

Why are you running for mayor?

To fix a broken city.

What is your plan to tackle homelessness?

Enforcement. I’ll put together an Encampment Enforcement Team (EET) to enforce Denver’s camping ban.

Would you end homeless encampment sweeps?

Yes. It would no longer be needed with EET monitoring.

What is your plan to improve public safety in Denver?

Restructure the Department of Public Safety to better serve and protect Denver residents, workers and businesses. The restructuring process will include input from department heads and Denver residents. Once a restructuring plan is in place, we can better adjust the budget for an increase or decrease.

How will you work with Denver Public Schools to improve education and safety in schools?

Denver has no authority over DPS. In saying this, we will meet with the DPS school board and superintendent on how Denver can play a part in assisting DPS.

What is your stance on the Park Hill Golf Course development proposal?

The voters need to vote against Park Hill Golf Course development. This will send the proposal back to me as Denver mayor, and we will restructure the plan to better serve the Park Hill communities and Denver.

How can Denver significantly expand its affordable-housing stock?

If affordable housing is going to meet Denver’s goals of keeping residents and workers and bringing back residents, Denver will have to develop properties and not rely solely on private developers.

Denver has historically been a car-centric city. Should the city take significant road space from cars for other forms of transportation (walking, rolling, biking, scootering, bus, etc.)?

Over 400,000 people work in Denver; therefore, you are not going to get many people living outside of Denver to walk, roll or scooter from neighboring cities. We need more park-and-rides to encourage bus or train transportation into the Central Business District.

What would you do if the Denver Broncos demand public dollars as a requirement for keeping the stadium in the Mile High City?

We will cross that bridge when the time comes. I would be hard-pressed to raise any taxes for Denver residents unless there is a strong benefit to Denver residents.

Violence during let-out in LoDo has been an issue for years. Would you support a staggered closing time that ends at 4 a.m.?

This would be something to consider.

What question do you wish we'd asked?

"How our administration will give more control to residents of Denver in order to have a say in development in, or affecting the quality of life in, their neighborhoods."

We will put together an Office of Ombudsman and Liaison that will be the bonding of residents and the city administration to ensure neighborhoods are in control.
See answers from Kelly Brough, Thomas Wolf, Lisa Calderón, Andy Rougeot, Ean Tafoya, Renate Behrens, Debbie Ortega, James Walsh, Robert Treta, Leslie Herod, Chris Hansen, Mike Johnston, Trinidad Rodriguez, Aurelio Martinez, Terrance Roberts and Al Gardner.
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a former staff writer at Westword, where he covered a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports; he now lives in upstate New York.

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