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Rachel Chaparro is a Sunnyside neighborhood Icon: Kenny Be's Hip Tip

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Originally founded in the early 1880s by Italian vegetable farmers on open land just north of the Highland neighborhood, Sunnyside is still a growing by leaps and bounds. The mix of historic homes on tree-lined streets accented with pockets of light industry is attractive to residents with a unique form of split personality. Meet Rachel Chaparro... Like all Sunnyside residents, Rachel Chaparro (pictured above) has a split personality that is a unique combination of small-town charm and urban guerrilla. A native of La Junta who grew up in Las Animas, Rachel is not a big-city country bumpkin. She is a friendly go-getter with a competitive inclination to seek justice and help change the world.

Rachel's resume is as impressive as it is prolific. With her master's degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver, Rachel has worked as a campaign manager for CU Regent Michael Carrigan, field director for Colorado Women's Agenda, manager of education and outreach for the Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, development director for the Latina Initiative and the communications director for the Biennial of the Americas.

Where does she get the time to think? By strapping on her trainers and racing up 14ers. The purpose of her mountain marches is split between personal introspection and endurance training for Ironwoman triathlons.

Like all Sunnysiders, Rachel enjoys a diverse neighborhood that is amazingly convenient to downtown. If she lived anywhere else in the city of Denver, neighbors would frown on Rachel's flowerless borders and dusty lawn. But here among people with similar Sunnyside split personalities, it is understood that a little neighborhood neglect is often proof of a great deal of civic duty.

More from our Kenny Be/Comics archive: "Mark Udall's Congressional team-building game plan: Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario."

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


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