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Localworks Update

By Rachel Hultin

Are you a civic-curious person interested in pulling back the curtain to see how our city works while enjoying a local brew? Localworks invites you to Pints & Policy!

Since 2016, this quarterly gathering has featured luminary guest speakers addressing important questions in watering holes across the city. Pints & Policy strives to daylight the inner workings of Wheat Ridge government, the responsibilities of various city roles, what guides their actions, and how to get more involved.

At “Why can’t we have nice things?” City Manager Patrick Goff pulled out the City Budget Master Course pie charts, and Tyler Downs from Wazee Partners demystified Urban Renewal. Wheat Ridge already has nice things, but together we learned that increased tax revenue and leveraging private investment will result in more nice things. And that complaining on Facebook doesn’t result in anything nice.

Pints & Policy is also an opportunity to examine our civic health. During the 2017 election season, we explored the relationship between our expectations of elected officials and their responsibilities at “What have you done for me lately?” City Councilor Janeece Hoppe joined former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson and Wheat Ridge Neighbors Facebook moderator Korey Stites for a candid dialogue about how they navigate murky civic waters.

  Wheat Ridge Public Information Officer Sara Spaulding shared what it takes to be the voice and the ears of the City at “Civics & Civility.” Our conversation revealed that a passion for our city can bring out the worst in us, even when we care about our neighbors. We all agreed to work on that.

  The topics can be serious, but we’re even more serious about having fun. So, games and creative activities are always part of the experience. Whether it’s filling out “Comprehensive Plan Mad Libs,” or performing “NextDoor Theatre,” or playing “Cards Against Wheat Ridge,” you are guaranteed to laugh, learn something new, meet someone interesting, and go home with a deeper appreciation for our city.

The next Pints & Policy is Thursday, Sept. 20, at Clancy’s Irish Pub, 7 p.m. The community picked “Enter the Twilight Zoning” as the topic and our featured guest is Lauren Mikulak with Community Planning and Development. Lauren is the most Zoning-Knowing person around and will help us understand what folks can (and can’t) do with their property and what anyone can do about it. Hope to see you there!

Rachel Hultin is a member of the Localworks Board of Directors and an engaged Wheat Ridge resident.