Statement from Aurora leaders on listening, learning and acting for change
As our country faces uncertainty, discord and deep
pain, we know it is having a significant impact in our community
and rightfully leading to an examination of our own past, our
current practices and the changes we have made and must continue
to make for our future.
The killing of George Floyd was wrong. Many people
have courageously exercised their right to be heard through
peaceful protests and meaningful conversations. At the same time,
recent days have seen destruction, violence and disregard for
fellow human beings, and we can’t lose sight of the fact that
what precipitates these events are the repeated images, over the
years, of people of color losing their lives unjustly. But it’s
also more than that: it’s years of institutionalized and
government sanctioned racism that has robbed generation after
generation of African Americans of their human and civil rights.
As a government entity we represent a force guilty
of past oppression. Over the years, local governments have
enforced restrictive zoning and covenants, segregation, curfews,
made infrastructure decisions to isolate people of color, and
permitted disparate enforcement of laws, just to name several
practices used. As a local government we must take a leadership
role in being an agent for change and be a part of the solution.
A first step for Aurora was the creation early
this year of our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As
this effort moves forward, its work will help us learn and give
us the tools to be change agents.
It is vital that in addition to raising our voices
in support of what is right and calling out what is wrong, we
also listen and seek to learn from each other. From these
lessons, we will grow and make critical changes. City leaders are
eager to hear, learn and act.
Aurora is made stronger by the many voices and
backgrounds of those who call it home. We welcome coming together
with our community for the shared purpose of eliminating racial
inequity and lifting up outcomes for all.
Mike Coffman, Mayor Jim Twombly, City Manager Nicole Johnston, Mayor Pro Tem, Council Member,
Ward II Crystal Murillo, Council Member, Ward I Marsha Berzins, Council Member, Ward III Juan Marcano, Council Member, Ward IV Alison Coombs, Council Member, Ward V Françoise Bergan, Council Member, Ward VI Curtis Gardner, Council Member, At Large Dave Gruber, Council Member, At Large Allison Hiltz, Council Member, At Large Angela Lawson, Council Member, At Large
Join Mayor Mike Coffman every Friday on Facebook Live
and on AuroraTV.org to hear the latest information on
what's going on in Aurora and ask your questions of
For the latest on COVID-19 and the city's
response, as well as available resources for businesses and
residents, go to the city's information page at AuroraGov.org/COVID-19.
Change to Department of Housing and Community
Services reflects priorities
In order to better reflect the city’s priorities of
addressing affordable housing, homelessness and neighborhood
support, the city of Aurora’s Neighborhood Services Department
has been renamed the Department of Housing and Community
Services, effective June 1.
As part of this reorganization, the Community
Relations Division, which had formerly been part of Neighborhood
Services, will join the city’s recently created Office of
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“Neighborhood Services has always been a key point
of contact between residents and the city, and these changes help
ensure engagement continues across city departments in a way that
aligns with residents’ priorities,” said Nancy Sheffield, interim
director of the Department of Housing and Community Services. “We
want our work on housing, homelessness and community relations to
be strategic and citywide, and these changes stress how important
those issues are to Aurora.”
The Department of Housing and Community Services
now includes Animal Services, Community Development, Homelessness
Program, and Neighborhood Support, which includes Code
Enforcement and the Neighborhood Liaison program.
Community Relations, which is moving to the Office
of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is responsible for advocating
for the effective use of available human, community and social
service resources. The division oversees the Human Relations
Commission, Veterans’ Affairs Commission, the Aurora Key
Community Response Team, ReACT (Responding to Aurora’s Critical
Topics), the Aurora Community of Faith and other community-led
connections between residents and the city. This move will help
Community Relations expand its reach across city departments and
ensure a broader community focus.
Council Member Town Meetings Council members are eager to hear from residents and
committed to forums in which those conversations can occur, but
the format and structure of town meetings may be affected by the
COVID-19 crisis. Please visit AuroraGov.org/Council to check
the latest information on meeting dates.
City Council Regular Meeting (Virtual) Monday, June 22, 7:30 p.m. View this meeting online at AuroraTV.org and cable
channels 8 and 880. You can also listen to the meeting by phone
(see AuroraGov.org for
details). In advance of the meeting, submit a comment for Public
Invited To Be Heard or an individual agenda item to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please
indicate in your email whether you want your comment read into
the record at the meeting or simply forwarded to mayor and City
Council. Staff will read the first three minutes of any comment
into the record as requested. Comments will also be accepted in
advance of the meeting by phone by calling the City Clerk’s
Office at 303.739.7094. AuroraGov.org/Council • Streamed
live at AuroraTV.orgor cable
channels 8 and 880 only
Library's Summer of Imagination Through Aug. 1 This year’s summer program is completely virtual. Register online and
download your reading logs. When you reach your reading
milestones, email us at APLReadingRocks@auroragov.org to
receive your prizes.
Aurora Mobile Food Pantry Wednesday, June 10, 10 a.m. to until food has been
distributed In partnership with Aurora Interfaith Community
Services, the city of Aurora is distributing at least 9,000 meals
every week at various locations throughout the city. Photo ID or
proof of Aurora residency is required. All Aurora households are
eligible. Food for pets is also available, as well as emergency
food kits for those experiencing homelessness. For questions,
call 720.557.6444 or visit AuroraGov.org/MobileFoodPantry. Gateway High School, 1300 S. Sable Blvd.
Mayor Mike Live Friday, June 12, 3 p.m. Get ready with your questions because Mayor Mike
Coffman will be ready to provide answers for the weekly live
stream of "Mayor Mike Live" on Facebook and AuroraTV.org. The
mayor will provide an update on the city's response to COVID-19
as well as other issues affecting the city, its residents and its
Explore the World While Staying at Home Do you feel a little shut off from the rest of the
world during the Stay-at-Home order? Some city programs have some
great ways for you to stay connected.
·Aurora Dance Arts: On
its Facebook page,
Aurora Dance Arts is providing live online dance classes, with
some of their fabulous faculty teaching from home, dance
tutorials and dance challenge videos, and various other online
resources for dancers and families.
Library: The library has daily storytime on
Facebook, ebooks, audiobooks and other remote-access
tools, Learn at Home activities, Do It Yourself projects, virtual
field trips to museums, national parks, etc., and more. Aurora
Public Schools students can access most library databases using
their student ID number.
·Art in Public
Places: The city’s Art in Public Places
program has a downloadable coloring book featuring some of the
most popular public arts in Aurora. Visit its Facebook page to
download your free copy.
Building: Aurora's newest cultural facility
is creating a series of videos on its Facebook and Instagram titled
“Six Feet Apart,” which profiles some of the artists and
performers who will be showcased at the building once we return
to healthier times.