The RTD Transit Board Is Elected by You. Get to Know the Candidates at a Forum on Tuesday.

The public can listen in on the phone, and we'll livestream the event on Facebook.

Photo: David Sachs
Photo: David Sachs

Some say the best bellwether of who will win a seat on the Regional Transportation District Board of Directors is whose name appears first on the ballot. It’s a political race buried under a heap of contests for governor, the U.S. House, and bids to rep Coloradans at the statehouse.

But if you ride RTD buses and trains, or want to see the Denver area grow without choking on traffic and pollution, you should pay attention. The 15-member board guides transit policy that affects everyone. Board members pass the annual budget, oversee service cuts, and set fares. Later this year, they’ll decide whether to offer discounts to more low-income residents and kids as part of an overhaul to its fare pass program.

The Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council is making it a little easier to make an informed vote with a candidate forum Tuesday in Lower Downtown. It’s from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Alliance Center, 1536 Wynkoop St. Former 9News anchor Mark Koebrich will moderate.

“Providing people with information all in one place is more suitable for people who may not have a lot of information or a lot of knowledge in the transportation world,” said Christopher Shipps, who managed the forum for DRMAC. “It’s our opportunity to get all of the people in the same room together so that people can formulate their own decisions.”

Seven RTD seats are up for grabs this November (five of them competitive). All but two of the 19 candidates have RSVP’d or the forum, Shipps said, but he would not name them.

Two open seats are in Denver proper:

District B, which sprawls from Five Points to the northern and eastern city boarders, is repped by Barbara Deadwyler. She’s termed out. Christopher Lee, Shontel Lewis, Chris Martinez, and JoyAnn Ruscha are vying for her seat.

District B. Image: RTD
District B. Image: RTD

District C, repped by Bonnie “Ernest” Archuleta, covers the northwest quadrant of the city, including transit-rich Lower Downtown. He’ll defend his seat against Angie Rivera-Malpiede, Julia Stewart, and Eliot Tipton.

District C. Image: RTD
District C. Image: RTD

Eleven other candidates are vying for seats in districts J,K,L, N, and O. (Their names and websites are listed on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, thought it won’t be official until September 10. Check your RTD district in on this map.)

Realistically, an hour-and-a-half isn’t much time to dive deep into each candidate’s platform, but it’s nice that all the candidates will at least be in one place. To listen in, call 917-727-7985. The conference ID is 73928461#. Streetsblog will also livestream the forum on Facebook for anyone who can’t make it downtown in the middle of the day.

  • jmfay

    Chris Lee did not make the ballot due to signatures.

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