Aurora Is Growing Fast—and Isn’t Slowing Down
“On first responders: Allison Hiltz, at-large City Council member: “Our fire department is underfunded.… A heart attack isn’t going to wait. A kid who has an allergic reaction can’t wait for someone to get there.”
TURNING THE PAGE: Aurora women graduate city’s new sentencing program centered on reading
“For Councilwoman Allison Hiltz, who initiated the Aurora program, the graduation was 17 years in the making. She was sitting at her grandmother’s kitchen table when she first read about a local version of the program that had started nearby. She said since that day she’s dreamed of helping start a program. That became a reality when she was elected in 2017.”
Aurora ICE detention center extends 432-bed contract for a year
“ICE’s assertion, and by extension, their private, for-profit contractor GEO Group, that they prioritize the health, safety, and welfare of those in their custody is welcomed,” she said. “My hope is that they put actions to their words by truly coordinating with the public agencies that are responsible for exactly this: the health, safety, and welfare of our community. Once again, I urge them to begin the process of working collaboratively with their local public safety leaders.”
Aurora City Council approves oil and gas operator agreements
“Council members had the option on Monday evening of passing the ordinance with emergency status, meaning that it concerns resident health, safety or welfare. Emergency status allows the ordinance to skip the referendum period of 30 days and has to be passed unanimously. Council members Allison Hiltz, Crystal Murillo, Angela Lawson and Johnston voted against the ordinance having emergency status.”
Additional oil and gas information:
GONE VIRAL: State, county health officials say private Aurora ICE prison outbreak reporting has been incomplete
“Since Crow voiced concerns to reporters in front of the facility on Feb. 20, when he and Aurora City Council member Allison Hiltz were turned away from an unannounced “inspection,” questions have emerged about oversight of the facility — especially how its staff addresses mandated state reports of confirmed cases of communicable, reportable diseases.”
See also (in chronological order):
Aurora police, city council declare support for Colorado ‘red flag’ gun-control bill
“The city council members who favored formally supporting the legislation were: Allison Hiltz, Charlie Richardson, Angela Lawson, Nicole Johnston, Crystal Murillo and Johnny Watson. ”
Aurora measure banning window peeping gets 1st OK after resident complaint
“If you’re peeping, you’re not just trespassing, you’re actually watching someone in a state of undress, which is a whole different level of trespassing,” said At-large Councilwoman Allison Hiltz. “It deserves a distinction.”
Aurora lawmakers, top cops asks civil service commission to nix citizenship requirement for police, fire applicants
“At-large Councilwoman Allison Hiltz asked the Civil Service Commission to discuss the requirement last month, claiming the rule hinders police recruiting efforts and unfairly discriminates against foreign-born residents.
“You can grow up here in Aurora and join the military and serve at Buckley (Air Force Base) and retire from Buckley, but if you want to work at your local police or fire department, it’s, you know — too bad,” Hiltz said. “Because whatever you did wasn’t good enough for us.”
Aurora ICE prison refuses to let congressman, city lawmaker in for unannounced tour
“Hiltz expressed public safety concerns over the expansion, saying the city would not have adequate information about the facility or how many people are inside if they’d have to respond to an incident at the detention center. It’s not clear what kind of renovations or expansions have happened in the facility.”
See also (in chronological order):
- VIDEO: ICE Facility In Aurora Tests Positive For Mumps Amid Capacity Increase (CBS Denver)
- Jason Crow denied entry in surprise visit to Aurora’s ICE detention site amid another rash of illnesses (Denver Post)
- Mumps Leads to Third Quarantine at Immigration Detention Facility (Westword)
- Democrats Probe ICE About Medical Conditions at Aurora Detention Facility (Westword)
- Immigration officials open GEO detention center to media only as hundreds of inmates are subjected to disease quarantine (Sentinel Colorado)
HIGH IMPACT? Aurora considers hiking developer impact fees
“The days of needing to entice developers and builders with over-the-top incentives are gone. Aurora is a thriving city where people want to live and work — and they know it,” Hiltz told The Sentinel. “For too long, Aurora has sacrificed the needs of the taxpayers —roads, police, fire, etc.— to incentivize that growth, but we don’t need to do that. It’s time to shake things up and prioritize people over profits.”
Immigration Detention Facility in Aurora Expands With 432-Bed Annex
“Aurora City Council member Allison Hiltz condemns the immigration agency over the addition. “ICE’s decision to allow the expansion of its facility without so much as a hint of notice to local elected officials or the public is incomprehensible,” Hiltz explains. “I can think of only two reasons for keeping this a secret: fear of public backlash or incompetence on the part of its management team. And neither inspires confidence in their ability to responsibly oversee human lives.”
VIDEO: Aurora’s citizenship requirement for hiring being questioned
“A lawmaker is concerned the city’s citizenship requirement for hiring police officers and firefighters is hindering recruitment.
Allison Hiltz, Aurora City Councilmember at Large, is not talking about undocumented immigrants. She is talking about legal immigrants with visas to work here who can’t qualify for these jobs.”
Aurora’s citizenship requirement for police officers and firefighters being questioned
“It is already a struggle to find interested and qualified candidates to join our police and fire departments,” Hiltz later told the Sentinel. “To disqualify people who are legally allowed to work in the United States, including veterans who served in our military, simply because we feel like it makes no sense.”
ROAD TO NOWHERE: City officials squabble over future fire stations around massive Aurora Highlands development
“I think that the city of Aurora is a little too fast and loose with allowing developers to not invest in infrastructure,” said City Councilwoman Allison Hiltz, who also sits on the public safety committee. “ … I think that this development needs to be bucking up the money to pay for a station.”
Aurora Councilwoman Allison Hiltz stumps for Crow in CD6 with video detailing her emergency surgery
“Hiltz, who was an early supporter of Crow’s, said in the three-minute video she called the hospital where she will have the operation and was told without insurance the base price of the procedure is $13,531.38.”….“I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that most people have $13,500 to pay out in order to get treated for something that is the size of a grain of rice,” she said. “Jason understands that the average American cannot afford to be sidelined by something like this,” she said.
Aurora City Council ethics proposal draws complaints about being rushed, nontransparent
“Council member Allison Hiltz wasn’t present at the study session but told the Sentinel an ethics code is “too important to be rushing through.”….“I understand why there (are) two and different types, but we haven’t even made it through the rules yet,” she said. “Let’s go through the process as it was planned.”
Aurora City Council opts to keep unlimited public comment during meetings
“This is our public dialogue and discourse and the only place our residents have to address us in public on the record,” Councilwoman Allison Hiltz said. “I don’t want to take that away because it’s very empowering.” Hiltz said she doesn’t mind meetings that last well into the early morning hours — a meeting last month went until 1:30 a.m. due to comment on a specific agenda item — because it means that the public is engaged.”
SENTINEL POLS: 3 Aurora councilwomen join chorus of Dems urging FBI investigation of Kavanaugh allegations
“Along with procedure, we want to emphasize the importance of protecting women,” the letter says. “The era of the good old boys club, both in politics and in the legal field, must come to an end. With great power comes great privilege, and it is your distinct responsibility to ensure our next Supreme Court Justice is held to the utmost standards of not only rule of law, but of decency….Councilwomen Nicole Johnston, Allison Hiltz and Crystal Murillo signed the letter — all three were elected for the first time in November….”
Police pensions item voted off Aurora ballot; city, cops will negotiate retirement plan details
“Council member Allison Hiltz said at a previous meeting she questions the findings from the report because it cites the American Legislative Exchange Council — a right-leaning policy organization that tends to object to defined-benefit plans — a handful of times in the 80-plus sources used in the report. Hiltz said she supports allowing the union to choose its pension plan.”
NOVEL A TOME-MENT: Aurora to be first in state to launch book-club reading program for criminal offenders
“Aurora City Council member Allison Hiltz is helping implement the program, called Changing Lives Through Literature. Hiltz said she first remembers reading about the program more than a decade ago in a newspaper at her grandmother’s kitchen table.
Ever since she’s wanted to help create a program, she said. Aurora will be the first place in Colorado to potentially adopt the program, which has been utilized across the country, including Florida, Texas, California, Connecticut and other states.”
2018 ELECTION: Progressive action gaining speed in Colorado
“Despite some defeat in June, Gilbert and Smith, see some glimmer of hope…. They also point to three women elected to Aurora City Council last year who identify as progressives. Crystal Murillo, Allison Hiltz and Nicole Johnston are all graduates of the Emerge Colorado program that helps prepare women Democrats to run for office in Colorado.
“We only expect that trajectory to increase,” Rosenoer said, pointing out that one office is not the only stop for these graduates; which is why candidates down ballot — like the three city council women in Aurora — are just as important to watch, even if those seats are non-partisan.”
Residents of soon-to-close Aurora mobile home park plead with City Council for help
“The fate of Denver Meadows was not on Monday night’s City Council agenda. Council members took no action and said little in response to residents, though councilwoman Allison Hiltz argued that everyone who showed up to speak on Denver Meadows should be given time to do so. For about two hours, they did.
“We need to not be afraid to step up and say, this is happening because we didn’t address it two years ago, and we need to do something about it,” Hiltz told TheIndependent in a later interview. “I would like to see us buck up the money to do what’s best for everybody involved.”
For All: Aurora Embraces Diversity and Inclusion
“If you read the studies, cities with high immigrant populations have better paying jobs; there are lower violent crimes, and I think Aurora, with our highly diverse population, we are certainly benefitting from that,” said Allison Hiltz, MPP, council member at-large. “I would like the city to take more policy stances that show that, but we are doing a lot.”
Aurora lawmakers look closely at city manager finalists
“I personally don’t feel that we had enough lead-time on some of these cases and reports,” Hiltz said. “Although city managers are often looped into scandals due to the political nature of their environment, the allegations of racial and sexual harassment and discrimination are worthy of discussion and I encourage the public to be involved by researching the candidates and submitting comments to council by noon Saturday.”
SECOND THOUGHTS: Aurora, other communities ponder aging bans on pit bulls
“Councilwoman Allison Hiltz, who says she neither supports the ban nor voted for it, said she thinks reversing the ban could be something legally done by the council. But whether there’s a political will is another question. Hiltz doesn’t think there are six votes on council that could overturn the ban.”
GUNS ‘n HOSES: Aurora cops, firefighters and lawmakers hit the fast lane for Comitis fundraiser
“A host of teams raised money for Aurora’s Comitis Crisis Center during a recent grocery cart race at an Aurora Safeway store on Havana Boulevard. Teams dressed up and sped around the store to complete a shopping list of items to provide to homeless people and families. The main drive of the event, however, was to raise cash for the iconic Aurora homeless agency.”
BACKLIT: Councilwoman Allison Hiltz
“At-large city councilwoman Allison Hiltz could be considered a bibliophile. And her website, The Book Wheel, would hold that to be true. While recovering from open-hip surgery in 2012, Hiltz began reviewing books and blogging about them. After having reviewed nearly 400 books, to date, The Book Wheel has made a name for itself. Her reviews have been excerpted in NY Times Book Review advertisements, as well as Goodreads.”
CITY DESK: Aurora City Council approves $800k for fire department gear
“Councilwoman Allison Hiltz, who initiated the budget amendment, said the initial approval sends a strong message that the city supports cancer prevention efforts for firefighters. In some departments across the country — such as Miami and Seattle — the cancer rate among firefighters can exceed 30 percent.”
Aurora ponders a long-smoldering tax hike to fund police and fire services
“If they knew that our firefighters had no lockers to put away their carcinogenic gear and were breathing that in and taking that home to their kids because we didn’t build it, that would be something people care about. I think if they saw that we have a 13-minute response time to a school in light of all of the school shootings, people would care. If people knew that we didn’t have necessarily enough stations for how much we’re growing, that would be something they would care about. With public education, this is a very different climate and mood.”
Podcast Interview with Michael Karlik at City Council Chronicles
“I think it’s always correct to come and talk about the community at council meetings. That’s what city councils should be. That’s our job to know what’s happening in the community and to help.”
Progressive councilwomen to be honored at Democrats’ Obama Dinner
“Crystal Murillo, Allison Hiltz and Nicole Johnston will receive the Rising Star award at the newly-named Obama Dinner on Feb. 3. Each of the three women graduated from Emerge Colorado, a program that teaches progressive women how to run a political campaign.”
The 100 Progressives Elected to Public Offices This November
“Exactly one year after a punishing General Election loss, the Democratic Party is still picking up the pieces of its shattered self-image. And while DNC leaders fend off story-hungry pundits about election protocols, emails, and Russia, the American people seem to have a very different vision for their political future. Fueled by a post-2016 vigor, Progressive candidates have started to take over public office seats where they really matter: in local government..”
PFAW’s Next Up Victory Fund Endorses State and Local Candidates in California, Colorado
“At a time when we face so many challenges, it’s more important than ever that we think about the future. That means supporting younger candidates who have shown that they have the vision and energy not just to start making a positive change in their communities right now, but to build careers of public service that will allow them to help us build a strong, safe, fair country in the years and decades to come. The Next Up Victory Fund is proud to support these candidates who have already demonstrated that they’re the kinds of leaders that will help us tackle our biggest problems head on.”
Aurora city council candidates continue collecting, spending cash as election nears
“Ballots were sent out in Arapahoe and Adams county last week. Ballots can be returned through the mail with .49 cent postage or a Forever Stamp. A list of drop-off locations for both counties can be found on at www.arapahoevotes.com and www.adams.com.”
COLORADO: Local Elections Roundup! Do You Know Your Progressive Candidates?
“Allison Hiltz is THE progressive in this race, the only one to stand up and affirm that she would vote to make Aurora a sanctuary city (the council has previously declared it is NOT).”
Left-leaning hopefuls win a nod from their local paper in Aurora council race
“Allison Hiltz, Nicole Johnston and Crystal Murillo caught the attention of many this year including the Sentinel’s, which wrote a piece highlighting the oddity in A-town politics. The council is typically a mainstay for conservatives, despite races being nonpartisan. But Emerge Colorado delivered three alumnas to the election this year.”
2017 CITY COUNCIL: Crowded slate for two Aurora at-large city council seats
“Hiltz, the only woman in the at-large race, describes herself as a bit of a policy wonk. She likes decisions to be backed with hard facts and trusted data. She works for the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan non-governmental organization that serves state legislatures. There, it’s only the data that matters. But Hiltz wants to apply the idea of fact-based decision making to the city.”
ENDORSEMENTS: 2017 Aurora City Council, APS elections promise change — our picks to ensure it
“Hiltz brings an in-your-face insistence that the city and the council work for Aurora residents, and everything it does must reflect that. She brings a serious sense of fairness and pragmatism to the council. Above all, she brings a curiosity and creativity that can help move the city out of a growing list of political quagmires.”
Why Are National Anti-Fracking Groups Targeting A Local City Council Race In Colorado?
“We need people on City Council who understand the impacts the oil and gas industry can have on our groundwater and communities and who listens to the communities that will be impacted.”
Progressive Aurora? Political group pushing Democrats for city council
Though the seats on the City Council are non-partisan, Aurora City Council is known for its conservative leanings. A Westword report in 2015 detailed Aurora as among the 10 most conservative cities in the country.
Colorado People’s Action endorses four ‘progressive’ council candidates
Endorsements for Aurora City Council are starting to roll in, even as candidates are still jumping into races for the five seats up for grabs. Colorado People’s Action, a progressive organization focused on immigration and racial justice, recently endorsed four candidates of the current 26 seeking office.
Traditionally GOP Aurora City Council targeted by slate of groomed Democratic candidates
A trio of women running for three different city council posts this November were each molded by Emerge Colorado, an organization that guides women — who are also registered Democrats — through a six-month-long crash course in how to run a political campaign.
Aurora city council heating up early with new, familiar contenders for five seats
Five city council seats are up for election this fall, two of which will inevitably be filled by newcomers as the incumbents are barred from running again due to term limits.