Doug's Green Solutions for Denver
Doug Linkhart is the environment candidate. With a strong track record of environmental knowledge and accomplishments, Doug will make Denver the greenest city in the country, increasing waste diversion, reducing greenhouse gases, and enhancing the quality of life for the whole community.
Two key ingredients for achieving these goals:
- Retain and expand Greenprint Denver, with a new set of aggressive goals and plans for implementation through all city programs and community partnerships.
- Make the necessary investments up front to create long-term energy savings and pollution reduction.
Real Solutions to Expand Recycling
- Recycling is one of the most cost-effective strategies to combat greenhouse gases. To engage Denver residents in the battle against global warming, Doug will implement Denver’s new Solid Waste Plan, which calls for the conversion of the current dumpster-based system to a 3-cart system in order to provide recycling and composting to every home. Denver has made good progress in this regard, but still ranks below the national average in waste diversion and above many cities in greenhouse gas emissions per capita.
- The “Green for Green” program will cover the costs of the new solid waste program by assessing a monthly fee on each homeowner, with the amount determined by level of participation in recycling and composting and a discount for low-income households. As the Co-Chair of Council’s Business, Workforce and Sustainability Committee, Doug brought together experts from other cities to discuss best practices. As Mayor, Doug will use this information, coupled with community input and the expertise of our Solid Waste Division, to design and implement an effective, equitable system for our city.
- Doug will work with waste management companies and local businesses to create incentives for multi-family and commercial establishments to use recycling and composting.
Real Solutions for Alternative Transportation
- Doug will work with Metro-area leaders to get FasTracks completed as soon as possible in order to reduce driving and encourage alternative modes of transportation. Doug supports the current position of the Metro Mayors’ Caucus to ask the voters for a tax increase of 0.4% to complete the system in a timely manner.
- Doug will work with RTD to better connect Denver residents to light rail. Many people cannot access the new mass transit system without making one or more bus changes. Additional transportation “webbing” will make mass transit more efficient and move people from their neighborhoods to work in less time.
- Denver has a good bicycling and pedestrian environment, but could easily join top tier cities like Madison, Boulder, and Portland. Bike lanes and pedestrian pathways don’t always traverse the city in intuitive ways. Doug will implement the new “Denver Moves” plan to improve bicycle routes and install new sidewalks and crosswalks in strategic locations to improve mobility and will continue his work with Safe Routes to Schools to help kids walk or bike to school.
Real Solutions for Energy Efficiency
- Doug believes Denver must invest up-front in order to save later. Recent audits have shown that investments that make city buildings more energy efficient will pay off in less than six years. With an annual $29 million Xcel bill, Denver can save millions of dollars by investing in energy efficiency, including conversion of street lights to LED lighting and basic conservation measures in all city buildings.
- Doug will work with lenders and nonprofit organizations to help homeowners, businesses and schools save energy, either by enrolling the city in the PACE program used in Boulder and other cities or by creating other low-interest loan programs.
- New construction and renovation should practice energy, water and material conservation as well. Doug will work with local businesses and developers to create incentives for LEED-certified projects that recycle demolition materials and build energy-efficient and water-efficient developments.
Real Solutions for Better Air Quality
- Doug has been a leader in the effort to convert coal-fired power plants in the Denver area to natural gas and supports further conversions and shutdowns of some of the dirtier units.
- Alternative transportation modes should be the city’s highest priority, not simply moving cars. Doug will continue the cultural shift in city agencies in this direction and help create incentives for bus use, carpools and other modes of transportation.
Real Solutions for Water Conservation
- As Mayor Doug will appoint Commissioners to the Denver Water Board who help the Water Department expand its water conservation efforts in cooperation with city agencies, businesses and nonprofits. Education programs and incentives should be expanded to continue the progress over the past several years in reducing water use.
- Doug will work with city agencies to reduce water use, particularly in our parks and public office buildings. Where it is possible, many park areas and street medians should use xeriscaping to save water.
Real Solutions for a Better Quality of Life
- Doug is a leader in city beautification efforts, helping to pass ordinances decades ago to ban new billboards and require landscaping of parking lots. As Mayor, Doug will convene a Committee on Beautification to develop ways to improve the attractiveness of our city thoroughfares, particularly at the entrances and along major corridors to the city, as well as our neighborhoods and business areas. Arts and culture will play a large role in this discussion.
- A study that Doug helped conduct for the Environmental Protection Agency showed that radon poses one of the worst health risks in Denver, particularly in older homes. As Mayor, Doug will expand public outreach on this effort and work with building owners to protect occupants from the cancerous effects of radon.
- Many of Denver’s low-income neighborhoods are adjacent to industrial areas and highways that pose environmental risks and reduce the quality of life for residents. Doug will work with industrial users and neighborhood leaders to reduce this harm.
- Many residents suffer on a daily basis from noise and odors from neighboring residents and businesses. As a proven leader in promoting neighborhood cohesiveness, Doug will create a city program to foster better relations among neighbors to reduce conflicts and improve quality of life block by block.
When it comes to the environment, Doug is a proven leader. From his environmental activism as a youth to his first job at the Environmental Protection Agency to his work as a community leader and elected official, Doug has demonstrated the leadership it takes to lead Denver to a greener future.
Doug Linkhart has the passion, experience, vision, and leadership necessary to make Denver the most sustainable, livable city in the U.S.