November 18, 2018
On October 26, 2018, the Denver Elections Division notified the Denver City Council that the Denver Right to Survive Initiative had met the requirements to be placed on the May 7, 2019 municipal ballot. The proponents got 9,979 signatures over a six month period. 7,046 of these signatures were valid. The number of signatures required to make ballot was 4,726 valid signatures.
This initiative protects the basic human rights of people to sleep, sit, and use cover in outdoor public spaces, sleep in their vehicle, share food, and have privacy of their person and belongings. This initiative enables people without housing to survive in Denver when they have nowhere to live but the streets.
Bankrate.com has published an annual article since 2013 about millions of Americans being one emergency away from being on the street or not being able to pay their bills [https://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/financial-security-0118/]. With low wages and high housing costs, homelessness can affect many middle, low and fixed income residents of Denver and around the country. Denver Right to Survive is an important tool for a just society where individuals from diverse backgrounds and economic situations who are experiencing homelessness have respect, dignity and safety.
The Denver Right to Survive Initiative is monumental. This is the first ever ballot initiative in the nation protecting the basic rights of people experiencing homelessness. Never before has any city or state run a ballot initiative like this.
Organizers are working to educate the public about the homeless situation in Denver and why they should vote for Right to Survive on May 7th.