Jolon Clark, former Denver city council president, will not seek re-election next year

The councilmember has represented southwest Denver in District 7 since 2015.
3 min. read
Councilman Jolon Clark listens during a Safety, Housing, Education, & Homelessness Committee meeting discussing expanded powers for the Office of the Independent Monitor, Jan. 16, 2019.
(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Jolon Clark, who represents parts of southwest Denver in District 7, announced Friday that he will not be seeking re-election when his term is up next year.

"It's been an amazing adventure, but I think it's just time," Clark said. "Most elected positions are eight years. Denver is a little weird with the 12 and I think eight years feels like a good time. I was VP my second year of office. I was president in my first term. I went out and really fought hard for my constituents on infrastructure projects and park project and bike projects. I'm still going to be fighting like crazy between now and next July. I'm not leaving yet."

Clark announced his decision in a Facebook post in which he said that "there is still a lot to get done. No matter what comes next, I will be deeply involved in this city and in this community that I love."

Clark's District 7 includes Platt Park, where he lives, along with Baker, Athmar Park, Ruby Hill Park and Washington Park West. He was elected in 2015  and served as council president from 2018 to 2020.

With the redistricting, Clark's district gained the Rosedale neighborhood, along with sections of Capitol Hill and Speer. The district lost College View-South Platte and Valverde.

Clark said he's proud of several projects he worked on including securing $40 million a year in park funding for new parks and maintaining older parks. He also said his projects that focused on inclusivity in Denver are also his pride and joy. Those include requiring gender neutral signage for single stall bathrooms, helping to repeal sales tax on feminine hygiene products, and installing Denver's first rainbow crosswalk on Broadway.

"We're working on lots of things in city council. Now, I'll be extra excited to get those things across the finish line before next July so stay tuned," Clark said.

In recent weeks, several candidates have stepped forward, vying to represent the city's 11 council districts and two at-large seats. Some of the councilmembers who are term-limited may be running for mayor but don't count Clark in that batch just yet.

He laughed when asked if he'd be running for other positions and said for now he's just going with the flow.

"I honestly have absolutely no idea what's next for the first time in my professional career," Clark said. "I started working for the Greenway Foundation when I was 17 years old. I stepped away from that when people convinced me to run for city council, which was not in my master plan. So I have not been at a point where I can say I don't know what I'm going to do. It's a new space for me to be in... I finally got to a place where I decided that I wasn't going to do this starting July 2023 and that's as far as I've gotten. It's a blank slate."

This story has been updated with comments from Clark.

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