Flor Alvidrez is running for District 7 council’s seat with its westside in mind

Alvidrez faces Adam Estroff and Guy Padgett.
5 min. read
District 7 candidate Flor Alvidrez stands on Pearl Street in the heart of Platt Park. Feb. 7, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

The city council race for District 7, which covers southwest Denver, has a new candidate in Flor Alvidrez, who says she's ready to represent folks on the other side of I-25.

Alvidrez is a first generation Denverite, who grew up in Athmar Park. She attended Baker Middle School, where she earned a community service award from former President Bill Clinton, and graduated from West High School.

Alvidrez noted District 7 is split in half by I-25, the Platte River, Broadway and the train tracks. She said historically speaking, no one from the west side has represented Lucky 7 and she's looking to change that.

"I'm a lifelong District 7 resident," Alvidrez said. "This is the area I grew up in. I am a small business owner and I'm a mother. So, all those things make me very passionate about the community.

"It's also my understanding that no one from this side of the district has ever represented us on city council. So, I really hope to be that bridge that can represent all of District 7...to bring people together."

Alvidrez is part-owner of her family's concrete contracting company and she also runs a real estate business. Helping small businesses succeed is a major aspect of her campaign.

"When I take my son around, I don't want it to be chain restaurants. Just Starbucks and McDonald's on every corner. I want there to be employment opportunities for him in the neighborhood when he's 16.  A lot of the kids would go work for Elitch [Gardens], which may shutdown soon."

District 7 candidate Flor Alvidrez stands on Pearl Street in the heart of Platt Park. Feb. 7, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Alvidrez said Colorado's enterprise zone program, which incentives new businesses to open up in economically distressed areas, is doing a great job at creating businesses but more can be done to save businesses that already exist. She said the city can help them find staff and provide additional funding if necessary.

"Small businesses are the heart of this district. Having diverse small businesses has really contributed to the culture of this district and it's really sad to see the culture change with their closures."

Two Alvidrez specifically mentioned were Breakfast King and Swift's Breakfast House, the beloved diners that closed in January.

Though Swift's is not in District 7, Alvidrez said the loss of both establishments could be compared to losing a memory and that the closures represent a cultural change in the area.

"That was literally my first date ever," Alvidrez said. "My first boyfriend took me on a date to Swift's."

Besides assisting local businesses, Alvidrez said her other major concern is all things housing

Alvidrez says solutions can include affordable housing, creating paths to homeownership, keeping residents in place or assisting those who are experiencing homelessness.

But Alvidrez is also interested in is revamping the zoning codes and the permitting process.

"I think if people had the ability to add on to these very small homes and remodel without needing to go through a long permitting process it would be helpful."

District 7 candidate Flor Alvidrez stands on Pearl Street in the heart of Platt Park. Feb. 7, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

It's one way, she believes, people can stay in place - by adding to their existing home or building accessory dwelling units.

But with antiquated zoning laws and a tedious permitting process, the jobs never get done, she said.

"When I was pregnant with my son, I immediately started planning on building my house because I couldn't afford to buy a different house in Denver," Alvidrez said.

"The process I went through was excruciating. It took years and, honestly, I'm still not done and a lot of that has to do with the permitting process in Denver. It's intense... and restrictive."

Another aspect of the campaign is safety.

Alvidrez said crime has gone up in her district and as a parent she wants to feel safe taking her son to the park. She added that programs like STAR have been beneficial to the city.

Overall, Alvidrez said she wants to continue the work she's already doing in Denver.

"I just want to keep Denver diverse," Alvidrez said. "I want to create equity for the people who have lived here for generations"

She's currently a part of the West Side Advancing Equity in Rezoning Task Force and a board member with the Latino Cultural Arts Center. She's also served on the Construction Empowerment Initiative Committee with Denver's Division of Small Business Opportunity.

"I grew up here. I'm a DPS graduate. I have the complex knowledge and the ability to be the bridge for the district."

Since District 7's current councilmember Jolon Clark is not seeking re-election, the area will have a new councilperson come April 2023. Alvidrez will be running against Adam Estroff, Nick Campion, Arthur May and Guy Padgett.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the finalized candidate list that will appear on the 2023 municipal election ballot.

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