The Language School founder David Stevens is running for mayor

Stevens, a small businessman and teacher, says he wants to focus on education and investing in the city’s residents

David Stevens, a contender in the 2023 Denver mayoral race, stands by Fairview Elementary in Sun Valley, which was one of ten schools slated to be closed by Denver Public Schools, one reason he decided to run. Nov. 29, 2022.

David Stevens, a contender in the 2023 Denver mayoral race, stands by Fairview Elementary in Sun Valley, which was one of ten schools slated to be closed by Denver Public Schools, one reason he decided to run. Nov. 29, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
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David Stevens, who founded The Language School, filed paperwork to run for mayor of Denver.

Stevens has never held or run for office before. He’s also never worked for the city, but he was inspired to jump in the race to tackle education issues.

“I love Denver,” said Stevens. “I believe it to be one of the greatest cities in the country, and I really want to run to put education back into the spotlight as an educator. I just think that all roads lead back to education, so I think that through education we can really help Denver unlock its full potential and create a more happy and stress-free city to live in for all.”

While Denver’s mayor has a lot of power, the office has no direct authority over Denver Public Schools.

Mayors can play an indirect role in supporting or opposing tax ballot initiatives for grade schools, college scholarships, or afterschool programs.

“I wanna really focus on investing in our local citizens from the cradle to the grave,” added Stevens. “So creating more opportunities for early childhood education, creating world class schools for our K-12 systems, making it much easier for adults to get access to college and continuing education.”

He said increasing investments in things like mental health services would help alleviate the root causes of issues like homelessness.

Stevens said he’s winding down his involvement with The Language School, a school he opened in Montbello in 2012.

At one point, Stevens said the school had 15 teachers and 300 students learning conversational Spanish and English, but Stevens said it has essentially closed its doors because of the  pandemic. Before opening the school, Stevens worked at a tech startup in Boulder out of college.

Stevens said he was born in New Orleans and bounced around different states and countries, before landing in Denver more than a decade ago and starting his business.

There are now 20 candidates for mayor of Denver, with some building large amounts of campaign cash and getting matching city funds. Stevens indicated to election officials he would accept Fair Election Fund matching money, but in an interview said he would not solicit campaign contributions.

“That’s where I’m absolutely different than everybody else. “I don’t believe the politics and money should be involved with each other,” said Stevens, adding that he will run a “completely money free campaign,” relying on social media and volunteers. “I’d much rather they donate it to the Denver Rescue Mission or to the homeless.”

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