Ava Truckey wants to make social services more accessible

She’s running for Council District 1.
3 min. read
District 1 candidate Ava Truckey stands on Navajo Street near her home in LoHi. Feb. 17, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Ava Truckey knows she doesn't have the typical background of someone running for office. She didn't go to college, lives in subsidized housing and worked as a cosmetologist before opening a bakery and a community market. But for her, it's a major reason she's running for City Council, where she faces incumbent Councilmember Amanda Sandoval in the race for District 1.

"I think that you can teach policy and politics all day, I don't think you can teach lived experience," Truckey said.

Truckey grew up between Denver and Minnesota before settling back in Denver as an adult. As a single mom, Truckey has previously experienced homelessness and relied on social services the city and state helps administer, including food stamps and welfare assistance.

"I think that being a person that's not from politics, and hasn't been well versed in policy their whole life, and somebody that's had to rely on the systems, whether it was as a kid, or as an adult, and as a single mom, I think that there's been a lack of accessibility in who gets to be in the spaces and make these decisions for folks, and I think it needs to be the opposite way around," Truckey said.

A big issue for Truckey is making social services more accessible, particularly when it comes to childcare.

Having used social services herself, Truckey talked about the need for better support and vouchers for lower income families who start making enough money to lose assistance, but still cannot afford things like childcare.

District 1 candidate Ava Truckey stands on Navajo Street near her home in LoHi. Feb. 17, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

"Maintaining daycare access when you're in that grey area between poor and not quite poor enough for support is so necessary to support families in maintaining financial growth," Truckey wrote on her website.

She also wants to see better food access in District 1 by expanding food assistance programs, and more support to help people start small businesses affordably.

On housing, Truckey wants more affordable options.

She supports rezoning efforts to grow ADUs, and wants to see owner occupation requirements for short-term rentals to support local, multi-generational homeowners over corporate investors. She also wants the city to help families subsidize ADUs.

"We need affordable housing that is not just the fully subsidized section 8 system, but that is designed for people with multiple jobs, children, or other complex life circumstances," Truckey wrote. "I will work to create a deeper pool of affordable housing that can work for all kinds of people."

Above all, Truckey wants to make all forms of support services more accessible to people in Denver.

"I'm able bodied, white, I have access to a car, I have access to a phone, and still getting those things is wild," she said. "The hours and hours and hours that it takes just to qualify for these benefits, you have to go to work... So when are you doing any of this?"

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