A “Christian worldview” is informing Arthur May’s campaign for the City Council District 7 seat

His message to voters who are not Christians and are uncomfortable without a separation of religion and politics: “I would say don’t vote for me.”
5 min. read
District 7 candidate Arthur May in front of his Platt Park home. Feb. 11, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Arthur May can point to one moment that prompted him to get involved in local politics: someone stole his daughter's bike from his garage and left an empty beer can behind. For him, it symbolized long standing feelings that his neighborhood had changed since he first moved in 10 years ago, after growing up in New York and spending a few years living in Florida.

May has a background in computer science and software engineering, but it was having kids that got him more politically engaged.

"You start to view the world differently, you start to view the world in terms of safety and security, you start to view the world in terms of education for your children," he said. "As you become more fiscally responsible in terms of having a family, you start to look at the fiscal responsibility of your local government."

With current Councilmember Jolon Clark not seeking reelection, the race to represent District 7 is wide open. May is running against Flor Alvidrez, Nick Campion, Adam Estroff and Guy Padgett.

May's top issues include public safety, homelessness and education, and his policies are grounded in a "Christian worldview."

To May, this looks like a few things. He wants to engage local church communities in supporting people experiencing homelessness, while continuing to enforce the urban camping ban. And according to May's website, he wants to "provide a cognizant lens on debt, and governance input grounded in a biblical worldview."

When it comes to public safety, May thinks Denver should either grow its budget in order to better enforce laws, or change them -- though he didn't elaborate on how.

"We either need to enforce the laws as they are written, [or] if we can't enforce the laws as they are written, we need to reform the laws as they are written so that we can adequately enforce them," he said.

May also thinks local government should not be "imposing social views."

He did not elaborate on the ways he thinks City Council does this, or what he would change, but said that he wants parental autonomy.

"As a parent, you should be engaged in the education of your child," he said. "You're writing a check in your taxes to the school, you should know what your money's being spent on. You should know enrollment in Denver Public Schools is down, despite population increasing. So why is that? Is it because we're not focused on two plus two equals four, but we're focused on, you can pick your gender? I don't know."

DPS' declining enrollment is due largely to rising housing costs and declining birth rates, according to a report compiled by an advisory committee the district set up to make school closure recommendations. The district also opened schools faster than it added students, Chalkbeat reported.

And DPS spokesperson Rachel Childress said that "Denver Public Schools has found no correlation between gender exploration and declining enrollment."

City Council also does not have too much of a direct hand in governing DPS; Council is involved in youth programs and wraparound services for families, but the elected school board governs the day to day in Denver's public schools.

On climate, May wants more accountability for Denver's highly popular e-bike rebate program.

The program aims to incentivize people to drive less and e-bike more, but May questions whether it's effective in changing behavior.

"We shouldn't just have a rebate program through virtual signaling and think that we're improving the environment, because that's not how it works," he said. "If you own two 4Runners [SUVs] out the front of your house, and you have an e-bike, but you can't ride your e-bike, because the sidewalks and the bike lanes are unsafe... what good was that rebate?"

Instead, May wants Denver to require some sort of accountability, like a bill of sale showing a person downgraded their car, or data showing use of the e-bike before receiving credit over time.

May knows his approach isn't for everyone, and that he has an uphill battle in the race for City Council.

When asked how he might respond to voters who are not Christian and might feel uncomfortable with the way he wants the Christian Bible to inform his politics, May had a clear answer: "I would say don't vote for me."

When it comes to the separation of Church and State, May said that everyone has some form of religion that informs their worldview; for him, it's Christ.

May has not opted into the Fair Elections Fund, which matches local donations with city funds, believing there are better uses of public money. And while he doesn't like political labels, he knows his more conservative views might clash in a city where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans. But even if he loses, May thinks he can move the needle politically. Plus, he has faith.

"The way that I view the world is, God is sovereign," May said. "If he wants me to get elected, I'll get elected."

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