Mayor Mike Johnston has chosen Jaime Lewis, a transit adviser for the Colorado Cross-Incapacity Coalition, to serve on the Regional Transportation District’s board of administrators representing areas together with central and east Denver.
Mayoral staffers confirmed the nomination to JS on Wednesday. If accredited by the Metropolis Council, Lewis will fill a emptiness created in District A final month by the resignation of Kate Williams, who cited a terminal most cancers analysis.
Lewis stated he’ll step in below an settlement to serve solely by way of the top of this yr, when Williams’ second time period would have ended.
Johnston selected Lewis over at the least one candidate operating for the board seat within the November election. In January, the winner of that race might be sworn in on RTD’s 15-member elected board, which these days has come below scrutiny by state lawmakers who need to overhaul the transit company.
“Jaime is a forward-thinking and revered member of our neighborhood who brings a deep understanding of the transportation challenges going through our metropolis,” Johnston stated in an emailed assertion. “I’m assured Jaime will carry a contemporary perspective and can play an important function in making certain that the wants of our residents are met.”
Lewis, an ordained minister and advocate for transit entry for individuals with disabilities, served from 1998 to 2001 as a metropolis council member and mayor in Salida. He now lives in Denver.
Political advisor Chris Nicholson, who additionally sought the emptiness nomination, and web site designer Jacob Turner have introduced they’re operating within the fall election for District A, which encompasses a part of downtown together with Cherry Creek, Glendale and Lowry.
On the board, Lewis stated he deliberate to deal with bettering security on RTD buses and trains, retaining drivers, and ensuring the area’s public transit system is equally accessible for all residents.
“There must be a way of security,” Lewis stated. “Proper now, there appear to be two forms of riders. One sort has to make use of transit, and they’re in concern due to among the individuals who get on the bus — people who find themselves smoking meth or partaking in violent conduct. The ‘different rider’ is individuals who would possibly think about using public transit however balk at doing that due to their notion that an RTD bus is a foul place to be.”
Higher teamwork between RTD’s police power and the native police in municipalities with bus and practice stations can enhance rider security, he stated, suggesting elevated patrols and legislation enforcement on RTD property across the stations.
Lewis, who makes use of a wheelchair due to polio he contracted as a baby, stated he has come to understand RTD drivers as his heroes, at the same time as many metro Denver residents underestimate their worth.
“I’m transit dependent. I’m in a wheelchair. And so they get me the place I need to go,” he stated.
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