Debbie Ortega has been a life long civil servant, serving Denver for more than 30 years. From 1987 to 2003, she was on the Denver City Council, representing District 9. Debbie was then tapped by Mayor John Hickenlooper to be the first ever Executive Director of Denver’s Homeless Commission, where she took the lead in creating the foundation for Denver’s Road Home program, the City’s ten-year plan for ending homelessness. She is currently the Region Service Director at Denver Human Services, where she manages an employment program that trains and prepares formerly homeless and disabled individuals for employment in the hospitality industry.
Debbie’s expertise in finding solutions during tough times is needed now more than ever. Debbie was key in brokering deals and facilitating compromise with business leaders, government officials, and community members to create transportation projects connecting downtown to North Denver. In the 1990’s, Debbie was also at the center of forming Downtown’s LoDo Historic Neighborhood into the economic success it is today.
Looking forward, Debbie wants to use her tried and proven experience and skills to keep Denver strong. Diversifying the local tax-base, keeping existing businesses here, and attracting new businesses to Denver are at the top of her agenda. Debbie also wants to use her ability to work across multiple departments and districts to come up with creative was to increase our current tax-base, utilizing every asset the city has to its fullest potential to keep revenue inside of Denver; without squeezing every penny we can out of what we’ve already got, the important and vital services we all depend on won’t be around much longer.
Debbie also has experience in the way government works, and she knows firsthand how we can all benefit from a more streamlined and efficient system. Debbie plans on taking a very close look at all departments, at how the process can be easier for Denver’s citizens and businesses. After being on almost all sides of civic issues, she knows what it will take to cut the waiting periods, shorten the lines, and, simply make government make sense.
Debbie is a graduate of Denver Public Schools (Go West!), as well as an alumnus of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and has attended Metropolitan State College of Denver and the University of Colorado at Denver. Don’t forget to vote for Debbie Ortega on May 3rd!