Civic Leadership & Engagement Committee

Staff: Brooke LaPlaca, Senior Manager, Civic Leadership Programs; Amy Tarczynski, Manager, Civic Engagement 

Co-Chairs: Rich Harris, Chair; Sarah Buscarello, Co-Chair

Meeting times: 12:00-1:30PM February 7, May 2, August 1, November 7

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Committee Objective

Using the Downtown Denver Partnership (Partnership) work plan as a guiding document, the Civic Leadership and Engagement Committee will provide leadership and input regarding how to:   

  • Create an accessible and inclusive downtown that engages the whole of our community of residents and businesses.  
  • Evaluate and evolve the Partnership’s signature business-to-business/member events on how they meet today’s need for providing membership value, creating impact, and educating the community.   
  • Evaluate and evolve ongoing civic engagement programs to ensure that the Partnership is providing a diverse array of engagement opportunities that simultaneously meet the needs and interests of our members, while also creating measurable impact in our community, and supporting the Partnership’s organizational priorities and work plan. 
  • Develop a pipeline of strong and engaged boards, members, and partners. 
  • Achieve a member retention goal of 90% while continuing to welcome new members and partners. 

This Committee will be tasked with developing clear and measurable criteria for evaluating civic engagement and leadership.  

Examples of Topics Discussed 

  • Advancing Downtown as a place for public discourse. 
  • Increasing racial and gender diversity at our programs and events.  
  • Diversifying the Partnership’s membership, leadership, and participation.   
  • Membership cost/benefit transparency and communication. 
  • Membership programs and pricing for individuals, community groups, and non-profits. 
  • Implementing and evaluating our evolved member engagement framework. 
  • Creating a volunteer pipeline program for connecting members with community volunteer opportunities. 
  • Engaging more of our members/partners in our programming and events and reaching deeper into member organizations to involve a higher proportion of the employees of member companies. 
  • Leveraging Urban Exploration to engage, inform and inspire year-round and involve a broader participant base, and ensure each annual program is in line with the Partnership’s priorities. 
  • Evaluating and evolving signature events: Economic Forecast, Downtown Denver Awards, State of Downtown, Development Forum, and Annual Meeting. 
  • Aligning and improving signature programs: Downtown Denver Leadership, Urban Exploration, City Scout. 

All applicants should possess:  

  • Passion for and commitment to city building. 
  • Understanding of the role of community engagement in workforce development and organizational success. 
  • Appreciation for building authentic and meaningful relationships. 

Applicants may find the most leadership growth within the following experience levels:  

  • Professional or volunteer experience in corporate social responsibility, community engagement, or a related role.  
  • Professional experience in a relationship-focused role such as business development, HR, or account management. 
  • Prior professional or personal involvement in member associations, non-profit organizations, or volunteer groups. 

Committee Member Expectations 

Committee Members:  

  • Strive to attend ALL Committee meetings (four per year) and provide communication to DDP staff for necessary absences. One absence per fiscal year will be excused if communicated in advance. 
  • A virtual attendance option will be made available if a committee member communicates to DPP staff at least 24 hours in advance that they are unable to attend in person. 
  • Prepare for meetings in advance by reading the agenda and any emails, reading materials sent prior to the meeting.  
  • Arrive to meetings on time and stay until the end.  
  • Serve as active participants by listening respectfully to others, contributing to the discussion, and communicating ideas concisely.  
  • Commit to a term of service of one year, renewable annually as mutually agreed upon. 

Due to the nature of the Civic Leadership & Engagement committee’s work, robust participation in the Downtown Denver Partnership’s signature events and programming is strongly encouraged. Committee Members may be invited—though not required—to participate on task forces advancing relevant Civic Leadership & Engagement projects, including but not limited to:  

  • CollaborEAT Event Planning 
  • Urban Exploration Program Planning  
  • City Scout Program Planning 
  • Downtown Denver Leadership Program Peer Presentation Mentors 
  • Downtown Denver Awards Jury 

Committee Member Code of Conduct 

The Downtown Denver Partnership is dedicated to providing an inclusive, respectful, and harassment-free member experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, national origin, political affiliation, veteran status, or branch of military service.  

We do not tolerate harassment or discrimination in any form. Members or participants violating these rules may be sanctioned and/or expelled from the Downtown Denver Partnership at the discretion of staff; they may also be barred from participation in future Downtown Denver Partnership committees, task forces, programs, and events.  

Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of the Downtown Denver Partnership for everyone.   

If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible to the Downtown Denver Partnership staff.  

The Downtown Denver Partnership is committed to engaging with our community of residents and businesses that fuel the quality of life and define the soul of Denver as we work to forge a center city that is welcoming to everyone, reflecting communities of the past, present, and future. 

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