News Denver Families for Public Schools announces people’s agenda-setting process, annual listening campaign

DENVER – Mon., March 18, 2024 – Today, Denver Families for Public Schools (Denver Families) announced the launch of its largest annual listening campaign. Denver Families will use feedback gathered during the campaign to identify community priorities, inform its education policy advocacy strategies and synthesize key issues to help create the change voters asked for in November 2023.  

 

“Elections are just one ingredient in a recipe for change that must also include a ground-up, community-driven policy agenda,” said Clarence Burton Jr., CEO of Denver Families for Public Schools. “Denver Families advocates knocked on over 70,000 doors in 2023, and we will be back in the community to reach an additional 100,000 doors over the next year asking voters what issues they care about most today. We’ll use that feedback to drive our work into the future.” 

 

Denver Families highlighted last November’s Board of Education election as a turning point, when voters chose three new board members endorsed by Denver Families Action — the organization’s political arm — with a mandate for change. 

“We need to move beyond the education wars of the past that have only exhausted families and educators who just want a great public school system with great public school options. Going backward is not an option, but going forward requires us to generate new ideas and new energy from the people closest to the issues: our community,” said Burton. 

 

The multi-modal outreach tour will meet Denverites where they are in an effort to gather substantive quantitative and qualitative feedback that will inform Denver Families’ future strategy. Outreach activities include:
 

  • Short “Kitchen Table” surveys 
  • Door-to-door community visits 
  • Opinion polling 
  • Focus groups of families, teachers and other community members 
  • Issues assemblies 

 

Denver Families will give periodic progress updates and release key findings to policymakers, stakeholders and the media throughout the listening campaign. Additionally, these groups will be given opportunities to participate in and listen to key moments and hear from community members. 

“There is nothing more important to us than elevating the voices of our community and using that guidance to inform our organization’s advocacy for the future,” said Denver Families Director of Programs and Advocacy Felipe Vieyra. “We look forward to this process and our capstone event: the fall issues assembly.”  

 

In 2023, Denver Families used its kitchen table surveys, public opinion polling and door-to-door canvassing program to identify school safety as the issue Denverites cared most about, which became a central issue among candidates who ran for the DPS Board of Education. 

 

This year’s renewed kitchen table survey is open now on the Denver Families website and social media channels. Door-to-door surveys and polling will begin this summer and will culminate in a citywide “issues assembly” near the start of the school year, which will bring together Denverites to identify policies to address the issues that arose during the listening campaign. 

 

About Denver Families for Public Schools 

Denver Families for Public Schools is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to reimagine an equitable public education system in Denver by increasing civic engagement, shaping education policy, and developing the next generation of grassroots and civic leaders. The work of Denver Families is grounded in listening to the community, learning what issues they care about the most deeply, and partnering with communities as they take action to reimagine an equitable public education system.