Candidate profile: Jeslin Shahrezaei

For Lakewood City Council Ward 1

Posted

Occupation: Nonprofit director

Residence: Lakewood

Campaign Website: jeslin4lakewood.com

Why are you seeking this office?

There has not been an elected official in the recent history of Ward 1 that reflects my lived experience of a young family putting roots in the community. My children attend our local
schools, we support our local businesses, we use our parks and recreate in our open spaces. I am invested in making sure this community thrives for our residents now and into the future. Let’s widen the lens of who represents us.

What makes you the best person for the job?

For 15 years, through my career in nonprofits, I have worked to build partnerships and community to lift up and empower those who are overlooked. I sit on the Mid Lakewood Civic Association board and I am a charter organizer with Lakewood’s Sustainable Neighborhood program. I have experience reflecting my neighbors’ needs to our electeds. My ability to listen respectfully and weigh varying opinions is necessary to advocate for residents and advance our community’s needs.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

My top 3 priorities for City Council when elected:

Exit the Pandemic with Consideration for our Future. Let’s address some of our pressing infrastructure needs with investments coming into our community.

West Colfax Revitalization. I want to support the momentum in West Colfax and encourage it west through Ward 1.

Sustainability as a Top Priority. We need elected officials who consider the whole view in sustainable issues like transportation, sidewalk connectivity and open spaces.

Has city hall done an appropriate job in implementing the citizen-approved growth ordinance?

It is hard to measure the impact of the growth ordinance and how the City is implementing it because we are operating in uncharted waters with COVID19. I am committed to upholding the ordinance as it was passed by the people. The frustration we see from citizens in this space is a result of the ordinance’s inability to wholly define important terms like “blight” and “distressed”. We still have some work to do.

What is one part of the city that you feel could definitely use more council attention, and why?

West Colfax! Between the 40W Arts District, Westland Shopping Center and Casa Bonita there is so much potential to reimagine this corridor’s greatness. We are at an inflection point in our history where people want more spaces to convene and build community, you see that in 2040 Vision Plan. Lakewood leadership has to recognize and honor the rich history of this transit corridor while imagining how that translates to meet current and future needs.

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