Candi CdeBaca

City Councilwoman, Denver City Councilwoman, District 9

Candi is a proud fifth-generation native of northeast Denver, Colorado. She lives in the same home in the Swansea neighborhood that her great-grandmother lived in nearly 80 years ago. Raised by a single mother and grandparents, Candi understands the importance of tight-knit communities and stepping up for neighbors in need. Moving her family and community forward meant going to work at ten years old and focusing on academics. Candi is a graduate of Manual High School, where she was valedictorian and class president and one of the first students to be appointed to the Denver Mayor’s Commission on Youth and Denver Mayor’s Latino Advisory Council. A recipient of the Daniels Fund Scholarship, Candi was the first and youngest dual-degree graduate from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. She is accomplished in policy development, federal policy compliance, organizational development, investigation, monitoring, training, motivating and leading diverse groups of people to share a mutual vision and achieve common goals. She was previously the Executive Director of Project VOYCE, a youth development and civic engagement organization Candi co-founded at 18 years old. Candi is a fearless leader, prominent voice, and community champion in Denver on social justice issues. Much of her perspective is shaped by the fact that she is an Indigenous/Mexican American woman who was raised in a superfund site. Candi has experienced every negative health outcome associated with various layers of environmental racism, and she has devoted her career to addressing social determinants of health. She believes that environmental issues do not exist separately from a capitalist system that is extractive and relies on exploitation of land, labor and/resources to generate a profit. Candi believes that we cannot protect the environment without confronting racism embedded in capitalism. She hopes to infuse our city planning with policy expertise, a lens for justice and ancestral wisdom. Her family has always fought for the environment as if it were an extension of their family. This generational commitment is evidenced in their involvement right here in District 9 in triggering the EPA cleanup of VB I-70 Superfund after CdeBaca vs. Asarco---an environmental justice legacy she plans to protect and build upon as the City Council representative for District 9.

Candi is speaking at

October 10, 2019
8:45 am - 5:00 pm


  • Tony Barboza (Tour Leader) Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
  • Rachel Cernansky (Tour Leader) Freelance, WaPo, NYT, Nature, EHP, Ensia, others.
  • Kati Weis Barraza (Tour Leader) CBS Denver
  • Sunni Benoit (Speaker) President, 350 Colorado
  • Candi CdeBaca (Speaker) City Councilwoman, Denver City Councilwoman, District 9
  • Lisa Cicutto (Speaker) Director, Community Outreach and Research; Professor, Director, Clinical Science Graduate Program, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado | Anschutz Medical Center
  • Marta Darby (Speaker) Associate Attorney, Earthjustice
  • Jim Garcia (Speaker) Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Clinica Tepeyac
  • Charles Norris (Speaker) Professional Geologist, retired
  • Michael Ogletree (Speaker) Air Quality Program Manager, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment
  • Nina Roumell (Speaker) Development and Communications Officer, The GrowHaus
  • Sandra Ruiz-Parrilla (Speaker) EGS & Partners RNO
  • Stacia Sellers (Speaker) Central 70 Communications Manager, Colorado Department of Transportation
  • Michael Wenstrom (Speaker) Region 8 USEPA


(8:45 a.m. departure, $45 fee, lunch included)

The communities of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea (GES) in northern Denver are located in the most polluted zip code in Colorado. Decades of environmental injustices in these communities have brought them to this unfortunate title. With several nearby industrial factories emitting toxic chemicals into the air, a busy interstate highway running directly through the neighborhoods — also the site of an ongoing and extremely controversial expansion, diesel trains traveling through the communities regularly and soil contamination from historical metal smelting, the GES is home to a confluence of pollution sources that have had untold health, economic and social impacts on its residents. This tour will provide an insight into the major challenges facing residents, as well as air quality and health studies underway designed to offset some of the impacts from these historic and ongoing environmental hazards. This will be a unique opportunity to learn about perhaps the most impacted and underserved community in Denver — during a time when the city as a whole is undergoing rapid growth and transformation. You’ll come away with new ideas, concepts and understandings of reporting on environmental justice issues, as well as learn how these concerns relate through communities across the country. Total drive time: 3 hours. A good option for those with limited mobility. 

Advance registration is required for all Thursday tours. Attendance on each tour is strictly limited, so registering early is important. All Thursday tours will return to the Lory Student Center at about 5:00 p.m.

IMPORTANT DEPARTURE INFORMATION: Please meet your tour leaders near the SEJ registration desk on the third floor of the Lory Student Center at the listed departure time to check-in for your tour. Eat breakfast at your hotel before arrival or plan to purchase breakfast at the Lory Student Center food court, which opens at 7:00 a.m.; coffee and snacks will be provided for tours that depart before the food court opens. Each tour will leave the ballroom as a group to board buses at a nearby location. Do not be late.

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