Didn’t we already vote on this issue in 2018?
No, the vote in May 2018 was to rename Stapleton United Neighbors, the registered neighborhood organization for our community. Although a definitive majority of voters (58%) voted to remove the name “Stapleton” from our neighborhood organization, the threshold of 66% required by SUN’s bylaws was not met to make the change.
Then what name would be changed by this vote?
This vote is related to changing the legal name of the whole community. The Master Community Association’s (MCA’s) Community Declarations include a process by which the community name can be changed, and this vote of members is the first step in that process.
Did Rename St*pleton for All initiate this referendum?
No, we did not initiate this referendum, as we believe that more community engagement on the issue should occur before members or delegates vote. This ballot process was initiated by the MCA. However, since the community is being asked to vote, we are providing this FAQ to give accurate information and resources to help property owners vote.
What are we being asked to vote for exactly?
There are three ballot questions: (1) The first asks you to instruct your MCA district delegate on how he/she should vote on whether or not to change the community name legally. (2) The second question asks whether or not to authorize a one-time special assessment of $43 per unit to pay for legal fees and rebranding related to the name change. (3) The third ballot question is your direct vote as a member on whether or not to amend the MCA’s bylaws to make the name change process more difficult in the future.
What is Rename St*pleton for All’s position on each ballot question?
We are asking you to vote: (1) FOR renaming our community to something we can be proud of, (2) AGAINST a special assessment, (3) AGAINST an amendment to change this renaming process.
You can read our full statement in support of the name change here.
We oppose a special assessment for “rebranding” because the $300,000 figure was the result of a single company’s informal estimate, without competitive bidding. Other options should be explored: grants, MCA budget surplus, or a contribution by Forest City Stapleton/Brookfield, which itself has rebranded, moving away from the use of “Stapleton” to “80238: 12 Neighborhoods Strong.” However, even if a special assessment were used, the cost per unit would only be approximately $43. Although businesses using the name Stapleton would not be required to change their names, if they want to do so, there should also be funds available for their assistance.
We also oppose the proposed amendment to the Declaration because it would dilute the voting power of residents and amplify the voting power of commercial owners on the name change issue.
Who gets to vote?
Any property owner in the community is a member of the MCA and has the right to vote, and this applies to property owners in both the Denver and Aurora portions of the community.
Residential property owners can cast 1 vote for each single-family residential property owned. Apartment property owners can cast 1 vote for every 5 apartments owned.
Commercial property owners can cast 1 vote for every 2,000 sq. feet of commercial space owned.
If property is jointly owned, any one member may cast a vote for the unit, or all owners must agree on how the vote should be cast.
Renters are not eligible to vote.
What does “making quorum” mean?
Each district has a different number of members, as the size and density of districts vary. Each delegate has authority to cast all of the votes on an issue within a district in his or her own discretion, unless ten percent of the residents of a district vote on an issue. In that case, a 10% quorum has been reached and the delegate is required to cast all of the votes in that district in the same proportion as the votes were cast in the election. A majority of all votes cast in all districts will determine the outcome of the first two ballot questions.
The third ballot question is your direct vote (not a vote by a district delegate), so the 10% quorum rule does not apply. Instead, for the amendment to pass, 51% of commercial units AND 51% of residential units AND 51% of apartment units must vote in favor of the amendment in order for it to pass.
How can I find out which MCA delegate district I live in?
You can find your district on this map (link downloads a PDF).
How will my vote be counted?
You must mail your ballot to the MCA’s accountant’s office in the self-addressed stamped envelope that is provided in the ballot package. The accounting firm will count the ballots that it has first verified were duly cast by a member.
What do I do if I lose or misplace my ballot?
You must contact the MCA to get a replacement ballot.
What happens after votes are counted?
Voting continues until July 31. Thereafter, the accounting firm will complete its tasks and report the results to the MCA.
The MCA is still working out the details, but it is our understanding that the MCA delegates will meet and cast their votes on the name change and special assessment issues in proportion to the votes cast in each district. (We will update this FAQ response as we learn more.)
A majority of all votes cast in all districts will determine the outcome of the first two issues and the 51% rule for each class of members will determine the outcome of the third issue.
Delegate meetings are open to members who want to observe the final process.
If the community votes to change the name, what will the new name be?
The MCA is asking property owners to suggest new names. As part of the ballot package, property owners will be able to submit their suggestions for potential new community names. We do not take a position on what a new community name should be, but we point to DSST Montview’s description of how they arrived at their new name as a model for decision making for the larger community.
Will voting for a name change raise my HOA fees?
Not necessarily. We oppose a special assessment for “rebranding,” and ask that you vote no on Ballot Question 2. See our response to “What is Rename St*pleton for All’s position on each ballot question?” for our reasoning behind this position.
Where can I learn more about opposition to the name Stapleton?
Rename St*pleton for All sees itself as continuing the work of many community activists and community members, going back decades, in advocating for the renaming of public spaces that honor Denver’s former mayor Benjamin Stapleton, who was a powerful member and enabler of the Ku Klux Klan during his time in office in the 1920s. Click here for our timeline of visible and vocal opposition to the name Stapleton.
What can I do to help out? How can I get involved?
First, if you’re a property owner, make a pledge to vote to change our community name! Next, whether you’re eligible to vote or not, volunteer with us to reach out to other community members and help get out the vote.