/ Safety and Success Dependent On The Safety And Success Of Others

Walk 4-29-2018

Dan Benavidez

YES!! For sure thank you Chief Mike Butler for our neighborhood walks which has started a “Belonging Revolution” – a "Revolución perteneciente".

Yesterday I woke up looked out my window then went outside and oh my at last how nice and warm it was a great day for our neighborhood walk. And it was so gratifying for me as we walked in the “Hood” and I introduced the Longmont Chief of Police and the District attorney to the people we met and to see the smiles and feeling of belonging on their faces when they were assured that they belonged in Longmont. Here the Longmont Chief of Police and District Attorney right down there with them in their Hood” wow this is so cool I mean when prominent powerful people like the chief of Police and District attorney right down there in the neighborhood with the people.

And how good I felt to see the smile on the young lady’s face who had an incident with another young lady that resulted in the police being called and here she was sharing with the chief and you could tell how she felt oh so good doing that.

And how good I felt when the young man asked me can I give him my card, so he can give it to his daughter who has email, so I can send her the photo I took of them.

YES! Another great day down in the hood with the people and unless you have been there down in the hood with the people you cannot feel and experience the good feeling of the people and see how they after meeting with us do indeed feel that they belong!

Thank you, District Attorney Michael Dougherty, for walking with us and talking and sharing with those we met in this neighborhood THANK YOU!!

Mikes perspective

A beautiful day for a walk. Boulder County District Attorney, Michael Dougherty, walked with Dan and me. We revisited Countryside Mobile Home Park. It takes two Sundays of walking to cover this neighborhood.

Many people were out and greeted us. In contrast to isolation, what we observe on all of our walks is that the feeling of belonging, relationships and community which produces new energy rather than holding us in place. And there was an abundance of new and connecting energy on our walk this Sunday morning. There was also plenty of desire to leverage their belonging and offerings to help our community. A number of people gladly accepted our invitation to envision new possibilities and to create a desired future and a community that works for everyone.

Social capital is about acting on and valuing our interdependence and sense of belonging. It is the extent to which we extend hospitality and affection to one another. If we want to enhance the common measures of community health - economy, health, safety, the environment - we need to create a community where each citizen has the experience of being connected to those around them and knows that their safety and success are dependent on the safety and success of all others! As Mother Teresa once said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

Dan Benavidez is a remarkable man. Many of those we met spoke only Spanish. Dan was able to put them at ease very quickly and his translation was smooth and reflective of what all were saying. He talks with passion and his heart is so giving. When we meet people, who seem hesitant and cautious, Dan very respectfully and warmly draws them in letting them know that all is ok. For those who have not walked with us, you almost have to be there to see what I am talking about. He is a true Belonging Revolutionary!

Michael Dougherty, 20th Judicial Court, District Attorney

Walking through Countryside Village - April 29, 2018

Over my first two months as Boulder District Attorney, I have made it a priority to get out into the community.  Throughout my career, I have seen firsthand the value of community engagement and collaboration with the aim of fostering confidence and improvement of our criminal justice system. 

The work of the District Attorney goes beyond a focus on simply prosecuting cases.  As District Attorney, my office maintains a strong connection with our community because, by hearing ideas and concerns from all sides, we can work together on meaningful solutions to the many complex issues in criminal justice.  We will, also, work hard to protect immigrants.  Immigrants are particularly vulnerable to crimes like fraud, wage theft, and bias crimes.  As District Attorney, I am committed to providing the best possible service to immigrant communities. 

With that in mind, I was very excited to join Chief Mike Butler and Dan Benavidez on their weekly Sunday walk.  They chose Countryside Village in Longmont. It was a beautiful day.  Mike and Dan walk through neighborhoods every Sunday, as part of their incredibly strong commitment to the community.  I was honored to walk with them. 

We headed down past the first row of trailer homes.  I learned that Mike and Dan do not knock on doors.  That makes sense to me, but I was unaware of it at first.  So, we walked until we came across a young man returning home from picking up breakfast.  He tensed when he saw us approaching him.  With Dan’s disarming personality and Mike’s seasoned touch, the conversation quickly turned positive.  With this gentleman, and each of the many that followed, Mike asked questions about their experience in Longmont, whether they feel safe in that neighborhood, and whether police/fire had treated them fairly in any interaction.  The answers were overwhelmingly positive, which reflects Longmont and the community members, as well as the leaders. 

We met many people; the conversations were longer than I would have expected and better than I could have hoped.  I think it was clear to everyone, including me, how deeply Dan and Mike care about the community.  As a result, people engaged and opened up about their experiences.  As a prosecutor, I have the privilege of working with people from all walks of life — but it is different to be out in a neighborhood, walking around on a Sunday.  I applaud Dan and Mike for their strong commitment to our community in Longmont and I am excited to walk with them again.