Mark Daniel De La Torre
Urban Planner and Designer; MIG Inc. (https://www.migcom.com/)
Education: > Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Arizona, Tucson > Bachelor of Architecture, University of Arizona, Tucson Professional Affiliations > Urban Land Institute (ULI) Colorado Young Leaders Group (YLG) Executive Board, Service Learning and Community Outreach Committee Chair (former) > Real Estate Diversity Initiative (https://colorado.uli.org/real-estate-diversity-initiative/) Recent Volunteer: > LocalWorks (https://wearelocalworks.org/; 2019 Volunteer of the Year) Memberships: > Wheat Ridge Historical Society > Colorado Carver's Club
I have no donated money to any campaigns. I have hosted yard signs for Councilwoman Rachel Hultin (Wheat Ridge City Council, District 2), Congressman Ed Perlmutter, and the Census. Additionally, I have hosted a "Driveway Coffee with the Candidate" to introduce Councilwoman Hultin to neighbors in my area.
LocalWorks (Wheat Ridge): Communication, and Community Engagement Committees; various volunteer efforts. Not currently active. INCO (Irish Network Colorado): Board Director. Currently active; primarily focused on the implementation of a memorial for Irish immigrant miners in Leadville, Colorado. American Society of Landscape Architects, Colorado Chapter. Not currently active. And, as noted previously: Urban Land Institute, Colorado Chapter Real Estate Diversity Initiative Wheat Ridge Historical Society Colorado Carver's Club
As an urban planning professional, I strongly believe in a participatory planning process. This means that every project is guided by a collaborative process with the community, rather than a process that determines independent solutions for a community. It has been my experience, that while my professional expertise can help guide certain elements of a given project, the contextual needs of a each community are best understood by those who are immersed in it. The diversity of my interests and the exposure that my profession has provided me across various communities has allowed me to interact with Coloradans across much of the state. So, while I cannot speak directly to specific representation or advocacy for a certain group or organization, I would like to believe that the work I have been immersed in here has helped illuminate the needs and possibilities for some of them.
I wrote, and rewrote this response a number of times, trying to strike a balance between of a catchy, provocative statement and a lengthy, heartfelt prose. In the end, I ‘ve settled on something that I hope is a bit more straight-forward. I believe this is a great opportunity for a father of two young girls, a husband to a talented architect, a member of design and planning community, an advocate of international culture, and a supporter of local community to positively contribute to the future of a state that I call home. I think I bring a balanced and unique outlook to the conversation, and am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to the greater good for everyone in this wonderful state.
As noted in a prior response, I believe that my professional practice and generally even-keeled disposition allows me to focus on the greater goal of this endeavor. That is to say, I am not engaging in this process for me, but for the state at large. I have facilitated numerous conversations and meetings regarding seemingly uncontentious topics, from safe street crossings and community parks, to campus master plans and downtown visioning plans. Every supporter and dissenter had a valid point (well, some more than others) in those processes and it was my job to educate both parties so that a common conclusion could be drawn. A compromise will always beat a stalemate in my opinion. If we listen well enough, and ask the right questions, I believe we can always find that compromise. One of the reasons I gravitated towards urban planning after higher education was because I had no grand desires of creating buildings and like to bear my legacy. As an urban planner, my charge is to establish a vision with community and set the groundwork for change. As it relates to ‘fair and impartial’, the outcome of this task is not for me. It’s for everyone. I realize and support that fully.
Professionally, we tend to refer to this type of analysis as the "key takeways", or more colloquially, the "so what's?". I imagine this process will involve the procurement, management and translation of a large amount of data and input. Conclusions drawn from the process must be defensible. Recommendations given should be directly tied to outcomes from the process. I do this every day, with streetscape and corridor plans to city-wide comprehensive plans. I will apply the same ethic and rigor to this process as I have for neighborhoods, universities, towns and cities across Colorado.