Jan 6 • 53M

Estes Park Local is on a Hunger Strike to Bring Attention to Town Government's Lack of Response to Denver's Pleas for Help with an Immigrant Crisis.

An exclusive interview with John Meissner on day two of his hunger strike.

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Colorado's Counter Culture Magazine. Covering local arts, music, writing, local breaking news, deep-dive investigative articles, and podcasts based in Estes Park by Journalist, Author, and Artist Jason Van Tatenhove. https://coloradoswitchblade.com
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In today’s episode, we speak to Estes Park local John Messiner about a hunger strike undertaken to bring attention to what he feels is the town of Estes Park’s inaction in providing humanitarian assistance to the city and county of Denver after they have pleaded for help from regional communities.

According to Fox 31 News out of Denver:

Dozens of migrants are arriving in Denver each night, adding to a total of more than 3,600 migrants served by the city in less than a month.

Saying resources are stressed to the max, Denver officials are calling on neighboring cities, counties, and churches to step up. At Denver’s first city council meeting on Tuesday, Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval made a plea for help.

“Denver cannot be the only ones who are shouldering this responsibility,” Sandoval said.

According to a release from the City and County of Denver earlier today:

City resources to respond to this crisis remain at capacity, and we continue to call on the federal government, private businesses, and area non-profits to assist. The need for more widespread support from other organizations is greater than ever, as the city is developing plans to return existing migrant shelters back to their original uses in the weeks ahead. Denver continues to manage a reception center, two congregate emergency shelters, an overflow shelter, and several hotel and community partner shelters.

Due to the security and sensitivity of this evolving situation, the city is not releasing the locations of these shelters. We continue to ask the media not to report the names/locations of the emergency shelters as well. In addition, we ask all media outlets to please be respectful of the difficult and traumatic circumstances faced by our migrant community. Please be respectful when interacting with our new guests for your reporting.

As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, January 5:

  • Number of Migrants that Arrived Overnight:  75

  • Total Number of Migrants Served by the City since Dec. 9: approximately 3770 

  • Number of Migrants Sheltered in City Emergency Shelters:  841 

  • Number of Migrants Sheltered in Partner Emergency Shelters: 822 

Please note that yesterday’s press release incorrectly stated that 167 migrants arrived overnight. This number was incorrect. A total of 21 migrants arrived over Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Mayor Michael B, Hancock today made the following statement regarding President Biden’s border enforcement actions announcement

“This is a positive step from President Biden. I’m hopeful these additional resources and enforcement actions will help alleviate the pressures this influx of migrants is putting on Denver and cities across the country. The Administration’s offer of funding support and coordination, particularly around sheltering and assistance, is especially critical. I also echo the President’s call for Congress to take meaningful action on comprehensive immigration reform. That is the most long-term solution to a pressing humanitarian crisis.” 

Employment Opportunities 
The City and County of Denver will be hiring another 100 Short-Term Shelter Assistants to support the migrant sheltering effort. All positions are on-call and may have routine or variable work schedules. Positions work a minimum of 24 hours and up to 39 hours weekly. Bilingual/Spanish skills are needed but not required. For more information or to apply, visit www.denvergov.org

Donations 
Various items are still needed to support those arriving from the southern border. The items of most critical need are as follows: 

  • Backpacks and medium size duffel bags

  • Men’s shoes, sneakers, and boots, sizes 7 – 10 

We are currently only accepting physical item donations during designated times, which are Mondays from 5-8 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. - Noon, and only at Temple Emanuel at 51 Grape Street in Denver. Donation wish lists and drop-off locations/hours are updated frequently. Please do not drop off or offer food donations at shelter sites.  


Here are a couple of the interviews and articles I have been in this past week:

The first is an excellent profile piece written in a Rolling Stone style in Washingtonian Magazine. (Click the pictures to read and watch them.)

The Second is a preview of a news special on the Constitutional Sheriffs Movement in the Texas area that I was interviewed for.


Today’s post is sponsored by: