Community members gathered Saturday for a summit to discuss the complex issue of gentrification within the city of Denver.
"ink! Coffee really opened up this discussion for a lot of people but ink! coffee isn't alone in being a business that isn't in tune with the neighborhood in which they operate," said Kayvan Khalatbari a business owner and Denver mayoral candidate.
In November ink! Coffee placed a sign outside its Larimer and 29th location in Five Points that reads "Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014!"
It sparked a heated debate over the issue of gentrification and prompted Saturday's summit which brought together progressive organizers, emerging leaders, and impacted residents who wanted to learn strategies to take back their neighborhoods.
"We've had a lot of anger. We've had a lot emotion around the topic of gentrification," said Khalatbari. "Our goal here at the summit was to look at the positive side of things and look at what we can do to empower and to find solutions."
Organizers say they understand that growth and development is inevitable but want to find ways to make that happen without displacing long-time residents.
"As we grow, which is natural, there's displacement happening I think that we can have progress and development in our community but it doesn't mean that people from less means aren't welcome," said Tony Pigford, a 4th generation Denverite. " Sadly I think that's what's happening currently."
Denver Community Action Network (DenverCAN) hosted they event. They hoped to fight gentrification by promoting businesses with a strong social responsibility and holding politicians accountable. They also hope to develop more affordable housing and work to preserve culture.