LAKEWOOD, Colo. — The City of Lakewood is debunking myths regarding its migrant response after a conversation between Denver and Lakewood city leaders led to rumors that spiraled out of control.
As the mayor of the third largest city in the Denver metro, Wendi Strom knows the migrant crisis isn't confined to Denver city limits.
“What we know is that we do have migrants in our community already. We have migrants in our schools already,” said Strom.
Strom sees it as a regional issue that requires a regional conversation.
That conversation between Denver and Lakewood city leaders sparked an emergency town hall Tuesday night — unaffiliated with the city — where hundreds of people voiced their concerns over how Lakewood is handling the situation.
Strom is setting the record straight and shutting down misinformation over Lakewood’s stance on the migrant response.
The first myth is that Lakewood is voting to become a sanctuary city.
“That is not a conversation that we have had," Strom said. "We are not discussing it. We will not be voting on becoming a sanctuary city.”
The second myth is that Lakewood city leaders are discussing housing migrants in vacant Jeffco Public Schools buildings.
“In fact, they’re not even zoned for someone to be living in them," Strom said.
Strom said the meeting between city leaders offered meaningful insight into how nonprofits, faith-based organizations and volunteers can help and she doesn’t want that to be misconstrued.
“No one was talking about spending tax dollars. We just wanted to learn more,” the mayor said.
The City of Lakewood will continue its discussion at its Feb. 12 council meeting.