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The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes

Allegra Rene “Happy” Haynes was born on March 4, 1953, in Denver, Colorado. Haynes graduated from Denver's East High School in 1971. She received her B.A. degree in political science (with honors) from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York in 1975. Later in life, Haynes returned to school and received her M.A. degree in public affairs from the University of Colorado in 2002. She also attended Leadership Denver, the Denver Community Leadership Forum, the Rocky Mountain Program, and the State and Local Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Haynes began her tenure with the City of Denver as an aide to former Councilman Bill Roberts in 1979. From 1983 to 1990, Haynes worked as an administrative aide to the former Mayor of Denver, Federico Peña, the city’s first Latino mayor. Haynes served on the Denver City Council from 1990 to 2003 and as council president from 1998 to 2000. She was Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's liaison to the city council from 2003 to 2005 and she played a key role in the development of Denver International Airport. In October of 2005, Haynes retired from the City of Denver after twenty-six years to join the new superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Michael Bennet, as his assistant for community partnerships. Governor Bill Ritter appointed Haynes to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education in September of 2008.

Haynes resides in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver. She is single, an avid jazz enthusiast, and enjoys science fiction and gardening. She regularly participates in numerous sports and outdoor activities.

Accession Number

A2008.130

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/7/2008

Last Name

Haynes

Middle Name

"Happy"

Schools

East High School

Park Hill Elementary School

Barrett Elementary School

Gove Middle School

Barnard College

University of Denver Strum College of Law

University of Colorado Denver

First Name

Allegra

Birth City, State, Country

Denver

HM ID

HAY09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Colorado

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mexico

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

3/4/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Academic administrator and city council member The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes (1953 - ) served on the Denver City Council from 1990 to 2003, and as council president from 1998 to 2000. In 2005, she became assistant for community partnerships to the superintendent of Denver Public Schools. Governor Bill Ritter appointed Haynes to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education in September of 2008.

Employment

Young Men's Christian Association

Citizens Advocate office

Denver City Council District 11

Office of the Mayor - City of Denver

Denver City Council

Denver Public Schools

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado Commission on Higher Education

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers her paternal grandmother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about her Hispanic heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes lists her childhood homes

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers her neighborhood friends in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers integrating the Sportland YMCA in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes Denver's City Park neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes recalls her experiences at Barrett Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers her elementary school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her experiences at Aaron Gove Junior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes recalls her teachers at Aaron Gove Junior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about her involvement with the Catholic Church

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her role in student government at Aaron Gove Junior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her protests at Denver's East High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers her mentors at East High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about the racial climate in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her disinterest in athletics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her experiences as a debutante

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers her Outward Bound trip to Baja California, Mexico

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes recalls working at The Denver Post

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her aspiration to become a teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes recalls her desire to attend an all-girls college

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her decision to attend Barnard College in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers her high school trip to Europe

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about founding an impromptu freedom school in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes recalls her experiences in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about her early interest in politics

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her decision to become a lawyer

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers Barnard College's admission counselor, R. Christine Royer

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her early work within Denver City Council

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her role as an aide in the Denver City Council office

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about her position with Mayor Federico Pena's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes the accomplishments of Mayor Federico Pena's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her decision to run for Denver City Council

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers running for Denver City Council

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about Denver's African American and Hispanic mayors

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes the development of the Denver International Airport

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about initiating a tax for children's programming

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her role on the welfare reform board

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers her accomplishments on the Denver City Council

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about her international travels

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes recalls her decision to leave law school

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about working with Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her role in Denver Public School's Community Partnerships

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about her appointments to state boards

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers the 2008 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about President Barack Obama's presidency

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her interest in jazz music

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes talks about her organizational board affiliations

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes shares her advice for future generations

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes describes her protests at Denver's East High School
The Honorable Allegra "Happy" Haynes remembers her accomplishments on the Denver City Council
Transcript
You were getting ready to enter high school, and you said you attended East High School [Denver, Colorado]?$$Um-hm.$$Okay, so tell me about the transition from junior high school [Aaron Gove Junior High School, Denver, Colorado] to high school.$$Oh, I was just anxious you know to, to go to high school and very excited about going to East, I mean you know growing up in our neighborhood that was, you know that was a big dream. And you know it just had a great reputation, and of course all of the older students, you know kids who lived in the neighborhood had gone to East and so I was very excited about going there. And I knew there were a lot of active, you know, students at East and so I, you know I became very involved in you know student activism you know, you know as soon as I, as soon as I got there as a, as a sophomore. You know it was part of the times when student, student activists, activism and on camp- on college campuses and on high school campuses around the country, and East was no exception. East was, you know, an interesting school you know very integrated, and in fact had been for quite a number of years, one of the few you know naturally integrated schools in the country and really you know prided itself on the diversity of the student body. But, you know we were at the cusp of the, you know the, of the Black Student Movement in my first year at East High School. And so I got involved in a lot of things you know. I think my first couple of months in school I became involved with a bunch of seniors in an initiative to change our dress code, because girls had to wear you know dresses still to school and we wanted to be able to wear pants, and so, so we you know mounted a campaign and you know did petitions and you know went to the administration, to the principal [Robert Colwell]. We, we actually succeeded after a month or two of this campaign to get the dress code changed at, at East. You know, but my poor mother [Anna Garcia Haynes] she was just like you know here we are your first two months of school couldn't you just, you know, do your homework and do your work, do you have to you know cause trouble so soon. But, you know those were the times and I became also involved that very first semester in forming the Black Student Alliance with a number of other friends, turned out to be mostly seniors, but you know we were still dealing with the after effects of the assassination of Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] and the fact that you know that the, the school was the community. You know the, you know the schools had really you know tried to suppress you know the feelings and the concerns and you know what, you know what was on students' minds. And I, I think that just stirred, you know, the activism all the more. I mean I think that's why, you know, people came to you know the reality of you know we're, we're gonna have to, you know these issues are gonna have to be raised more if, if, if there's a lesson here we've gotta pay more attention and more has to happen, you know, to acknowledge the, you know, the contributions of people in the, you know in the black community. And you know we began to think of you know how little, you know here we were in these schools and you know we weren't even, you know they didn't want us to talk about you know the one person hero that we really did know well. And we, you know began to realize you know we don't know much about the rest of these you know the other folks in our culture, in our history, and, and so you know we, we pushed for having Afro American history, which you know wasn't being taught in public schools in, in Denver [Colorado] at that time. And so we organized our Black Student Alliance and then we, you know we made some demands on the school on a number of things, but including you know the fact that we wanted Afro American history and you know we wanted--we had, we had some black teachers in the school, again playing a very similar role you know, you know looking out for all of us, not only looking out for us, but making sure that we were doing what we were supposed to be doing, you know we were there to get an education, that we would do well, and so there were and it was tumultuous times at East, while I, I was there in the midst of a lot of things.$Was that the second, 'cause you said three initiatives, and I'm sorry I just asked you, but was that one of them (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) There were a couple, you know I also sponsored a, an initiative to introduce a living wage. A living wage ordinance was something that was occurring across this country, and the idea of having, you know, a minimum wage in our, our city that was different than you know other places in the state it was, you know it was, you know considered an anti-business you know sort of move. You know I had a very good relationship with the business community and you know worked very collaboratively with them on the airport [Denver International Airport, Denver, Colorado] and you know, you know economic development over the years. But, I felt strongly that, you know, just, just because you know we would be the only city and you know it would put us at a disadvantage to, to suggest that you know we shouldn't do what was right, what we thought was right in providing a wage that people could actually, you know, raise a family and pay their rent and put food on the table was, you know, something I believed strongly in and so you know that was sort of another, one of the against the odds initiatives that I was in- involved in and you know I didn't succeed early on, but you know as I said later on, you know, we were able, you know it became a broader issue, more people in the community became engaged and you know I, I think as more people, you know, realized the significance of it you know. So, sometimes your first time around you don't succeed, but you know--$$Or you plant the seed (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) you pave, you plant the seed and again the same thing is true of the smoking ban. I, you know sponsored the legislation to create a smoking ban, very controversial and you know couldn't get the su- you know support of the, you know the--it was tough, you know, having, the mayor [HistoryMaker Wellington Webb] eventually did, you know, support it, but you know people, you know it was considered again an anti-business, the sky will fall, and you know everybody will leave Denver [Colorado] and you know, you know, but you know I, I thought it was important as a pub, you know that public health you know should trump all of those things and that you know there was, you know citizens shouldn't be forced to trade off you know the health and that the, you know the evidence was clearly there about the effects of secondhand smoke and, you know we had to be guided by what data, you know with the, with the facts you know had told us. And, and so again you know that was, it failed at the local level, but it, it, I succeeded in getting the support of all the local people who said we agree with you on the health issues and we will, if we can do it statewide where it won't have an economic disadvantage for Denver we would and so they, true to their word, they did support you know a statewide initiative and we eventually now have a statewide smoking ban. I like to think that it was the result of my early Quixote [Don Quixote] like efforts.