Ballots go in the mail next week for the May 7 Denver mayor and council elections plus the contentious Initiative 300 giving privacy rights to the homeless and repealing the camping ban so they can take up residence on sidewalks and parks.

The camping ban came up during a mayoral debate last week for an LGBTQ advocacy group that was moderated by Colorado Politics.

Well, not the ban so much — most candidates focused their angst on the measure’s opponents and those who contributed $1.5 million to campaign against it.

Candidate Kalyn Rose Heffernan brought it up in typical, liberal fashion, complaining the money should have been spent to house people.

But voters aren’t being asked to build houses, are they? Their choice is, should Denver be a camping free-for-all with guaranteed tent privacy rights, or not. As a community activist, Hefferman should be all too aware of the truckloads of public money used to sustain homelessness, rather than build houses.

And as Mayor Michael Hancock aptly pointed out:

“The philanthropic foundation community and the private sector have donated millions to address the issue of homelessness in this city,” Hancock said. “And I don’t know of any candidate up here that has written a check to help support and fight and deal with the issue of homelessness in the city of Denver.”

Lisa Calderon was equally critical of the campaign against a future tent city, calling it “shameless,” while Jaime Giellis tried to have it both ways — opposing the initiative but supporting the camping ban repeal.

The only candidates opposing the initiative are Hancock and Penfield Tate III.