Denver has grown exponentially but in a way that did not take our limited and fixed infrastructure –roads- into consideration. Our roads are very congested. Driving in this city is a nightmare. Few viable transit options exist for most Denver residents. To address this, I will create a cabinet-level Department of Transportation to focus on Denver’s mobility needs, relying on technology and innovation. In most instances, we cannot and should not build more roads or widen the ones we have – we need to be more creative. Denver needs its own mobility solutions “driven” by the city, its businesses, and neighborhoods.
Under my administration, Denver will be carbon neutral by 2030. My goal is to make Denver the greenest city in the country. Denver ranks 7th in cities most at risk due to climate change. Denver’s current climate plan is inadequate to address this very real threat. We must do better. Our way of life and economic well-being demand that we take much more aggressive action.
I will implement an aggressive city climate plan that includes accelerating Denver’s transition to renewable energy sources, converting to an all-electric city vehicle fleet, improving recycling and composting programs and increasing the number of certified green buildings.
Smarter Development / Development that works for people
My goal is to completely overhaul the permitting process by which new growth and development gets approved. We must be smarter about the way Denver grows. That starts with reining in developers and ensuring that our neighborhoods are consulted and advised on new growth plans.
I will hire an urban planner who knows how to work with, not against, our neighborhoods. Developers must pay their fair share for the impact they are having on public schools and public services and we need aesthetic requirements that preserve neighborhood character.
Affordable Housing / Housing Policies That Work
We can double the production of affordable housing units in Denver. Too many people in Denver are getting priced out because this administration has not made affordable housing a priority. We must address the housing crisis to protect our legacy as a city of economic opportunity for all.
I will require that all new developments have an affordable housing component. We must close the loophole that allows developers to buy their way out of affordable housing requirements and strong-arm developers to increase affordability components in their buildings.
Solving Denver’s Homeless Problem
In my first 100 days in office, I will prioritize tackling our homeless problem in Denver.Homeless sweeps and camping bans are not the answer. They only got the City sued by the homeless. Similarly, Initiative 300 is not a solution. Both continue a debate that does not solve anything. And homelessness is no longer just a downtown issue. It’s become a city-wide problem, manifested in all of our neighborhoods and it’s an issue that we must address. Homelessness is one of the moral issues of our time and it’s time we take bold action. The sweeps of the homeless will end immediately.It’s time we take bold action.I will bring together facilities that are safe, warm and secure that offer an option for every person living on the streets. They will have access to showers, a place to store valuables and a place to sleep in peace.
Fair Wages Define a Great City
My goal is for every worker in Denver to be paid a minimum of $15 per hour with health coverage and every contractor with the city pay every employee not only $15 an hour but offer reasonable health and sick leave benefits.
I will work with Denver Health and other providers to make this a reality. If you want to be part of Team Denver than you need to understand that you must adhere to certain core values. Decent wages and health care is one of those values. Frankly, it is also good fiscal stewardship as folks without health care end up using facilities such as Denver Health and Denver taxpayers end up bearing the burden of those companies who do not do right by their employees.
Standards of Ethics and Transparency
We deserve a renewed commitment to ethics and transparency in city government. Denver has developed a reputation as a pay-to-play city and we’re seeing the scandals pile up as a result. We’ve paid millions – or what I call a corruption tax – to pay for cover ups and to pay for misconduct on the part of the top officials at City Hall up to and including the Mayor. Simply put, too many have not lived up to the high standards we have a right to expect from our elected officials.
I will work to change the way city government conducts business so we give power back to the people, rather than the well-connected. I will appoint an independent ethics monitor to investigate official misconduct and report back to the people. The passage of 2E was a great first step on campaign reform, but, as I said when I endorsed 2E, we must continue to raise the bar to create a fair, ethical city government.