DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today delivered his second State of the City Address, outlining achievements of the past 12 months and announcing key goals for the year ahead with a focus on better connecting Denver to the global marketplace and every resident to high-quality services.
“The state of Denver is strong – poised to get stronger – and primed to compete in the global economy,” Mayor Hancock told an audience of 500 people at the Forney Museum of Transportation. “Construction and development are driving our economy forward, positioning Denver as the ideal place to start a business, build a career and raise a family.”
Over the past year, Denver added 15,000 jobs and 1,000 new businesses. The city’s unemployment is down two points since 2011 and the housing market is one of the strongest in the nation. Denver has also eliminated its budget deficit and is restoring essential services cut during the recession, such as street paving, library hours and public safety.
During his 30-minute address, Mayor Hancock stressed the critical need to link Denver to the rest of the world, introducing plans to better connect Denver residents, neighborhoods and businesses with the tools to compete and succeed in today’s global economy.
“From horse-drawn carriages to 21st century jet liners, Denver has grown from an isolated mining town to an up-and-coming metropolis,” Mayor Hancock said. “We are a smart, cutting-edge city linked by walking trails, bike paths, highways, light rail, and nonstop flights that create bridges – connections – that will open up a world of opportunities for our children, neighbors and businesses.”
The Mayor pointed to significant connections made over the past year to deliver a world-class city where everyone matters:
- Connecting Denver residents with the best customer service possible. Denver voters overwhelmingly passed Measure 2A, a smart and fiscally responsible solution that is helping to eliminate the city’s budget deficit, strengthen the city’s economy and restore essential services. Thanks to the Mayor’s Peak Performance initiative, city employees also have embraced an innovative, efficient and effective culture, identifying $7 million in savings while improving processes over the past year.
- Connecting businesses to global opportunities. From direct access to capital to five new non-stop connections and three new airlines for tourism and commerce, Denver is strategically connecting every business, big and small, with the means to compete in the global marketplace.
- Connecting Denver’s children with healthy, safe and engaging activities. Thanks to Denver voters’ passage of Measure 2A, the city is providing children with unprecedented access to out-of-school and summer activities. More than 90,000 Denver students now have free, year-round access to the city’s recreation centers, pools and libraries with the MY Denver Card.
- Connecting safety officers with the community. Denver’s police department is better connecting with the people it serves and preventing crime by reforming, retraining and recalibrating the department. Today, violent crime is down 13 percent in Denver.
- Reconnecting neighborhoods and neighbors. With the opening of the West Rail Line, Denver now hosts 30 commuter rail stations that are being leveraged to elevate and reconnect overlooked neighborhoods such as Sun Valley, Elyria-Swansea and Globeville. The city has connected all neighborhoods with a better quality of life by designating more parkland, increasing affordable housing options and growing jobs. To celebrate the Mile High City’s rich heritage and bright future, Mayor Hancock has also named August 3-11 as “Denver Days,” a new citywide tradition to encourage neighbors to get to know each other.
Mayor Hancock announced programs and priorities moving forward that will help Denver become a more globally connected and competitive city:
Building new international bridges. The city will strengthen the way it supports international businesses, foreign visitors and immigrant residents in Denver by creating the International Welcome Center, which will focus on establishing Denver as a global destination for commerce and culture.
Opening access to housing and jobs for Denver’s workforce. The city will increase affordable housing options for Denver’s workforce and recalibrate training to fill middle-skill employment gaps in high-growth sectors. This strategy will build on the region’s growing momentum in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Increasing livability for all Denver residents. Mayor Hancock has proposed a 24-hour rest and resource station, as well as a courtyard and safe space for daytime use, to serve the homeless in Denver.
Sharpening innovative, entrepreneurial competitiveness. The city will support early stage companies and encourage innovation in Denver’s ideas economy by opening an entrepreneurism and technology center in downtown that will offer strategic advisers and thoughtful connections to resources.
Preparing our kids to compete in a global economy. From cradle to career, the Mayor is committed to connecting Denver’s children to a better future. This fall, the city will launch a program to ensure the youngest learners get a smart start that will prepare them for educational success, beginning with kindergarten.
Focusing police force on crime prevention. To help prevent crime and keep the residents of this great city safe, in addition to getting more officers out on patrol, the city will hire more than 100 new officers for the first time in five years.
For the full text of Mayor Hancock’s second State of the City Address CLICK HERE.
Also today, Mayor Hancock provided a FULL REPORT to the community on the progress his administration has made over the past year.