City Council makes laws, budgets City money, and can investigate City agencies and employees. Since 1971, the Council has had 13 members -- 11 from equally populated districts and two elected at large. Council members, who must be at least 25 years old, U.S. citizens, and two-year Denver residents, are all elected at the same time every four years. Council committees, each concerned with various areas of city government, meet frequently to discuss and prepare proposed laws.
Settled in 1858, Denver became a town in Kansas Territory in 1860 -- named after the governor who never saw the place. It became part of the Colorado Territory in 1861 with a board of aldermen stronger than the mayor. The State of Colorado made Denver its capital in 1877. Denver became a City and County in 1902 and adopted a new Charter with a mayor-council government in 1904.
The Charter is "the Constitution" of Denver. A commission form of government, instituted in 1913, lasted only three years. The Speer Amendment, named after a Denver mayor, created the present non-partisan city government with a strong mayor and a city council.
Today, more than 598,000 people live in the City and County of Denver in an area of 154.97 square miles.
Below is a very brief outline of the legislative process and how laws are enacted. To learn more, download our visual diagram.
The Rules of Procedure govern the legislative process of the City Council, serving as a guide to fair and orderly procedure in meetings.
City Council meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. If you would like to speak at a scheduled public hearing, you may sign-up from 5 to 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Office, Room 451. Speakers arriving after 5:30 will have to wait to sign up until the recess prior to the public hearing.
During the recess, council staff will distribute speaker cards at the speaker’s podium. Complete the card, including your address, and return it to council staff. The speaker card must be signed by the speaker. No sign-ups will be accepted after council is back in session.
NO sign-up by proxy; the person wishing to speak must be the one to sign up.
The following maps represent districts as drawn in 2002. These districts will remain in effect until the 2015 City Council elections. You can also view interactive versions of our district maps.
City Council Main Office
City and County Building
1437 Bannock St., Rm. 451
Denver, CO 80202
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