Council District 6
The longest serving member of Denver City Council, Charlie Brown brings a moderate, business-oriented, common sense perspective to the 13-member council. As a voice for fiscal moderation, Councilman Brown works hard to ensure that Denver continues to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Known as the “cowboy councilman,” Brown tackled head-on the new Wild West of marijuana by heading both the medical and recreational marijuana council committees. He was the key sponsor of the city's medical marijuana ordinance that was approved in 2010. In November 2012, voters approved Amendment 64, making recreational marijuana legal in the state. In 2013, Brown’s leadership helped define and implement Denver’s ordinances that regulate the marijuana industry.
Although Brown didn’t support legalized recreational marijuana, more than 56 percent of voters in his south Denver district did so. He and his colleagues simply complied with the wishes of their constituency by working to create a legal framework for implementing the new law, including a fair and balanced set of regulations and taxes.
Decked out in his western shirts and a bolo tie, Brown has been serving the city since May 2001 with his candid, open and approachable style. He is not one to mince words. He gave up on “political correctness” a long time ago preferring “political directness,” especially when it comes to protecting private property rights and challenging the city on allowing 4/20 revelers to break the law and openly smoke marijuana in Civic Center.
Brown currently chairs the Council’s Amendment 64 Committee, is vice chair of the National Western Stock Show committee, is a member of the Government Affairs & Finance Committee and the Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Brown also serves on the Metro Wastewater Reclamation Board and VISIT DENVER, the Convention & Visitors Bureau Board. Brown is term-limited and will relinquish his position in July 2015. After 16 years of public service (two as a Colorado state representative), he is often asked if he will run for higher office. Brown’s favorite response, “The only thing I’m going to run for is the border.”
The media has been drawn to Brown for his candid insights. He has appeared on national news shows, including The O’Reilly Factor, ABC’s World News Sunday, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening news and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Forbes and several international publications.
Brown’s diverse background includes serving as president of an award-winning public relations firm, chief lobbyist for a statewide medical society, assistant public affairs director for an international trade union, a teacher at the secondary and college levels, and Realtor. He attended the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) but his love for the West ruled and he transferred to the University of Wyoming where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. Recently, he was named the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus for the University of Wyoming.
Brown has been married for 32 years to Suzanne, senior features editor at The Denver Post. They have two sons, Cody, 26, who lives in Brooklyn recently sold his company to WordPress and now works for them, and Nick, 22, a fourth-grade teacher and Teach For America Corps member in Mississippi.
In his spare time, Brown enjoys gardening, collecting cowboy antiques, western art, fly fishing and cheering for his favorite sports team -- the Wyoming Cowboys.