|Mayor Hancock Delivers First State of the City Address
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced plans to deliver a smart city in his first State of the City Address at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Those plans include cradle to career solutions for the City’s children, new initiatives to support job growth and businesses, and a new center for domestic violence victims.
“What lies before us is an opportunity to reshape what it means to be a 21st century city – a world-class city where everyone matters,” Mayor Hancock said. “We are accomplishing this by creating a city government that provides the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost, focusing every resource on delivering more opportunities for our kids, safer streets and an economy built to last. That is a smart city.”
The Mayor highlighted significant progress achieved during his first year in office:
- Increasing opportunities for Denver’s children. The City is placing a renewed emphasis on Denver’s children through the Denver Education Compact and establishing a Children’s Cabinet, increasing access to the Internet and providing meals to thousands of low-income kids.
- Spurring new economic opportunities. Denver’s new international flights to Iceland and Tokyo will generate a combined $158 million economic impact on the region and open Denver to new markets in Europe and Asia.
- Making Denver’s streets safer. The Denver Police Department has been reorganized to get highly trained police personnel out of the office and back into neighborhoods. Leadership has been flattened and new commanders who have strong relationships in their districts have been appointed.
- Strengthening the safety net. Focusing on children and families hit hardest by the recession, the City has expanded vital services for the homeless and declared it inhumane to leave anyone on the street, paving the way home for our most vulnerable populations.
- Transforming city government to provide the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost. The City has improved customer service and made government more efficient and cost-effective through new initiatives like Peak Performance. Starting in 2013, new efficiencies will save $10 million annually.
- Championing innovation. The newly announced U.S. Patent Office will put Denver on the cutting edge and bolster the region’s burgeoning high-tech sectors while fostering local job creation.
“To become a smart city built for future generations, we are thinking smarter, we are planning smarter, we are using our resources sensibly, and we are taking advantage of smart 21st century tools,” the Mayor said. “We must continue down this path toward a better Denver the only way we know how: with determination and collaboration. That’s the Denver spirit.”
In its first year, the Hancock Administration set a foundation for major change to come. The Mayor outlined next steps and initiatives critical to maintaining the City’s momentum and delivering long-term success.
Delivering more opportunity for all Denver’s children
Mayor Hancock announced three new programs launching this fall to support children and young adults from cradle to career.
- A smart student ID – A new program that enhances school ID cards to also serve as library cards and provide free access to city recreation centers. This fall, we will pilot the enhanced cards with 34,000 Denver Public Schools 6th- through 12th-graders.
- Drop-In Denver – A new web-based resource will give disenfranchised youth online options and support for finishing school.
- College in the Community – The City will improve access to job training and advanced education by opening up certain recreation centers and libraries to Community College of Denver classes.
Building a diverse economy for the future
Mayor Hancock pledged to enhance the City’s partnership with small businesses and local companies to help them compete in a global economy. The City will provide a new “Peak Enterprise” toolkit of services originally outlined in the JumpStart 2012 economic development plan. This new toolkit will:
- Bring more venture capital and investment to Denver’s innovators and entrepreneurs;
- Provide a matrix that identifies over 100 lenders and investors that have provided capital to Denver businesses during the past five years;
- Open a multimillion dollar fund with micro- and traditional lenders to support local business and community development;
- Offer an A-to-Z guide to help businesses navigate city paperwork and approvals;
- Enhance workforce development opportunities for our city’s small businesses; and
- Improve customer service at our Business Assistance Center.
Enhancing crime prevention
Mayor Hancock reinforced the importance of having a strong relationship between Denver’s Police Department and the community in order to better prevent crime throughout the City.
Assuring the highest quality resources for Denver’s crime fighters and victims of crime, the Mayor announced the creation of the Rose Andom Domestic Violence Center. This one-stop-shop will provide comprehensive support including:
- Legal, protective and counseling services;
- Shelter options;
- Resources for children and pets; and
- Medical care.
Providing 21st Century customer service
The City will save time and resources for its departments, employees and customers by leveraging modern technology. In his speech, Mayor Hancock launched the “e-Denver” online initiative, offering a new website optimized to provide easy, 24-hour access to city services. Upcoming online services include:
- Filing for city permits and licenses;
- A new application for filing all city taxes; and
- Easy access to the City’s revenues and expenditures.
Eliminating the City’s budget deficit
Mayor Hancock restated his commitment to ask voters in November to approve a plan that will help eliminate the City’s budget deficit and regain ground lost during the recession. The proposal would allow Denver to keep the $68 million the City returns to the public every year to stay below the TABOR limit. By retaining those funds, the City could stop cutting basic services and begin to reinvest in children, libraries, police, streets and local businesses.
For the full text of Mayor Hancock’s first State of the City speech CLICK HERE.
Mayor Hancock provided a full report to the community on the progress his administration has made in the first year. CLICK HERE for the full report.