Councilman Doug Linkhart and Andre Pettigrew, Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development, Initiate an Economic Prosperity Task Force
Councilman Doug Linkhart, Denver City Councilman at-Large, and Andre Pettigrew, Director of Denver’s Office of Economic Development (OED), announce the creation of the Denver Economic Prosperity Task Force.
The goal of the task force is to strengthen the long-term economic well-being of all residents by extending opportunities for them to more fully benefit from Denver’s economy.
"Denver’s public and private sectors have a strong history of working to increase the bottom line for all residents,” said Pettigrew. “Through this task force, we’re striving to build upon our past efforts and identify ways in which city agencies, community organizations and the business community can work together better to expand economic opportunities for Denver residents, and, by doing so, strengthen our local economy,”
The task force will convene in March and meet throughout the next year. In the spring of 2009 the group will present a final report of approximately five recommendations to the Mayor and Denver City Council. The task force will be comprised of approximately 30 people representing government, nonprofits, business, labor and academia.
The task force will focus on a wide range of issues related to our economic well-being, including self-sufficiency, economic mobility and sustainability, entrepreneurship, special-needs populations and community-rich outcomes. Examples of potential recommendations might include efforts to improve the connection between education and jobs, ways to make it easier to start a new business and methods for improving financial literacy and credit so that people can afford to buy a house.
The median annual household income in the City and County of Denver is $40,900 as of 2006, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Yet, a recent study from the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute indicates that a single parent in Denver with two young children needs to earn at least $45,000 annually to cover the costs of housing, food, child care and other basic needs.
“The problem is that half the workers in Denver make less than what is needed to raise a family” said Linkhart. “Someone earning minimum wage would actually have to work three jobs at once to reach the self-sufficiency standard for raising two kids.”
Meetings are open to the public. A full meeting schedule and other details will be available at www.douglinkhart.org and online at http://e-colorado.org/. You can log in and click the Team Rooms button, then search for ‘prosperity.’
The Task Force includes the following individuals:
Task Force Co-Chairs:
Councilman Doug Linkhart, at-Large
Andre Pettigrew, Director, Denver Office of Economic Development
City Council Members:
Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz, District 2
Councilman Paul Lopez, District 3
Councilman Charlie Brown, District 6
Councilman Chris Nevitt, District 7
Ferd Belz, Cherokee Development Co.
Peter Chapman- Director, Seedco Denver
Ledy Garcia-Eckstein- Metro Denver WIRED
Ismael Guerrero- Denver Housing Authority
Paula Gomez Farrell- OED Workforce Development
Tony Hernandez- Colorado Division of Local Government
Kersten Hostetter- Microbusiness Development
Hi Howard- Piton Foundation
Tracy Huggins- Denver Urban Renewal Authority
Barclay Jones- Mile High United Way
Jim Kircheimer- The Downtown Denver Partnership
Awilda Marquez- Denver Excise and License
Rob Merritt- Denver Auditors Office
Cec Ortiz- Denver Office of Economic Development
Peter Park- Community Planning and Development
David Portillo- Denver Foundation
Carmen Rhodes- Front Range Economic Strategy Center (FRESC)
Tom Schilling- Intermountain Corporate Affairs
Brad Segal- Progressive Urban Management Association (P.U.M.A.)
Estevan Trujillo- Raymond’s Painting and Decorating
Dave Webster- Inter Neighborhood Cooperation (INC)
Seneca Holmes, Assistant to the Mayor for Economic Development
Katherine O’Connor, Analyst, Denver Office of Economic Development
Ursla Null, Aide to Councilman Linkhart
Debra Bartleson, Legislative Analyst, Denver City Council