Skip navigation

About Denver City Council

Translate This Page


City Council makes laws, budgets City money, and can investigate City agencies and employees. Since 1971, the Council has had 13 council 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.

History of Denver's Mayor-Council Government

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 704,000 people live in the City and County of Denver in an area of 154.97 square miles.

Denver City Council Land Acknowledgement

The Denver City Council honors and acknowledges that the land on which we reside is the traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples. We also recognize the 48 contemporary tribal nations that are historically tied to the lands that make up the state of Colorado.

We honor Elders past, present, and future, and those who have stewarded this land throughout generations. We also recognize that government, academic and cultural institutions were founded upon and continue to enact exclusions and erasures of Indigenous Peoples.

May this acknowledgement demonstrate a commitment to working to dismantle ongoing legacies of oppression and inequities and recognize the current and future contributions of Indigenous communities in Denver.


Below is a very brief outline of the legislative process and how laws are enacted. To learn more, download our visual diagram(PDF).

  1. Council Committee Meeting - Proposed legislation is discussed.
  2. Mayor Council Meeting (following Tues) - Bills to be filed each week are discussed.
  3. Council Meeting, First Reading (following Mon) - Bill is either ordered published or defeated
  4. Council Meeting, Second Reading
  5. Mayor signs or vetoes (Council can override veto with 9 votes)
  6. City Clerk publishes new ordinance by end of the week (ordinance takes effect upon publication) 

The Rules of Procedure (PDF) govern the legislative process of the City Council, serving as a guide to fair and orderly procedure in meetings.

Get Involved

There are many ways to find out about issues in your community and to get involved. Learn more about how to reach your city council member, find out about council meetings and how to address council about topic important to you.
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.




City & County Building
1437 Bannock St., Rm. 451
Denver, CO 80202


Official City and County of Denver seal