Denver’s cost of living has skyrocketed and wages across all sectors have not kept pace. Income inequality is at the root of many issues across our nation. Promoting fair wages and quality career paths are simple policies that help address income inequality in Denver. Fair Wages for Denver families is not only morally sound policy, it is sound economic policy which leads to a decrease turnover rates, boosts the local economy with more dollars being spent, and does not negatively impact job growth. Higher wages for Denver workers is not only good for our communities, it is good for business. Also, some Denver communities still suffering from lack of access to good-paying jobs. Connecting residents to construction careers is an opportunity to build a new generation of employees for the industry, train and support workers to overcome barriers, and forge greater economic stability for workers’ families – all while building our great city.
Denver has adopted bold goals for reducing our impact on the environment. To achieve these goals, the City must work together with our residents and businesses through new policies and habits. A few of our biggest opportunities to reinforce our status as environmental leaders include: expanding use of alternative, renewable energy, working toward a firm 2030 deadline for 100% of Denver's energy to come from renewable resources, improving the energy efficiency of our building stock, and diverting more solid waste away from the landfill through composting and recycling.
It’s an exciting time for Denver – our great neighborhoods and amenities are attracting job growth and fueling a strong economy. But this success is driving up demand and prices for housing. Denver's vulnerable families and seniors are struggling more than ever, and so are Denver's workforce and moderate-income families. No city can build its way out of a housing crisis. But Denver's crisis will only get better if we invest in creating more affordable housing and mixed-income communities.
All cities, including Denver, are dynamic and always changing. When the pace of growth outstrips the pace of infrastructure, like transportation, open space, and the supply of affordable housing, change is experienced as a threat to resident quality of life. All communities across Denver share the concern about skyrocketing housing prices and individual displacement. But there are additional, unique challenges and responsibilities when an area with many families of color and unique cultural infrastructure experiences large-scale displacement. This change is known as gentrification, and it doesn’t only impact individuals. It tears the fabric of close-knit communities and threatens the diversity and rich tapestry of neighborhoods that we all value.
As Denver seeks to expand access to affordable housing in the face of unprecedented demand, building new affordable housing is important, but it can’t be our only strategy. We need to help more families access existing homes. Providing assistance and support for renters trying to find a home or trying to remain in their home is key to fighting displacement, homelessness, and supporting an inclusive city.
As our nation struggles to embrace inclusion in the face of disparaging rhetoric and hate crimes, Denverites have peacefully taken to the streets to defend communities under attack, including immigrants, refugees, women, Muslims and other groups. The City as a whole and our Council office have been vocal about celebrating the contributions diverse communities make to the fabric of Denver, and denouncing threats and intimidation. We are committed to fighting hate and intolerance and promoting equity, both locally and in solidarity with other cities nationally.
As Denver and our greater Metro region continue to grow, it is more important than ever to invest in transportation infrastructure and choices that help individuals get around and live a good quality of life. Safer routes for bikes and pedestrians, smarter use of our roadways, and expanded transit opportunities are all important priorities for Denver.