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State Of The City 2017

Hancock Delivers Speech, BBQ In Park Hill

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock brought city hall to Hiawatha Davis Recreation Center to deliver his annual State of the City address in July. Joined by members of the city council and his administration, Hancock spoke to a crowd that packed the gymnasium.

He highlighted the need to better manage the city’s explosive growth, vastly improve transportation and public transit, and address homelessness and affordable housing.  He announced a pilot program that will provide 400 new low-income apartments. He vowed to improve transportation infrastructure, including adding buses, bike lanes, sidewalks, and fixing crumbling roads. He also highlighted a commitment to reducing Denver’s carbon footprint, and a renewed vow to protecting immigrants. “The state of the city is strong, because you the people are strong,” Hancock said.

After the speech, the crowd was treated to a lunch of barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs, served up by city employees. A few protesters were on hand to remind Hancock that not everyone is copacetic with his vision, including opponents of a nearly $300 million stormwater drainage project that includes a detention area in City Park Golf Course, as well as advocates working to help the homeless.

Terese Howard of Homeless Out Loud said to her, the mayor’s announcement of 400 new affordable apartments falls far short. There are, she noted, at least 7,000 homeless people on any given day in Denver.

“There aren’t enough shelter beds, and even if there were, shelters are not a home, they are not a place to live,” she said.

Story and photos by Cara DeGette

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