Denver Mayor Michael Hancock today called on citizens to commit to a “new civic agreement” to protect the Colorado capital from federal government “hostility” on key issues such as health, education, transportation and education.
“Cities should not be punished for Washington’s inability to resolve the inoperative immigration system,” Hancock said in reference to the possibility that Denver might lose federal subsidies for having implemented measures to protect certain undocumented immigrants.
“It’s time to stop threatening cities and stop focusing on innocent people to get to work on real solutions for undocumented people to work out of the basements of churches and shadows,” said the mayor today In his annual address on “The State of the City”.
For the official, the new civic agreement must be based not on federal policies, but on Denver’s aspirations, needs and patriotism.
From there, he said, it will be possible to protect Denver’s open spaces and public lands (both in the city and in the Colorado Rocky Mountains), expand and improve the transportation system (which does not receive federal funds), implement measures to Counteract climate change (contrary to what was suggested by the federal government) and preserve health programs.
“They say that cities and progressive ideas do not work,” said the mayor, stressing that current unemployment is only 2.3%, the lowest since those statistics began in the 1970s .
But that labor and economic prosperity, which brought about 115,000 people to Denver in the last ten years raising the number of its inhabitants to 700,000, has sharpened the situation of the most impoverished neighborhoods of the city.
That’s why, Hancock said, his administration will work not only to foster a better economic situation in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods, but to ensure that those neighborhoods retain their culture, history and identity by preventing traditional residents from being displaced.
That “policy of inclusiveness” and that “drive for an equitable economy” will also be part of the new civic agreement, he said.
“We marched in favor of women, marched in favor of science, marched in favor of immigrants and refugees, and every time we marched, we marched together,” he said.
“We have struggled a lot to let those who have only negative comments stop us or to let Washington’s dysfunctionality separate us. We will never leave anyone abandoned and we will continue to fight,” he concluded.