by Chanel Ward
Hundreds of people rushed to the front of the Denver City and County Building Monday morning for the 2019 OneDenver Inauguration of Municipal Officials of the City and County of Denver, while Denver Water and OneDenver prepared refreshments across the street at Civic Center Park amid the 90-degree day.
Denver Councilmember of District 7 and City Council President, Jolon Clark presided as the Master of Ceremonies.
“This is your building,” began Councilman Clark, “put here by the people of Denver for their democracy to work, on Civic Center Park, a national historic landmark and across from our state capitol building, in this civic space that was carefully planned in the early 20th century by visionary Denverites with the goal of bringing beauty and open space to a city that was growing rapidly in the midst of industrialization.”
In attendance were, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera, District Attorney Beth McCann, Deputy Mayor Murphy Robinson, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and First Lady Wilma Webb, and former Senator Polly Baca.
Presiding Judge of Denver County Courts, the Honorable, Theresa Spahn administered the Oaths of Office, swearing in the following elected officials: Councilwoman Amanda P. Sandoval/District One, Councilman Kevin Flynn/District Two, Councilwoman Jamie Torres/District Three, Councilwoman Kendra Black/District Four, Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer/District Five, Councilman Paul Kashmann/District Six, Councilman Jolon Clark/District Seven, Councilman Christopher J. Herndon/District Eight, Councilwoman Candi Lee CdeBaca/District Nine, Councilman Chris Hinds/ District Ten, Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore/ District Eleven, Councilman Chris Hinds/District Ten, Councilwoman Robin Kniech/At Large, Councilwoman Deborah “Debbie” Ortega/At Large, Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien
Clerk and Recorder Paul López shared his oath of office with his 11-year-old daughter Nayeli López.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock was sworn in for his third term where he was joined by his wife, First Lady Mary Louise Lee and was met with a standing ovation.
“Without question, these are challenging times, our national discourse once filled with hope and optimism has been replaced with cynicism, hate and anger that sloped the ugly politics of division,” delivered Mayor Hancock. “But here in Denver we are steadfast in the conviction that our city strength comes from a fierce sense of unity, equity and inclusion.”
“We may have disagreements, but our goals are aligned,” expressed Mayor Hancock, who spoke with no assistance from the prompter that wasn’t working. “We may have debates, but we all seek to do what is best for the people we serve. We may take different paths, but our destinations are the same. Consensus is always our aim; consensus fueled an economic revival over the last eight years like none other in Denver’s history. Consensus brought us together to balance our budget, fix our mental health system and repair our infrastructure. Consensus is what brings us together to stand as one Denver in the face of bigotry and bias and when we see children in cages at our southern border, when families are torn apart and our community is targeted for deportation raids, when our neighbors are forced to take sanctuary in churches, our resolve will grow, it will grow even stronger. We will stand together, as one Denver to shield our residents from being the targets of any radical and hate filled agenda,” Hancock continued, in his third and final inauguration speech as Mayor of Denver.
Mayor Hancock also explained, “To remain strong, our legacy must be an economy that works for everyone. Where everyone has access to a home, a job and a future. To achieve that economy, equity and opportunity must be a guarantee. A good days’ work, no matter the job, should be rewarded with a livable wage.”
Clerk and Recorder, Paul López felt great about his win, saying to the people who elected him. “Thank you, I am going to do my best to make sure we defend democracy in our city and to make sure that people have access to the ballot.”
López is forward thinking and is already preparing for November elections.
“We have an election coming up in November, make sure you’re registered, make sure you get that vote out, make sure you prepare for 2020,” López said, while pointing to the young people who will be 18 by time elections turn around.
Councilwoman Amanda P. Sandoval also spoke with El Semanario to thank her supporters, “It’s such an honor to be born and raised is Northwest Denver and now be able to represent them and hopefully unite the people who have been born and raised there, like myself, and then the newcomers to show that there’s a common denominator; it’s our home.”
Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca said, “I am thrilled, I feel really proud of my community, I feel excited about the work ahead of us and affirmed that we ran a race with the people as our priority, no matter what that looked like. Sometimes it was challenging; and I think we ran a race with integrity that proves that people have power.”
“Thank you so much to everybody that voted, to everybody who supported, knocked and helped us make sure that other people were voting, it made the difference; we had more than a double turn out and we activated groups of people who have never voted before to participate in owning our city and so thank you to all of them and to the people that didn’t support the first time, I guarantee they’ll support the second time,” said Councilwoman CdeBaca.
To learn more about Denver’s newly elected council members, to attend upcoming meetings or to find the Councilmember in your district, go to www.DenverGov.org. Cover photo features Denver Councilman Christopher Herndon, Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, and Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore.
Chanel Ward is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
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