Written by Dominic Dezzutti
Ever since his big runoff election win, Mayor Michael Hancock seems to have had trouble finding his mojo. Denver voters knew he had it because that’s how he won the election over a much better funded opponent. But it’s been missing for the last couple of months.

Mojo is that hidden momentum and confidence that enables leaders to rise above problems, and truly inspire those around them. Mojo is a key element that enables elected officials to become elected leaders.

While not back at 100 percent, Michael Hancock got a lot of his mojo back when he announced this week that his new Manager of Safety will be.

Full Story: Supreme Court Justice Steps Away From Court To Serve As Denver Manager Of Safety

The Manager of Safety isn’t the most powerful position on Hancock’s cabinet, but it is one of the most pivotal. A strong Manager of Safety can pave the way for a smooth tenure for Hancock. A weak Manager of Safety could easily doom him to a single term.

But by not only arriving at the idea of asking Martinez to serve, but by convincing him to leave the Colorado Supreme Court to do so, Hancock not only shows he’s a man of strong ideas, but also one with strong convincing skills.

Justice Martinez comes into this position with experience as a Public Defender, and over 28 years on the judicial bench, with most of those years on the Colorado Supreme Court. In a nutshell, he walks into a very difficult position with serious credibility.

michael hancock Hancock’s MoJo Moment

Michael Hancock with Alex Martinez (credit: CBS)

The experience that Martinez walks into the job with will enable him to simultaneously soothe the raw nerves of the police force who endured nine firings in four months, but also command the respect needed to enact discipline as soon as it may be needed.

It’s fitting that it took Hancock a bit longer than usual to name his Manager of Safety. All of his appointments are important, but he couldn’t screw this one up.

Now the question is what Hancock will do to continue to build this mojo and make sure that the momentum doesn’t ebb.

I believe this is the time that Hancock can take the bull by the horns and announce some serious and ambitious budget initiatives that show creativity and action on what is Denver’s biggest issue.

Mojo is a form of subtle energy. The best way to sustain that kind of energy is to stay in motion.

Mayor Hancock should seize this opportunity to keep his political momentum moving in a positive direction. That momentum will give him the strength to sway opinions on an ambitious agenda. But if he wastes this energy, it could dissipate as quickly as it appeared.

Hiring Justice Martinez as his Manager of Safety was a huge step in the right direction. That move got his mojo back. Now he must use that mojo to become the mayor everyone who voted for him knows he can be.

About The Blogger

– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

Comments (2)
  1. K says:

    MOJO, REALLY?? And is it MOJO that caused him to pay his top 29 executives in the city staffing over a MILLION dollars more that the previous mayor??? Now that is some MOJO…….

  2. M says:


    You just read the headline of the DP article and didn’t read the actual article didn’t you =)

    you silly monkey, articles have actual text in them, you should read them sometimes

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