DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Mayor Michael Hancock talked about some big issues facing Denver, including traffic and growth, on a special segment “American Voices” on CBS This Morning in New York City Monday.
Hancock sat down with CBS This Morning show hosts Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell and Charlie Rose to discuss his greatest challenges facing Denver, including how he addresses those issues.
“It’s very basic. Turn to the people who are the experts and those are the city employees who are on the front line and ask them, ‘How can we weed out redundancy? Waste? And do a better job for our customers.’ You know what? Most of our employees have responded phenomenally.”
“The reality is that I have an internal consulting firm. Right now, close to 6,000 employees who have been certified and trained in our process. And when I have a challenge or I’m looking for a solution, I turn to them and say, ‘Give me five or six of them, from different departments, send them in and help us find solutions.”
Hancock also talked about a big issue affecting nearly everyone who lives in the state: traffic.
Denver Metro area residents spent 52 hours a year in traffic in 2009 and that has increased to 66 hours in 2015.
“Traffic is one of those where you have to become multi mobile. You’ve got to give people choices based on how they want to move about the city. And so, we built roads 100 years ago for our automobiles. People are saying we move about our cities differently now; bicycles, pedestrian, transit, our bus systems. We have to begin to transform our roads to a multi mobile system.”
Hancock also talked about his childhood and how it’s helping him with policy as mayor.
“One of the most powerful things is, growing up in my city, growing up the way I did, when I sit down at the table to make decisions, I always ask the question, ‘Who is missing? Whose perspective do we not have at the table?’ Growing up the youngest of 10 children, three sets of twins in my family, you learn to be diplomatic very quickly. And you learn to ask for input.”
He also says adversity doesn’t define you.
“I don’t know where that resiliency came from within me, maybe watching my mother try to raise 10 children as a single parent, going through the difficulty that she went through, that really gave it to me and say, ‘We’re going to fight.’ I want to make her proud. Maybe it was those moments growing up saying, ‘No, we can do better than this.’”
Hancock also talked about what an amazing place Denver is and why it’s become such a hot spot for people of many generations.
“Most of our money comes from sales taxes in the City of Denver. Sales taxes then property taxes. We’re doing very well. We’re one of the most economically vibrant cities in the country right now. We’re growing at a clip of about 1,000 per month moving into our city. We’re a magnet for millennials. We’re a magnet for baby boomers, we’re number three in the country where they’re moving at the time of retirement.”