DENVER (CBS4) – Go big or go home. That was Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s motto for his State of the City address on Monday.
“This is no time to think small. It’s time go big. It’s time to lift our heads up, and move forward.”
Calling it a “phoenix moment,” Hancock issued a call to action. On homelessness, he said the city not only needs more safe camp sites, but safe parking sites for those living in cars. He announced a new permitting team to speed up affordable housing projects and a new civilian enforcement team.
“One of things they’ll help to identify are tents before they become encampments,” Hancock said.
He also unveiled a new facility where crime suspects with mental health or substance abuse issues are assessed for treatment instead of jail. But, he says some people belong behind bars and are being released, “This must be corrected.”
He says it’s compounding the rise in violent crime.
“You have community under siege police officers frustrated don’t want apathetic because see someone arrested hour later on street PR or no bond.”
Hancock also called for renovating the Denver Coliseum, saying the city also needs a new medium-sized arena. He says it also needs more skilled laborers.
He unveiled a training program at Red Rocks to renovate the old barracks used by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
“We hope they’ll turn it over to the residents of Denver and say, ‘come bring your groups, your church groups and enjoy these barracks,'” he said.
Among the other highlights from the Mayor’s speech are providing solar power subscriptions to 300 low income households, allocating $28 million to affordable housing, and using marijuana tax revenue to create a revolving loan program for female and minority entrepreneurs.
The mayor also plans to ask city council this week to approve a 10-year $450 million infrastructure bond package.