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The Significance of Municipal Elections in Our Built Environment

“All politics is local” – or so the saying goes. 

Municipal elections signify crucial milestones in the growth of a city, and that’s especially true for Denver at this moment in time. From residents who call Denver home to businesses large and small that drive our economy, municipal leaders hold the power to drive transformative changes to our built environment – for better or worse.  

Denver’s government – which serves both the City of Denver and Denver County – operates under a strong-mayor form of government. In other words, Denver’s Mayor serves as the Chief Executive Officer, holding the power to approve or veto policies and legislation approved by Denver City Council, appoint personnel to lead city agencies (including Denver International Airport) and is responsible for City’s $1- $3 billion budget. (So, who we all elect to this role is pretty important.) 

Our municipal government directly impacts our CRE landscape, and we’ve seen and felt the effects of their decisions in a big way over the past couple years. Our industry is experiencing mounting hoops and hurdles on top of a challenging economic outlook – from the backlog of project permitting sitting in the understaffed Community Planning and Development department, to the passage of policies such as the Expanding Housing Affordability Ordinance, Energize Denver and Waste No More. More broadly, Denver is at a pivotal juncture. Our Return to Office (RTO) in March was 59%, which is the highest monthly average we have recorded so far and 10% above the national average, but still clearly well below our pre-pandemic levels. People need to feel confidence in our new leadership and see a clear vision they can unite behind for our future.  

So, with all this in mind, what kind of mayor does Denver need to take office on July 17? From our perspective, we’re hoping for someone who will see the development community as a partner in meeting our growing city’s demands – from housing to transportation infrastructure and beyond. We believe that whoever wins tomorrow has the opportunity shape our city’s future for the better through creative, collaborative approaches to our built environment as well as the public realm. Success here will start at home with prioritizing streamlined processes and ensuring staffing levels to support a well-regulated, but also highly functioning development pipeline. 

Your vote WILL help shape the future of the city we love. So, if you haven’t already, read up on your candidates and cast your ballot by 7 p.m. tomorrow, June 6! 

For more information on Denver’s 2023 Municipal Run Off Election, click here 


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