Denver is stronger because of the full diversity of all our residents. It has been a challenging time in our nation with access to education and military careers being restricted for transgender individuals, the separation of immigrant families, and incidents of bias and harassment against women and individuals of color. Denver is not immune from these challenges, whether coming from our national government, or from within our community. Which is why it is critical for our City to be very clear. We are Open for Business to all residents. All residents and visitors are welcome here. Councilwoman Kniech, alongside her City Council colleagues, unanimously endorsed a special proclamation that reaffirms Denver’s commitment to be a welcoming City, inclusive of people of all backgrounds. Below is some background on recent efforts our office has been involved in to achieve this. Also, see the links to the right for more resources.
Immigrants are a part of the fabric of our community in Denver, contributing both economically, as well as to the vibrancy of our civic, school and neighborhood spheres. Denver is safest when all our residents, including immigrants, feel safe to call the police, report crimes, and/or testify when called upon, etc. This is why Denver has resisted efforts to coerce the City into getting involved with federal immigration enforcement. We always follow the law, but several courts have affirmed that the law does not require us to take police time away from local matters to do the job of the federal government.
While some protections are either lacking or being repealed nationally, Colorado continues to have very strong laws protecting individuals from discrimination on gender identity or sexual orientation. Denver also has strong local laws. We’ve worked to train city council offices and shelter providers on inclusive practices. Also, an update of the terminology within Denver’s anti-discrimination ordinance is forthcoming.
We seek to include the perspectives of residents of color and analyze the impact of all our policies on communities of color. For example, much of our affordable housing and anti-displacement work has the potential to help support historic communities of color. A few specific policies to note include: