Denver Mayor Michael Hancock named two fixtures in the city's Democratic Party, his chief of staff Alan Salazar and former Denver City Council member Albus Brooks, as co-chairs of a new committee that will oversee the long-term coronavirus recovery strategy once the city’s emergency operations response disbands.
“As we continue our emergency response to this pandemic in our community, we know that the effects of this virus will be something that our city will have to manage for the foreseeable future,” Hancock said in a Tuesday news release. “While we remain focused on the critical public health and safety needs of our residents, families and local businesses during this time, we are also taking the initial steps to plan for what long-term recovery will look like for our city and our neighborhoods.”
The Long Term Recovery Committee will largely consist of executive city departments and agencies that will advise Hancock on matters spanning from economic recovery and ongoing public health support to government operations and city finances, according to city officials. Denver’s Emergency Operations Center is still active and will coordinate with the committee in its initial work.
Salazar is a long-time political strategist. He worked from 2011 to 2016 as the chief strategy officer for former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, then took a leave of absence to work over the summer and fall as a senior adviser for then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s Colorado campaign.
Brooks is the vice president of business development and strategy for Milender White, an Arvada-based construction firm. He served on City Council, representing northeast Denver from 2011 to 2019, including two terms as council president.
“It is time for us to rebuild, ushering forth a new era where booms are collectively shared, and busts are collectively shouldered,” Brooks said in a statement. “Our long-term recovery will be defined by our commitment to inclusivity, and driven by equitable policies. Let’s get to work.”
The city has adopted a COVID-19 recovery strategy that prioritizes the following six actions:
- Caring for the sick within hospitals.
- Preventing infection among the medically compromised.
- Building testing and contact tracing capacity to better protect the public.
- Protecting vulnerable communities.
- Reducing social, emotional and economic disruption.
- Protecting small and minority-owned businesses.
“Under the guidance of the LTRC,” city officials said, “these six prioritized actions will be implemented with consideration given to community needs, healthcare capacity, social and human services demand, the economic situation, infrastructure impacts, and the city’s operational capacity.”