Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is reviving the “Cabinet in the Community” initiative he launched during his first term as the city's chief executive in 2012.
The monthly series is intended to serve as an opportunity for Denver residents to connect with city decisionmakers on important issues in their communities.
On Tuesday, Hancock will hold the first CIC meeting of 2021, which will be held virtually due to the pandemic and focus on Denver City Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval’s constituents in District 1. Joining Hancock and Sandoval will be representatives from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, Community Planning and Development and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Topics will span COVID-19 and Denver’s vaccine distribution plan as well as zoning and community transportation networks. The one-hour meeting kicks off at 6 p.m. on Zoom, and will also be streamed live on Denver 8 TV and the city’s social media accounts.
The Cabinet in the Community series was thought up by Hancock when he first entered office in 2011, according to his office.
The goal was “to simply at least once a quarter, bring city leadership out into different parts of the city (rotating between the council districts, who served as hosts), and in one place, to engage directly with residents and answer their questions, as well as update them on any major policies or initiatives that we were rolling out at the time,” Hancock’s spokesman Mike Strott told Colorado Politics in an email.
“We took a pause on holding them in 2019 after re-election to retool the event for the third term after seven years of the same format,” he said, adding that the relaunch was planned in 2020 but was derailed by the pandemic, among other events that unfolded last year.
“Now that we’re in 2021,” Strott said, “we are moving forward with holding them again, starting in this virtual format.”
The city’s efforts to duplicate the event virtually this year is “no simple task,” said Hancock’s spokeswoman Theresa Marchetta, “as it was a tremendous undertaking in person.”
In past CIC events, Hancock’s office also organized a community fair to follow the speaking part of the program, but with the event now moved online, the mayor is making a few adjustments.
In lieu of the fair, the city plans to present several 30-second commercials spotlighting certain city programs.
The next tentative CIC meeting is scheduled on Feb. 23, with Council President Stacie Gilmore of District 11 lined up to host. As is planned now, the meetings are scheduled to run monthly through November.