Denver’s transition into “Safer-at-Home” life May 9 means something different depending on whom you ask.
For Mayor Michael Hancock, it means “spending some quality time with my granddaughter, and not over the phone or computer,” he told Colorado Politics in an email.
“Obviously I will be more mindful of my physical distancing around other shoppers in stores and definitely wearing my face covering while out shopping,” he wrote. “I will also be more mindful of making sure I’m going to local retailers and local restaurants, because they’re really going to need all our support as we enter this new phase.”
More than 2,200 small businesses in Denver have applied for assistance from city government, according to the city's May 8 emergency situation report. Denver's economic development office recently distributed its first round of funding, valuing more than $2 million, from the Denver Small Business Emergency Relief Grant.
Supporting small businesses, wearing face masks and practicing social distancing was a message repeated by numerous city leaders — as was visiting hair salons.
Denver City Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer, known for sporting purple hair for years, said she has gone gray for the first time in her life while salons have been shut down under stay-at-home orders.
"After working 12-hour days, seven days a week during this time, it’s just really stressful," she said. "Which is fine — that’s our job … It’s a pandemic.
“But I have a giant skunk streak, like, right in the front my hair,” she said. “Insult to injury, dude.”
Her hair appointment is this Saturday.
Councilwoman Kendra Black is also getting her hair cut this weekend, but both her hair salon and Sawyer’s have implemented limited-contact policies, so neither councilwomen will be able to have their hair blow-dried, which they admitted was a disappointment, but much better than no haircut at all.
Eulois Cleckley, executive director of the city’s transportation department, told Colorado Politics in an email that he’s looking forward to “getting back out in the city more, walking and biking with my face covering on. I will be continuing to do a mix of working from home and going into the office one or two days a week.”
Nothing was changing in Denver Auditor Tim O’Brien’s office, he wrote in an email.
“We will continue to serve the people of Denver by championing accountability in our audit work and through education and enforcement of wage law on behalf of everyone who lives and works here,” O’Brien wrote. “I will continue to do what is safe for my family and myself tomorrow and in the future.”
Several council members, including Debbie Ortega, Chris Herndon and Amanda Sandoval said they’ll continue to lie low as much as possible, either spending time with family, helping to make face masks or doing what they can to support local businesses.
Councilman Paul Kashmann, who spent a long career as an owner of a small business, said he knows “the fear and stress that has consumed that critical sector of our economy. … Now more than ever, it’s critical to ‘shop locally,’” he said.
However, he cautioned, “I don’t look at May 9 as a day of celebration, rather a cautious step forward. Denverites need to not view this as a full release, which it certainly is not. I will continue to observe social distance guidelines and wear a mask when I leave the house. I hope my neighbors will do the same.”