Murphy Robinson Designated as Deputy Mayor for 2019
Mayor Michael B. Hancock has designated Murphy Robinson, Executive Director for the Department of General Services, as Deputy Mayor for 2019.
The Deputy Mayor exercises the duties and responsibilities of the Office of Mayor whenever the mayor is unable, for any cause, to perform the duties of the office. Per § 2.1.2 of the Denver Charter, the mayor shall designate a member of the cabinet as Deputy Mayor, with the designation being valid for one year.
Robinson, a Denver native, was appointed Executive Director of General Services in August 2017. Since taking over the department last year, Robinson has streamlined business processes in both the purchasing and facilities divisions in the General Services Department. These improvements have resulted in more engagement with small and women- and minority-owned businesses, and a $1.5 million savings in the utility operating budget. Additionally, Robinson created the citywide Energy Office and Security Office to support the Mayor’s energy initiatives and enhance safety in the city’s facilities.
Robinson’s term as Deputy Mayor will take effect on Jan. 1.
Mayor Hancock Shares Letter from his Mom for Denver’s Next 160
At the Wellshire Event Center, as part of a Senior Holiday Luncheon hosted by Councilwoman Kendra Black, Mayor Michael B. Hancock invited attendees to write letters to the people of Denver today and tomorrow with advice on preserving and protecting Denver’s character, culture
and community in the future.
The Denver’s Next 160 project commemorates the 160th birthday of Denver’s founding. The project invites grandparents, great-grandparents and senior residents who make up the fabric that binds our great city to share their thoughts and vital wisdom on preserving our way of life in the Mile High City.
At the luncheon, Mayor Hancock shared the letter of advice he received from his mother. In her letter, the Mayor’s mom, Scharlyne writes, “My advice to the next generation is to remember that the people have made this city great. Work to be an asset to Denver by getting the best education you can; be safe and keep your neighbors safe. Keep your health, mind and body strong, and for the good of all of us strive to be the best you can be.”
Mayor Hancock believes these perspectives play a pivotal role in informing future generations whose decisions will shape Denver’s next 160 years as a city.
Seniors can email their letters to DenversNext160@denvergov.org, mail to Mayor’s Office, Attn: Denver’s Next 160, 1437 Bannock St., Denver, CO, 80202 or submit on the Mayor’s social media platforms using #DenversNext160
The Mayor’s Office will share the responses on the city’s website and social media platforms, as well as through events and outreach.
Mayor Moves to Vacate Low-Level Marijuana Convictions in Denver
Between 2001 and 2013, more than 10,000 people were convicted of low-level marijuana crimes in Denver that are now legal and eligible for expungement. As part of Denver’s continuing effort to promote inclusion for people and communities disproportionally impacted by the war on drugs, Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced a citywide effort to vacate low-level marijuana convictions that occurred before marijuana legalization.
“For too long, the lives of low-income residents and those living in our communities of color have been negatively affected by low-level marijuana convictions,” Mayor Hancock said. “This is an injustice that needs to be corrected, and we are going to provide a pathway to move on from an era of marijuana prohibition that has impacted the lives of thousands of people.”The action follows several months of necessary review by the Office of Marijuana Policy and the City Attorney’s Office who are also working with the District Attorney, Denver County Courts and stakeholders to develop a process for expunging records. In June, at the meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Hancock signaled his early support for this policy when he signed a resolution calling for cities to vacate certain marijuana misdemeanors.
Denver’s focus is not only on vacating convictions. It includes a multi-pronged approach to ensuring that communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs can benefit from the legalization of marijuana. The city has been exploring a variety of tactics including the continued use of marijuana tax revenue to support low and moderate-income neighborhoods, obtaining data related to the marijuana industry, and identifying areas of need in workforce development and licensing ownership and entrepreneurship.
“We need to better understand the obstacles, business conditions and regulatory hurdles preventing individuals from seeking employment or business ownership in the cannabis industry,” said Mayor Hancock. “We believe in equal opportunity for all, and that includes those working in the cannabis industry.”
The marijuana market in Denver is prospering with marijuana tax revenue making up 3.41 percent of Denver’s overall revenue in 2017, and that figure is projected to rise to approximately 3.6 percent in 2018. In 2017, an estimated 3,250 jobs in Denver were a direct result of the marijuana industry, with another 6,000 estimated jobs resulting from secondary impacts such as related retail and service activities. Denver’s current total employment totals more than 520,000 jobs, thus direct and indirect marijuana employment accounts for about 2 percent of the total Denver employment.
This focus on expunging convictions and improving equity in Denver’s marijuana market also follows the passage in August of Mayor Hancock’s proposal to raise Denver’s special recreational tax to 5.5 percent. These new funds are expected to double the amount of money Denver is dedicating to developing more affordable housing options in the city and create more than 6,000 additional units over the next five years.