What Denver's Black leaders expect from the next mayor
Black community leaders say improving public safety and supporting local businesses should be priorities for the next mayor.
Yes, but: Former Mayor Wellington Webb cautioned Black voters in Denver aren't a monolith when asked by Axios if there were specific issues the community wants to see the city's next mayor tackle.
- Webb spoke at the Park Hill Golf Course Tuesday during an event announcing his endorsement of Kelly Brough in June's runoff.
What they're saying: "Whoever is the next mayor is going to have to sit down with us … It will be about whether you can make a difference and have a relationship with our community," John Bailey, chair of the Colorado Black Round Table, tells us. He's supporting Mike Johnston for mayor.
- Former state lawmaker Wilma Webb, who like her husband is backing Brough, said Black residents have "unique" problems requiring a mayor to pay close attention, including the safety of young Black men, who face higher rates of gun violence.
The intrigue: University of Colorado Regent Wanda James, founder and CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary, tells us she would like the city's next mayor to focus on supporting small businesses.
- Both Bailey and James, who's supporting Brough, said creating job opportunities is pivotal for the next mayor.
- James pointed out that the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in America is Black women, but people of color need access to capital and employee retention to build businesses.
What's next: New Hope Baptist Church Family Life Center is hosting a Black community forum for municipal candidates on Saturday. It will focus on public safety, youth development, affordable housing and homelessness.
- The event runs from 10am to noon.
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