The mayor position holds a LOT of power thanks to the structure of Denver’s government, which grants our mayor with more power than almost any other mayor in the country. A few big responsibilities include:
- Creating a budget—one of the biggest ways the government impacts our daily lives—by deciding which programs and priorities are funded.
- Hiring, firing and directing pretty much everyone in government, from the agencies that plow our roads to providing mental health services and yes, the Denver Police Department. The mayor has a direct role in police oversight and accountability.
- Enforcing our laws. While the mayor doesn’t make laws (city council does), they do enforce the laws and have a ton of power over how our laws are applied, including how we treat our unhoused neighbors.
All 13 City Council Seats
Denver has 11 districts with one elected councilor to represent it (find yours). Plus all Denver voters elect two at-large councilors to represent the whole city. Denver City Council has a big say over what programs and priorities get resources, making it easier (or harder) for young people to live here, by:
- Setting our city’s minimum wage, which directly impacts how affordable the city of Denver is for young people.
- Making and adopting development plans that can push for our city to grow in a sustainable and equitable way.
- Referring ballot questions to voters so we get a direct voice in economic justice in our city.
- Creating more housing that is *actually* affordable and accessible, for renters and for people striving toward homeownership.
City council also plays a big role in public safety, holding the police accountable, addressing homelessness, and holding the mayor accountable to our city’s needs.
Clerk and Recorder
The Clerk and Recorder runs our election system in Denver, including:
- Administering each election from top to bottom, including printing, sending, collecting and processing thousands of ballots accurately and efficiently.
- Planning Voter Service & Polling Centers and ballot dropbox locations so that they are accessible to historically marginalized communities.
- Operating language services, accessible voting systems, and ensuring polling places are physically accessible to make sure all community members can participate in the election.
- Processing voter registrations.
- Gathering community input on elections.
The Auditor checks and balances the power of our mayor, enforces minimum wage laws, and more.