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Denver Mayor-elect Mike Johnston talks first-term priorities

Denver Mayor-Elect Mike Johnston.jpg
Posted at 10:36 AM, Jun 09, 2023

DENVER – After a months-long election cycle, Denver Mayor-elect Mike Johnston said he’s ready to start making his campaign promises a reality.

During Johnston’s victory speech Tuesday night, he revisited many of his plans to end homelessness and reduce crime.

“We can build the city that is big enough to keep all of us safe, to house all of us, to support all of us,” Johnston said. “Do I still believe I can afford to live in this city? Do I still think my kids will be safe growing up in the city? Do I think I can get my life back together in this city? Well, folks, tonight, Denver decided that we believe in a city that can do all of those things.”

In a one-on-one interview with Denver7 Wednesday morning, Johnston reiterated his plans to end homelessness during his first term.

“Our first year, we’ll be extra ambitious, but we are focused on the first four years,” the mayor-elect said. “I focused on micro-communities with tiny homes because those can be built in seven days and give people access to shelter. We get wrap-around services at those sites, and then we help move people from the encampments where they are as a community to those new sites. We can help people really succeed in those settings.”

Johnston also discussed how he plans to create affordable, attainable housing for Denver residents.

“I do know that we need to add density. That means, when you’re next to a light rail stop or you’re next Colfax and a bus line, that’s where we should have more density,” he said. “So we will focus on increasing supply around the city. My goal is to do 25,000 units that are permanently affordable, that are attainable to those making 60, 70, $80,000 a year.”

Johnston said under his administration, local businesses will thrive, and underrepresented groups will be supported.

“I will be here, shoulder to shoulder, to walk with you on this journey until you find what you need, and you pick yourself up off of the ground and you get your life back together again. That's the city we believe in,” he said in his victory speech.