Governor John Hickenlooper met with newspaper reps in town for the Colorado Press Association's annual convention at the Governor's Mansion yesterday. There, he talked about Iowa, Christo, the coolness of Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia...and how Westword was a very good neighbor during the Wynkoop Brewing Co.'s early years -- since Monday is a bar's slowest night, unless the newspaper across the street has a Monday deadline.
Many things have changed in the two decades since. For starters, there are many fewer print journalists in this state -- and there were certainly fewer editors and publications at this traditional gathering. Meanwhile, an unemployed geologist who founded Denver's first brewpub is now the governor of Colorado.
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During yesterday's meeting (cut short so that he could catch a plane for a governors' meeting in D.C.), Hickenlooper pushed Pedal the Plains (with a course much more interesting than Iowa, which has a very successful bike ride), supported Christo's "Over the River," and touted TBD Colorado -- an ambitious attempt first announced in his State of the State speech to have Colorado's residents define its future (hence the "to be determined.") Some politicians and journalists say this has done before (and they were saying that again yesterday), pointing to efforts ranging from the three-decade-old Front Range Project to Hickenlooper's own bottom-up economic development meetings.
But TBD Colorado has the potential to be much more -- if the right people, rather than just the usual subjects, join in. "TBD Colorado will focus on listening and not imposing top-down, government-driven solutions," Hickenlooper promises on the TBD website. "Coloradans will be invited to share their vision and priorities for our state."
You can sign up on the site to be part of the forty meetings that will be held around the state, which start in early March in Douglas County. Or you can simply share your vision for the state in the comments section below. And no suggestion is too wild: After all, twenty years ago, few would have though that newspapers would become an endangered species -- and no one would have predicted John Hickenlooper would one day be governor of this state.
Want to enjoy Colorado right now? See John Hickenlooper's bucket list of suggestions for things to do in this state in 2012.