Sign of the Times: "Your Presence Is Not Valued" in Developing Denver

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Before we get to the picture above, which was sent to me by a local attorney with an eye for such things, let me first explain that the administration of Mayor Michael Hancock is very, very sensitive, a mite touchy — one might even say thin-skinned — about how we drudges in the media choose to describe all the grandiose projects, snarled traffic, rapid gentrification, new construction and general upheaval that seems to have arrived in this toddlin' town coeval with his election. 

This was brought to my attention last month by an emissary of the Mayor's Office after I wrote a piece about the city's controversial Platte to Park Hill stormwater project, a $300 million venture that has various neighborhood groups stirred up over the impacts the project will have on City Park Golf Course (which would lose hundreds of trees and public access for more than a year while being recontoured as a stormwater detention facility) and the Cole neighborhood (site of a proposed fifteen-block open channel). My article noted that "those groups are now comparing notes, consulting lawyers, filing open-records requests and gearing up for what may be the most significant challenge to Mayor Michael Hancock's giddy-up, breakneck pro-growth policies since he took office nearly five years ago. "

The emissary e-mailed me shortly after the piece was published, requesting a "correction." My "editorializing" had gotten "a little over the top," the emissary complained, and she asked that the words "giddy-up, breakneck pro-growth policies" be removed forthwith. 

I responded that since this was not a factual error but a matter of characterization, I didn't see any need for a correction. Or to substitute fresh adjectives that the Mayor's Office would find more acceptable. I was fully prepared to make the case that "giddy-up" and "breakneck" are entirely reasonable and perhaps even understated descriptors for the billions slated to be spent on new infrastructure and massive new developments in northeast Denver, along what Hizzoner has dubbed the city's "corridor of opportunity." But the emissary didn't bother to press her case. 

All of which makes the satiric "Public Notice" now showing up randomly on Denver streets, denouncing gentrification and the "pro-development policies" of Mayor Hancock, seem particularly timely. 

Clearly, somebody should be demanding a correction. 

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.