Issues

Values-Based Leadership

Councilman Chris Hinds is a distinguished leader in the city of Denver, dedicated to the public health, safety, and welfare of its people. As a public servant elected to lead, Chris understands the importance of having a strong system of values that guides decision-making. He is a true champion for the people and has demonstrated time and time again his commitment to preserving the well-being of his constituents. With a deep understanding of the importance of maintaining public health and safety, and with a commitment to promoting the welfare of the community, Chris Hinds is the kind of leader that Denver deserves. His values-driven leadership has helped to make the city an even better place to live, work, and play.

Accessible Democracy

Chris firmly believes that our Democracy is stronger when we all participate – he is committed to transparency, visibility, and access to government for all.

Intentional Inclusivity

In his second term, Chris will continue to advocate for those without a powerful voice. Here are ways Chris has already advocated for under-represented groups:

 

Accessibility to Government

Accessibility will be a priority in Chris’ second term. He wants constituents to be able to connect using a variety of methods.

  • Consistently available via email.
  • Office hours dedicated each week for D10 constituents.
  • Weekly livestream for anyone to participate and comment.
  • Rich, accessible website with regular blog updates.
  • Regular posts to social media (@DenverPerfect10).

People cannot participate in government if they do not speak the working language. 

 

  • Chris was a firm supporter of adding Spanish translation to every City Council meeting, which was implemented.
  • Chris supports adding additional language translations to increase accessibility to more communities.
Public Comment
  • The Denver City Council used to allow public comment on the 1st and 3rd Monday every month. Chris voted to allow public comment every week and to televise every public comment session.
  • Our democracy is stronger when we all participate. Chris encourages everyone to participate in public comment as he wants to hear about the issues facing constituents in District 10 and Denver as a whole.

Public Safety

Public safety systems in America put almost all of their resources into policing and other efforts to respond to harms that have already happened, instead of investing in programs that can prevent violence in the first place. Fortunately, Chris is focused on prioritizing prevention over punishment.

Prevention over Punishment
  • We have focused long enough on locking people up to solve the public safety problem; we should start addressing root causes of crime like poverty and inequitable access to opportunity to uplift the whole community by focusing on prevention instead of punishment.
  • Public safety systems in America put almost all of their resources into policing and other efforts to respond to harms that have already happened, instead of investing in programs that can prevent violence in the first place.
  • Ultimately, funding solutions to causes reduces crime and relieves the burden on law enforcement, allowing them to focus on protecting victims and other priorities which require their specific, specialized training.
Investing in Solutions

Prevention over punishment means investing in solutions. In my first term, we have invested millions into programs that solve societal causes of crime. Here is just a subset of all the work we on Council have accomplished:

Police

We need to get our police out of the business of responding to things that don’t need police.

  • Police cannot be the answer to every kind of societal issue. They are not mental health experts, addiction specialists, or housing coordinators; they do a poor job addressing these needs and can even cause more harm than good. Our public safety problem comes from police officers asked to do too much in terms of social services where other professionals could fill the gaps such as social workers or mental healthcare professionals.
  • Even our police want to get out of the business of responding to things that don’t fit their training and expertise.

But, to be clear, we need a police department.

  • We need a police force that looks like our the people in our city
  • We need police officers who hold the values we hold dear as Denverites. If we have officers who don’t act with those values, we need to hold them accountable.
  • Domestic violence victims deserve protection!

Denver’s Housing Crisis

Denver is in a housing crisis due to a combination of factors, including rapid population growth, rising housing costs, and a shortage of affordable housing options. This has resulted in many residents struggling to find safe and affordable housing, leading to increased homelessness and a strain on the local housing market.

 

To lead the city out of this crisis, Chris Hinds will take a comprehensive approach that addresses both the immediate needs of those struggling to find housing, as well as the underlying causes of the crisis. This will include increasing the availability of affordable housing options, providing support and services to those experiencing homelessness, and working to address the root causes of the crisis, such as poverty and a lack of access to job training and education. By taking a compassionate and proactive approach to the housing crisis, Chris Hinds will work to ensure that all residents have access to safe and stable housing.

Affordability

The lack of housing options in Denver has led to skyrocketing rental prices and home values, making it difficult for many residents to find affordable places to live. By increasing the supply of housing, we can help alleviate the pressure on the housing market, reducing the cost of living for Denver residents.

Homelessness

The shortage of affordable housing options is a major contributor to homelessness in Denver. By building more housing, we can provide more options for people to live, reducing the number of people who are homeless.

Environmental benefits

Building more housing in the city can also have environmental benefits, as it reduces the need for residents to commute long distances. This can reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, helping to make Denver a cleaner, healthier place to live.

Jobs and economic growth

As Denver continues to grow, new businesses and job opportunities are emerging. Building more housing will allow more people to live and work in the city, which in turn will stimulate economic growth and create new jobs.

Quality of Life

By providing more housing options, we can help improve the quality of life for Denver residents. This includes providing more options for families and individuals to live in safe, accessible, and affordable housing, and reducing the stress and burden of housing insecurity.

Public Safety

Public safety systems in America put almost all of their resources into policing and other efforts to respond to harms that have already happened, instead of investing in programs that can prevent violence in the first place. Denver City Councilmember Chris Hinds has been investing in alternatives to police which makes safety better in Denver.

Support Team Assisted Response (STAR)

The STAR program consists of trained community members and city employees who work in partnership with law enforcement to respond to non-violent emergencies, such as behavioral health crises, homeless outreach, and drug overdoses. The goal of the program is to provide a more effective and efficient response to emergencies instead of sending police, while also promoting community engagement and building relationships between first responders and the community.

I have been a strong advocate for STAR in my first term in office.  In my time on Council, STAR was introduced in Denver, became a pilot, and now has 10 vehicles and 16 teams that operate throughout the entire city, 24 hours a day.  It prioritizes the center city – ie Denver’s Perfect 10 – because this is where the greatest need and opportunity lives.

It has experienced great success and has been replicated across the nation.

Homelessness

The shortage of affordable housing options is a major contributor to homelessness in Denver. By building more housing, we can provide more options for people to live, reducing the number of people who are homeless.

Environmental benefits

Building more housing in the city can also have environmental benefits, as it reduces the need for residents to commute long distances. This can reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, helping to make Denver a cleaner, healthier place to live.

Jobs and economic growth

As Denver continues to grow, new businesses and job opportunities are emerging. Building more housing will allow more people to live and work in the city, which in turn will stimulate economic growth and create new jobs.

Quality of Life

By providing more housing options, we can help improve the quality of life for Denver residents. This includes providing more options for families and individuals to live in safe, accessible, and affordable housing, and reducing the stress and burden of housing insecurity.

Housing

Chris is committed to increasing the quantity of affordable housing in Denver and combating the housing crisis. Here are some of the ways we can take action:

Zoning
Defending and Empowering Renters
The Housing Crisis
  • “Homeless sweeps” are not good for anyone involved. The only exception we must make is when an encampment poses a public health risk. In these cases Chris supports cleaning up affected areas but not permanently expelling the people.
  • Chris supports working to build more housing in context with each neighborhood (30+ story buildings in Golden Triangle but not Congress Park).
  • Chris has worked to loosen outdated restrictions on who is allowed to live together.
  • Chris helped pass a law affordable requiring housing in every new apartment and condo development.
  • Housing the unhoused is the best solution.
  • We should find or build housing for entire encampments at once.
  • Chris wants to work with the Mayor’s office to implement best practices.
  • We need to rally around one non-profit like the Colorado Coalition of the Homeless.

Minimum Wage

Chris is a strong advocate for raising Denver’s minimum wage. If you earn more, you can afford more.

2023 Minimum Wage Increase
Denver and District 10

Denver is the first city in Colorado to raise its minimum wage above the state’s.

  • Minimum wage is even more important in District 10 as we have some of the highest rents in the state.
  • Denver is now $3.31 higher than the state minimum wage.
  • The minimum wage increase positively affects more than 1 in 9 Denverites.
Past Support

Working Families Over Wealthy Special Interests

Chris wants to prioritize working family over wealthy special interest groups. He strongly supports employees and labor unions.

Improving Daily Lives

Chris has supported working families in his first term. Here are a few examples:

 

Public Support of Labor Unions

Chris has publicly…

  • Phone banked with DALF and other labor organizations.
  • Physically and personally participated on strike lines, including Denver Classroom Teacher’s Association (entire 2019 campaign team stopped campaigning and joined the strike line).
  • Attended UFCW bargaining sessions when they were in conversations with Safeway.
  • Invited SEIU to present in BIZ committee the benefits of the Green Janitorial Program.
  • Supported Denver Health Workers United by demanding Denver Health executives give up bonuses. Denver Health paid millions of dollars in bonuses on the same week they announced furloughs for healthcare workers. Two weeks later, those executives gave that money back.
  • Worn a Denver Fire 858 shirt to represent those from Denver who gave their lives in support of New York’s tragedy in a trip to the 9/11 memorial. Chris received permission from 858 to act as their ambassador.
  • Openly advocated for Denver Fire Local 858 in their contract bargaining sessions. As a result, firefighters have received significant increases in compensation.
  • Attended multiple marches, including one for healthcare workers while wearing a DHWU shirt.
Valuing Employees
  • Chris will firmly and publicly support any union/unionizing effort. This includes own office staff, who unionized soon after his inauguration; Chris publicly supported their efforts.
  • Chris is proud to pay his campaign staff a competitive, livable wage.
  • His values are consistent and he will always support workers over wealthy special interest groups and corporations.

Scooters

Shared scooters are an important way to get around our city – but they shouldn’t exist at the expense of pedestrian safety.

Increased Education
  • Scooter Vendors must increase the education of riders before they can ride. They must also make it very clear that it is illegal to ride a scooter on the sidewalk.
  • Denver’s Transportation Department could also do a better job of educating the public. An awareness campaign could help people understand exactly what scooter riders in Denver are supposed to do. After all, Denver’s laws aren’t the same as other cities. 
Feedback From Constituents
  • Chris has conducted polls and gotten data from contituents to show that the majority of people in the city have a negative view of scooters.
  • However, 41% of people still thought scooters were good for Denver.
  • Therefore, Chris favors a middle ground approach; implementing more safety precautions while still preserving the use of scooters.
Sidewalk Detection Technology
  • Chris has scheduled meetings with officials in cities like Chicago, San Francisco, and San Jose to learn about their implementations of laws related to sidewalk detection technology.
  • Chris will support a sidewalk detection system that helps to improve the safety of rides and pedestrians.

Walk/Bike/Roll-ability

Everyone deserves the freedom to get from A to B safely, no matter how they choose to get there.

Cities are for people, not just cars

We need to take our city back for the people.

That means closing streets to cars – or, put in a better way, open our streets to the people.

Fostering a Healthy Community
  • Without being trapped in cars, people who walk/bike/scoot/roll are able to have conversations with other people in their community.
  • Increased exercise from alternate modese of transportation improves public health.
Environmental Impact
  • People in Denver commute to work more than 70% of the time.
  • Multi-modal transit reduces emissions and helps the planet.
  • People need access to safe streets and sidewalks.

Environment

“Our planet will still be here after we dig up all the dinosaurs and spew them in the air. What’s really at stake now is human habitability on our planet. We must take bold steps to preserve that habitability for ourselves and our children – and our children’s children.” – Chris

Plastic and Recycling
Environmentally Conscious Zoning
Fracking
  • Chris believes we need to end fracking in Denver, Colorado, and nationwide.
  • Chris encouraged the new head of DIA, Phil Washington, to permanently end fracking at the airport. This project is currently underway.