Values-Based Leadership

Councilmember Chris Hinds is a distinguished leader in the city of Denver who is 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 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.

Public Safety

We must re-frame safety in a public health, evidence-based, and anti-racist context with community investment to ensure healthy neighborhoods. Explain what strategy we should take to ensure our police protect and serve our community and get rid of policing that harms our community.

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.

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.

In my first term, we have invested millions of dollars into funding these solutions.

In just my first term in office, I have invested in solutions. Here is just a subset of all the work we have accomplished on Council

But, to be clear, we need a police department

Our city’s core role is public health, safety, and welfare.  It is important to have a police force to maintain law and order and ensure public safety. But it is also critical that the police force reflects the diversity of the community it serves, holds the values of the community, and is held accountable for its actions.

To ensure that policing serves and protects the community in a safe and healthy manner, a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach is needed.

Here are steps we need to take.

To be intentional, we must follow these steps for our police:

  • Evidence-based practices: Adopting and implementing policing strategies that are grounded in research and proven to reduce harm and improve community safety.
  • Intentional hiring practices.  Hiring to ensure our police department reflects the diversity our city has and our police have the values we believe our important for our community.
  • Anti-racism training: Providing ongoing training and education for police officers on the impact of systemic racism and how to address it in their work.
  • Diversion programs: Developing alternatives to arrests and jail for low-level offenses, such as drug treatment, mental health services, and housing support.
  • Transparency and accountability: Implementing mechanisms for tracking and reporting police use of force, complaints of misconduct, and disciplinary actions.
  • Collaboration with public health and social service agencies: Partnering with these organizations to address the root causes of crime and address public health issues, such as substance abuse and mental illness, in a more comprehensive and effective manner.
  • Re-allocating resources: Redirecting funding from traditional policing towards community-based programs and services that address the underlying social and economic factors that contribute to crime and disorder.


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.


Our Mile-High Income City Needs More Housing

The secret’s out: Denver is an amazing place to live. We must find space for all those moving here and protect affordability for those who’ve been here for generations. Let’s add density where it makes sense, including converting unused downtown office buildings into homes.

Benefits of Additional Housing

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.


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.


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.

Saving our Planet

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.

Where we go from here

There are several additional ways to address the housing crisis:

  • Increase affordable housing supply: Encourage the development of affordable housing through incentives and regulations, such as inclusionary zoning and tax credits.
  • Preserve existing affordable housing: Implement policies to protect existing affordable housing units from being lost to gentrification or conversion to market-rate housing.
  • Promote equitable zoning: Ensure that zoning policies do not perpetuate racial or economic segregation and instead promote diverse, mixed-income communities.
  • Support renters’ rights: Strengthen renter protections and improve the stability of rental housing through measures such as rent control and eviction prevention programs.
  • Invest in homelessness services: Provide resources and support for those experiencing homelessness to help them find stable housing.
  • Streamline development processes: Make it easier and faster for developers to build new housing units by reducing bureaucracy and red tape.


We all deserve the freedom to get from A to B safely, no matter how we choose to get there.  The principles of freedom, safety, and access mean ensuring great multi-modal options including prioritizing the pedestrian and cyclist experience.


We all deserve the freedom to get from A to B safely, no matter how we choose to get there.

Transportation is the number one category of carbon emissions.  Getting people out of cars is great for community, physical health, and our continued habitability on our planet.

Chris is a leader in creating a more pedestrian-friendly city, with a focus on District 10. He successfully advocated for the closure of Cheesman Park circle and Bannock street, the first two shared streets in Denver, and the first permanent street closure since 1982. He also supports the 5280 Trail and sponsored legislation prioritizing the pedestrian experience in the Golden Triangle neighborhood.

What is a city but its people?

Our city is meant for people, but you wouldn’t be wrong if you thought most of our public realm was reserved for cars.  We must be intentional about making sure people can get around our city.  That means closing streets to cars – or, put in a better way, open our streets to the people.

Preserving our Planet

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.


Climate activist Greta Thunberg used Chris’s office as a “green room” when she came to Denver to speak about our climate crisis in Civic Center Park.  Greta and more than a dozen young climate activists spent 3 hours chatting with each other and Chris about how important our planet’s preservation is for our future generations.

Chris with a bunch of young environmental activists including Greta Thunberg. Photo is in the District 10 office.

Chris is a leader in creating a more pedestrian-friendly city, with a focus on District 10. He successfully advocated for the closure of Cheesman Park circle and Bannock street, the first two shared streets in Denver, and the first permanent street closure since 1982. He also supports the 5280 Trail and sponsored legislation prioritizing the pedestrian experience in the Golden Triangle neighborhood.

Our Planet Is On Fire

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, including …

  • implementing an aggressive building code,
  • limiting plastic bag use, acting faster than the state and federal government. After a year, the fee has resulted in a 75% reduction in bag use in Denver.
  • requiring retailers to ask before automatically including single use items
  • aligning wallets with behavior we want, including prioritizing recycling and
    composting, by passing pay as you throw.
  • encouraging adaptive reuse of buildings, including through a zoning change prioritizing adaptive reuse in the neighborhood of Golden Triangle
  • Pushing for closure of all 80+ oil and gas wells at Denver International Airport. DEN agreed to close those wells as of May 25, 2022.
  • advocating for and voting for Energize Denver, a program that sets aggressive climate goals for existing and new buildings by 2030
  • advocating for the ballot measure that provides $40m+ in funding each year for climate initiatives and goals in Denver.  That passed and is now law.  That funding provides us with the ability to give out e-bike rebates, install EV charging stations, install solar panels, and so much more in our city.
  • I have been very vocal against fracking.

Here are media quotes:

Chris with former Vice President and climate activist Al Gore

Chris with former Vice President and climate activist Al Gore


Addressing homelessness is a critical issue for Denver as it affects the overall well-being of the city and its residents. Homelessness in Denver not only affects the individuals experiencing it but also has broader implications for public health, safety, and the economy. It is imperative that the city takes proactive measures to address homelessness, such as providing affordable housing options, supportive services, and community engagement, to ensure that everyone has access to basic needs and opportunities to thrive.

Homelessness: the most important topic facing Denver today

Having people live on our streets is not good for anyone – most importantly it’s not good for those living on our streets.  There are several reasons why addressing homelessness is important:

Humanitarian: Homelessness is a severe form of poverty and deprives individuals of basic human needs such as shelter, food, and water. It can also lead to serious physical and mental health problems, social isolation, and vulnerability to violence.

Economic: Homelessness can lead to higher costs for emergency services, such as hospitals and emergency shelters, as well as increased criminal justice involvement. Addressing homelessness can help reduce these costs and improve the overall economic well-being of communities.

Social: Homelessness can have a negative impact on the social fabric of communities, contributing to increased crime rates, disorder, and the deterioration of public spaces.

Legal: In some jurisdictions, homelessness is illegal and can lead to arrest or criminal charges for people experiencing homelessness. Addressing homelessness can help prevent the criminalization of poverty and reduce legal costs associated with enforcing such laws.

Ethical: Addressing homelessness is a moral imperative that reflects the values of compassion, fairness, and social justice. It is a responsibility of society to ensure that everyone has access to basic needs and opportunities to thrive.

Overall, addressing homelessness is important not only to improve the well-being of individuals experiencing homelessness but also to promote social, economic, and legal stability in communities.

What can we do to address homelessness?

The issue of homelessness is complex and multifaceted, and there is no single solution that can address it entirely. However, here are some strategies that can be effective in addressing homelessness:

Housing First approach: This strategy prioritizes providing permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness as quickly as possible, without requiring them to meet certain conditions or complete specific programs first. Once they have stable housing, they can more effectively address other challenges in their lives, such as substance abuse, mental health issues, or employment.

        • “Early results show 92 percent of the people offered housing [in Denver] accepted it and 71 percent moved in, busting the myth that people choose to experience homelessness. Almost 80 percent remained in housing two years later.” Urban Institute
        • “It’s obvious [housing first] works.  It’s time to invest more.”  CEO of Colorado Coalition for the Homeless I voted to fund $253 million in the 2023 budget for housing and homless services centered around a housing-first approach.
        • A housing-first approach “saved [Denver] approximately $600,000 in emergency department costs, or an average of $31,545 per person.” Colorado Trust

Supportive services: For those experiencing homelessness, access to supportive services such as case management, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment can be crucial in helping them overcome challenges and maintain stable housing.

        • “Housing first tenants have a team of professionals to help them address the causes of homelessness and adapt to life in an apartment.Clients need diverse support, including mental health and substance abuse treatment; applying for social security benefits; learning how to get a landlord’s help when the plumbing breaks; and how to shop for groceries and stock a pantry.”  Colorado Trust
        • “A 5-Year Denver-based Supportive Housing Project Achieves ‘Remarkable Success’ for People Entrenched in Homelessness and Jail Stays” CSH

Prevention: Preventing homelessness before it happens can be a more effective strategy than waiting until people are already on the streets. Strategies such as providing financial assistance for rent or other bills, and creating affordable housing options, can help prevent people from losing their homes in the first place. It is also cheaper to pay for a person’s utility bills for a month or two than it is to rehouse someone on the street.

Collaboration: Addressing homelessness requires a coordinated effort across multiple sectors, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. Collaboration can help ensure that resources are being used effectively and efficiently, and that people experiencing homelessness are receiving the support they need.

Increase Income and Employment Opportunities: Many people who are homeless are unable to secure a job or have low-paying jobs that do not provide enough income to cover basic living expenses. Therefore, increasing employment opportunities and providing job training programs can help people find and maintain stable employment.

Community involvement: Encouraging community involvement and engagement can help reduce the stigma associated with homelessness and create a sense of ownership and responsibility among community members to help address the issue.

Data and Evaluation: Collecting and analyzing data on homelessness is crucial for understanding the scope of the problem and developing effective solutions. Regular evaluation of programs and services is also essential to ensure that they are meeting the needs of the community.

Enforcement: Finally, at the end of the day, we need to ensure people get the housing and services they need.  We also must ensure our streets are safe and clean.  Our city’s core role is public health, safety, and welfare, and we cannot let people live on our streets among urine, feces, needles, trash, and propane tanks.  That includes cleaning our streets and encampments.

Overall, a comprehensive approach that includes a combination of these strategies can be effective in addressing homelessness.

Intentional Inclusivity

Those who are most marginalized need the most attention by our leaders.  I spoke a lot about ensuring we all have access to housing, transportation, and representation when I was first a candidate for office in 2018/19.  Now that I’ve been on City Council, I have stayed true to that value.


Equity is the largest single lens we use on Council, and we must be intentional in in equity.

We All Need Access

While I don’t know the struggle of every group, I certainly know my struggle.  I regularly get denied access to events because they are in places that don’t allow wheelchairs.  While “separate but equal” was a discriminatory practice that America wrestled with in the 1950s and 1960s, it is 2023, and I am regularly told to use a different entrance than the entrance everyone else takes because of my disability.

My experiences have helped me empathize with others facing similar struggles. I have actively worked towards improving the lives of under-represented and targeted communities by advocating for fair wages, language justice, and supporting events like Marades and Indigenous People’s Day. I have also pushed for funding for grants in underserved areas and businesses, and worked to eliminate proof of residency requirements for the undocumented.

  • People with Disabilities:  I specifically added an amendment which got rid of sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities 
  • Indigenous: with-its-checkered-history-should-statues-be-removed
  • PWD – Chanda Plan:
  • Indigenous: in-denver-to-be-torn-down-in-two-nights/article_a635ed58-b7bc-11ea-ac49- 3bf2c2eec0ff.html
  • Indigenous: suggests-removing-columbus-statue/73-3b639699-4cb6-436b-aea2-adecdb1d3a0a
  • Indigenous: civic-center-could-be-next-11730504
  • Indigenous: bison bison-to-tribal-nations/
  • Chicano movement: lincoln-park/
  • BLM:
  • BLM:
  • BLM:
  • LGBTQIA+: Pride proclamation
  • LGBT: Pride celebration
  • LGBT: Rainbow crosswalk
  • People of color: denver-holiday/73-59068ddb-4365-4d9b-9618-ae1a9b3f3c69
  • Women:
  • Undocumented: proof-residency-business-license/73-35461579-32c9-4297-911d-7a5f9acd4006
  • Cannabis and social equity: cannabis-entrepreneurial-program-for-social-equity-applicants/
  • BIPOC: See the Marade photo above b7yHAhCiYLjPNCwsm7a7jMPJNc1aCoWzs1RRQFSQoH7Zl
  • Fought for millions of dollars in grants for underserved neighborhoods:
  • Social equity program reserved for underserved businesses: permanent-social-equity-priority-for-marijuana-delivery/article_d92ab0bc-085b-11ed-89ca-2b1bfd589665.html – and we’re making it permanent
  • Renters: mV6eX3zmqFLnnkqgYa9r7MhzRBuT7Vbl