Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and City Council members join 'YES on 2A' Rally in Denver Wed morning (Photo: Connor Shreve/KOA News Radio)
During a rally at Quatro Vientos Park Wednesday morning, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced his endorsement of the 2A parks initiative on November's ballot.
The measure proposes a .25% sales tax hike to fund the building and maintenance of neighborhood parks.
"If we want to preserve the quality of life and the economic sustainability of our city, you start investing in open space and parks," Hancock said. "Every time you plot a park somewhere, you are enhancing the area no matter what the income level of that community is. It's an enhancer, it's a way for that community to feel connected, it's a way to combat climate change but it's also a way to improve quality of life and that's what 2A is going to help us do going forward."
City Council President Jolon Clark says the issue, is at least partially, a matter of population growth.
"In 2014 we were ranked 7th in the nation for cities our size on our parks score. That looks at park acreage per capita; How many people have a park they have a safe ten-minute walk to," Clark said. "In 2018 we dropped to 26th and we're just dropping like a rock because we're not making the investments we need to and we're growing so quickly and there is so much development in our city."
Proponents of the measure argue it has spending safeguards that limit administrative costs to 5% of the overall fund. Still, a tax increase brings challenges when it comes to the vote.
"Our challenge right now is that it's a six-page ballot and we need people to vote everything," Clark said. "Don't just vote the Governor and then give up. This is what people have been asking for, this is what people have been telling us they need and want and now it's there for them to say yes to, but we've got to get them to it in a six-page ballot."