Mayor Michael Hancock says gentrification debate highlights Denver's growing pains

DENVER – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says the decision by an ink! Coffee shop to use a sign reading “Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014” was not a good one. However, he says what it has done is highlighted some of the growing pains the city is feeling right now.

“It just baffles me that someone wouldn't understand that this is offensive to someone,” Hancock told Anne Trujillo on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged. “[Gentrification] is one of the greatest social economic challenges facing not only Denver but cities across the country right now and so I feel the pain. I understand and sympathize with the community members who have come out and say this is a problem.”

Hancock’s concerns come from his own experiences in that part of Denver.

“The reality is that I’m from the neighborhood. I grew up there in Five Points so I understand and remember clearly the very strong cultural presence that was in Five Points,” Hancock said, adding that he has watched for 30 years as primarily African-American and Latino neighborhoods like Curtis Park, Globeville and Park Hill have been transformed.

“The reality is it's such a complex issue that not one solution will solve it. It will take a myriad of solutions,” he said.

Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver7.

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