Residents of historic Denver neighborhoods fight back against gentrification

DENVER -- Denver's rapidly changing landscape continues to spark outrage. Residents in historic neighborhoods like Five Points are going after Mayor Michael Hancock and his administration.

Hundreds packed into the Shorter Community AME Church on Saturday.

"I think, generally, developers have had a free-for-all and things have really gotten out of control without concern for being sure that people are not involuntarily displaced," said Tony Pigford who is a fourth generation Denverite.

Many in the crowd disapprove of how Mayor Hancock is handling neighborhoods they thought he would protect.

"Coming back to Denver and seeing the real lack of leadership that he’s demonstrating has been disappointing for me," said Denver resident and neighborhood activist Candi CdeBaca.

Mayor Hancock got ahead of the summit by holding his own Facebook LIVE forum earlier in the week. He talked with Denver7 reporter Liz Gelardi.

"I wake up everyday to get up and do everything we can to not leave residents or any citizen in this city behind," he said.

Mayor Hancock says a lot of change in historic neighborhoods started before he took office.

"...these neighborhoods began to shift back in the 1990’s and there hasn't been a solution that has been able to be brought forward to curtail it," he said.

Gentrification summit attendees are working together to find their own solutions.

"I would love to see Five Points return to a cultural district," said CdeBaca. "I fear that is quickly being erased and I don’t know how likely it is that we’ll be able to preserve that."

Even Mayor Hancock admits that change comes with a price.

"Prosperity is not always painless and that is what we’re seeing... is where we have some gaps in the opportunities that have been created through our prosperity and we will never stop trying to address those gaps," he said.

Print this article Back to Top