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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock hosts Facebook Live to discuss gentrification

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 23:49:49-05

DENVER — Denver Mayor Michael Hancock hosted a one-hour discussion on Facebook Live Thursday evening to talk about the impact of gentrification in the city. During the conversation, he acknowledged that some people who built this city now feel like they have been left behind.

His comments come days before a community-organized summit on gentrification where the message from organizers is, "our communities are not for sale."

The issue of gentrification isn't new to Denver neighborhoods like Five Points, but it reached a tipping point right before Thanksgiving when a sign outside of a coffee shop bragged about "happily gentrifying" the neighborhood.  

Denver7 also sat down with Mayor Hancock to ask him if the city is doing enough to help residents who are being displaced. 

"So are we doing enough? The reality if we can save one we are going to keep trying to save another," said Hancock.

The mayor said he was not surprised by the reaction and outrage after the ink! Coffee incident, telling Denver7 he understands the frustration.

"But let me be very clear, there isn’t one single event, one single investment that causes it," said Hancock.

The controversial sign was posted right before Thanksgiving and organizers of the summit say the mayor's comments are too little, too late.

"If the community hadn't come together and galvanized and pushed this issue before the mayor he wouldn't be having this kind of forum tonight. We see this as him getting ahead of our summit," said Lisa Calderon with the Colorado Latino Forum.

Mayor Hancock and some city council members faced criticism in the aftermath of the ink! Coffee incident; the mayor responded by saying his critics have not offered any real solutions.

"You know what? Whether it was fair or not, what I do know is that in stories like this, everyone needs a villain. The reality is -- whether it’s fair or not -- it’s not helpful, it’s not going to change the dynamics that we see," said Hancock.

A panel of speakers joined the mayor in this important discussion. You can watch it in the player below: