Kelly on the Issues

In 1986 I came to Denver looking for opportunity and found it.

Over the last 30 years, this city has provided me a chance to build a career, nurture a family and find meaning, purpose, and joy. I love Denver, but I know it is not at its best today. We have work to do to restore the Promise of Denver and create the kind of welcoming, vibrant community we know and love. Learn more about my plans to tackle Denver’s biggest challenges and capitalize on its greatest opportunities.


Safety and dignity for all Denverites is at the core of the Promise of Denver. Living on the streets is neither safe nor dignified – for the people experiencing homelessness or the broader community. 

Five metro mayors and one former mayor have endorsed my plan including:

  • Adam Paul – Lakewood
  • Laura Weinberg – Golden
  • Bud Starker – Wheat Ridge
  • Jackie Millet – Lone Tree
  • Marc Williams – Arvada

I will eliminate unsanctioned encampments within my first year in office.

  • Improve the safety and health of all Denver residents immediately.
  • Maximizing the use of shelters and housing currently available.
  • Temporarily move people into sanctioned camping sites until we have built sufficient sheltering and housing capacity.

My action plan includes: 

  • Taking a Regional, Data-driven Approach: Work with regional governments to establish a coordinated strategy and strengthen our data system to ensure it is complete, timely, and sophisticated.
  • Investing in Prevention: Support those at risk of homelessness by ensuring access to job supports, child care, health care and other stabilizing services.
  • Evolving Sheltering & Build Housing: Evolve our shelters to ensure we have safe beds to serve the diverse unhoused population. Build the housing needed to best support people exiting homelessness.

Community Safety

Transparency, honesty, and accountability are critical to rebuilding trust and will be central to my community safety strategy. It’s why the following people have all endorsed my plan:

  • Bill Ritter – former Governor and District Attorney
  • Al LaCabe – former Manager of Safety and Chief Deputy District Attorney
  • Denise Maes – former Political Director for the ACLU of Colorado

I will take a comprehensive approach to community safety. My safety priorities include:

  • Strengthening the Denver Police Department, so we can attract and retain more officers to the force, particularly women and people of color.
  • Working with our public safety officials – leaders, officers, and staff – to create a stronger culture built around national best practices, transparency, and accountability.
  • Increasing investment in civilian response units to ensure we provide appropriate resources (e.g. – mental health support) and free up officers to focus on true crime.
  • Address crime prevention by investing in housing, health care, education, and economic development.
  • Deploying the right responder for each situation. 
    • Increasing the mental health response teams by at least 50% to have enough responders to cover 10% to 12% of the 911 calls.
  • Improving the recruiting process and hiring 150 officers we are currently down to meet our authorized strength.
    • Advocating for the repeal of the increased personal liability state law has placed on officers hindering recruitment.
    • Working with the Civil Service Commission to revamp the current hiring and testing process.
    • Providing great transparency into the daily interactions of officers to better portray the critical work officers lead that make our neighborhoods safer.
  • Building a police culture around national best practices, transparency and accountability. 
    • Using data-driven strategies and greater transparency in responsibly releasing information about public safety incidents.
    • Focusing on continuous improvement and peer learning within our public safety agencies will require officers to hold each other accountable.
  • Investing in community, crime prevention and restorative practices. 
    • We will also focus on reducing crime not just responding to crime.
    • Every member of my cabinet will take responsibility in their areas of expertise and focus to reduce crime and impact community safety.
    • Access to a good education, economic opportunity, housing and health care are all critical to community safety.


The Promise of Denver can only be realized when all people who want to work and live in our city can afford to call Denver home. That is not the case today.  

We need housing solutions that benefit people across the income spectrum, particularly those in the “missing middle” who earn too much to qualify for most public assistance programs but struggle to make ends meet. 

A sample of the bold ideas in my comprehensive housing action plan includes:  

  • Build more housing on existing public property. We will develop the many acres of unused or underutilized land already owned by the public, making new for-sale units available to families at prices they can afford. For example, we’ll build on surface lots, leaving the parking intact but adding much needed housing above, creating opportunities for residents to finally own equity and send their kids to school in neighborhoods they’re priced out of today. 
  • Rethinking and revitalizing downtown. We will aggressively work to transition vacant and underutilized office space into residential options and other needed uses, like childcare facilities. This strategy can simultaneously make downtown more vibrant, more affordable and more competitive for jobs.    
  • Empowering families to invest in their own property by jumpstarting the growth in Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) across Denver. We can do this providing homeowners tools such as pre-approved plans, access to streamlined and expedited approvals processes and low or no interest financing. Enabling more ADUs will help families stay in their neighborhoods by creating new sources of income and keeping multigenerational families together. More ADUs also means a much-needed boost to housing density.  
  • Addressing government efficiency by fundamentally changing the City’s approach to development, adopting a service-first mentality. If we’re to be successful in building enough housing, we must also address the delays, inefficiencies and outdated processes in city government that currently add unneeded cost and delays to projects. Real, meaningful reform is a big task that I will address head-on.  

My Guiding Values

The issues facing Denver are serious and there are no simple solutions. I have concrete ideas for action for each policy priority. But, ultimately, making progress on these issues requires values-driven leadership. These are the values that inform my leadership and will guide my administration in all our work to restore the Promise of Denver.

Believe in the promise of Denver

Join Kelly Brough to bring promise and possibilities to our city.