Mayor Hancock’s State of the City

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Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock, gave his State of the City speech last week. He painted the vision of a city which protects those in the lower income brackets against gentrification. Through the creation of a new task force named NEST, the Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization Team. It is a very pretty picture, one that few would argue against; we are all people, and people generally want to see others succeed and prosper. We, as Libertarians, believe in the goodness of our fellow man; to this end, we reject governmental interference in free trade among the people. It is private industry that will assist those in communities that are being redeveloped, and it is private industry that will protect and enrich those in lower income neighborhoods.

The idea that private industry can provide more and better services than government should be more relevant this year than many others. Far from being the profit-hoarding evil conglomerates that some people believe they are, private companies have dedicated themselves to fixing roads, providing clean water, and possibly reducing single use plastic. What we are seeing is the power of the free market. When government does not work to secure the general welfare of its citizens, those with the means to do so will fight to secure the general welfare of their fellow man. This is precisely the spirit that dwells within Libertarians.

“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst, an intolerable one” –Thomas Paine

We owe our freedom, our ideals, and our country to men like Thomas Paine, who saw the true nature of government. Mayor Hancock has put forth goals for the city which are well intentioned but have no business in a free society. We believe that government will always tend toward intolerable evil. Even in the noble pursuit of slowing gentrification, there is an opportunity for men like Councilman Paul Lopez to use the framework of NEST to bring more power to the city; i.e. rent control. The consequence of Paul Lopez’s desire for rent-control will be perpetual poverty for the families that are currently living in low-income neighborhoods, while simultaneously driving away any diversity that may be brought through increased business and residents. One need only look at neighborhoods in New York for evidence of this fact.

Libertarian Plank 2.1 “…Property owners should be free to control and enjoy the property that they own…”

The ability to control property that you own is one of the cornerstones of our nation. Before our founding, the government could force you to house and feed members of the military; we demanded that this complete overreach of government must never happen in the United States. City councilman Paul Lopez wants Mayor Hancock to sign legislation authorizing rent control; placing government officials, just like soldiers, in charge of private land. Imagine owning a home in five points, and being unable to finally enrich your family, because the city will not allow you to charge a fair and equitable rent, simply because your home is in an historically poor neighborhood. The only difference between quartering soldiers, and rent control, is which part of the government is in your home.

People who think like Councilman Paul Lopez are the short-sighted people who merely give a man a fish to feed him for a day. Libertarians are dedicated to ensuring that the God given right to free commerce is not infringed upon by men who wield the power of government; to teaching men to fish so they may feed themselves for life. Those in power will always want more, the power that they hold over the people must be restrained. Government needs to be restricted to the most basic functions if we, the people, are to maintain our autonomy.

True protection, true compassion, demands that those in the communities that are threatened are assisted in defending themselves and rising to the threat that faces them. We believe that the religious community, business owners, and other community leaders are more than capable of rising to the occasion. It is not only shameful, but morally outrageous for any politician to even consider denying us the economic freedom that is our birthright. Michael Hancock is riding a very thin line, with at least one dangerous council member. No matter the outcome, we will continue to fight for the freedom of the people, for the sake of all of us.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Lance Cayko at 303.775.7406 or email at

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