Denver’s Mayor Johnston Proposes $1.47B 2024 Budget

On September 14, Mayor Mike Johnston shared his 2024 budget proposal responding to the community’s need for a city that is affordable, safe, sustainable, and vibrant.

The Mayor’s 2024 $1.47 billion general fund budget proposal can be found here and the letter to community can be found here.

Mayor Johnston has identified five priorities: affordability, safe neighborhoods, revitalizing downtown, making Denver more environmentally friendly, and housing for everyone.

According to Mayor Johnston, downtown Denver faces among the highest commercial vacancy rates of any city in the nation. Reversing this trend will require a coordinated effort to revitalize not only the central business district but create a central neighborhood district where people of all income levels gather year-round. The proposed budget invests $58 million in downtown revitalization.

The city will invest in completing the 16th Street Mall with an expanded tree canopy while creating new pedestrian-friendly public spaces in upper downtown; stabilizing local uniquely Denver businesses on the mall; completing our newly expanded Convention Center; attracting new businesses along and near our rejuvenated 16th Street; and increasing our investments into a safe downtown. The Mayor will also leverage $136 million in Federal Transit Authority funding to help connect city neighborhoods with a fast, reliable, and safe bus rapid transit (BRT) option along the Colfax Avenue corridor.

The city will launch its first effort to convert downtown commercial buildings to residential units in an effort to create a more dynamic, thriving downtown neighborhood with a more sustainable balance of commercial and residential activity.

Leaders from across the city praised the Mayor’s 2024 budget proposal. Here’s what they’re saying:

Kourtny Garrett, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership: “Downtown Denver represents the heart and soul of our city, and the meaningful investment in its vibrancy outlined in Mayor Johnston’s proposed budget demonstrates tremendous leadership and vision that could not come at a better or more important time. The Downtown Denver Partnership commends the Johnston administration for recognizing the significance of downtown to our broader city and we look forward to working alongside the Mayor, the City and our community to revitalize Downtown Denver for the benefit of all.”

Mike Ferrufino, president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: “As the president of the Colorado Hispanic Chamber and a proud Denver resident for over 20 years, I’m thrilled to see Mayor Johnston at the helm of Denver’s 2024 budget. He’s driving it toward the vision and commitments he’s made to us. Over the years, I’ve known him for his thoughtful and innovative approach in addressing big problems. I eagerly anticipate seeing every corner of our community thrive under his leadership, and the 2024 budget is a promising start.”

Richard W. Scharf, VISIT DENVER president and CEO: “The Mayor’s budget is a testament to our city’s commitment to creating a vibrant, affordable, and safe Denver for everyone. As a member of the AAPI community in the Little Saigon District, and owning my own family small business, I am particularly excited about the positive impact this budget will have on our small businesses and our neighborhood. It offers critical support to our AAPI businesses, helping them grow and thrive, and it contributes to a cleaner and safer community. It is not just numbers, it’s a promise to make our community flourish. This budget is a step towards fostering a prosperous Asian District and supporting Asians across the city. I am optimistic about the opportunities this will bring to our community. Together, we’re building a legacy for Denver’s Asian District, and I can’t wait to join hands with the Mayor to make it happen.”

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