Michael Hancock • Denver Mayor

Mayor Michael Hancock, businessman and author, has a warm demeanor and a pragmatic way of speaking, fitting for the office he currently holds. When he was an infant, Hancock and his family moved here from Fort Hood, Texas, so he’s more or less a Denver native. He attended Manual High School and was even a Denver Broncos mascot in 1986. Hancock loves Denver’s four distinct seasons and diverse food scene. Here’s what he shared with me about being black in Denver.

What does it mean to you to be black in Denver?

To be black in Denver and black anywhere is to recognize the power of our history and the greatness from which we come. As the Mayor of Denver, that’s always remained at the forefront. When things get difficult, I remind myself that we as a people have seen worse and we have to persevere through it, I have to persevere through it. If my ancestors can come through what they endured, I can certainly meet the challenges that I have here, which don’t even compare.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

In addition to the four distinct seasons, I love Denver’s culture, friendliness, atmosphere, topography, and proximity to the outdoors. There’s always an opportunity to be active here. We also have a vibrant food scene, and some of my favorites spots to visit are Welton Street Cafe in historic Five Points and Trina’s Place in Montbello.

How has Denver shaped you professionally and as Mayor of Denver?

Denver is welcoming. You don’t have to belong to a group or clique to be successful here. No matter if you’re from Tennessee or Texas, as long as you’re willing to get to know Denver and connect with people living here, you can become a part of the city’s heart and soul.

Hancock is serving his second term and is running for re-election this spring.