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Johnston promises healing for the hurting after being sworn in as Denver’s mayor

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(The Center Square) – Democrat Mike Johnston said those who are hurting in Denver will be healed after he was sworn in as the 46th mayor of the city on Monday at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

“Now, Denver is ready for a new dream,” said Johnston, a Colorado native who graduated from Yale and started his career as a school teacher in Mississippi, in a livestream provided by the City and County of Denver. “Our dream for Denver is that when you land at your lowest, without a job or a place to stay, shackled by addiction or struggling with mental illness, we will not judge you or abandon you. We will not give up on you. We will get you a home. We will get you help. We will get you healed.”

Johnston replaces Michael Hancock, who was term limited after 12 years as mayor. Johnston, who also served in the Colorado Senate, defeated fellow Democrat Kelly Brough, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, with 54% of the vote in the June runoff election.

In addition to Johnston, Nicole Rodarte, Presiding Judge of the Denver County Court, swore in members of the city council, the auditor and the clerk and recorder. Johnston thanked numerous elected officials for attending, including fellow Democrats U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, who preceded Hancock as mayor of Denver, and Gov. Jared Polis, who defeated Johnston in the Democratic primary for governor in 2018.

“I am proud to congratulate Denver’s new Mayor Mike Johnston on his inauguration,” Polis said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Mayor Johnston to continue our bold work delivering for Coloradans, from boosting our strong economy with good-paying new jobs to making Colorado one of the 10 safest states in the country to reducing the cost of housing.”

A poll commissioned by The Denver Gazette, Colorado Politics, 9News and Metropolitan State University and conducted by SurveyUSA found crime was the top issue for Denver to address in the near future. While Johnston mentioned many challenges Hancock and the city faced during the last 12 years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, school shootings and economic challenges. He didn’t specifically address crime in his remarks and emphasized unity to solve problems.

“Democracy is the simplest belief to explain and the hardest one to practice,” Johnston said. “At its essence, Democracy is an act of love. Our instinct as people is often to preserve love for those closest to us and reserve suspicion for everyone else. But the essence of democracy is that it calls on our ability to do something that feels unnatural: To love those who are different than us, to believe in them, to work with them and to sacrifice for them.”

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