The Denver City Council has elected its first female president in over half a decade. The election of Stacie Gilmore is a new step forward for the Denver City Council, which has recently resorted to holding its meetings and proceedings virtually in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Denver’s City Council elects a new leader each year, making the lack of female leadership for an extended period of time noticeable; and in turn, the election of Stacie Gilmore noteworthy. Yet nonetheless, despite the important work that the Denver City Council does and the degree to which the Council’s decisions affect the daily tasks that keep Denver a bustling, healthy city.
The recent developments regarding COVID-19 underline the importance of local government, including the Denver City Council. Therefore, it’s important for Denver residents to remain aware of how its council works, and who exactly is in charge of the Denver City Council.
The Election Of Stacie Gilmore
Stacie Gilmore was elected as the president of the Denver City Council after serving two terms as the president pro tem under Councilman Jolon Clark. The president pro tem of Denver City Council functions similarly to that of a vice president. With that being said, the term president pro tem is short for president pro tempore, similar to the role within the United States Senate. Just as the president pro tempore of the Senate is the second-highest-ranking official in the Senate, the president pro tem of the Denver City Council is the second-highest-ranking official within the council. This makes it unsurprising that Gilmore’s election was welcomed by Councilman Clark, who praised the Councilwoman for her previous work alongside him. During the session in which Councilwoman Gilmore was elected president of the Denver City Council, Jamie Torres was elected as the new president pro tem.
The presidential role gives Gilmore more power and more responsibilities. The president of the Denver City Council will be expected to preside over meetings, while also ruling motions in and out of order. In particular, city council presidents are expected to assign certain tasks within the committees of the city council. Corresponding to the higher level of responsibilities and work expected from the president, the president of the Denver City Council earns $103,000 each year, compared to the $92,000 earned by the other council members.
Stacie Gilmore’s Vision For The Denver City Council’s Future
Expectations will be high for Stacie Gilmore as the new leader of the Denver City Council. Currently, virtually every major city within the United States is facing certain challenges, to correspond with an expectation of a leadership shortfall within the next five years projected by 84% of companies. Fortunately, the newly elected president indicated an understanding of Denver’s recent challenges, and a willingness to meet them and address them directly.
Gilmore acknowledged upon her election the larger scale issues facing Denver, including the global pandemic as well as divisive federal leadership. Furthermore, issues such as record-setting unemployment levels and concerns about potential food shortages concern Denver as they would any larger city. Gilmore indicated an intention to employ strong anti-racist and anti-oppressive language. Furthermore, an intent to improve the council’s working relationship with Mayor Michael Hancock was also expressed.
Understanding The Role Of The Denver City Council
The Denver City Council, as previously mentioned, plays a very significant role within the city. As Councilwoman Gilmore’s remarks imply, the council works alongside Denver’s mayor in order to ensure that the city functions in a structure meant to advance opportunities for all residents. The city council has been, in recent months, working with the state government and the mayor to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, as well aiding in the organized treatment of those already affected.
Under normal circumstances, the Denver City Council actually is meant to represent the entire city, with council members representing different, similarly populated districts. They focus on multiple committees, all of which have specific roles to play within the functionality of the city. While there are general public sessions held by the Denver City Council, there are also more intensive, in-depth meetings that are meant to address the needs of these committees.
The different committees involved within the Denver City Council include the Land Use Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Finance and Governance Committee, the Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness Committee, the Business, Arts, Workforce and Aviation Services Committee, and the Budget Response Committee. On most Mondays, the Denver City Council meets in full at 5:30 p.m. While it normally would be important for council members to meet in person, as previously mentioned precautions have forced the council to meet virtually until the immediate risks surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have passed.
All of these different committees will be presided over by Stacie Gilmore as she takes charge of the Denver City Council. While it’s certainly historically significant that the council is being led by both a female president and a female president pro tem, it’s important to note that both women were elected unanimously by the council, showing full support.
While the Denver City Council is under new leadership and currently facing an unstable climate, much of how the council operates remains the same as it did prior to the global pandemic and the recent protests. With that being said, the city will be watching as Stacie Gilmore takes on the role of the Denver City Council president, presenting a new guiding hand for the city’s functions. The Denver City Council can be expected to resume its regular Monday meetings virtually, as they are usually scheduled, now that a new president has been elected.