Wendy Silveira-Steinway, JVA’s recruitment/staff development manager, shares her thoughts on why John Hickenlooper as Colorado governor would be good for Nonprofit Street.
For the last 25 years, I have been involved in the nonprofit sector. Whether as a board member, a program manager, a director or a hiring manager for an upstart nonprofit, I believe I have a thorough understanding of what it takes to make a nonprofit successful and who the best players are to accomplish just that.
Beth Conover, author of How the West was Warmed, past director of Greenprint Denver (the city office that demonstrates that local government can be an effective force for innovation and leadership to improve the environment) and a longtime friend of the Hickenloopers, commented, “Long before he contemplated political office, Mayor Hickenlooper was a strong and valued asset in Denver’s nonprofit community and an advocate for the arts, the environment and community philanthropy in general.”
Since taking office, Mayor Hickenlooper has overcome a $70 million deficit to balance the city budget while averting major cuts in services and massive layoffs. He initiated a citywide campaign to end homelessness, created Denver’s sustainable development initiative, and ushered in a new era of bipartisan regional cooperation, culminating in passage of the largest regional transit initiative in the history of the United States. In November 2005, Mayor Hickenlooper was the only mayor named by Governing Magazine as one of the top public officials of the year. In April 2005, TIME Magazine named Mayor Hickenlooper one of the top five “big-city” mayors in America. A respected entrepreneur, Hickenlooper was also involved with numerous downtown Denver renovation and development projects and is credited as one of the pioneers who helped revitalize Denver’s Lower Downtown historic district. In recognition of his efforts supporting preservation in Denver and in downtowns across the county, Hickenlooper in 1997 received a National Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
This all says to me that John Hickenlooper is an innovator and is not afraid of change. He understands community and community needs. And let’s not forget where his roots lie. Well before he became mayor, he was active in community affairs, serving on numerous civic boards, including Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver Civic Ventures, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the Association of Brewers and the Institute for Brewing Studies.