March 2010

Power Trip

I was appalled at your list of the most influential people in Denver ["The 5280 Fifty," January 2010], especially the lack of influential women. Yes, you had some, but you completely missed the boat with others. What's with putting Congresswoman Diana DeGette toward the end of the list? She has just assumed a powerful position in Congress, and has been very influential considering her short tenure. Others I would nominate include Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien, Juana Bordas, Dusti Gurule, Helen Thorpe, Councilwoman Carol Boigon, Happy Haynes, and Gail Schoettler. Please take a closer look at women the next time you publish this issue.
Beth McCann
State Representative, via e-mail

I was shocked at the paucity of women, and women of color, in "The 5280 Fifty," and I am writing to express my disappointment. As dean of the Women's College of the University of Denver, it's my business to scan the environment to monitor the status of women in all sectors so that my students know the leadership roles to which they can and should aspire. To overlook the achievements of the women in our communities, city, and state is a grievous misrepresentation.

Fortunately, women of power and influence do exist in Denver. Colorado has a rich history of women leading our companies, our community organizations, and our public-policy arenas. Colorado can claim a state Legislature with the highest percentage of women. In the financial arena, Colorado can claim being home to the first national women's bank and revolutionizing women's financial access. These reasons, and more, brought me to the Mile High City.
Dr. Lynn M. Gangone
Dean of the Women's college, DU, via e-mail

I am responding to "The 5280 Fifty." It's a shame that I need to address the extreme bias not written in this piece, but practiced in the business community of Denver. Let us look at the numbers as presented: First, you do not show 50 people, you show 50 photographs depicting 54 people. I must discount the four photos with two persons each. They cancel each other out statistically, leaving 46 photos with four females and 42 males. The four photos of pairs show three with both a male and a female, and one of males only. It's interesting that the three with mixed pairings suggest that each woman needed the help of a male to move up the food chain. So, what can Denver claim for itself based on this representation? In the second paragraph of the introduction, the question is asked, "How do you define power?" It seems to me the answer is two words: Male domination. The chart on page 64 shows those who have fallen from grace to be all male. That holds true since it is only those at the top of the pyramid that fall, and in Denver that means men. This might prove to be social fodder for 5280 in one of your future issues. This is where the power of the press exceeds the fantasies of the Internet.
Kenneth Bonacci
Salem, Massachusetts

On behalf of the Colorado Women's Bar Association, I am writing to express our extreme disappointment that your recently published list of the 50 most influential people in Denver contains only seven women. Your magazine sends the false message that very few women in Denver have any real influence in the community. To demonstrate that there are more than seven influential women in Denver, we have compiled the names of more than 75 women who are worthy candidates for your list.
Victoria V. Johnson
President, Colorado Women's Bar Association

Our primary goal when reporting "The 5280 Fifty" was to produce a list that accurately reflects the power structure of the Denver metro region as it currently exists and without caveats. We stand by our reporting. That is not to say, however, the list is in any way an endorsement. The kinds of issues raised in these letters were very much in our minds as we compiled this story, and it's our hope that the list will draw attention to those realities and ultimately prompt discussion of the kind of city we want to be. So let's continue the dialogue. Your feedback is critical. —Eds.

Political Pixie

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Robert Sanchez's profile of Dana Perino ["Dana Inc.," January 2010]. I am, apparently, a neighbor of hers here on Capitol Hill, and I grew up in Castle Rock. As someone who laments the lack of principle here in D.C., I loved how decently, and yet powerfully, you made your point. You also managed to accurately describe that Bush loyalty that so many in his administration evinced. That's particularly impressive considering the journalists here don't know how to describe it except by mocking it.
MZ Hemingway
via e-mail