Anytime you put a politician on the cover of a magazine, you're bound to make people mad. And in a swing state like Colorado, a political cover means you're probably going to offend a whole bunch of people.
So when we sat down to choose an image that would kick off this month's issue of 5280, we spent weeks looking for a way to avoid anything that might be construed as partisan. But as we put the finishing touches on the rest of the issue's stories, one thing became clear. The 2008 Democratic National Convention, which opens here later this month, has become something far different and far greater than simply a showcase for the Mile-High City.
On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and dreamt of a better America. Forty-five years later to the day, when Barack Obama accepts his party's nomination for President of the United States, this country will take an important step toward making that dream a reality. You don't have to support Obama to realize what a remarkable moment that will be—a moment far bigger than any candidate, convention, or election. It will be a historic milestone on the journey this nation began 232 years ago when Thomas Jefferson declared, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." And those of us in Denver will have a front-row seat when it happens.
It didn't take nearly as long to think of the artist who could best imagine the view from those seats. Shepard Fairey is the influential Los Angeles-based street artist whose "Hope" poster (pictured here) became an underground sensation in cities across the country earlier this year. To his credit, Shepard understood instinctively what it had taken us weeks to figure out. Though he's accustomed to working on a national stage, Shepard loved the idea of creating an image that captured the occasion's significance, and saw the cover of Denver's leading magazine as the ideal venue for a new installment of his Obama art.
The rest of this issue is every bit as ambitious as the cover. Our DNC Survival Guide provides an insightful look into what to expect during the days the convention will be in town, and "Head for the Hills" offers 10 quintessential Front Range getaways. As always, we're complementing our packages with compelling narratives that help locals and visitors alike understand the place we call home. Executive editor Maximillian Potter's incisive profile of Senator Ken Salazar takes us behind the reserved facade of the man from the San Luis Valley. And "Pinched," Robert Sanchez's story about the changing face of Greeley, is a must read. As Colorado and the West play an increasingly influential role in national politics, these are the kinds of stories that we'll continue to bring you.
Editor and Publisher