SubscribeCurrent Magazine Cover
U.S. Representative Joe Neguse. Photo courtesy of Senate Television via AP
9 Reasons to Love Denver in 2021

Reasons to Love Denver 2021: Democracy in Action

Coloradans know how to practice democracy. For evidence, look no further than our state’s gold-standard voting system and the politicians who go to bat for the nation’s best interests.

1. Because there’s nothing more American than baseball—except maybe democracy.

On July 13, the Midsummer Classic will, for the second time, be played at Coors Field. Baseball fans who were prepared to catch the game from seats in Atlanta’s Truist Park learned on April 2 that they’d need to change their travel plans when MLB decided it wasn’t down with the restrictive voting laws—which President Joe Biden called “Jim Crow in the 21st century”—the state of Georgia passed in late March. Although MLB commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. didn’t go as far as to say Colorado’s record on voting rights had something to do with the decision, we have our suspicions. Senator Michael Bennet certainly believed it should’ve been factored into the equation, tweeting “Colorado votes by mail (thanks @Hickenlooper!) and had the 2nd highest voter turnout in the country in the last election. @MLB, might I suggest Denver?” Yes, Senator, yes, you may. Batter up! —Lindsey B. King

2. Because Joe Neguse artfully defended our democracy.

This past February, 37-year-old Joe Neguse, who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, delivered two sets of remarks on the U.S. Senate floor as a House impeachment manager. The first was an overture to convince senators that the U.S. Constitution allowed them to try, convict, and disqualify a president, even if he were no longer in office. Neguse explained that, with regard to this question, “the framers didn’t mince words.” Neither did Neguse. Eschewing theatrics, Neguse—the youngest presidential impeachment manager in U.S. history—laid out the case for why former President Donald Trump should face trial. Neguse’s speech was effective: 56 senators agreed with him.

Although the verdict was not in his favor, Neguse’s closing statement was also mesmerizing. With earnestness and sincerity, the first African American member of Congress from Colorado did what great public speakers do: He made you feel something. “I am the youngest member of our manager team…,” he said, “so perhaps I am a bit naive, but I know what this body is capable of…. I’ve read about it in the history books…. The history of this country has been defined right here on this floor.… We have been a guiding light, a North Star [for other nations] in these moments.… This is one of those moments.” The Senate may have missed its moment; Neguse did not. His brilliance did the 2nd District proud, and it may have also put him on a fast track toward political stardom. —LBK

3. Because even in a metro area of nearly three million, voting—during a once-in-a-generation pandemic—was a non-issue, unlike how it was in Atlanta and Houston and Columbus…

Remember that day in early November 2020, when you waited in line for hours to cast your vote? Of course you don’t! You live in Denver, where your ballot arrived by mail, courtesy of eight-year-old, state-mandated voting laws. And thanks to the city’s Office of the Clerk and Recorder, you were able to slip your ballot into one of 38 24-hour drop-off boxes, placed in every Denver neighborhood leading up to Election Day. With voter-service information centers and drive-through polling available throughout the city and county as well, our easy-button-style voting led 398,000 Denverites—and more than 1.6 million metro-area voters—to spend their days doing something other than standing in an hourslong queue wishing they’d remembered to bring a water bottle. In fact, the only worry local voters had was where to place that coveted “I Voted” sticker. —Corinne Anderson

Sign Up For Our Newsletters

All things Colorado delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign Up