July 18 marks Mayor Michael Hancock’s 10th anniversary as Denver’s chief executive. In that time, he’s helmed the city through unprecedented growth, but it hasn’t always been smooth.

June 2011
After placing a close second in a 10-way race, then City Councilman Hancock cruises to a runoff victory against Chris Romer with 58 percent of the vote.

July 2011
Hancock launches the Peak Performance program on his first day in office to make city government more efficient. The initiative—which uses techniques from the manufacturing industry to eliminate waste and optimize output—will go on to save Denver more than $25 million by 2017.

May 2012
The City Council passes a Hancock-backed ban on unauthorized urban camping, which critics say effectively criminalizes homelessness. In 2019, a county judge will rule it unconstitutional, sparking an ongoing legal battle.

May 2015
After a four-way race with a former punk rocker, a dancer and arts activist, and a retired Black Panther and florist, Hancock avoids a runoff and is re-elected with a whopping 80.2 percent of the vote.

July 2016
Hancock unveils plans for Denver’s first dedicated affordable housing fund to raise $150 million and create more than 6,000 homes for low- to moderate-income families over the next decade. Critics say it’s a fraction of what’s needed.

May 2017
As President Donald Trump’s administration cracks down on immigration, Hancock reforms the city’s sentencing structure so U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will no longer be automatically alerted to minor offenses by immigrants.

February 2018
It’s revealed Hancock sent sexually suggestive texts to a member of his security detail in 2012. “I made a mistake,” he said. “I’m human. I never purport to be perfect.”

March 2018
Hancock’s then 22-year-old son, Jordan, is caught on camera during a traffic stop using anti-gay slurs and threatening to have a police officer fired. “My dad’s the mayor,” he says in the video. “Of Denver?” the officer says. “Well, you’re in Aurora.”

June 2019
Overcoming allegations of sexual harassment and widespread concerns over the direction and pace of Denver’s development, Hancock wins a third and final term with 56.3 percent of the vote after it’s revealed his strongest challenger doesn’t know what NAACP stands for.

November 2019
Hancock signs into law a three-step plan to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15.87 by 2022.

November 2020
To slow the spread of COVID-19, Hancock urges Denverites to stay home for Thanksgiving—then boards a plane to Mississippi to spend the holiday with his family.

April 2021
Hancock announces plans to jump-start Denver’s post-pandemic recovery with $400 million in infrastructure improvements. The bond measure awaits voter approval on the November ballot.

This article was originally published in 5280 July 2021.
Nicholas Hunt
Nicholas Hunt
Nicholas writes and edits the Compass, Adventure, and Culture sections of 5280 and writes for 5280.com.