Mike Johnston has spent his life solving Denver’s hardest problems. He spent his 20s working as a teacher and school principal running a high school in a juvenile prison, then turned around a struggling urban high school, making it the first public high school in Colorado history where 100% of seniors graduated and earned acceptance into 4 year colleges, and went on to be one of President Obama’s top education advisors.
Mike served as a State Senator for Northeast Denver in order to make sure all of his students had access to college, becoming the first to get bipartisan support and pass Colorado’s version of the DREAM act. He took on the NRA twice—and won, passing laws to require universal background checks and banning weapons of war used in Aurora and Columbine mass shootings. And Mike successfully pushed to increase the state’s renewable energy standards beyond the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accord.
Mike spent his 40s as the CEO of a philanthropic organization where he led a campaign to pass universal preschool statewide, protect billions of dollars of funding for public schools by repealing the Gallagher Amendment, and in 2022 built a coalition of more than 260 businesses and community leaders to pass Proposition 123, the first comprehensive, statewide approach to solving Colorado’s housing and homeless crisis without increasing taxes.
Mike is someone who turns ideas into results, the way he built and ran complex organizations like COVIDCheck Colorado, the award winning emergency response to COVID-19, an organization with 1,500 employees and more than 50 sites that tested and vaccinated more than a million Coloradans during the pandemic. He also launched the Dearfield Fund, a national award winning innovation that helps close the wealth gap by providing down payment assistance to help Black families buy first time homes.
Now Mike Johnston is running for Mayor of Denver with real plans to make Denver America’s best city by making sure it is vibrant, affordable, and safe for everyone. He has a history of taking on the hardest problems, building diverse coalitions, and delivering historic results. In a crowded field. Mike has the record, the experience, and the plans to get the job done.