Vibrant Denver: Mayoral Candidate Mike Johnston Releases Final Package of Policy Plans to Make Denver a More Vibrant City

Today, former State Senator and nonprofit CEO Mike Johnston released “Vibrant Denver,” a package of four policy platforms aimed at making Denver a more vibrant, lively city. The four policy plans, focused on Climate and TransitEducationWorkforce, and the Arts, are standalone plans that tackle some of the toughest challenges preventing Denver from being a leader in these fields. 

These four plans build on the policies laid out in his homelessnessaffordable housingequity, and public safety policies to form a detailed and coherent vision for the City of Denver under a Johnston Administration. By investing in policies that are deeply interwoven with each other and build off each other, Mike will make Denver affordable, safe, and vibrant for every single resident. 

“The truth is Denver faces many difficult challenges right now,” said Mike Johnston. “We want a Denver that is not only affordable and safe, but one where our air and water are clean, our kids have access to world class learning in and outside of school, our workers have the training they need to get a family wage job, and our city is brimming with the vibrance of great art. I’m proud of the policies we’ve laid out, from taking on homelessness to making Denver more affordable to investing in our workforce and the arts, and I know that with a bold, hopeful vision for our city, and the clear, detailed plans I’ve laid out in my campaign, we can make Denver America’s best city.” 

Read highlights from Mike’s comprehensive, fully paid-for plans: 

Climate and Transit

  1. Make RTD better for commuters, children, and seniors by looking into the expansion of the Zero Fare program and increasing rider safety and reliability of routes so that public transportation becomes a more attractive option.
  2. Electrify our buildings and vehicles by increasing energy efficiency in existing buildings, limiting natural gas in residential construction, and incentivizing electric vehicles for personal use and for the city’s fleet.
  3. Expand Denver’s bike and pedestrian infrastructure by following through with Denver Moves, incentivizing e-bikes, and invest in Shared Streets program to decrease reliance on cars and make Denver safer for bikes and pedestrians.
  4. Protect our City’s environment and public spaces by increasing tree cover through investment in planting and maintaining trees and conserving water through xeriscaping.
  5. Ensure investments in housing lead to efficient, electric, transit-oriented development.

Read the full plan, including details, budget, and funding sources here.


  1. Partner with industry and philanthropy to build Upskill Denver, a workforce training platform that allows Denverites to get the training they need for the job that they want without going bankrupt in the process. 
  2. Scale training programs and wrap-around workforce models that work, putting a premium on programs that place Denverites in good-paying jobs. 
  3. Make Denver the best place to start a new business with our Launch Denver initiative by cutting the red tape and focusing on creating effective channels to increase access between investors and businesses.
  4. Pilot a flagship new initiative to train at least 100 Denverites into early childhood education roles and tap federal and state dollars to help pay our early child workforce a decent wage while addressing our severe early child workforce shortage.

Read the full plan, including details, budget, and funding sources here.


  1. Expand mental health services in school-based health-clinics through a partnership with Denver Health to increase the number of counselors in our high schools.
  2. Close the achievement gap and help kids find their passion by connecting low income students to positive out-of-school opportunities.
  3. Expand gun control laws to get guns out of students’ hands by enforcing red flag laws, establishing a 10-day waiting period, pushing to raise age minimums to 21, and investing in prevention, mental health and youth services.
  4. Support a functional school board by establishing a strong partnership with the board and advocating for the election of thoughtful, experienced and pragmatic Denverites to the School Board who are committed to doing the essential job of providing high quality teaching and learning to students.

Read the full plan, including details, budget, and funding sources here.

The Arts

  1. Bolster support for the arts by creating a campus to house a permanent Artists-in-Residence program where artists will be part of a 2-year fellowship where they will receive housing and support and will create public projects that enhance the civic life and cultural fabric of the city.

Read the full plan, including details, budget, and funding sources here.

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