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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyNovember 7, 20174min8820

Considering the obstacles environmental activists faced in their organized efforts to mandate green roofs in Denver, Initiative 300 appeared a long shot leading into election night.

Nonetheless, Denver’s green roof initiative appeared poised to succeed late Tuesday by a narrow margin. As of 10 p.m., the initiative had garnered 51 percent of the vote (43,599 votes to 41,341), according to Denver election results.

The activists behind the Denver Green Roof Initiative faced formidable opposition and a steep 12-1 disadvantage in campaign spending.

Several Denver City Council members came out against the ballot initiative — which would require newly-built, large buildings to dedicate roof space to vegetation and/or solar panels — arguing it carried unintended consequences. Even Mayor Michael Hancock said it went too far and provided no flexibility.

Developers rallied around the opposition with large campaign donations.

All told, the organized opposition, the Citizens for a Responsible Denver, significantly outraised the Denver Green Roof Initiative, $250,000 to $22,000, according to the Denver Post.

Under the green roof ordinance, newly-built buildings larger than 25,000 square feet would be required to dedicate a portion (the portion will vary depending on building size) of their rooftops to vegetation or solar panels.

Organizers say green roofs will help reduce the city’s urban heat island effect. Rooftops absorb warmth from the sun, raising the city’s temperature by nearly five degrees, the citizens group behind the initiative said. However with a green roof, vegetation or solar panels are instead absorbing the sun’s rays, keeping buildings cool through a process called evapotranspiration.

Denver ranks third in the nation for urban heat island, according to USA Today, behind Las Vegas and Albuquerque. A cooler Denver would help reduce energy consumption in the city, the group said.

City Council members Kendra Black, Kevin Flynn, Stacie Gilmore and Mary Beth Susman opposed the initiative, arguing a green roof mandate carried with it unintended consequences including further driving up the cost of living in Denver and stymying development.

“Denver is becoming less and less affordable for our hard-working families,” Black previously said. “Let’s not make it any more expensive with the ill-conceived mandate for green roofs.”

Hancock said, “It goes too far too fast and provides no flexibility or opportunity for ‘carrots’ instead of ‘sticks.’”

Developers and business organizations like the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce also opposed the initiative.

The Denver City Council could modify or repeal the green roof ordinance after six months but would require a two-thirds majority vote, according to Denverite.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchSeptember 7, 20174min117
Update: Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, provided Colorado Politics a statement Friday morning: “We know transportation is already costing Coloradans billions of dollars a year — $6.8 billion to be exact. That’s what we lose to our deficient roads in lost time, damage to vehicles and lost gas […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 31, 20173min1080

Tickets are on sale for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s 133rd annual meeting, but a first as well, as Denise Burgess becomes the first African-American woman to lead the 3,000-member organization.

The luncheon Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center begins at 11 with networking among about 1,000 metro Denver leaders followed by the program from 11:30 to 1. Individual tickets are $105.

Burgess will accept the gavel from outgoing board chairman Todd Munson, who is the executive vice president and director of commercial banking for Vectra Bank.

The new chairwoman is the president has been on the chamber board since 2010. She is the CEO of Burgess Services, Inc., a construction management firm based in Denver.

She has been listed among the Top 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. The Girl Scouts of Colorado named Burgess a Woman of Distinction, and she has received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award and the Davide E. Baily Small Business Advocate Award.

After getting a degree in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado, Burgess began her career in broadcast management. In 1994 went to work with her father, who passed away in 2002. She turned his heating and air conditioning business into a nationwide firm that provides construction management, commissioning and quality assurance/quality control services. The company’s clients have included the City and County of Denver Justice Center, the Corp of Engineers Southeastern Headquarters in Miami and the Westin Hotel at Denver International Airport.

The Denver chamber said Burgess Services was awarded the largest contract ever to a black-owned business, $39.6 million, for mechanical work at DIA.

“Denise credits her continued support from family and friends as part of her success, along with her dedicated employees,” the chamber said in a bio. “Never taking anything for granted, Denise regularly takes time out of her busy schedule to give back to the Denver community both personally and professionally. The Burgess Family Fund was established through the Denver Foundation in 2013 with a goal of funding the education of minority women interested in STEM and construction. The Burgess Family Fund has donated to over a dozen Colorado organizations.”

Kelly Brough, the chamber’s president and CEO, will talk about the next year’s priorities for the business community and announce the Del Hock Lifetime Achievement Award.

Author, inventor and “tech trailblazer” Byron Reese, the CEO of Knowingly, is the keynote speaker.



Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMay 3, 20172min450

This just came over the transom from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce:

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce announced its position on one bill working its way through the Colorado General Assembly. 

The Chamber opposes:

The chamber is of course a key barometer of the state’s business community — which badly wants better roads — as well a stakeholder in efforts throughout the 2017 legislative session to forge a compromise transportation-spending plan.

The latest iteration of such a plan, the GOP-authored Senate Bill 303, debuted in a Senate committee last night, as reported by ColoradoPolitics.com’s Joey Bunch. Unlike its predecessor — House Bill 1242, which fizzled for lack of Republican support — this version contains no tax hike. Republicans think it will fare better with the public, which still would have to vote on the new measure’s bonding provisions even without new taxes.

Perhaps in the chamber’s eyes, however, the lack of a tax hike means the proposal will be less politically acceptable to legislative Democrats, or less sustainable as a funding source for transportation.

In any event, the chamber isn’t pleased.

The clock is ticking; the session ends in a week.



Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirApril 26, 20172min28
From the chamber’s press office: DENVER—The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce announced positions on four bills working their way through the Colorado General Assembly. The Chamber supports: Construction Defects Actions Notice Vote Approval (HB17-1279) Treat Economic Development Income Tax Credits Differently (HB17-1356) Colorado Works Employment Opportunities with Wages (SB17-292) The Chamber opposes: Prohibit HOV High-Occupancy […]

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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinApril 24, 20176min68

Remember those so-called "Hamilton Electors?" Of course you do. They were four of the nine Colorado Democratic electors who joined a national movement to try to thwart Donald Trump's election through the Electoral College process. The plan was to get enough electors nationwide to band together and vote for an alternate candidate, keeping Trump from the White House.