As Gov. John Hickenlooper prepares to give his final State of the State Address on Thursday morning, he will take time to reflect not just on the legislative accomplishments he’s pushed through since his 2011 inauguration, but on the vast range of public-private partnerships he’s initiated — sometimes to do things that he couldn’t do working through the Legislature.

Hickenlooper calculated that the partnerships he’s put together since his first election as Denver mayor in 2003 have raised more than $295 million for efforts ranging from music education, to homelessness prevention, to workforce development.

He dedicated an annual report in late 2017 — one that typically focuses on new community partnerships — to a summary of these efforts and why he believes they are important for Colorado.

For the Democratic governor, a former brewpub owner who is term-limited from seeking re-election in November but is rumored to be looking at a 2020 presidential bid, the idea of getting business leaders and nonprofit groups more involved in government was a core value of his first run for office 15 years ago.

He’s sought help from the private sector since then in growing Colorado’s innovation ecosystem, in turning the state into a national hub for cybersecurity and in attracting attention to this place through the Biennial of the Americas.

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