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Meet the candidates running for Denver Mayor: Terrance Roberts

9NEWS asked all 17 people running for Denver to answer the same policy questions.

DENVER — There are 17 people on the 2023 ballot for Denver Mayor, all vying to replace Michael Hancock after three terms in office. If that's not the most ever, it's at least the biggest pool of candidates for that office in decades, according to the Denver Clerk and Recorder's Office, which checked their sample paper ballots going back to 1946.

Each candidate has their own ideas regarding crime, homelessness, housing affordability and more. We asked all of them the same policy questions and asked for written responses.

Below you'll find Terrance Roberts' answers, all unedited and in the candidate's own words, as well as documents related to policy proposals.

You can see the other candidates' responses here.

Denver's Election Day is April 4.

Terrance Roberts

Terrance Roberts is a longtime anti-violence organizer in Denver's Park Hill neighborhood. After stints in prison, Roberts renounced his former gang affiliation and became a community leader in the 2000s. In 2015, Roberts was acquitted on an attempted murder charge for the shooting of a known gang member, which Roberts maintained was self-defense.

Political affiliation: Democrat

Links to policy paperwork

Long-form questions

In a single sentence, why are you running for mayor?

The end homelessness in Denver.

Please provide specifics on your plan to improve public safety and reduce crime in Denver. Specifically, please note whether the Denver Police budget should be increased or decreased (including funding diversion to non-police emergency responses).

The police department needs an audit to determine if the budget justifies our practices. If we are to address public safety we must end our homelessness crisis because we cannot expect safe communities where people are attempting to survive in the streets. When poverty is no longer on our streets police can focus on protecting our communities instead of prosecuting crimes of desperation.

What should the City of Denver do to promote affordable housing? 

We should abandon the commoditized housing model for public social housing for all funded by a public bank. 

How should Denver change its approach to addressing homelessness?

Declare homelessness an emergency, create a public bank with the same authority as DURA, use it to build, retrofit, buy, and eminent domain the housing to get everyone off the streets. 

How should Denver change its approach to mobility and safe streets?

Do everything we can to make this city livable without a car and encourage people to do so.

The Mayor has significant control over a $3-4 billion budget and will hire cabinet members who oversee roughly 12,000 employees. Please detail your experience with budgets and hiring.  

Budgeting is a group process that needs group input, however, I ran a non-profit, Prodigal Son with a budget over $300,000 and have a history with hiring.

Should the City of Denver explore ways to exert more control over Denver Public Schools? If so, how would you do that and what would be your goal?

Absolutely not. I support the democratically elected school board and believe more must be done to get DPS more financial resources.

Please assess the Hancock administration’s response to the influx of migrants from the southern border since December 2022. What should Denver do to prepare for and respond to another potential influx of migrants?  

The Mayor's response to migrants has been good overall, however, had he prioritized housing for all during his administration more resources would have been available to deal with unforeseen situations like this.  

What should Denver do to prevent the displacement of longtime residents due to gentrification and tax burdens?

Beyond public housing I also believe the city must take further steps to assist long time homeowners in keeping their homes.

What should be done to revitalize downtown Denver (vis-à-vis office occupancy, the 16th Street Mall, crime)?

Make Denver a 24 hour city by pushing back closing hours. Make 5 Points a historic arts district. Reduce rent prices on 16th Street Mall and encourage local small business occupancy. Right now a fast food restaurant's rent is $16,000 a month on the mall, no small local business is going to be able to afford this.

What is within the power of the City of Denver to fight the opioid epidemic? What steps should regional or state leaders take in cooperation to reduce fentanyl deaths?

Corporate drug companies have created this opioid crisis and they should shoulder the burden for ending it. We should encourage and proliferate drug testing kits and open safe injection sites to protect our citizens. The tragic results of the drug war have already proved we should avoid attempts to further criminalize drug use.

Xcel Energy's franchise agreement expires on Dec. 31, 2026. What will you seek from the next agreement that protects Denver customers from high utility bills?

If Xcel cannot provide a better agreement that better serves all Denver residents I am in favor of taking the necessary steps to municipalize Xcel. Xcel is a monopoly making record profits while charging higher rates than its customers can remember and they should be ashamed of the current situation.

Denver has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030. A sales tax approved by voters funds the city's climate action goals. What, if any, changes would you make to Denver's climate action goals and how would you make green energy and environmentally sustainable living available across income levels?

Our new development needs to include green roofs, tankless water heaters, energy efficient windows, phasing out gas heaters and stoves, prioritize retrofitting older properties, and create programs to promote personal gardening. The practice of shifting the cost of climate change to consumers needs to be avoided and those costs need to be passed on to the producers of emissions. 

Yes or No

Will you enforce Denver’s camping ban?


Should Denver maintain its effective status as a sanctuary city through noncooperation with immigration agents? 


Will you vote to support development of the Park Hill Golf Course as currently proposed on the April ballot?


Do you support the use of any Denver taxpayer funds to build a new football stadium for the Broncos? 


Should Denver reduce vehicle volumes downtown?


Did you support Mayor Michael Hancock’s re-election in 2019?


If the Colorado legislature lifts the ban on local rent control, should Denver pursue some form of rent control?


Should Denver pursue the creation of a supervised drug injection site with the permission of the state legislature?


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