Few will look back on 2020 and 2021 as the best years of their lives. Racial tension, intense political division and a deadly pandemic have challenged all individuals in ways few anticipated in 2019 and previous years. Heading into the coming new year, The Gazette’s editorial board reached out to a variety of state and local leaders to ask about their hopes and dreams for 2022.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, Colorado Democrat, attorney, and former superintendent of Denver Public Schools:
“This has been an incredibly challenging year for Coloradans as we continue to endure the pandemic and face the rising cost of necessities like milk, gas, and rent. My hope for 2022 is that we can pass a budget that cuts taxes for working and middle-class families, creates more good-paying jobs, lowers the cost of prescription drugs and health care, and addresses climate change.”
U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, Colorado Democrat, former Denver mayor, and early pioneer of the nationwide craft brewing revolution:
“As my grandfather used to say, so much done, so much still to be done. First, be relentless in beating back each wave of virus mutations in this war against COVID, but simultaneously make sure our economy expands, not staggers (which means watching inflation like a hawk and getting more workers back into the workforce). Equally threatening and urgent, we must renew efforts to find bipartisan policies to address climate change. No less important, we hope to rebuild trust in our government at every level from reversing the wrong and undemocratic decision to move the Space Command headquarters out of Colorado, to protecting the right to vote for all. Happy holidays!"
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, Republican, Colorado's Fifth Congressional District:
“In 2022, I am most looking forward to Space Command staying in Colorado Springs, where it belongs. I am also looking forward to continuing to serve the active-duty military, veterans, and hard-working folks of Colorado’s Fifth Congressional District as their representative in Washington, D.C.”
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, Republican, Colorado’s Third Congressional District:
“My hope for 2022 is for every American to enjoy their God-given liberty, for our country to celebrate our foundational principles, to honor and show respect for all of the hard work and sacrifice those who have served court country, to cherish life and love those who mean so much to us. All of that is worth our optimism, collective hard work, determination and sacrifice. Here’s to a great new year!”
Mayor Mike Coffman, Aurora, former U.S. Republican representative of Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District:
“My hopes for 2022 are that the COVID pandemic becomes manageable without the heavy hand of government mandates, that our economy grows stronger without the threat of inflation, and that Americans realize that nothing with human fingerprints on it is perfect and that there is so much of the history of our country that we can be proud of.”
Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver, and former Denver City Councilman:
“As we look toward 2022, I want to first take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to each of you. The last two years have not been easy for any of us, but we came together as a community – and I am forever grateful for all that we have accomplished. We continue to fight against this pandemic and recently celebrated a huge milestone with more than 70% of Denver residents being fully vaccinated. In 2021, we worked hard to rebuild our economy, keep people in their homes, house those who are experiencing homelessness, support our small businesses and nonprofits through grants, provide food and other essential items to residents who needed a little help to get by, enhanced public safety and we doubled down on our promise to weave equity in all we do. And we are not done yet.
"Moving forward, we plan to do more. More safety measures to protect all Denver residents from violent crime, more support for those who have been chronically plagued by behavioral health issues, leveraging more collaboration between community partners to house more people who are experiencing homelessness and more efforts to make our economy more equitable for all residents, especially those who have historically been left behind.
"And finally, my hope is that you and your loved ones find peace, joy and rest during this holiday season, and may you go into 2022 with a renewed personal perspective and be met with new opportunities for success. God bless you and stay safe, Denver."
Mayor John Suthers, Colorado Springs, and former U.S. attorney, former Colorado attorney general, and former director of Colorado corrections:
“1. Given that it’s apparent COVID will be with us for some time, I hope everyone will carefully consider what course of action is in their own best interest as well as the interests of their family and the community.
“2. I hope the 2022 election will cause voters to be focused on issues related to the common good, including public safety.
“3. I hope the Denver Broncos find a franchise quarterback.”
Colorado Attorney Gen. Phil Weiser, former dean of the University of Colorado School of Law:
“At a time of increasing polarization, I am hopeful that we can increase space for more listening, learning, and empathy for one another in the year ahead. Getting through this trying time calls for more grace for one another, and less shaming and blaming of one another.”
Weiser asks readers to study his “Ginsburg/Scalia Initiative” at: https://bit.ly/3emWv3m
Wayne Williams, chairman of Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs city councilman, and Colorado’s former Republican secretary of state:
“My hopes for 2022 are a decision that Colorado Springs remains the headquarters of Space Command and that our community continues to thrive with one of the lowest costs per citizen in the nation at the city level. Statewide and nationally, I hope for a return to full interaction with a diminishment of COVID-19, an increase in the supply chain and a decrease in inflation, and for fair and transparent elections across the USA that result in a course correction in both Denver and Washington. On a personal level, my prayer is that northern El Paso County residents recognize the great leadership of Commissioner Holly Williams and reelect her to a second term so she can continue to fight nationally as the President of the National Conference of Republican County Officials. Finally, I hope for lots of snow in the Colorado mountains!”
Richard Skorman, successful business entrepreneur, longtime and outgoing member of the Colorado Springs City Council:
"My hopes and dreams for 2022 for our wonderful city are that we do everything we can think of to incentivize the private marketplace to create as many affordable housing choices as possible; that we are as pro-active as is humanely possible to make our Region safe from wildfire risk and that we finally address our huge park, trail and open space deficits and backlog. And yes, make sure our first responders have all the resources they need to keep us and themselves safe. At nearly 70, I may need them soon."
Holly Williams, county commissioner and president of the National Conference of Republican County Officials:
“I hope we continue to run an efficient government. I hope that inflation comes down so that we can improve more roads this year. I am hopeful that we continue with the COVID recovery process – each individual in his own way.”
Steve Schuck, business leader and K-12 education advocate:
"2022 will be the year for parents! Much needed attention is finally being directed to the quality and character of the education being delivered to their children. Empowered parents will bring much, long-needed attention to improving academic achievement. Parents will force the replacement of decades of systemic failure to properly educate all kids, especially those who are disadvantaged and who it continues to leave behind. Parents will force the system to focus on student success, hope, aspirations, and opportunities. This will be their year!"
Gov. Jared Polis, Colorado Democrat, high-tech entrepreneur, and former U.S. Representative for Colorado’s Second Congressional District: