Environmental groups across the country are celebrating a recent victory — President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. This political decision was at best an ideological choice, with very real, and perhaps unintended economic consequences. At worse, it may have driven a stake in the growing wedge between labor groups and environmental organizations. Mayors are pragmatic chief of executives of their cities, who are often focused on solving problems and coming up with solutions. As a party, Democrats must lead and serve like mayors.
President Barack Obama and I have something in common. He is America’s first African-American president, and I was Denver’s first African-American mayor.
That designation carries extra responsibility, because we know our records will help or hinder others who seek high office. When the first African American runs for office, the first question many voters ask is, can he or she govern well? As “firsts,” we had the challenge to answer that question so it would never be asked again.
The word “retirement” is not part of my vocabulary and since leaving the mayor’s office in 2003 I have not taken more than a few days off, except for vacations with my wife and family.
But a knee replacement this summer, followed by more than a month of physical therapy, has given me time to reflect on a number of things, including the recent renewed diplomatic relationship between the United States and Cuba.
I served as Mayor of Denver from 1991 to 2003 and was the only mayor in U.S. history to serve as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of Democratic Mayors and the National Conference of Black Mayors. Through my experiences, I have seen Americans go through hard times, but I have also seen the power that strong economic policies that drive investment, create jobs, and bring hope to Americans can have on our communities.
WEBB: LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE…
Next month, the Denver Public School Board will decide on a replacement for Nate Easley Jr., a former board president who has served the Montbello, Green Valley Ranch and Stapleton neighborhoods since 2009.
Easley will step down from his seat in March to become the executive director of the Denver Scholarship Fund.
All Denver residents should be asking: What criteria will be used to pick his replacement? How transparent will the process be?
WEBB: IN DEFENSE OF A GOOD WOMAN
As a former delegate to the United Nations, I have been especially dismayed by the personal attacks of some Republican critics against UN Ambassador Susan Rice and her comments shortly after the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack.
I saw firsthand in 2009 how Rice and her staff work with information coming through Washington in the most thorough and thoughtful way. As President Obama has strongly defended, Rice’s comments were based on intelligence that she had received and what the administration knew at the time.