Andrea Batista Schlesinger
Mayor John Hickenlooper: “Cities are America’s laboratories”
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper is the consummate anti-politician. Before his election in 2003, "Hick" ran several successful restaurants and other businesses. He buck partisan gridlock and constantly pits pragmatism against politics. So its no wonder that he's calling on Presidential candidates to do the same.
"Too often, national political figures are trying to create political strife," Hickenlooper said. "But the way we're going to succeed in this country is getting back to a collaborative approach. And that means a lot less partisanship."
In practice, how does that play out? The answer, according to this former entrepreneur, is local experimentation. "Down here where the rubber meets the road, we're fixing potholes, we're making cities safer, we're solving problems around health care ... we can figure out the solutions. We're America's laboratories."
And the federal government's role? "As we find cost-effective ways to address these issues, whether you're talking about homeless or economic development ... once we find those solutions, we need help making sure that we have the resources to role them out to the whole community and the whole country."
When we asked about a decidedly more partisan topic -- Denver hosting this year's Democratic National Convention -- Hickenlooper brought it right back to showing off his hometown solutions.
"[The Rocky Mountains] are a place where people come together and put aside partisan issues to solve problems. Being able to talk about those pragmatic solutions is going to be of great benefit to the entire country."
Talk about them, yes. But will the candidates -- and the media -- listen?