Denver at a Glance
QUALITY OF LIFE
Called the Mile-High City, Queen City of the Plains and the Wall Street of the West, the once boomtown of Denver is now a powerful urban center at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Around 2.6 million people reside in the Denver metro area, and with 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s easy to understand why. Outdoor enthusiasts can golf, swim, ski, hike, bike and more almost every day of the year, and sports fans have five major-league teams to support. There is also a lively performing arts scene and many opportunities to shop.

Located exactly halfway between Tokyo and Frankfurt, Denver is also a perfect location for global corporations. Many international companies call the Denver Metro area home. Colorado was ranked as the third best state in the nation for business, and nine Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Denver. But there’s more to Denver than just work and play. The city consistently scores high in quality-of-life rankings. Whether it’s clean air, sustainability, health, education or safety, Denver makes the list as a great city for living. Compared to other major metropolitan areas, Denver’s cost of living is significantly lower even though it is still slightly above the national average. With its perfect location, economic opportunities and high quality of life, Denver is a city that will be easy to call home.

HISTORY OF DENVER
In 1858, gold was discovered at the base of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The Pikes Peak Gold Rush followed, and Denver was founded the same year by the thousands of prospectors that arrived, determined to make it rich. Named after former Kansas Territory Governor James Denver, the city was originally three separate cities: Denver City, St. Charles and Auraria. A few years later, over a barrel of whiskey, the three cities agreed to merge and renamed themselves Denver. Denver became capital of Colorado when the state was admitted into the Union in 1876.

Originally a boomtown, Denver was viewed by outsiders as dirty and prone to violence, but by the turn of the century, Denver had matured into a prosperous, vibrant city. Gold and silver strikes, agriculture and other rising industries fueled the city’s growth. Soon, mansions replaced log cabins and muddy roads were paved. City boosters created parks and cleaned up the city, earning Denver the nickname “Queen City of the Plains.” By 1910, it was already the 21st largest city in the United States.

World War II increased the manufacturing industry in the Denver area, and the population expanded into the suburbs during the 1950s. Today, Denver is a thriving metropolis at the foot of the Rockies and home to many successful technology, manufacturing, agriculture and energy companies.

POLITICS
Denver is a consolidated county and city, which means that both city and county functions are run as one. Denver functions with a mayor, an auditor and a 13-member city council. Denver elects a nonpartisan mayor every four years who in turn appoints a deputy mayor. The 13 members of the city council are elected from Denver’s 11 districts; the remaining two are elected as at-large council members. All council members serve four-year terms. Denver’s government has nine departments that carry out most of the city’s work and are established by city charter. Agencies, boards and commissions operate within the departments and can be established or abolished by the mayor and city council as necessary. Departments include Public Works, Parks and Recreation and Excise and License, among many. Agencies include the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, Office of Economic Development and Human Rights and Community Relations.

The city of Denver website (www.denvergov.org) will be extremely helpful in your move to Denver. There, city and county residents can apply for pet licenses, look up public records, pay utility bills and parking fines, report complaints and even request a tee time at any of Denver’s public golf courses. While the different cities and counties in the Denver metro area often work together, each still have their own city councils, mayors and laws. Check with your appropriate city and county once you move to the Denver area.

Denver is also the capitol of Colorado. Like all states, it has three branches of government: the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Colorado has 64 counties, which elect 65 members to the Colorado House of Representatives and 35 members to the Colorado State Senate. Colorado also has seven U.S. Representatives in Congress and, like all states, two U.S. Senators.

While Denver mayoral elections are nonpartisan, most winning candidates tend to be members of the Democratic party. Denver hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2008, and the state also votes for the Democratic party in most presidential elections. The Denver metro area is slightly more conservative, but it is still mixed. According to a 2005 study of the 2004 presidential election by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Denver was ranked 49 out of 237 cities as the most liberal city in the United States. Meanwhile, nearby Arvada was ranked the 61st most conservative city and Aurora was the 77th most liberal.

RELIGION IN DENVER
Denver is a religiously diverse and tolerant city. Many religious leaders have visited Denver, including Pope John Paul II in 1993 and the Dalai Lama in 1997. One of the area’s popular religious events is the annual sunrise Easter service at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Free and nondenominational, this event attracts more than 12,000 people regularly.

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