Albus Brooks and Alan Salazar to serve as co-chairs of Denver’s Long Term Recovery Committee
The committee will oversee and plan Denver’s recovery strategy once the city’s emergency operations response to COVID-19 is demobilized
Mayor Michael B. Hancock named former City Council member Albus Brooks and Chief of Staff Alan Salazar to co-chair the city’s Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC). The LTRC will oversee and plan Denver’s recovery strategy once the city’s emergency operations response to COVID-19 is demobilized.
“As we continue our emergency response to this pandemic in our community, we know that the effects of this virus will be something that our city will have to manage for the foreseeable future. However, I know that we can emerge a stronger city and people because of it,” Mayor Hancock says. “While we remain focused on the critical public health and safety needs of our residents, families and local businesses during this time, we are also taking the initial steps to plan for what long-term recovery will look like for our city and our neighborhoods.”
Denver’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains active, as does the Emergency Operations Center. The city’s transition following the stay-at-home order, the safer-at-home phase and beyond will be gradual, taking the specific needs of every community and neighborhood into account. Some restrictions, such as the wearing of face coverings, will continue.
The LTRC will be composed of executive city departments and agencies, as well as appropriate outside organizations, and will be responsible for overseeing and advising the mayor on coordinated strategies for whole community recovery actions related to COVID-19 within the City and County of Denver. This includes economic recovery, ongoing public health support, government operations and city finances. The committee’s initial work will occur in coordination with the Emergency Operations Center, as long as the center is activated.
Joining Alan Salazar, the mayor’s Chief of Staff, as co-chair of the LTRC is Albus Brooks. Brooks served as a City Council member representing northeast Denver from 2011 to 2019, including two terms as City Council president. During his time on City Council, Brooks was a council leader on several critical issues facing the city, including affordable housing, early-childhood education and equitable community development and investment. Prior to being elected to City Council, he served as the director of the Issachar Center for Urban Leadership, an organization that invests in Denver’s emerging leaders by working with young people in Denver’s underserved communities. Brooks is now the vice president of business development and strategy for Milender White.
“We find ourselves in a defining moment, with a global pandemic threatening to devastate the livelihood of all Denver residents, and we ask ourselves, ‘How will we rebuild?’ I’m honored to co-chair the Long Term Recovery Committee, helping to find answers to this very question,” Brooks says. “My executive experience in the nonprofit, public and private sectors give me a perspective on how to effectively bring people together to find solutions. It is time for us to rebuild, ushering forth a new era where booms are collectively shared, and busts are collectively shouldered. Our long-term recovery will be defined by our commitment to inclusivity, and driven by equitable policies. Let’s get to work.”
The city has developed a COVID-19 recovery strategy to guide recovery actions. This strategy has established six areas of emphasis to guide community wide recovery actions. These prioritized actions include:
- Caring for the sick within our hospitals
- Preventing infection among the medically compromised
- Building testing and contact tracing capacity to better protect the public
- Protecting vulnerable communities
- Reducing social, emotional and economic disruption
- Protecting small and minority owned businesses
Under the guidance of the LTRC, these six prioritized actions will be implemented with consideration given to community needs, healthcare capacity, social and human services demand, the economic situation, infrastructure impacts and the city’s operational capacity.