Mike Coffman, who represented Colorado’s sixth Congressional District in Washington, D.C., for a decade, took the helm of town by which he has lived most of his life — turning into the mayor of Aurora on Monday night time.
Coffman was one in every of 4 new members to take their seats on the head of presidency for Colorado’s third-largest metropolis — and its most various. He was joined by Juan Marcano and Alison Coombs , who bested incumbent council members in final month’s election, whereas newcomer Curtis Gardner garnered essentially the most votes within the at-large contest.
Incumbents council members Angela Lawson and Francoise Bergan, re-elected final month, returned to their seats on the council.
After swearing-in ceremonies for the brand new members of council, Monday’s assembly bought underway with a well-recognized sense of the discord and friction that has marked council conferences of late. Throughout public remark, speaker after speaker excoriated Aurora’s leaders for a way town has dealt with the dying of Elijah McClain, a younger African-American man who died in August after a cease by police that turned violent.
Lillian Home, a member of Get together for Socialism and Liberation in Denver, advised the council that neighborhood members would proceed displaying up at council conferences till their considerations are met.
“We are going to keep fighting until there are consequences for those cops,” she stated.
Different audio system known as for a federal investigation into McClain’s dying. One lady advised the newly seated council that “we’re here in Aurora and we need things to change, and hopefully with the new council members, things will change.”
Coffman takes cost of a Metropolis Council that might be decidedly extra liberal than the one which stepped down Monday night time. Marcano and Coombs got significantly boisterous rounds of applause by many viewers members within the packed chambers.
“The people love you, Juan,” one man shouted after Marcano was sworn in.
Coffman squeaked out a victory final month to take Aurora’s high elected publish, beating his closest competitor within the race by a mere 214 votes out of practically 75,000 solid. He additionally defeated 5 different challengers within the high-dollar race.
In a brief victory speech given 9 days after polls had closed — because of extended counting of ballots within the race — Coffman stated he would keep management of Metropolis Council conferences that, of late, have usually descended into chaos. In early November, viewers members on the assembly chanted obscenities at then-Mayor Bob LeGare and held demonstrations outdoors metropolis corridor.
On the west steps of the Aurora municipal advanced, Coffman stated final month: “I will have a much larger gavel.”
As a considerably comical rejoinder to Coffman’s gavel remark, members of Abolish ICE Denver introduced a 5-foot-long “People’s Gavel” into the Aurora municipal constructing Monday night time. Coffman even posed with the outsized gavel for photographs.
An enormous gavel has arrived at metropolis corridor. We’ll see how this will get integrated into the night time. Coffman stated he would wield a big gavel at council mtgs, which have these days been disrupted by protesters. BACKGROUND: https://t.co/b3QgJ1yQF9 pic.twitter.com/UgSOKWhtfG
— John Aguilar (@abuvthefold) December three, 2019
Protesters have largely targeted their ire on two points: McClain’s dying and opposition to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility that’s situated within the metropolis.
Final month, Adams County District Legal professional Dave Younger discovered that Aurora police actions within the incident didn’t rise to the extent of a criminal offense, writing in a letter to Aurora’s police chief that “from the officers’ perception, it went from an investigatory stop to a potential life-threatening incident, and it certainly raised the officers’ use of force.”
The choice was instantly condemned by McClain’s household and his supporters. At a gathering the day after Younger made his announcement, a crowd gathered on the metropolis’s municipal constructing and known as the Aurora law enforcement officials concerned within the cease “murderers.” The household’s lawyer, Mari Newman, stated the household would seemingly file a federal civil rights lawsuit towards town “to secure justice for Elijah.”
Coffman advised reporters earlier than being sworn in that he would try to construct bridges to the African-American neighborhood in Aurora following McClain’s dying. Requested if he was wanting ahead to Monday’s assembly, Coffman smiled and stated: “I’m looking forward to tonight.”