Chauncey Billups: Denver’s “Big Shot”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and former Mayor Wellington Webb, left, and NBA standout Chauncey Billups and his wife Piper, right, flank Billups’ portrait that was unveiled Tuesday at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library. (Photo by Josh Miller/Special to the SOS)

Hometown hero Chauncey Billups credited his family and his community for his successes on and off the basketball court when his photograph was unveiled this week at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.

The NBA all-star said he plans to bring his daughters to see the library when they are home from college for the holidays and he urged others to visit the library at 2401 Welton St.

Basketball star Chauncey Billups pays tribute to Denver’s first black mayor, Wellington Webb. (Photos by Evan Semón Photography @evansemonphotography #denverEvan)

“My great great grandkids are going to be able to come here and see their old, old man,” Billups said.

“I never dreamed this big, to have something like this. … I’m so proud of where I’m from and who raised me. I appreciate you all supporting me over the years and I love you back.”

He also thanked former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and Webb’s wife, former state Rep. Wilma Webb, for their efforts in pushing for the construction of the library, where a portion is dedicated to making sure Denver and Colorado’s rich black history is not lost.

“You talk about people who impacted me as a kid?” Billups said. “Having Mayor Webb being a black mayor from the neighborhood instilled in us kids we could do anything.”

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All about U — and your quest to be Colorado’s first “kid governor”

Hudson Short, 7, who wants to be Colorado’s first “kid governor,” and his wooden U. (Family photo)

Of course our office sent a wooden U to Hudson Short to decorate. How could we resist after he mailed Secretary of State Wayne Williams a letter in May asking to be “Colorado’s first kid governor”?

“Will kid candidates be included in the next election?” Hudson wanted to know. “I want to make Colorado a great place to live. I want to help people, especially the homeless and poor. Would you please let me know how I can be kid governor?”

Well, Hudson, the Colorado Constitution says you have to be 30 to run for governor, but it makes no mention of the office of “kid governor.” We might have to talk with Gov. John Hickenlooper, who leaves office in January, and the Colorado legislature about that one.

It also says you have to live in Colorado, and your mother, Diana Gatschet, tells us you’ll be moving to New York City in August. Have a great time in the Big Apple. Maybe you can be their first kid  mayor.

Read moreAll about U — and your quest to be Colorado’s first “kid governor”

All about U: Wellington Webb

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and his decorated U. In 1991, he was elected Denver’s first black mayor and went on to serve three terms.

Here’s to former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and his staff at Webb Group International for their iconic U.

Colorado Secretary of State Williams is handing out the wooden U’s as part of the office’s UChooseCO campaign, which stresses to unaffiliated voters that they can’t vote both the Democratic and Republican ballots they will receive for the June 26 primary. They have to pick just one ballot. If they vote two, neither will count.

The Webb group’s Josh Miller went all out. He ignored the colored markers in the UChoose box and bought paint. The result is a U with Denver’s logo, a tennis shoe and a shoelace.

After all, the story of Webb and his size-12 sneakers is a part of Colorado’s political history.

The Rocky Mountain News, which endorsed underdog Wellington Webb in Denver’s 1991 mayor race, focused on his sneakers in an ad congratulating him after his victory.

Out of money in his first race for mayor, Webb announced he would campaign on foot, spending the night in supporters’ houses as he traversed the city, traveling only by bus. The press corps, robust in those days, followed to see if Webb was keeping his word.

At the time, Webb was third in polls that gave him only 7 percent of the vote.

Webb went on to serve three terms as Denver mayor, and was succeeded in 2003 by brewmeister John Hickenlooper, who now is governor of Colorado — and who has yet to decorate his wooden U!

Miller suggested that Secretary Williams donate the U’s to the History Colorado Center. This is the first time in state history that unaffiliated voters, now the largest voting block in Colorado, can automatically participate in primary elections. Voters approved the change in 2016 when they supported Proposition 108.

The UChooseCO campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

At least every week day between now and the June 26 primary the Secretary of State’s office will highlight a wooden U or two. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.

Secretary Williams doesn’t have a magic wand but …

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Chuck Berry, president of the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry, at CACI’s board meeting April 19. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams told business leaders recently that he and other state officials are working to help create a single system for new businesses to interact with multiple state agencies.

MyBizColorado, when it is unveiled, will be user friendly, intuitive and a more expedient way to register a business and obtain necessary licenses and permits.

“We want to make it easier for business,” Williams told the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry at a board of directors lunch meeting.

After his talk, Williams was asked, “If you could wave a magic wand to fix a few things what would they be?”

“The ability to get from Colorado Springs to Denver in a shorter amount of time,” said Williams, who commutes on Interstate 25.

Read moreSecretary Williams doesn’t have a magic wand but …

Brittany & Ian: “In sickness and in health, in wins and in losses”

Ian Silverii and Brittany Petterson’s wedding announcement picture in front of the Governor’s Mansion.

I love the story of how Ian Silverii and Brittany Pettersen met.

On a cold December day at the corner of 13th Avenue and Sherman Street, right in front of Denver’s version of Portlandia, City O’ City, and just a block from the state Capitol, Ian was headed to a meeting and Brittany was standing in the freezing cold with a clipboard.

Brittany Pettersen and Ian Silverii laugh as friends and family tell stories about them at their wedding.

“Do you have a minute to save the children?” she asked.

“No,” Ian replied, “but I have about 30 minutes to flirt with you.”

I burst out laughing when I read about that encounter on the couple’s wedding website. I met Ian when he had the good sense to introduce himself to me at Hamburger Mary’s and say he was a huge fan of my reporting. His line to Brittany in 2009 was so him: fast and funny.

Their wedding Saturday at the Governor’s Mansion was such a Demapalooza that Sen. Lois Court joked enough lawmakers were present to go into an emergency special session and vote to fund the energy office.

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