First-time candidate Tim Hoffman has joined the long list of Denverites vying for the two open City Council at-large positions.
Hoffman grew up in the Denver metro area before heading east for college. He lived in Washington, D.C., for seven years where he worked in the White House and with the United States’ Attorney Office.
Hoffman is now a prosecutor at the Denver District Attorney’s Office, which he said has provided a front-row view of “some of the failures of policies that have people trickle down into the criminal justice system.”
Hoffman said crime is one of his campaign focus points because it ties into other issues around the city including housing, homelessness and economic stability. He said that while crime has increased in the city and those crimes may be committed by repeat offenders, some are victims themselves.
“There’s a lot of people who end up in the criminal justice system because of a mix of addiction, housing instability, financial insecurity, mental health issues,” Hoffman said. “In this discussion you have people break off into these two camps, where it’s either people saying you need to punish all the criminals right now. … or the other group who say that it’s exclusively these underlying conditions of poverty, mental health and addiction. … I’ve seen firsthand from my role as a prosecutor that it’s both.”
Hoffman’s campaign is also focused on transportation. About two years ago, Hoffman said he was hit by the driver of a pickup truck while riding his bike in a hit-and-run crash that left him with a traumatic brain injury. He has since recovered, even participating in a 50 kilometer race at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. But the experience changed his views on transportation.
“Denver is going to continue to grow as a city and continue to attract people, and we’re not going to magically find a bunch of new roads for people to be driving their cars,” Hoffman said. “We have to think of what a truly multimodal city looks like. … and if you are going to create that type of environment for people. … you have to make it efficient, and you have to make it safe.”
Hoffman said creating more rapid bus lanes along heavily used corridors, increasing bus services, adding more protected bike lanes that connect with other lanes, and providing incentives for people to either get out of their cars or share a commute are just some of the ways Denver can fix its traffic issues.
Climate change will also be a factor in Hoffman’s campaign, but he reiterated that all of Denver’s issues, from housing to the climate, are tied together and his goal is to work on them equally to create a sustainable city.
“I moved back to Denver in 2016, and the plan was always for me to move back to Denver because I’m glad to call this city my home,” Hoffman said. “A big part of this campaign and what the election in 2023 is going to be about is, are we creating and promoting a city that’s going to be sustainable and thriving in a way that our kids will want to live here too. When I look at some of the issues we’re facing now, I’m both concerned because they seem to be getting worse by the day, but hopeful that with the right leadership and the right mix of policies, a lot of our seemingly intractable problems can be solved and we can continue to grow and evolve into a city that works for everybody.”
Besides Hoffman, there are eight other candidates running for the at-large position including Will Chan, Dominic A. Diaz, Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, Travis Leiker, Sarah Parady, Penfield Tate III, Jeff Walker and Marty Zimmerman.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the finalized candidate list that will appear on the 2023 municipal election ballot.