Doug Linkhart: Proven Leader for the Whole Community
As a Denver City Councilman At-Large, Doug has already been doing much of what a Mayor does—working with others to develop real solutions to citywide issues. As a business economist, public servant and father of three, he understands the importance of creating sustainable prosperity for the whole community.
Real Solutions for Working Families in the Colorado Legislature
Doug began his career in public service by serving ten years (1994-2003) in the Colorado legislature as a State Representative and a State Senator from districts made up mostly of working families. He sponsored bills to address the day-to-day needs of people in his district by cracking down on predatory lending, supporting child care, creating school-to-career programs for students and improving job training and economic opportunity for all.
While in the State Legislature, Doug served on committees that addressed grassroots concerns – including health, education, and criminal justice. He also served as Chairman of the Legislative Audit Committee and Chairman of the Majority Caucus in the Senate.
One of Doug’s top achievements in the Legislature was working with others to create a 50% state child care tax credit for contributions to nonprofit and private organizations operating child care or after-school programs. In addition to child care agencies, groups like the United Way, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA and Colorado Children’s Campaign have benefited from the credit, with an estimated $17 million a year impact.
Real Solutions for Working Families on Denver City Council
Doug's interest in serving working families in Denver led him to run for and win the At-Large City Council seat in May 2003. For the past eight years, he has been a proven leader for the whole community, addressing real needs and providing real solutions.
One of Doug’s first efforts as a City Councilman was to begin a series of listening sessions called Jumpstart Denver to find ways to get the city's economy moving again. This led to the creation of Mile High Holidays to encourage tourism and spending in downtown Denver, the Business Assistance Center, a one-stop-shop at City Hall to help entrepreneurs get off the ground in Denver, and Global Denver, an initiative to celebrate Denver’s diversity and international connections and help the city play a stronger role in the global economy.
Doug believes we should look for ways to invest in people and create long-term economic prosperity. That means investing in alternatives to incarceration, such as mental health treatment and addiction counseling and treatment, not just spending money on jails. Jails cost more than just incarceration dollars – the associated economic impacts to the city are enormous. He initiated the Crime Control and Prevention Commission, which last year alone saved the city over $6 million and 258 prison beds per day.
With his extensive leadership experience and training, Doug has helped launch a number of other innovative real solutions for Denver including Bank on Denver, Bridges to Work, Denver Youth Agenda, and the Age Matters Initiative.
Doug's current City Council responsibilities include:
- Co-Chair, Business, Workforce and Sustainability Committee
- Member, Health and Safety Committee
- Member, Crime Prevention and Control Commission
- Member, Mayor's Early Childhood Education Commission
- Member, Community and Economic Development Steering Committee of the National League of Cities
- Member, International Task Force of the National League of Cities Steering Committee, Denver Youth Agenda Steering Committee, and Age Matters Initiative
- Member, Community Leadership Board of Mile High Montessori
Work History, Education and Family
Before beginning his service as a public official, Doug worked as a business economist for investors, non-profit organizations and government agencies. Doug has also served as President of the Colorado Municipal League and President of the Denver Association of Business Economists.
Doug also served as president of his neighborhood association and Chairman of Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, later starting and serving as Executive Director of the Neighborhood Resource Center of Colorado, a Colorado nonprofit corporation providing assistance to residents and community-based organizations statewide.
Doug has a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Arts (Phi Beta Kappa) in Political Science and Environmental Studies, also from the University of Arizona. Following college Doug was selected as a Presidential Management Intern, working in Washington, D.C. and Denver for the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies for nearly three years.
Doug is the proud father of three teenagers, Eric, Ruby and Nathan. He lives in the Park Hill/East Montclair neighborhood in Denver.
Doug’s leadership resumé >