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The city of Denver and Mayor Michael Hancock ought to be cutting a deal with the stock show to get a good return on letting the producers of the show out of their lease -- there's no reason not to make them pay for the privilege -- but then use city bond money for redevelopment of the show's near North Denver site to create a world-class manufacturing center.
Make it green as can be by introducing sustainable, environmentally friendly manufacturing plants that actually make affordable products that can be sold in the world market. Use the latest technology and create jobs middle-class men can afford to take and still support their families, and line up a business community that is willing to take a chance on Denver becoming a world leader in this new revolution.
Because it is a new manufacturing revolution. The Chinese are on to it. Barack Obama is on to it. Young men in America are ready for it. And our country desperately needs to lead the world through it.
In Denver, it starts with letting the stock show go. Let the stock show breathe: ride its horses, sell its cows, and sheep and chickens, and promote all of Colorado agriculture, which now includes organics and home-grown fruits and vegetables, wine and beer, flowers and spices, in the open air east of the city where the farm fields of Colorado actually do begin.
And while we're at it, let Aaron Million bring the eastern plains some water to irrigate the crops that can result from a statewide commitment to Colorado farm and ranch families. And let transmission lines be built to carry electricity from wind farms to the places where its needed.
The only things keeping all this from happening in Colorado are environmental activists and the political fear they wield over Democratic politicians who continue to court a liberal base that is no longer big enough for them to win elections here. Democrats need to feel the strength of their middle-class roots and start doing something for the people who have always considered them on their side: labor, teachers, police and firemen, other government workers, the middle-income earner.
Barack Obama knows it. Gov. John Hickenlooper wants to believe it. Our two Democratic senators wish it were true, but are too afraid to stand up against the liberal establishment. State Sen. Rollie Heath has pushed an initiative that might really start to do something for education finance in the state. That kind of political courage is just a start.
The ramshackle pens and muddy parking lots you'll see again at the stock show in January are another good place to start.
Let the stock show roam.
Build some high-tech, clean manufacturing plants, oil refineries and even power plants.