AURORA, CO—Mayor Mike Coffman made waves recently when it was revealed that he had lived for a week undercover in Denver and Aurora disguised as a homeless man. During that week, Coffman stayed in shelters and encampments with the goal of gaining a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding homelessness.
It appears it was just the first of many steps the mayor is taking to understand the unique challenges facing different segments of his constituency. This week, Coffman is reluctantly living in a multi-million dollar mansion to gain insight into the lives and challenges of Aurora’s wealthiest residents.
Coffman invited us to join him for a conversation in the 16-person rooftop jacuzzi to discuss his experience. “To be an effective leader, it is really important to put yourself in their shoes,” the mayor shared as he waved over a butler to refill his mojito.
“Everyone has hardships,” Coffman continued. “For example, the heated towel rack wasn’t working this morning, so my towel was just room temp. And yesterday the tire pressure was low on the Bentley, so I walked clear across the 12-car garage and had to take the Land Rover. This is tough stuff.”
On Friday, Coffman will hit his one-week mark disguised as a one-percenter. However, he indicates it may be necessary for him to extend. “I understood the homeless thing pretty quickly, so one week was more than enough,” he acknowledged. “But this…well, I’m probably going to have to stay another two or three weeks to really get it, maybe even more.”
Glancing down at his watch, Coffman sighed. “Wish I could stay and talk, but gotta get back to work—Swedish massage now. I tell you what, these days are really jam-packed.”