Fifty years ago, 80 local business leaders gathered at the Brown Palace Hotel to form a group that would keep downtown Denveralive and growing. Now known as the Downtown Denver partnership, they are working to grow the number of downtown residents and workers, reduce homelessness and increase and diversify downtown shopping options. The partnership now represents 110,000 downtown employees, including 22 of its own, has 550 business members and will announce a new annual budget of $6.8 million. Created in 1986 – when downtown office-vacancy rates were soaring – the plan has guided development ever since. In the immediate future, the partnership plans to open a Downtown Denver Home Center to attract new residents, finish a study of retail demand and explore the possibility of installing wireless Internet access throughout the 16th Street Mall. The partnership is throwing its weight behind Referendums C and D, which will ask voters in November to reform the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.