Polis Timeline

Polis Timeline


Polis Timeline - History

  • Broad Ripple
  • Butler Tarkington
  • Carmel
  • Crooked Creek
  • Cumberland
  • Fountain Square
  • Greater Southeast
  • Greenwood
  • Irvington
  • Lawrence-Geist
  • Mapleton-Fall Creek
  • Mars Hill
  • Martindale Brightwood
  • Meridan-Kessler
  • Near Eastside
  • Near Westside
  • Plainfield
  • Speedway
  • UNWA
The boundaries of the Fountain Square neighborhood are often debated, but one such description lists Washington Street on the north, State Avenue on the east, Pleasant Run on the South, and Madison Avenue on the west.

The history of Fountain Square is traditionally said to begin with Calvin Fletcher and Nicholas McCarthy’s purchase of the 264-acre farm of Dr. John H. Sanders in December 1835. Fletcher and McCarthy purchased the farm with the intent to “lay out this area southeast of the city center as ‘town lots’ and to sell the small parcels for a ‘handsome advance.’” [1]
Included among those lots was what is now known as the Fountain Square neighborhood. Although the Fletcher family is credited with being the first settlers in the area, a band of Delaware Indians resided at the present site of the Abraham Lincoln School 18 (at 1001 East Palmer Street) as late as 1820.

With the notable exception of Virginia Avenue, settlement in the neighborhood was sparse until the 1870s. The earliest residents of the neighborhood were primarily a mixture of individuals from the East, the Upland South, and German and Irish immigrants.

In 1857 School No. 8 (named for Calvin Fletcher in 1906) was built at 520 Virginia Avenue, but it did not open until 1860 because of lack of funds to hire teachers. Reflecting a steady but slow population growth, a third story was added to School No. 8 in 1866.

The Virginia Avenue corridor began to emerge as the South side’s commercial center in the 1860s. When the Citizen’s Street Railway Company laid tracks down Virginia Avenue and located a turnaround at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Shelby and Prospect Streets in 1864, the neighborhood began to be known as “the End” by local residents. [2]
Reflecting the increasing Irish presence in the neighborhood, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church was built on Prospect Street in 1865. In 1870 St. Patrick’s Catholic Church was built a new building adjacent to the original structure, which then became a parish school.

Between 1870 and 1873 population growth along Virginia Avenue and Prospect Street was so rapid that the neighborhood had to be platted and re-platted eight times. One group in particular, the German immigrant population, enjoyed rapid growth in the 1870s. It was not until the 1890s, however, that Fountain Square developed the “distinctly German character” for which it later became known. [3]
Further enriching the neighborhood’s ethnic mix, small groups of Danish and Italian immigrants settled in Fountain Square during this same period. The construction of the first Edwin Ray (United) Methodist Church on Laurel Street in 1873, and the opening of Southern Driving Park (now Garfield Park) the next year, further expanded the neighborhood’s religious, social, and cultural environment.

In the 1880s the German-speaking congregation of the Immanuel Evangelical and Reformed Church (Immanuel United Church of Christ) purchased property on Prospect Street. This purchase and the opening of St. Paul’s Lutheran School (1889) on Weghorst indicate the growing German presence in Fountain Square. The neighborhood’s growing population in general was evidenced by a second public school on Fletcher Avenue (Henry W. Longfellow School 28), and the formation of High School No. 2. From 1886 to 1892 construction of the Virginia Avenue Viaduct was undertaken as a direct result of the construction of Union Station. Finally in 1889, the first of the neighborhood’s fountains was erected at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Shelby and Prospect Streets. Variously known as the “Subscription Fountain” and the “Lady of the Fountain,” it gave the neighborhood its name. [4]

Between 1890 and 1900, Fountain Square became primarily identified as a German neighborhood. The number of German-owned businesses increased in the neighborhood’s commercial district, and the Southside Turnverein (now the Madison Avenue Athletic Club) opened on Prospect Street in 1900. This decade also saw the construction of a number of new schools. School No. 31 (Lillian M. Reiffel) on Lincoln Street opened in 1890, while School No. 39 (William McKinley) opened on State Street in 1895. High School No. 2 merged into Emmerich Manual Training High School in 1895, and the building at 520 Virginia Avenue was turned into a junior high school. In 1896 the city’s third branch library opened in the neighborhood at Woodlawn and Linden Streets.

A similar pattern of growth and expansion characterized the neighborhood’s churches in these years. In 1891 Second English Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded and began meeting on Virginia Avenue. In 1893 this church moved to a new building on Hosbrook Street, and in 1910 it changed its name to St. Mark’s (English) Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1921 St. Mark’s moved to its present location on Prospect Street and sold the Hosbrook Street property to the Salvation Army. Immanuel Evangelical and Reformed Church dedicated its new building on Prospect Street in 1894, and in 1899 Emmanuel Baptist Church was founded.

The first three decades of the twentieth century were a period of continued commercial and cultural growth for Fountain Square. In the early 1900s Fountain Square’s May Day Celebration, including a parade and dance in Garfield Park, became known as the city’s “big event in the days before World War I.” [5]
The building of a pagoda in Garfield Park (1903) to house musical performances inaugurated a two-decade-long building program that transformed Fountain Square into the city’s first theater district. Between 1909 and 1929 eleven theaters were built in the neighborhood. Included among those theaters were: the first Fountain Square Theater (1909), the Airdome (1910), the Bair (1915), the Iris (1913), the Sanders Apex (1914), the Granada (1928), and the second Fountain Square Theater (1928).

Fountain Square also enjoyed continued growth as the Southside’s primary commercial district. The opening of the Fountain Square State Bank (1909), the Fountain Square Post Office (1927), Havercamp and Dirk’s Grocery (1905), Koehring & Son Warehouse (1900), the Fountain Square branch of the Standard Grocery Company (1927), the Frank E. Reeser Company (1904), Wiese-Wenzel Pharmacy (1905), the Sommer-Roempke Bakery (1909), the Fountain Square Hardware Company (1912), Horuff & Son Shoe Store (1911), Jessie Hartman Milliners (1908), the William H. and Fiora Young Redman Wallpaper and Interior Design business (1923), the Charles F. Iske Furniture Store (1910), The Fountain Block Commercial Building (1902), and the G.C. Murphy Company (1929), are a few examples of this phenomenon.

Fountain Square’s growing population was reflected as well in the opening of School No. 18 (Abraham Lincoln) on East Palmer Street in 1901, followed by the construction of additions in 1906 and 1915. Building programs were also carried out at School No. 8 in 1915 and at School No. 31 in 1918. The launching of extracurricular classes in nutrition for both parents and students by School No. 28 in 1924 suggests the partnership between local residents and Fountain Square’s educational institutions.

The neighborhood’s religious, ethnic, and racial composition became more complex during the early years of the century. In the early 1900s the African-American members of Olivet Baptist Church moved their meeting place from Beech Grove to a location at Prospect and Leonard Streets. In 1927 Olivet moved to its present location on Hosbrook Street (former home of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church). Toward the latter part of this period, newcomers from the southern mountains of Appalachia began moving into Fountain Square. In addition, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church organized Emmaus (German) Lutheran Church on Prospect Street (1904) in order to minister to the expanding German population in the neighborhood.

Reflecting this same growing diversity, these years also witnessed the building of additional “mainline” churches such as the Morris Street (United) Methodist Church (1905), the Emmanuel Baptist Church (c. 1916), the Victory Memorial (United) Methodist Church (1919), and the Calvary (United) Methodist Church (1926). Newer denominations—for example, the Laurel Street (Assemblies of God) Tabernacle (1913), and a Church of Latter Day Saints’ Chapel (1927)—also moved in the area.

In 1919 the “Subscription Fountain” was accidentally toppled when a local merchant “strung a rope supporting a large banner advertising a sale from his store and attached the other end of the banner to the statue. A wind blew up, and the weight of the banner caused the statue to topple to the ground.” [6]
In 1922 Mayor Samuel “Lew” Shank decided that Fountain Square should be the recipient of a bequest for a fountain in honor of former Congressman Ralph Hill specified in the will of his widow, Mrs. Phoebe J. Hill. The new fountain, topped by Myra Reynolds Richard’s sculpture the “Pioneer Family,” was unveiled in 1924. In 1927 another notable disaster occurred when St. Patrick’s Catholic Church burned in a fire set by an arsonist. The “crash of the burning steeple was one of the spectacles of the decade,” the Indianapolis Times reported. [7]
The present church of St. Patrick’s was built at the same location in 1929.

Between 1930 and 1960 Fountain Square experienced a number of profound changes still felt in the neighborhood. Prior to the 1950s it had come to be viewed as a solid working class neighborhood with a markedly German character. As a result, all of the inherent assumptions (many of a positive nature) about German immigrants came to be attached to the neighborhood itself. After the Second World War, however, increasing numbers of residents from Appalachia moved into the neighborhood. Citizens of other neighborhoods often attached negative stereotypes to Appalachian immigrants and extrapolated these perceptions to the neighborhood. It remained overwhelmingly white in composition, although the number of African-Americans living in the area grew slightly—from three to four percent of the population—during this period.

The 1950’s witnessed the beginning of the economic decline as new developments further south eclipsed Fountain Square’s long-standing role as the Southside’s primary commercial center. The closing of all of the neighborhood’s theaters provided an obvious example of Fountain Square’s commercial decline. A symbolic example was the removal of Fountain Square’s fountain to Garfield Park in 1954.

While the neighborhood’s commercial interests steadily declined, the schools and churches of Fountain Square remained active. In 1934 School No. 18’s paper, the Lincoln Log, received national recognition, as did School No. 39’s news magazine, the Broadcaster, in 1939. Periodic health examinations for children in the first, fourth, and eighth grades were begun at School No. 28 in 1939. In 1946 the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), working in partnership with the Federation of Churches, instituted a Week-Day-Religion Program at School No. 39. Gymnasiums were added to School No. 8 in 1942 and to School No. 18 in 1949. During these same years junior chapters of the Red Cross were formed at schools No. 18 and No. 28.

In 1950 the Fountain Square Church of Christ, organized by the Irvington Church of Christ, moved into quarters at Spruce and Prospect Streets. That same year, the Laurel Street Tabernacle built a new building on Laurel Street. In 1954 Rev. James W. “Jim” Jones, a former associate pastor at the Laurel Street Tabernacle, established his first independent congregation, the Community Unity Church, at Hoyt and Randolph Streets. In 1956 Jones relocated to North New Jersey Street where he organized the first People’s Temple.

In the 1960s and 1970s construction of the “Inner-Loop” of Interstate 65/70 displaced 17,000 of the city’s residents. Among the hardest-hit neighborhoods in Indianapolis was Fountain Square, which lost over 6,000 residents during the 1960s (this number represented almost 25 percent of the total population of the area) and most of its housing stock built between 1870 and 1910. [8]
The interstate also created a “physical barrier” between Fountain Square’s commercial district and “adjacent residential districts” (such as Fletcher Place). [9]

In the spring of 1969 Mayor Richard G. Lugar held a conference on Appalachia that was attended by representatives of local church organizations, social service agencies, the Indianapolis Public Schools, and a number of government agencies. As a direct result of this conference, the Community Service Council of Metropolitan Indianapolis released a report on The Appalachian in Indianapolis in 1970. For purposes of the report, the term Appalachian was defined as being “any rural, poverty-stricken, white individual who has migrated to Indianapolis from that area of the country designated Appalachia by the Appalachian Regional Commission.” [10]
Designated by the report as one of several “pockets of Appalachians” in the city, Fountain Square’s population was deemed to be “mixed” in terms of time removed from Appalachia. In addition, the report concluded that most of the neighborhood’s Appalachian residents had come from and were continuing to come from Kentucky and Tennessee.

Despite this close identification of Fountain Square as an Appalachian “pocket,” the report nonetheless concluded that the city’s Appalachian residents—including those in Fountain Square—did not display enough “uniquely Appalachian” characteristics to warrant a continuation of the study. In fact, the report concluded “local concerns and efforts might more productively be turned to seeking solutions to the problems of the poor in general.” [11]

From 1970 to the present Fountain Square increasingly has become the focus of local attempts to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. Symbolic of the beginning of this new phase in the neighborhood’s history was the return of Fountain Square’s fountain in 1969. This process of revitalization has been marked by the formation of a number of community-based organizations. In 1978 a number of these organizations—including the United Southside Community Organization (USCO), the Southeast Multi-Service Center, and the Fountain Square Merchants Association—pooled their resources to form the Fountain Square Consortium of Agencies. That same year Fountain Square became a “treatment area” for Community Development Block Grant funds. In 1979 the Fountain Square-Fletcher Place Investment Corporation (FSFPIC) was formed with Community Development Block Grant funds. Its stated purpose was to renovate homes for low-income families and the elderly.

Between 1980 and 1982, more than $3 million was invested in Fountain Square, and in 1983 the commercial district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, the Metropolitan Development Commission designated the near Southeast side, including Fountain Square, as an Urban Renewal Area in 1983. By the late 1980s a number of new businesses, such as the Downtown Antique Mall and the J.W. Flynn Insurance Company, had relocated to Fountain Square.

Since the 1970s Fountain Square’s schools and churches have experienced significant change. By 1973 School No. 28 had moved to Laurel Street, and in 1980 School No. 8 was closed. In 1987 School No. 39 was engaged in the district’s Effective Schools Program as well as the Partner-in-Education program, the Big Brother Big Sister program, and Butler University’s Project Leadership Service program. In 1989 School No. 39 moved into a new building on Spann Avenue.

In 1972 the Pentecostal Church of Promise was founded on English Avenue, and in 1986 the Life Unlimited Christian Church opened on Randolph Street. Today, the neighborhood is home to over thirty such “store-front” churches. By the late 1980s the food pantry at Emmaus Lutheran Church had expanded its operations to cover the entire area within the 46203 ZIP-code. In 1991 members of Edwin Ray United Methodist Church formed the Fountain Square Church and Community Project. Its stated mission was to “revive community fellowship and reclaim the neighborhood for resident home owners.” [12]
But two years later, Edwin Ray United Methodist Church closed as a result of an aging and shrinking membership and spiraling repair costs. The Church and Community Project was salvaged, however, when it merged with the Fountain Square-Fletcher Place Investment Corporation to form the South East Neighborhood Development, Inc. (SEND).

Although Fountain Square remains an “area of special need,” according to the Department of Metropolitan Development Planning Division (DMD), the neighborhood also is rich in commercial and cultural activity. [13]
Home to more than forty churches and served by a variety of community service organizations and a number of local institutions willing and able to take an active role in the neighborhood, Fountain Square appears to have the resources it will require to face the challenges of the future.

Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, Historic Area Preservation Plan: Fountain Square (Indianapolis: 1984): H-2.

“Points of Interest: Fountain Square,” Indianapolis Star, 19 May 1985, B-12.


When Will Everything Open? Polis Lays Out Timeline In A Coronavirus Update To Coloradans

David Zalubowski/AP Colorado Governor Jared Polis, right, makes a point as nurse Laura Rosenthal of the University of Colorado Medical School looks on during a news conference to update reporters on the state's efforts to stem the rise of the new coronavirus Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Denver.

Seven counties lifted their Stay-at-Home orders this past weekend and transitioned to what Gov. Jared Polis calls “level two” of the state’s coronavirus response— Safer-at-Home. This phase lays out how businesses should gradually reopen as people continue to maintain social distance, wear masks and avoid large group gatherings.

But not all businesses are following the rules. Polis spoke to Coloradans from the state Capitol today and addressed viral footage of a Castle Rock restaurant packed with Mother’s Day patrons dining in. C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen acted in defiance of local health ordinances forbidding dine-in services until the end of the month.

"I join most Coloradans in our frustration watching videos of people illegally packed into restaurants, and I'm thinking about all of the moms and grandmothers and aunts and everyone who is put at increased risk of dying from this horrible virus," Polis said.

He announced the state has suspended the license of the business indefinitely, enforceable under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Food Protection Act.

"Just because you disagree with the law, doesn't mean you can disobey the law," said Polis in reference to the business. He encouraged people to read stories about those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 before putting themselves and others at risk.

"Only if we all pause and truly remember our responsibility for one another, our brothers and sisters, will we be successful in navigating and emerging sooner rather than later with more lives intact," Polis said.

The governor announced that camping can resume in many state parks starting May 12th. Reservations can be made online and he advised that people bring supplies from home and limit their stops on their way to a campsite to avoid spreading the virus.

Polis said there might also be decision on spring skiing and opening restaurants and summer camps by May 25. He said the data on new cases and hospitalizations will guide these future decisions.

"These are not potential opening days, these are days when we'll have more data and can make the call,” Polis said. “We need a good indication from the data about these steps,” to see if the loosened restrictions are working.

Polis said the state is just starting to see the first cases under Safer-at-Home, since the Stay-at-Home order was only lifted two weeks ago. He said it’s important to watch the numbers around new infections and hospitalizations to decide when and how to move forward with opening.

“We control our destiny. I know that we can live up to it,” Polis said, as he encouraged people to follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines.

Polis also spoke about his upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Donald Trump, where he’s expected to push for more federal support in supplying testing materials and personal protective equipment.

“To do my best and make sure the President is not living in the ivory tower in the White House, and he’s aware of what’s going on in the country,” Polis said.

Polis updated the state’s COVID-19 statistics, and says 573 people are currently in the hospital and the state has registered 981 deaths. He said the daily hospitalization rate continues to decrease.


As Indianapolis embarks on a yearlong celebration of its bicentennial, the Polis Center at IUPUI—in collaboration with The Indianapolis Public Library and several major Indianapolis cultural and heritage institutions and organizations—is developing a bicentennial legacy project: a digital version of the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis.

A distinguished and representative Civic Advisory Committee for the new digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis is offering guidance and recommendations. Co-chairs include Sarah Evans Barker, Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Rick Fuson, President/COO, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and Lacy Johnson, Partner, Ice Miller. Visit here for a list of additional committee members.

The print version of the city’s encyclopedia, published in 1994, was hailed as a national model for urban encyclopedias. The online resource will update Indianapolis people, places, and events since 1994 and offer benefits that a print version does not. The five main characteristics of new media—communication, collaboration, community, creativity, and convergence—make it more accessible and participatory.

The digital encyclopedia will be free and available across desktop and mobile devices. Content will be refreshed and added continually. The platform will include multi-media material including text, audio, video, images, exhibits, and story maps. Its integrative power will link to content from other digital collections housed elsewhere for deeper dives into subject matter.

“In order to be productive citizens, we need to understand our culture and our history as a city. Indianapolis can boast many accomplishments it also has struggled with the same issues and problems that have affected us a nation. This accessible platform will address our triumphs and our tragedies. It will be an essential resource for anyone who wants to be an effective citizen and to contribute to what we will become as a city during our next century,” said David J. Bodenhamer, executive director of The Polis Center and professor of history at IUPUI.

The digital version will complement neighborhood entries with up-to-date statistical profiles and interactive maps, charts, graphs and tables generated by the SAVI community information system, thereby giving residents information about the places where they live and work. A document-and

image-rich digital timeline of the city will diverge to timelines of neighborhoods, community organizations, and events, including recent events such as the city’s response to COVID-19 and the protests following the killing of George Floyd. A collaborative and interactive component will allow citizens and organizations to add materials such as special timelines or histories, as well as suggest entries and offer corrections and comments. A sample entry page may be seen here.

Future phases will provide features designed to take full advantage of web technologies, eventually including immersive capabilities such as augmented (AR) and virtual (VR) reality, as funding allows.

Indianapolis residents will be able to enjoy rich content about Indianapolis in a manner with which they are very familiar in today’s digital world, allowing them to access information on the go and to share with others easily. It will bring new and younger users to the websites and archives of the city’s cultural and heritage organizations.

“This resource provides a comprehensive gateway to the story of our city,” said Jackie Nytes, Indianapolis Public Library Chief Executive Officer. “Anyone wishing to explore Indianapolis’ many milestones and the rich tapestry of its civic and cultural organizations can do so online 24/7 when the site is launched. The Library is excited to play a role in its creation and to sustain it for future generations.”

Founding partners include University Library at IUPUI, the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana Humanities, the University of Indianapolis Mayoral Archives, the Indiana Archives and Records Administration, the Indiana Historical Bureau/Indiana State Library, Indiana Landmarks, and Butler University.

Public and private support is essential for the digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis to sustain operations and add features. Financial support for the project thus far has been provided by the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Lilly Endowment, Inc. Fundraising will continue for special features, content and technical development, and operational support. Individuals may donate through IU Foundation and select The Digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis fund.

The website will launch in early 2021. Visit the digital encyclopedias social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you are interested in receiving the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis newsletter to keep abreast of progress, please subscribe here.


Campaign themes

Campaign website

Polis' campaign website stated the following:

Economy
Every election cycle, we hear from politicians promising to “strengthen our economy,” but often all they offer are vague plans and platitudes. I’m running for Governor of Colorado to turn bold ideas into real results. I know Colorado can lead the way in creating an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top, and I have a plan to do it. I support allowing cities and counties to raise the minimum wage, providing paid family medical leave, and ensuring equal pay for equal work, and we can do even more to address rising income inequality and ensure that workers share in the value they help create.

  • Colorado can be first-in-the-nation for companies that share their profits and success with their workers. Income inequality is worse than it was in the “Gilded Age,” and ensuring workers see the results of our state’s economic success is an important step in solving the problem.
  • More employees should have access to stock options, profit sharing, and company ownership. The companies I started shared ownership with employees, and I want to make it easier and reduce red-tape for businesses across Colorado to do the same. Colorado companies like Leever’s Supermarkets, New Belgium Brewery, and Namaste Solar are great examples of how companies of all sizes can adopt this practice.
  • Colorado should support Employee Ownership Business Centers that provide expertise and mentoring to foster the retention of good employees and encourage better performance from workers while leading to better pay and benefits.

Adapting to a Changing Economy
In Colorado, we know that work isn’t just about the paycheck — it’s also about dignity and having pride in how we support our families. Though many of our communities are thriving in parts of our state, too many families and communities are being left behind.

  • We will help rural and coal communities find meaningful work in their field retrain for a new career if they choose, and become entrepreneurs by establishing Workforce Development Commissions across the state.
  • Coal workers deserve the healthcare and retirement benefits they were promised and we will fight for miners to receive the healthcare and retirement benefits they are owed.
  • We will give shut-down factories and mines a new mission and create jobs by bringing local governments and business together to bring new industries to rural Colorado. Some of the highest-skilled and hardest-working men and women in our workforce come from coal country. We will revitalize rural communities by bringing jobs in manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, and renewable energy development to rural Colorado in a way that takes advantage of the skills our workers already have.
  • We’ll create a blue-ribbon commission of business leaders, Labor leaders, and citizens to work with the state’s top economists and researchers to put Colorado in the best position to confront the challenge of automation.

Inclusive Capitalism
Colorado will hold irresponsible corporations accountable when they try to take advantage of our laws and our workers. Too many special interests game the system by seeking exemptions to paying their taxes, resulting in millions of dollars being cut from our classrooms and local economies, and often pay poverty-level wages that force Coloradans to rely on public assistance. We need bold ideas that change our economy from the bottom up to be pro-worker, reward responsible corporations, and give every Coloradan the opportunity to earn a good life.

  • Corporations filing their taxes in Colorado shouldn’t be able to hold their earnings in off-shore tax havens. If we ended this practice, it’s estimated that we could bring $70 million in revenue to Colorado’s infrastructure, classrooms, and neighborhoods.
  • Making Colorado first-in-the-nation for Public Benefit Corporations that measure their impact on our economy, community, and our environment, and then make investments in keeping Colorado the best place to live.

A Dignified Retirement
Every Coloradan deserves the healthy, dignified retirement they’ve earned through a lifetime of hard work.

  • We’ll help Coloradans without employer-supported retirement programs invest in their future by creating a retirement savings plan for workers to enter into. In 2016, The Bell Policy Center found that 45 percent of workers in Colorado lack a retirement savings plan at work. Colorado can help people plan for a dignified retirement by providing them a portable savings account to make it easier to save for the future.
  • Over 500,000 Coloradans rely on PERA benefits they earned over a lifetime of service to the public. In fact, $3.8 billion in benefits were paid to retirees in Colorado alone. I believe that we must preserve PERA as a defined-benefit pension system, and would do everything in my power to honor the commitments we have made to workers. Any changes made to PERA need to be as fair as possible to all involved – retirees, current employees, and employers.

Rural High-Speed Internet
Access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury, and it’s not just a tool to stream our favorite TV shows. Lack of internet access in our rural areas means that schools aren’t able to give students a fair opportunity to prepare for college, or the workforce. Entrepreneurs are being told to live elsewhere to pursue their dreams, and medical patients are being forced to travel to far-away hospitals instead of utilizing telemedicine.

  • Our Broadband Deployment Fund could be funding internet projects across the state, but the law surrounding it is vague and murky, resulting in slow-moving investments in building out high-speed internet. We will spend that investment by changing the law to move resources faster.
  • We’ll give rural towns and citizens the freedom to plan for and invest in broadband by removing the antiquated requirement to conduct costly and time-intensive elections to do so.
  • Colorado will partner with local governments to create strategic regional broadband plans and support partnerships by encouraging state agencies to collaborate in building reliable internet across the state using existing resources.
  • I will nominate Public Utility Commission members that support building out rural broadband and side with consumers over well-funded special interests, and will encourage CDOT to coordinate with local governments in using existing fiber lines and resources to close service gaps.

Tax Reform
The hijacking of our tax code by special interests and lobbyists is forcing you to pay more. By going after special interest loopholes and deductions, we can pass the savings on to you.

In our state, we hand out $1.2 billion in tax credits and deductions, many of which are giveaways to special interests, and that’s just what we can count. When you try to account for every special-interest loophole that working families don’t have access to, it becomes nearly impossible to add up the total revenue lost. It’s time that we stand up for hardworking Coloradans, end these giveaways, and pass the savings along to you.

At a time when Coloradans are more financially squeezed than ever due to flat paychecks and the rising cost of living, my plan would put more money in your pocket instead of the pockets of the special interests.

When I’m Governor, we will take on tax loopholes for special interests so that they pay their fair share. This will let people take home more of their paycheck, simplify our tax code, and lay the groundwork for economic growth and investment in our future.

Energy
In the absence of national leadership from the White House, it is up to states like Colorado to chart our course for energy freedom. For our climate, for our national security, for our health, and for our economic growth, we need a bold goal of 100 percent renewable energy. As Governor, I will work with all involved parties to accomplish our statewide clean energy transition by 2040 while saving Coloradans money on their utility bills, and creating green energy jobs in Colorado that can never be outsourced.

Some of our highest-skilled, and hardest working, women and men in the state currently work in coal or oil & gas development, and we cannot ignore the impact the transition to a renewable energy economy is having on our friends and neighbors. As Governor, I would recognize the importance of skills learned in coal and oil & gas development towards building a 21st century energy portfolio that will revitalize our rural communities and create jobs in infrastructure, manufacturing, and renewable energy development.

In both the short and long term, this transition will help fuel a vibrant Colorado economy. Projections show that reaching our renewable energy goals in Colorado will create over 49,000 construction jobs and over 21,000 operations jobs while saving consumers 10 percent on energy costs.

Consumers will benefit from this transition. According to a 2016 federal government study, the cost of utility-scale wind is now cheaper than natural gas. The onset of new energy storage technology promises to further improve the cost benefits of a fully renewable energy system, and the cleaner air and water that will come as a result of a 100 percent renewable energy economy will help reduce healthcare costs.

Our technology is finally advanced enough to get this done. Communities in Colorado already have ambitious goals, like Pueblo, which is committed to achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. The entire city of Fort Collins is committed to an 80 percent reduction of all carbon from 2005 levels by 2030, and to being completely carbon neutral by 2050. Cities and towns are leading the way, and with a statewide effort, will create jobs and lower utility costs.

I’ll collaborate with everyone willing to contribute to achieve this goal. This has been my exact approach in Congress. For instance, I teamed up with Rep. Frank Gosar (R-AZ) to streamline permitting procedures for solar, wind, and geothermal projects on public lands. Working with Republicans, Democrats, and other constituencies to cut red-tape and compliance costs around clean energy projects is an important and necessary bipartisan route to success. I look forward to forging these kinds of partnerships as Governor.

Incentives for Energy Efficiency
We can create strong incentives for energy efficiency by:

  • Increasing regulatory incentives for energy efficient construction and energy efficient lighting.
  • Expanding State Energy Savings Performance Contracting.
  • Ensuring that utilities have strong incentives for managing their increasing energy efficiency.
  • Increasing regulatory incentives for grid infrastructure upgrades and smart grid investments to improve the efficiency of electricity transmission.
  • Building on Governor Hickenlooper’s recent Executive Order to establish policies that account for the costs of carbon to our economy, public health, and environment.

Investment in New Local Renewable Energy Projects
We can spur investment in new local renewable energy projects by:

  • Appointing Public Utilities Commissioners who support consumers and renewable energy.
  • Encouraging rooftop solar by ensuring that utilities give homeowners, schools and businesses full credit for the energy they produce through rooftop solar panels.
  • Creating a Colorado-based contingency fund for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for solar home improvements.
  • Allowing homeowners and cooperatives to install energy storage equipment.
  • Expanding the market for shared renewable energy projects such as geothermal, solar thermal, solar photovoltaics, wind, biomass, municipal solid waste, and increase size limits on production.
  • Creating special districts for small to medium scale renewable energy, especially in rural areas.

Support for our Workforce
Support and utilize our skilled workforce by:

  • Using innovative financial mechanisms to recapture stranded coal assets and assist communities where coal plants have been retired retraining and redeploying workers for green energy jobs that can never be outsourced.
  • Investing in coal communities where coal plants have retired by creating Workforce Development Commissions to help skilled workers find meaningful work in their field, become entrepreneurs, or retrain for a new career if they choose.
  • Fighting for miners to receive the healthcare and retirement benefits they are owed.
  • Working with industry and local communities to create partnerships that give shut down mines and factories new missions in manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, and renewable energy development.

I truly believe that this policy will benefit the entire state – especially rural Colorado, where most of our renewable resources are generated. Politicians that claim we can’t do this are selling an empty promise to some of our hardest working men and women in the state. I will always fight for long-term solutions that prepare our kids for a changing economy, improve our quality of life, and build up main streets across the state.

With this goal, we’ll galvanize a statewide effort that will forge a stronger and more economically vibrant Colorado for everyone. From the Eastern Plains – a hub for wind energy – to the San Luis Valley – where solar is creating more and more jobs – the potential for the entire state to be a part of this effort is too promising not to seize. Striving to achieve this goal will cement Colorado’s economic standing as the best and safest place to raise a family in the nation.

Health Care
Let’s just get right down to it: Health care is a human right. Treating an illness or injury should never be a luxury afforded only to the wealthy few who can afford it. Your income, location, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or current state of health should never be a barrier to receiving affordable, high-quality health care. I believe passionately in universal health care, and I always will.

As with so many other issues, politicians in Washington will stop at nothing to make life harder for Coloradans for the benefit of special interests. In Colorado, we have an opportunity to aggressively reduce the costs of care, expand access to the services people depend on, and put Coloradans first.

Too often, politicians talk about health care as if it begins and ends when you get sick or need to visit a doctor. I propose a bolder path.

We need to give more Coloradans the opportunity to build lifelong healthy habits and have access to services that reduce the chances of ending up in a hospital room or a doctor’s office to begin with. This approach puts the everyday health of our citizens at the forefront of our policy-making while ensuring that when the unimaginable happens, no Coloradan experiences the fear of not being able to afford the treatment they need, or that their loved one needs, to get better.

A Collaborative Health Care System
Way back in 2008 when I announced my first campaign for Congress, the common thought among political professionals was that supporting single-payer health coverage would end your political career. But, I’ve always put people over politics and, in that spirit, championed single-payer health care in that race. I’m happy to report ten years later as a congressman running for governor that I’ve put those words to action time and time again in pushing for Medicare for All legislation in Congress.

This idea is now gaining momentum across the political spectrum. Not only is Medicare for All a good deal for customers, who will be able to see a wider network of providers at a lower cost, but it’s good for small businesses, too. By taking the burden of administering employee health care off the shoulders of employers, businesses can focus more on their core products and services. Providers benefit due to the favorable reimbursement rates, and because there is no profit motive for this plan, administrative costs go down and efficiencies in care are increased.’

Perhaps most importantly, this plan takes the guesswork out of seeing a doctor in your network and navigating different levels of health care plans. It simply works for everyone the same way that Medicare works for our seniors.

Keeping up the fight for universal coverage will take tremendous advocacy and effort from our next governor. Should I have the honor of serving Colorado in that capacity, I will build upon Governor Hickenlooper’s work in advocating for comprehensive health care solutions at the regional and federal level and will fight for Medicare for All as the best solution to our rising health care costs. It’s the option that works for patients and providers, reduces costs, and improves the delivery of care.

Pioneering a Western Single-Payer System
Western states across the political spectrum suffer from many of the same issues plaguing Colorado, such as rising health care costs and premiums that price rural Coloradans out of access to their provider of choice. In the absence of leadership coming from Washington, we need to think outside the box and lead the charge ourselves to bring universal health coverage to Colorado.

I will work to develop partnerships with other western states to pioneer a groundbreaking regional multi-state consortium to offer a common-payer system in the West to reduce prices, expand coverage, and improve the quality of care.

With states partnering in cost sharing, development, and implementation, we can provide coverage to more people at a lower cost than a state implementing such a system alone would be able to do.

We can turn this idea into reality by working in a bipartisan way on a shared set of strong legal standards for implementing the system so that no citizen is treated unequally in getting insurance coverage or is denied coverage due to the complexity of differing standards. By removing moral hazards and perverse incentives to deny coverage, we can put people over politics and be a regional model for the rest of the nation.

Providing Coloradans More Health Care Options
We should leave no stone unturned in our effort to reduce the overall cost of health care for citizens in our state. Colorado shares jurisdiction over Medicaid with the federal government and has experienced enormous success in expanding coverage to thousands of Coloradans through the Affordable Care Act. Working with President Obama to pass the ACA is among the proudest chapters of my career. Unfortunately, there are still too many Coloradans who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but struggle to afford the cost of private insurance. This is particularly evident in the mountain communities of Colorado.

That’s why, as I pursue universal coverage, I also support more public and non-profit options on the exchange, including resurrecting a customer-owned co-op, exploring the possibility of opening the state employee benefit plan and Medicaid as options on Connect for Health Colorado, and bringing non-profit and government risk pooling to more Coloradans.

Paid Family and Medical Leave
Imagine your employer telling you that you can’t visit a loved one in the hospital or threatening to fire you if you need treatment for a serious illness. Whether you are a CEO or an hourly worker, no Coloradan should ever be asked to make the false choice between employment and health.

Making sure that every Coloradan has paid family and medical leave will be a priority for our state when I’m governor.

This policy is tremendously important to leveling the economic playing field for women. Paid family and medical leave helps us close the wage gap and provides all workers with equal opportunities to assume the role of caregiver, regardless of gender — free from outdated and unfair societal expectations often placed solely on women.

This policy is good for business, too. By providing employees the peace of mind to tend to life’s most important moments, we will be able to improve productivity and employee retention while attracting employers to the state.

Bolstering Colorado's Health Infrastructure
Colorado must prepare to bolster our existing health care infrastructure to withstand President Trump’s endless attacks on the successes we’ve had as a state. Having worked on health care issues for the past decade, I know how we can make sure our state is well-positioned to remain a great place to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

From providing flexibility for municipalities and counties to tackle substance abuse issues and recruit providers, to developing a nimble network of providers in rural areas, to winning the war on women’s reproductive rights, I believe the next decade is critical in establishing Colorado as the leader in the nation on health care progress.

You can count on me to always be bold in identifying and pursuing creative, attainable innovations in our health care system:

Rural Solutions and Food Insecurity

  • Invest in deployment of mobile health care clinics in rural and distressed urban areas by partnering with towns, counties, providers, and insurance companies.
  • Create special health districts, similar to Park County’s, to allow towns to invest in building permanent clinics for residents. These clinics can then be rented to providers at a low-cost to bring high-quality, full-service medical care to rural Colorado communities.
  • Develop partnerships with supermarkets, health-focused foundations, and public transit agencies to refurbish unused buses, for example, and turn them into mobile fresh food markets in food deserts.
  • Expand the Rural Colorado Venture Capital Fund to work for the public good by investing in cutting-edge and data-based solutions to rising health care costs and to incentivize entrepreneurs to open markets to combat food insecurity in food deserts.
  • Promote entrepreneurship opportunities for young farmers in farming, ranching, and food delivery in underserved local markets through the Agricultural Workforce Development Program.

Wellness and Physical Activity

  • Work with school districts to ensure that children are receiving quality physical education and that these activities are never restricted as punishment.
  • Ensure that students with disabilities are granted equal access to a quality physical education.
  • Adopt best land-use practices that improve the walkability and bikeability of Colorado towns and cities and ensure that points of transit correspond with the location of recreation centers.
  • Expand coverage for gym and health-club memberships in insurance plans.
  • Repeal the outdated and Big-Tobacco-friendly law that prohibits local communities from raising their own tobacco taxes without being forced to surrender revenue from the state’s tobacco tax.

Reproductive Care and Reproductive Justice

  • Use the position of Governor to center the voices of women of color and create a task force to identify and address the systemic barriers to reproductive health due to economic, racial, ability, and immigration-status factors and propose corrective legislation and rule making.
  • Make Colorado a more family-friendly state by fighting for equal-pay policies and ensure that workforce protections are in place that allow women to seek the care they need when they need it.
  • Fully fund, and make permanent, the Long-Acting Reversible Contraception program, which has succeeded in reducing teen pregnancy rates by 54 percent.
  • Ensure women are able to engage in pregnancies that are healthy and safe for both them and the child, including being free from environmental pollution, such as water contaminants, air toxins, industrial development pollution, and more.
  • Colorado will never equivocate in our battle to protect a woman’s reproductive freedom and to defend her right to decide if, when, and how to raise a family.

Health Care Cost Transparency and Reducing Drug Costs

  • Improve support for Colorado’s state-of-the-art All Payer Claims Database and conduct a system-wide audit of the database, cross-referencing other publicly available data to help identify additional health care savings and implement improvements to data collection.
  • Improve transparency of prescription drug costs by requiring pharmaceutical companies to publicly disclose development, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution costs to ensure patients are paying a fair price.
  • Cut down on prescription drug price gouging by requiring pharmaceutical companies to justify exorbitant price increases that vastly outpace inflation, and penalize companies that put profit over patients.
  • Demand the federal government allow our state to import prescription drugs from Canada.

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for young Coloradans. We will work alongside policy makers, advocates, and educators to create suicide-prevention plans to add administrative positions in Colorado schools to identify risk factors of suicide and to coordinate suicide prevention services for students and parents.
  • Improve the ability of school-based health clinics not only to conduct mental health assessments, but also to deliver treatment to students who need help.
  • Lead the nation in recognizing that human beings deserve equal treatment and opportunity, no matter their physical or cognitive abilities. Everyone will be afforded the full protections of their civil rights in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Evaluate the current system of state and local resources for delivery of care and treatment for Coloradans with intellectual, developmental, physical, and acquired disabilities and identify areas of improvement in services, agencies, and state departments.

Confronting the Opioid Crisis

  • Work with departmental leadership in enhancing collaboration between physicians, pharmacies, and other medical professionals to adopt best practices from the Colorado Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) project to prescribe safer medications and improve care in our emergency rooms and hospitals.
  • Ensure that funding from the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program reaches communities by engaging with local governing bodies and police departments to share best practices in diverting low-level drug offenders to treatment rather than jail.
  • Needle exchanges are often the first point of contact for Coloradans suffering from opioid addiction and are the stepping stone to receiving treatment. We will use the resources of the state to coordinate foundational and grant funding opportunities to help those participating in needle exchanges access supportive and effective treatment services.
  • Provide Colorado communities latitude to experiment with solutions for treating people currently suffering from opioid addiction, and work with local police departments to adopt enforcement measures focused on harm reduction.
  • Increase the number of school-based health clinics in rural and urban Colorado that are able to offer treatment for addiction.
  • Work alongside Colorado’s marijuana industry to identify funding opportunities from marijuana revenue to invest in detox beds in areas of Colorado most impacted by the opioid epidemic and to expand pilot programs that use marijuana revenue to assist physician assistants and nurse practitioners in training to treat opioid overdoses.
  • Protect access to legal alternatives for pain management, like Kratom and medical marijuana.

Education
As Governor, I will bring together a winning coalition to establish universal full-day kindergarten and preschool in every community across our state within two years.

High-quality, full-day kindergarten and preschool promotes school readiness, closes achievement gaps, and supports the healthy development of all children. Improved access to preschool and kindergarten would also save parents money on daycare, and allow parents the flexibility to go back to work sooner if they choose, not only helping families pay rent and put food on the table, but also generating additional tax revenue for the state while decreasing reliance on public assistance programs

Full-Day Preschool
While any full-day kindergarten program would work through school districts, preschool incorporates a larger set of quality community providers. I will collaborate with school districts on meeting their capital needs to be able to offer preschool themselves, as well as develop ways to ensure that today’s early childhood workforce can get the training and skills they need to become professional educators. The fact is that the CPP is simply not currently meeting the needs of Coloradans, and my goal will be to invest in creating universal access to high-quality early childhood classrooms.

According to the new Preschool Yearbook, Colorado serves 23 percent of four-year-olds and eight percent of three-year-olds in mostly half-day programs (2.5 hours/day).

To achieve universal preschool in Colorado, I support creating a new program, the Colorado Universal Preschool Program (CUPP), which would direct state funding to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to provide formula funding to any three-and-four-year old Colorado child whose parent wants the child in preschool.

The program would direct CDE to allocate the amount of a full per-pupil-funding (PPF) to any high-quality preschool provider (such as a school district or community-based organization like Head Start) that a parent chooses, as long as the provider – after the first three years of the program – is rated at least a level 4 out of the state’s 5-level rating under the Colorado Shines rating system. CUPP would be co-administered by CDE and the Colorado Department of Human Services.

CUPP would be an added layer on top of the existing Head Start and child care funding for low-income children, who are already served, to provide preschool access for all Colorado children whose parents want it. To transform the existing CPP into the universal full-time CUPP program, I would work with the legislature and relevant stakeholders to adjust funding to full-time PPF. CDE also provides funding for a limited number of slots for the Early Childhood At-Risk Expansion (ECARE) program, which has more flexible funding options that include full-day preschool and Kindergarten. This program would also be folded into the new CUPP funding system, as would other funding for early childhood education.

Local Early Childhood Councils
Local Early Childhood Councils would ensure quality in all early-care and education settings, including helping build supply and improvements, in addition to their current role as integrating entities and community hubs for all early childhood services and supports.

Specific Needs
The CUPP would have a special fund to invest in more facilities (using BEST funding, working with businesses/non-profits to leverage private capital) and greater workforce support, such as coaching, job-embedded professional development, evidence-based communities of practice, and scholarships to increase credentials and degrees. The state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan promotes the state’s professional development information system (PDIS), which outlines workforce coursework competencies framework for birth-to-3rd-Grade educators, and is aligned with educator effectiveness.

This is the foundation for coursework in Colorado’s community colleges, and we need to make sure that our educators are well-trained to meet the needs of young children and that they have career opportunities to support themselves and advance in their career.

Basic Standards
All CUPP-funded programs would be required to have at a minimum:

  • Support for inclusive practices for children with special needs
  • Support for dual language learners
  • Family engagement
  • Comprehensive services (health, mental health, nutrition, dental)
  • Coordination among all early childhood education programs, including Head Start and school districts. Preschool policy must be connected with child care policy in every local region to ensure continuity of care for families with young children.
  • CUPP would encourage shared services so that a network of early childhood programs could build shared organizational capacity
  • Small centers and child care providers could form alliances on fiscal management, data reporting, staff and human resources, and other overhead expenses to streamline administrative costs, strengthen quality, and shift dollars to serving more children with quality services.
  • Innovative and diverse delivery systems to address the rural and frontier communities, such as mobile/modular/temporary classrooms to address barriers such as transportation.
  • Fully implement the new Every Student Succeeds Act requirement for school districts to form agreements with Head Start and child care providers on key coordination issues, including joint professional development, records, transition issues, and parent communication and involvement.
  • CUPP will also require coordination on data, standards, curriculum, assessment, outcomes, recruitment, and retention efforts to support a Pre-K-3rd Grade alignment.
  • Continuous development of CUPP policy and practice will draw on the successes and lessons learned from Colorado’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, implementation of the newly reauthorized Every Student Succeeds Act, recently released Head Start Performance Standards and the reauthorized Child Care and Development Block Grant.

Birth-to-Three
To expand the state’s child development efforts during the peak years of brain development, I will fight for state investment in the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership to expand access to quality care for the state’s most vulnerable infants and toddlers.

This federally-funded program aims to improve child care for infants and toddlers by bringing the quality components of the Early Head Start program into child development centers and homes. This expansion would be targeted to low-income children, children with special needs, and children experiencing homelessness. Together, we can ensure that all kids get the learning support they need in their most important early years.

While in some families, a parent can stay home full-time to support their zero-to-six year-old, in too many others that simply isn’t a realistic option. That’s why we need to bring full day kindergarten and preschool to every community across Colorado.

Full-Day Kindergarten
Colorado will achieve universal full-day kindergarten by making state kindergarten funding full-time (equivalent to the full-day for 1st grade) for all students in public schools. Investing in giving our kids a comprehensive 21st-century education. Full-day kindergarten will give our kids a better opportunity to learn at a high-level earlier in their lives. This is critical in giving children the tools to succeed throughout school, and also when they enter the workforce. In fact, eleven states and the District of Columbia already offer full-day kindergarten to their children, and it’s time for our state to be added to this list.

Currently, Colorado funds about 5,400 full-day kindergarten slots under the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) but only children who meet certain at-risk factors are eligible. The middle-class deserves a free, high quality, full-day kindergarten program, too, as a matter of simple fairness and to ensure that every child gets a strong start, and that’s what my plan will provide for.

Local Early Childhood Councils
Local Early Childhood Councils would ensure quality in all early-care and education settings, including helping build supply and improvements, in addition to their current role as integrating entities and community hubs for all early childhood services and supports.

Specific Needs
The CUPP would have a special fund to invest in more facilities (using BEST funding, working with businesses/non-profits to leverage private capital) and greater workforce support, such as coaching, job-embedded professional development, evidence-based communities of practice, and scholarships to increase credentials and degrees. The state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan promotes the state’s professional development information system (PDIS), which outlines workforce coursework competencies framework for birth-to-3rd-Grade educators, and is aligned with educator effectiveness.

This is the foundation for coursework in Colorado’s community colleges, and we need to make sure that our educators are well-trained to meet the needs of young children and that they have career opportunities to support themselves and advance in their career.

Basic Standards
All CUPP-funded programs would be required to have at a minimum:

  • Support for inclusive practices for children with special needs
  • Support for dual language learners
  • Family engagement
  • Comprehensive services (health, mental health, nutrition, dental)
  • Coordination among all early childhood education programs, including Head Start and school districts. Preschool policy must be connected with child care policy in every local region to ensure continuity of care for families with young children.
  • CUPP would encourage shared services so that a network of early childhood programs could build shared organizational capacity
  • Small centers and child care providers could form alliances on fiscal management, data reporting, staff and human resources, and other overhead expenses to streamline administrative costs, strengthen quality, and shift dollars to serving more children with quality services.
  • Innovative and diverse delivery systems to address the rural and frontier communities, such as mobile/modular/temporary classrooms to address barriers such as transportation.
  • Fully implement the new Every Student Succeeds Act requirement for school districts to form agreements with Head Start and child care providers on key coordination issues, including joint professional development, records, transition issues, and parent communication and involvement.
  • CUPP will also require coordination on data, standards, curriculum, assessment, outcomes, recruitment, and retention efforts to support a Pre-K-3rd Grade alignment.
  • Continuous development of CUPP policy and practice will draw on the successes and lessons learned from Colorado’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, implementation of the newly reauthorized Every Student Succeeds Act, recently released Head Start Performance Standards and the reauthorized Child Care and Development Block Grant.

Birth-to-Three
To expand the state’s child development efforts during the peak years of brain development, I will fight for state investment in the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership to expand access to quality care for the state’s most vulnerable infants and toddlers.

This federally-funded program aims to improve child care for infants and toddlers by bringing the quality components of the Early Head Start program into child development centers and homes. This expansion would be targeted to low-income children, children with special needs, and children experiencing homelessness. Together, we can ensure that all kids get the learning support they need in their most important early years.

While in some families, a parent can stay home full-time to support their zero-to-six year-old, in too many others that simply isn’t a realistic option. That’s why we need to bring full day kindergarten and preschool to every community across Colorado.

Making Colorado the Best State for Teachers, Parents, and Students
We’ve all heard politicians tell us that giving our kids a good education is a Colorado value, but at the same time, our public school budgets have been slashed across the state, and our teachers are undervalued—and even vilified. It’s time to stop talking about investing in our children, and actually start doing it.

I’ve been in, and won, fights at the ballot box to improve our schools and pay our teachers better before. As governor, I won’t be afraid to roll up my sleeves and do it again so that our kids can get a world-class education that prepares them for the workforce.

As someone who has founded several non-profit schools, served on the State Board of Education, and fought for our kids as a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I’ve worked with teachers, parents, and administrators to take bold ideas and turn them into real results for our classrooms. I’ve put words to action in making our school meals healthier, and in reducing unnecessary standardized testing in our classrooms.

When I announced my campaign, I pledged that as Governor, within two years I will bring together a winning coalition to establish universal full-day kindergarten and preschool in every community across our state. Learn more about that plan by clicking here. Making sure every child has access to early childhood education is one of the best ways to set our kids up for success, and we can make innovative improvements to our school system at every level to keep up the momentum!

Together, we can make Colorado the best state to have a child in a public school, and to be a teacher in the classroom. We can do this by paying teachers what they are worth as professionals, implementing school policies in collaboration with educators, administrators and students, and by making sure that a good education is within reach, no matter a child’s zip code, readiness to learn, or family’s income.

Ending our Teacher Shortage by Providing Student Loan Relief, and Building Affordable Housing
Communities throughout our state are struggling with both a high cost-of-living and low teacher pay. As a result, it’s very difficult to recruit teachers to these high-need areas, leaving our schools understaffed. That’s not fair to kids in rural Colorado and in low-income communities. We can work to solve this problem by paying teachers well, providing student loan relief to those who serve in a high-need area, and thinking out of the box to help our teaching professionals have access to affordable housing.

Student Loan Relief for Colorado Teachers

  • As Governor, I will work with local governments and the business community to help relieve student loan debt for teachers, especially for those that work in a rural, or high-need, area for a number of years determined by local school districts who want to participate.
  • Student loan forgiveness for teachers who serve in our highest-need areas will be a key recruitment tool in our mission to end teacher shortages. This will increase take-home pay for teachers, and lower the bar for entry into the profession.
  • Just as I have used my profile as a Member of Congress to strongly support the passage of local school funding initiatives by writing letters to the editor and opinion pieces, I will leverage the profile of the Governorship to support local district measures that provide for more resources to recruit high-quality teachers across the state.

Affordable Housing for Educators

  • At a time when the cost of housing is rapidly outpacing incomes, we can recruit and retain teachers in our classrooms by raising the cap and finding new funding sources for the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program. If we do this, we can meet our capital construction needs and broaden BEST’s mission to include coordinating with local school districts to build affordable housing that will be available to educators in high-need areas.
  • I’ve found creative solutions to solving our affordable housing crisis before. I was proud to pass legislation that required the federal government to sell 40 acres of land to Summit County for the development of over 400 units of affordable housing in Lake Hill. My administration will prioritize working closely with counties to leverage other available resources similar to Lake Hill to make sure teachers are able to live closer to their jobs.
  • Consistent with the mission of the School Trust, we will work with local communities in zoning land under the jurisdiction of the State Land Board to be used for the development of affordable housing, and I will make sure that educators are well-represented as commissioners on the board. There is currently only one commissioner with any background in public education, and I will commit to giving teachers a voice on the State Land Board.

Paying Teachers What They're Worth
Teaching is not an entry-level job. It’s a skill earned through hard work and dedication, and I’m grateful for those who commit their lives to the classroom. It’s time to honor that commitment by valuing it as a profession. Colorado’s economic growth should benefit our classrooms and teachers, too.

  • Teachers are some of the most important people in our children’s lives. When our economy is booming, it doesn’t make sense for our classrooms to be underfunded and under-resourced, and for our teachers to be undervalued. Making sure that the best-qualified, and most talented, teachers leading our classrooms are treated as the professionals they are is the right thing to do for our kids and our economy.
  • My administration will work closely with districts, educators, and the legislature to better anticipate our state budget, and make the necessary changes to public school funding to focus on improving the classroom experience for kids, and in paying teachers what they deserve.
  • From local school funding initiatives to modernizing our state’s budget constraints, paying teachers what they’re worth requires a Governor who knows how to build winning coalitions that result in victory for our kids at the ballot box, and responsible budgeting for our state. I’m ready for that challenge after successfully campaigning for and passing Amendment 23, which reversed the budget cuts that were plaguing our schools for years, and numerous local bonds and mill levys over the years.
  • Making sure that the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) is solvent for years to come is more than just smart budgeting: it’s keeping our promise to those who serve our state. Any attempt to reform PERA on the backs of our teaching professionals will be rejected by me as Governor.

Creating Ladders of Opportunity for Teachers

  • Teachers deserve meaningful opportunities to learn and grow in their work. As Governor, I will work with school districts to establish a strong career advancement pipeline for teachers who want to bring their talents and skills learned in the classroom into leadership roles and administrative positions.
  • I believe that teachers who have served on the front lines in our classrooms can be effective administrators and teacher mentors if those who would like to do so are given more opportunities to collaborate with leadership in their schools.
  • I’ll fight to build strong growth opportunities for teachers by creating a commission of educators and administrators to provide school districts with a model to support teachers interested in taking on a mix of classroom, mentorship, and administrative responsibilities.

Giving Teachers a Voice on the Job
Teachers are professionals who have the best interests of students at the top of their minds. I’m proud to support teachers’ right to collectively bargain for the benefits and pay they deserve, and for the tools they need to give students the best classroom experience possible.

Oppose efforts to eliminate collective bargaining

  • As Governor, I will be an ally for teachers by continuing my support for the right to collectively bargain for benefits, pay, and the tools teachers need to give every child a great education. Students and families win when teachers have a strong voice at the table.
  • We need to stop attacking teachers and the organizations that give them a voice on the job. My administration will push for collaboration with teachers and paraprofessionals and other school support personnel, not conflict.

Inviting Teachers to the Table

  • My administration will encourage administrators to work closely with teachers in creating school and district policies that result in the best learning environment for our kids, and strongest working conditions for teachers. We will do this by ensuring teachers have stronger representation on the commissions and working groups that shape not only our education system, but other issues of importance to educators like transportation, infrastructure, and affordable housing.

Put Coloradans to Work to Build and Renovate Our Schools
Children and teachers deserve schools that contribute to a strong learning environment and do not serve as a distraction. From classroom improvement to modern plumbing and well-kept playgrounds, students deserve world-class facilities that parents can feel confident in sending their kids to, and we will use the best-qualified and trained workers in the state to make it happen.

  • I’ll challenge the legislature to improve the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program by seeking out new funding sources to make improvements to our school infrastructure, and by raising the cap on funding that can be allocated to high-need schools.
  • When federal legal issues surrounding cannabis tax receipts are cleared up, I will advocate for bonding of school capital construction revenues from Amendment 64 and subsequent cannabis tax initiatives.

Increase Collaboration with Teacher-Led Professional Learning Communities

  • Students benefit when teachers have time to prepare for their lessons. As Governor, I will fight for schools to have increased time for teacher-led Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to help teachers analyze data, plan their lessons, collaborate with their colleagues, and be receptive to the needs of students.
  • PLCs are most effective when teachers are put in charge of the process. By letting teachers take the lead in sharing their best practices, lesson plans, and analyze student data, we can make sure our kids are getting the best education possible.
  • Littleton Public Schools recently decided to provide weekly time for PLCs every Wednesday morning, giving parents scheduling consistency throughout the school year while making sure kids still get a full day of school, and giving teachers time to plan.
  • As Governor, I will work with school districts to make this a reality for more teachers, and will work with the legislature to incentivize districts to provide affordable childcare before and after the bell.

Preparing Kids for the 21st Century Economy
Our economy is rapidly changing, and the jobs of the future are going to require our students to compete in a global marketplace. Putting our kids on an early path to success is why I will be the strongest advocate in the state for full-day preschool and kindergarten, and we have to make smart adjustments at all levels of our education system. This means encouraging enrollment in trade schools and community colleges, apprenticeships, prioritizing dual and concurrent enrollment programs, and making sure the riches of a great education are available to every child regardless of their background and circumstance.

  • Whether a student wants to earn a liberal arts degree, or learn to be a diesel mechanic, our schools should be pathways of opportunity for a diverse set of skills that will boost our economy, support entrepreneurship, and fill much-needed jobs in high-needs areas, like manufacturing and technology.
  • Dual and concurrent enrollment programs are giving high school students across the state a head start on getting their college degree or certificate. In fact, just over 30 percent of Colorado students are in a dual enrollment program of some type. We will prioritize making sure that 100 percent of Colorado’s school districts are able to offer dual and concurrent enrollment programs through an Associates Degree or professional certification, and work to boost enrollment in them. To further address the teacher shortage and diversify the educator workforce, we should also increase dual and concurrent enrollment opportunities around teacher preparation.
  • We have high expectations for our kids to succeed. I will fight for Colorado to be a national leader in creating educational programming that reflects the increasing value of a diverse set of skills, reinforce social interaction, and put our students on a path to success in college and careers.
  • Colorado should expand access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs to recognize the importance of art and design’s role in shaping our economy. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programs recognize the creative potential of students in building and shaping the world we live in to be more accessible, environmentally friendly, and durable to a changing economy. Colorado should lead the way in prioritizing creativity in our classrooms.
  • Every single student in our schools is uniquely suited with valuable skills that can contribute to Colorado’s economy and way of life. In Congress, I’ve fought to provide teachers with the tools they need to meet the needs of our gifted and talented students. I will work alongside parents and local districts to make sure every school in our state has the infrastructure and teachers necessary to accommodate every student with disabilities, and that district policies, as well as the policies of the Colorado Department of Education, are in the spirit of that goal.
  • Involving families in their child’s learning both at home and at school is critical to educational success. Student performance is improved when parents are engaged at home, and parent-teacher conferences aid in boosting collaboration and parental involvement. The Governor’s office can play a critical convening role for districts, parents, and teachers interested in improving educational success and recognizing best practices around family engagement.

Environment
Keep Colorado Wild
Colorado’s peaks, forests, valleys, rivers, deserts, and plains inspire millions of people who choose to call this state home. With a quality of life that can’t be beat and opportunities to recreate outside all year, open successful businesses, and raise healthy families, we are committed to protecting what makes Colorado so special — our pristine landscapes, our natural resources, and a world-class recreation economy. More than 71 percent of Coloradans participate in an outdoor recreation activity each year.

As Coloradans, we truly have a spiritual fellowship with our land and water that we rely on for our very lives.

Spending time outside recharges and challenges us as individuals, strengthens our bonds with family and friends, and is one of the primary reasons we are among the healthiest populations in the nation.

With Washington, D.C., abandoning its role in fighting climate change and protecting our environment and wildlife, it’s on us as Coloradans — those of us who love the outdoors and those whose livelihoods depend on it — to Keep Colorado Wild.

Keeping Colorado wild means resisting the urge to stand idly by as attempts are made to diminish access to our lands. We must roll up our sleeves and fight for the Colorado we know and love. That means ensuring conservation efforts and strengthening our recreation economy works in conjunction with our existing natural resource development.

This is plain old good economics, too. Every year, Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy contributes:

  • $28 billion in consumer spending
  • 229,000 jobs which generate $9.7 billion in salaries and wages across the state
  • $2 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Create Colorado Conservation and Recreation Districts
Colorado is home to 42 state parks and 13 National Parks which welcome millions of visitors per year. I will create Colorado Conservation and Recreation Districts that harness the economic power of these landscapes to highlight Colorado’s natural outdoor assets and promote each community’s unique attractions. Through a coordinated effort alongside conservationists, sportsmen and sportswomen, and the outdoor recreation industry, we will provide educational opportunities and access to grant funding to support conservation and recreational entrepreneurship. Housed under the shared jurisdiction of the Office of Economic Development and Colorado Parks & Wildlife, this program will help more Coloradans forge a special connection with our natural resources, further strengthening the Colorado economy.

Oppose Selling Our Public Lands to the Highest Bidders
As governor, I will fight any attempt to sell our public lands to the highest bidder or diminish them in any way. Nearly a third of our state is made up of public lands, and these lands belong to all Coloradans, no matter their background, zip code, race, or income. Our public lands, clean air, and rivers are critical to protecting our fish and wildlife habitat, providing the public with places to hunt and fish, ski, climb, bike, raft, and enjoy the Colorado outdoor experience. The activities are foundational to Colorado’s recreation economy, providing good-paying jobs for thousands of Coloradans and attracting national attention through events like the Outdoor Retailer trade show. Thoughtful and effective conservation of these resources is paramount in supporting Colorado’s strong outdoor economy and way of life.

Ensure Colorado Has a Voice in Federal Decisions on its Public Lands
Coloradans understand in our core that public lands have value far beyond industrial development. As governor, I will work to ensure that our public lands are protected from overzealous development and that every Coloradan has every opportunity to have their voices heard in these decisions that affect the future of these lands. Colorado deserves a strong seat at the table here and in D.C. when it comes to conversations about what happens to the land, wildlife, trails, and resources in our backyards.

Improve Funding for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Division
CPW manages 42 state parks, facilitates wildlife and habitat management issues, and is responsible for issuing hunting and fishing licenses, which fund much of the Division’s budget. A lack of sustained, adequate funding has forced us to cut down on maintenance to 110 dams in Colorado and has begun to threaten the work of managing state land. Our current funding system relies on user fees rather than general tax dollars, and places 80 percent of CPW’s funding burden on hunters and anglers. Unfortunately, this is not sufficient to get the job done, especially as public demands and expectations for outdoor recreation grow. Our natural environment is a public resource that we all have a stake in. As governor, I will assemble a Commission of outdoor recreation representatives, sportsmen and sportswomen, and environmental experts to develop a sustainable, fair, and sufficient plan to fund CPW. For example, I will explore modernized ways for people to contribute to maintaining our parks. One possible option would be to digitize the voluntary donation boxes found at trailheads across the state to make investing in protecting our open spaces as easy as using Venmo to pay your friends for dinner.

Provide More Resources for Wildlife Habitat Restoration, Conservation, and Enhancement
Our biodiversity is our strength. Today, there are about 2,300 species listed under the Endangered Species Act. State wildlife agencies across the country have identified more than 12,000 species that are in serious decline, and thus are in greatest conservation need. By the middle of this century, as many as 50 percent of all species could be heading toward extinction, leading to more and more ESA listings and conflicts with the private sector. When populations of critical species collapse, it throws entire ecosystems irreparably out of whack. I support the work of Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, and former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Non-Game Habitat Funding, which recommend that Congress provide states with $1.3 billion per year to improve habitat for non-game species. As Governor, I will have the experience as a former Member of Congress to ensure that Colorado is advocating effectively for federal funding, is on the front lines of wildlife habitat restoration efforts, and works closely with neighboring states on habitat conservation and wildlife corridors.

Require Habitat Mitigation for Habitat Damaged from Development
It is becoming a more common practice for western states and federal agencies to require companies that develop projects, like oil and gas wells and wind farms, to pay private ranchers to enhance or restore habitat on their lands to compensate for habitat damaged in the development process. Colorado should join our western neighbors in adopting this requirement, which would improve habitat across the state, helping wildlife and providing a new revenue stream for participating ranchers.

Support Full Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
This $900-million per year fund was established in 1964 to help conserve America’s natural resources, but only twice since then has it been fully funded. This program has broad support among sportsmen and sportswomen, environmentalists, and the outdoor recreation community. I will work with my fellow governors and the Colorado Congressional delegation to generate sufficient political support to reauthorize and fully fund the program.

Expand Use of Wildlife Crossings
Collisions between vehicles and wildlife are common in Colorado, often leading to dead animals and damaged cars and trucks. Wildlife fencing and overpass crossings, such as those recently constructed on Highway 9 between Silverthorne and Kremmling, have dramatically reduced wildlife collisions. I will work with CDOT to undertake a systematic evaluation of hotspots in Colorado where vehicle-wildlife collisions are common and develop a multi-year plan to install wildlife fencing and crossings using public and private resources.

Protect Our Bears and Wild Horses
This past year had one of the highest number of human-bear conflict incidents in recent history. Our changing climate has altered feeding cycles and has led to a rising number of bears wandering into cities and towns in search of trash or alternative sources of food. Unfortunately, this too often results in CPW having to kill bears to prevent any danger to the community. As governor, I will sign an executive order requesting that CPW evaluate alternative methods to mitigate human-bear conflicts. This will include developing and executing a marketing plan that educates Coloradans in how to prevent luring bears into towns. CPW will then study the results of these efforts to ensure we are making progress in reducing human-bear encounters. I will also seek to preserve Colorado’s historic wild horse herds, and oppose inhumane methods of population control, like confinement and castration, in favor of more humane methods to maintain a healthy population.

A Vision for Colorado's Outdoors
Colorado’s outdoors offers a multitude of benefits, including social and health benefits, but it is also the foundation of a powerful economic engine that drives innovation, employment, and consumer spending.

In addition to direct economic benefits, there are many indirect benefits that come from investment in Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy. While hundreds of “homegrown” outdoor businesses have launched here, other national and international companies are moving to Colorado for its highly educated workforce, access to the outdoors, and a population that is healthy and active. As a result, Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry supports almost $10 billion in wages, salaries, and benefits, and fuels more than $28 billion in consumer spending in our state.

Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy is being threatened by climate change, with the outdoor industry and agriculture being among the first to experience its impacts. From longer, hotter summers, and increasingly devastating wildfires, to decreased snowpack and subsequent water shortages, leadership at the state and local levels to address climate change has never been more important, particularly in the absence of leadership at the national level.

Like the broader economy, Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy requires solutions that promote smart and well-managed growth, including land use that balances growth with conservation of public and private lands and accessible trails, and which sets a goal of a park or other open space within ten minutes of every home in Colorado.

Improve Our Transportation Infrastructure
We will develop and implement transportation infrastructure plans that consider trails, bike paths, and other recreation infrastructure as alternatives and supplements to congested roads and highways

Increase Access for Sportsmen and Sportswomen
Sportsmen and sportswomen often lack sufficient access to places to hunt and fish. I support the proposal to dedicate 1 percent of LWCF funds for improved access to federal lands. I will also explore expanding Colorado’s Ranching for Wildlife program, and Farm Bill Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program funding in Colorado to pay private landowners to open their lands to hunting and fishing if they choose.

Increase High Quality Fun, Safe Shooting Ranges for Sportsmen and Sportswomen
To help reduce dispersed shooting in inappropriate areas and improve safety and fun, I will work with local authorities, and the various groups that sportsmen and sportswomen belong to, such as Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, to build and maintain shooting ranges convenient for residents.

Support Reauthorization of the Colorado Lottery Division
The Colorado Lottery Division funds the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund (GOCO) and the Conservation Trust Fund and contributes to CPW. I will support ensuring this funding source remains intact. Grants from GOCO directly support 11,800 jobs and provide more than $507 million in labor income. Securing funding for this program is important to Colorado’s economy.

Invest Royalties from Development on State Lands in Habitat Remediation and Recreation Infrastructure
Invest Royalties from Development on State Lands in Habitat Remediation and Recreation Infrastructure similar to the way the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) operates using federal offshore drilling royalties.

"Here is a land where life is written in water.."
Eighteen downstream states, and Mexico, receive water that starts here in our snowpack. Our nine interstate compacts and two equitable apportionment decrees mean that we have access to roughly one third of the water that accumulates in our state annually. Moreover, our water is under stress from both a warmer climate and growing populations. We must strategically plan for such a critical aspect of Colorado’s economy and environment. I support the first Colorado’s Water Plan developed under Governor John Hickenlooper, and, as your Governor, will strive to implement, fund, and update that plan, including conservation measures for the benefit of our economy and environment.

As Colorado’s Water Plan states, “People love Colorado.” People want to grow their families and businesses here because of our high quality of life, productive economy, vibrant and sustainable cities, innovative spirit, viable and productive agriculture, access to locally grown food, strong environment, robust outdoor recreation opportunities, and healthy watersheds, rivers, and streams.

Water touches or runs through what we love about Colorado. As your Governor, I will protect our right to use water that originates here, while planning for a warmer, drier, more populated future. Colorado’s Water Plan was built from the grassroots up with the many voices of Colorado’s water community… Let’s face it, we’re all stakeholders when it comes to water.

Gone are the days when one part or industry of our state runs roughshod over another when it comes to water. As our history has shown, water can divide Colorado. But, as Colorado’s Water Plan demonstrates, water can also unite us. This is hard but rewarding work. We must harness our grassroots structure to implement smart water infrastructure and conservation measures that attack the forecasted gap between supply and demand.

Implement Colorado's Water Plan
Our state’s water plan calls for the conservation of 400,000 acre feet of additional water storage, and 400,000 acre feet of additional water conservation, as well as conservation of 50,000 acre feet of alternatives to the buy-and-dry of our irrigated agricultural lands. I will work to do even better by our state’s water system by leveraging new technology and best practices to prioritize conservation.

We will also ensure that we meet our goal to have 80 percent of locally prioritized rivers and 80 percent of critical watersheds covered by stream management and watershed protection plans. We can’t accomplish any of this without responsible funding of municipal, industrial, environmental, and recreational water infrastructure, as well as prioritizing the integration of local land-use and water planning.

Update Colorado's Water Plan
It will be up to the next Governor to upgrade our water funding, financing, and investment mechanisms to take advantage of new revenue streams and partnerships to fully fund the water plan.

We will prioritize refreshing our water data with recent drought and hydrologic information, and our policies will reflect updated Basin Implementation Plans from our Basin Roundtables across the state. This will allow us to identify regional water opportunities where integrated water systems, and water management, can produce a more resilient water supply. Additionally, we can advance our water reuse capability by removing regulatory barriers and incentivizing water reuse without injury to downstream water rights.

Safeguard Colorado's Water Quality and Quantity
Under my leadership, Colorado will resist federal efforts to dictate water decisions. Management of Colorado’s water is best left to Coloradans, and we will resist attempts to export our water to moneyed interests outside of our state. I will continue the work of formulating interstate contingency plans that benefit Colorado and which can be implemented as we face warmer temperatures, reduced precipitation, and diminished reservoir levels. Finally, we can make the permitting process more efficient and effective for water projects. We must be able to address changing water supply and demand with more agility than we currently demonstrate.

Colorado is ready to apply its brand of innovation to its water challenges. We can and will lead the nation on water policy, management, and innovation as the headwaters state. When other states face water stress or need to solve a critical water challenge, Colorado can and should be the model of how to succeed.

Collaborative Approach to Transmountain Diversions
To many Coloradans in the high country and on the Western Slope, future transmountain diversions pose an existential threat to the health of our rivers and our agriculture economy. Meanwhile, the towns and cities of the Front Range are rapidly growing, and so are their water needs. Our state currently diverts between 450,000 and 600,000 acre feet of water from the Western Slope to the Front Range each year. We must adhere to a collaborative process that results in balanced approaches to solving this issue in the future.

That’s why I support the conceptual framework agreed upon by our state’s Western and Eastern basin roundtables to manage the consideration of any proposed future diversions. I will enforce its use should the need ever arise. The seven principles of this agreement include: conservation storage agricultural transfers alternative transfer methods environmental resiliency a collaborative program to address Colorado River system shortages, already identified projects and processes (IPPs) and additional Western Slope uses. This should provide context for any discussion regarding future diversions.

Gun Violence Prevention
Coloradans, including responsible gun owners of all partisan backgrounds and beliefs, know that there is still more we need to do to reduce gun violence, protect the rights of responsible gun owners, and give our law enforcement the ability to save lives and prevent mass shootings before they start. Colorado is a model to the nation in closing loopholes in background checks and keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of violent people – especially those who have been convicted of domestic violence. These are important laws that I will protect from those who want to repeal them.

Here is my plan to further prevent gun violence in Colorado:

  • Ban the manufacturing and purchase of ‘bump stocks’ that convert legal weapons into illegal weapons of war.
  • Because the Centers for Disease Control is not allowed to use federal dollars to research the link between public health and safety and gun violence, I will direct the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to conduct this research using existing state funds.
  • Rededicate ourselves to improving mental health programs that can address the root psychological causes of violence before a tragedy such as a suicide or a mass shooting occurs and without stigmatizing anyone. As governor, I will fight to improve the number of school counselors and school-based health clinics able to not only conduct mental health assessments, but also to deliver treatment to students who need help.
  • We will empower law enforcement and close family members and prevent people in crisis from having easy access to guns by passing a “Red Flag” law in Colorado. This will allow law enforcement and close family members to petition a court to temporarily suspend a dangerous person’s access to firearms if that person is determined to be a threat to themselves or others. Red Flag laws have important due process protections that require clear evidence for temporary suspension, as well as a hearing before a judge ,to give a person a chance to respond to the evidence against them that they are too dangerous to have a gun.
  • In 2015 and 2016 alone, smash-and-grab gun store robberies resulted in nearly 400 guns being stolen in Colorado. We should work to equip gun shops with strong security measures like closed-circuit cameras, discrete signage, and reinforced windows, which are already required of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. We can also look to the example of communities outside Colorado, such as Richmond, VA, that have strengthened penalties for illegal gun sales and for selling guns to felons and have seen armed robberies and gun homicides drop substantially as a result.
  • Colorado’s law enforcement has suffered through tragic losses in their ranks due to the scourge of gun violence in our communities. Colorado must prioritize ensuring that all law enforcement officers in our state have bullet-proof vests. Additionally, I will convene community leaders and law enforcement to put forward best practices for police departments regarding the use of ballistic plates, helmets, and other enhanced protective gear in ways that do not result in situation escalation.
  • Sportsmen and sportswomen often lack sufficient access to places to hunt and fish. I support the proposal to dedicate 1 percent of Land and Water Conservation Funds for improved access to federal lands, and support a conservation guarantee to ensure access to current or greater total acreage of public lands for hunting, hiking, camping, and other forms of recreation.
  • We can modernize or clear statute of outdated gun laws that have been on the books for decades — some even dating back to the early 20th century — to ensure that we are achieving a dual goal of protecting our communities from gun violence without encumbering Coloradans’ Second Amendment rights.
  • With marijuana legalized in Colorado, we should take steps to update our laws to restore gun ownership rights for individuals convicted of marijuana-related offenses.
  • We will protect homeowners from dispersed shooting in the outdoors by constructing and maintaining designated shooting ranges that serve to increase gun safety. We will also increase the availability of secure lockboxes for guns stored on premises. I will work closely with gun safety advocates and organizations that sportsmen and sportswomen belong to, such as Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to accomplish this goal.

Transportation
We’ve all seen and felt the impacts of Colorado’s growth in recent years. Traffic makes commutes longer and more crowded. Taking a quick trip to the mountains on the weekend means preparing for hours of delays. For our mountain communities, that results in more wear and tear on I-70, more accidents, more pollution, and hours of gridlock, closure, and lost jobs.

Making matters even more urgent, Colorado is expecting nearly one million new residents to move into our state in the next ten years alone , which equates to a 20 percent increase in vehicle travel.

When you combine the expense of accidents, lost productivity, and dollars burned in travel delays, our transportation woes are already costing Coloradans more than $6.7 billion per year. We simply can’t afford not to act!

To create more opportunities for people to live a good life, we can’t just throw money at old problems without any new solutions.

Fixing Colorado's Crumbling Infrastructure
Colorado must make sure that our roads and highways get the maintenance they need. Nearly 70 percent of our roads and highways are in poor or mediocre condition, and each Colorado driver pays $287 in car repairs per year as a result of the damage due to driving on roads. Correcting this is as much about public safety as it is about reducing congestion.

As Governor Hickenlooper has said, Utah has half as many people as Colorado, but invests nearly four times what Colorado does toward improving road capacity each year. Underinvestment has left us with $9 billion of unmet transportation needs as congestion gets worse and worse. This is simply not fair to Coloradans and puts the future of our economy at risk.

That’s why I agree with the large and diverse coalition of local governments, businesses, Republicans, Democrats, advocacy groups, and citizens that believes Colorado voters should have a say in investing new revenue toward fixing our crumbling infrastructure.

  • Support and work alongside a diverse group of stakeholders of all geographic and political persuasions to ensure that we narrowly identify new sources of revenue and wisely invest where it’s needed most, such as relieving congestion across the state, improving rural roads, and fixing potholes that damage our vehicles and cause accidents.
  • Challenge lawmakers who are serious about finding existing dollars in our General Fund to devote to transportation to roll up their sleeves and work with me in identifying and redirecting resources without harming K-12 students, seniors, our public safety, and our healthcare system.
  • Ensure that locally driven multimodal transportation options share in any revenue.
  • Continue support for existing, effective electric vehicle (EV) and EV infrastructure policies — such as the purchase incentive, HOV lane access, and charging station network expansion— which have led to high uptake of EVs across the state, up to nearly 10,000 from just 20 in 2011.
  • Introduce new policies that will incentivize our state’s vehicle fleet to go electric and streamline the charging station permitting process, including clear planning guidelines, ordinances, and codes that support adoption of electric vehicles that will reduce pollution in our state.
  • Prioritize the hiring of Coloradans first, and utilize the best-trained workers in the state by using contractors that invest in United States Department of Labor registered apprenticeship programs, and our state’s best-value contracting law, to make sure the job is done well and with fair compensation and safe working conditions for workers.

Establishing Freedom of Mobility with Front Range Rail and Mass Transit
For decades, policymakers in Colorado have asked citizens to invest billions in short-term efforts to relieve congestion. It’s time for policymakers to think beyond short-term solutions that fail to reduce congestion in the long-term, and begin to give Coloradans more freedom over their commutes.

In 2017, the Colorado General Assembly created the Southwest Chief and Front Range Passenger Rail Commission to pursue building a high-speed commuter rail line that serves the Front Range of Colorado. Initial reports are promising and show a real path towards providing Coloradans with a modern high-speed transportation option that connects to our statewide transportation system. The Commission has requested an additional $8.7 million to conduct a high-quality public input process to determine the preferred route, station locations, and what type of train would best meet our transportation needs. As governor, I would support continuing the important work of this Commission.

Imagine being able to quickly commute anywhere between Fort Collins and Pueblo without the usual hassles of driving up and down I-25, like air and noise pollution, traffic, and icy roads.

A comfortable, wi-fi connected, mass-transit option that is accessible and affordable may be the solution that makes this vision a reality.

Effective rail can help us get to work quicker and less expensively than driving a single-occupancy vehicle, especially when you consider the mounting costs of gas, maintenance, and depreciation of a car’s value. While Colorado will always continue to evaluate and aggressively pursue bringing emerging technologies like Hyperloop to our state, an economically viable rail option is a promising and attractive alternative to traveling by car.Colorado’s congested transportation system costs us $2.9 billion per year in lost productivity, and in traffic-related delays. That’s more than $500 for every Coloradan per year. There are human costs to this problem, as well the Colorado Department of Transportation estimates that Coloradans spend 124 hours per year in congestion-related delays. That’s nearly 10 hours of extra time we could be spending with our friends and families per month if we reprioritized our efforts and fixed it.

  • Provide the funds necessary to continue the commission’s work and to initiate a statewide stakeholder process.
  • Ensure that any funding proposal offered to the voters by my administration has undergone a rigorous, transparent, and statewide public-input process with high standards placed on responsiveness and community engagement. Coloradans will be the deciding factor on the type of train and route they want to build that will be best for them.
  • Aggressively pursue federal dollars for this project, such as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, and foster valuable industry partnerships that share in the cost of building Front Range Rail along new and existing rail lines.
  • Incentivizing use by connecting to our existing transportation system, including I-70, with access to the Denver-Winter Park Ski Train, Bustang, Light Rail, city buses, and ride-sharing services, while ensuring that Coloradans can easily get to and from transit options from their homes.
  • Push RTD to fulfill the commitments it made to voters under FasTracks including Northwest Rail
  • Strictly vet potential operators to make sure that Coloradans are getting the best bang for their buck.
  • Innovate as we design by working with local communities to zone for and provide transit-oriented attainable housing at stops along the rail that help people live affordably closer to their work and multiple transportation options.
  • Prioritize the hiring of Coloradans first, and utilize the best-trained workers in the state by using contractors that invest in United States Department of Labor registered apprenticeship programs, and our state’s best-value contracting law, to make sure the job is done well and with fair compensation and safe working conditions for workers.

Create a Smarter Approach to Infrastructure
The fastest and most cost-effective transportation system is one that reduces our need to travel and provides us the freedom to travel easily when we do. Building a universal 21st-century digital infrastructure enables more Coloradans to telecommute and can be a lifeline for many rural communities that rely on telemedicine. Whether you’re a senior who wants to video chat with the grandkids in Texas, or an entrepreneur looking to compete in a global economy, creative approaches to infrastructure play a significant role in making sure all Coloradans can live a good life in a changing economy.

Expanding broadband to every corner of the state:

  • Small businesses know that hiring top talent might mean recruiting workers who live hundreds or thousands of miles away, and rural Coloradans can benefit from telecommuting and the wider availability of telemedicine/telehealth. Any plan for infrastructure that doesn’t include making sure Colorado has universal access to high-speed internet is simply an outdated proposal.
  • Our Broadband Deployment Fund could fund internet projects across the state, but the law surrounding it is vague and murky, resulting in slow-moving investments in building out high-speed internet. We will speed that investment by changing the law to move resources faster.
  • We’ll give rural towns and citizens the freedom to plan for and invest in broadband by removing the antiquated requirement to conduct costly and time-intensive elections to do so. Municipal broadband is one of the most powerful consumer protection tools we have to preserve net neutrality and maintain an open internet.
  • Colorado will partner with local governments to create strategic regional broadband plans and support public-private partnerships by encouraging state agencies to collaborate in building reliable internet across the state using existing resources.
  • I’ll leverage existing public broadband infrastructure from CDOT and school districts to enhance access in communities across our state.
  • I will nominate Public Utility Commission members who support building out rural broadband and side with consumers over well-funded special interests. I will also encourage CDOT to coordinate with local governments in using existing fiber lines and resources to close service gaps.

CO Workers
Colorado’s economic growth makes us the envy of other states near and far. Our entrepreneurial spirit has pioneered massive advances in technology, manufacturing, and energy development. But when you take a closer look at our economy, there is a glaring problem: Colorado’s cost of living has far outgrown most people’s incomes.

Take-home pay has barely increased while the costs to rent or buy a house have skyrocketed. Salaries are almost flat at the same time that our state is experiencing unprecedented growth. In Colorado, we share the value that we should succeed together. Front Range economic growth should be coupled with prosperity on the Western Slope, the Eastern Plains, and Southern Colorado.

We are all #COworkers in our fight to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.

The Colorado way of life should be within reach for everyone.

Together we will raise wages for working families and make sure incomes keep pace with the cost of living. And we’ll take advantage of innovative policies to put money back in the pockets of Colorado families and prepare us for the economy of the future.

For instance, providing access to free, full-day preschool will provide savings of more than $11,000 per year for families with young kids. Utilizing free open-source textbooks will save college students more than $1,200 every year, and dual and concurrent enrollment programs that give students the chance to earn college credits, and even a degree, while in high school are shown to improve achievement while saving parents and students thousands of dollars.

In today’s workforce, unions are more relevant and important than ever before in creating a pathway to achieving the American Dream for middle class workers and to sustain an equitable democracy. All workers should have the right to form a union without fear of retaliation. In addition, supporting all families with policies like paid family and medical leave means employees will no longer have to choose between paying rent or caring for a loved one in need. More employee-ownership ensures that when companies do well, it’s not just the executive and shareholders who make money but the workers alongside them.

Altogether, these policies will help us build a Colorado economy where working families can not just get by, but earn a good living.

Raising Wages and Empowering Workers

  • Provide paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave for all Coloradans.
  • Reduce paperwork and remove barriers to employee ownership of businesses, profit sharing, and stock options, which will help more people enjoy Colorado’s economic success
  • Defend PERA, protect its defined benefit status, and ensure that Colorado is keeping its promise to workers of a dignified retirement.
  • Protect and expand collective bargaining rights while actively opposing attacks on organized labor like so-called “right to work” laws and paycheck deception.
  • Enforce our best-value contracting laws and better utilize project labor agreements.
  • Address pay-equity gaps for women and people of color in our state contracting, and support workers who suspect they are being paid unfairly in their job to file a complaint.
  • Support apprenticeship training, and ensure the longevity and quality of state projects by hiring the best-trained workers.
  • Convene a task force to help small businesses compete with large corporations on a level playing field.
  • Streamline the permitting process for housing development, encourage inclusionary zoning laws, invest in bike and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, and enact transit-oriented land-use policies.
  • Work with counties, municipalities, and the State Land Board to identify opportunities such as vacant lots or rundown properties to incentivize leasing for affordable housing development.
  • Allow municipalities to raise the minimum wage in their area.

Giving Coloradans a World-Class Education and Valuing Educators

  • Universal, free, full-day preschool through a quality provider for every family
  • Full-day kindergarten for every child in Colorado
  • Invest in our teachers and raise teacher pay while offering student loan relief and access to affordable housing for educators who choose to teach in underserved areas of the state.
  • Reduce the costs of education by improving access to, and use of, open source textbooks in public schools and universities.
  • Make dual and concurrent enrollment programs available to 100 percent of Colorado students so that students have a head start on preparing to join an increasingly global and competitive workforce.
  • Improve funding for childcare programs for parents who are balancing starting a family with furthering their education to earn new skills.

Future-Proof Our Economy

  • Convene a statewide task force to confront the challenges and opportunities of automation, protect workers, invest in new technology, and create jobs.
  • Work with vocational schools and trade unions to craft certification programs to increase access to jobs in advanced manufacturing and robotics, and increase technical skills training.
  • Improve workforce protections and access to benefits for freelance workers and entrepreneurs.
  • Incentivize employers to consider alternative work arrangements that reduce the need to commute and help people utilize their skills no matter where they live.
  • Bolster our startup community and small businesses by facilitating pathways to capital and making it easier to start a business throughout Colorado

Broadband Infrastructure
Building a universal 21st-century digital infrastructure enables more Coloradans to telecommute and can be a lifeline for many rural communities that rely on telemedicine. Whether you’re a senior who wants to video chat with the grandkids in Texas, or an entrepreneur looking to compete in a global economy, creative approaches to infrastructure play a significant role in making sure all Coloradans can live a good life in a changing economy.

Expanding broadband to every corner of the state Small businesses know that hiring top talent might mean recruiting workers who live hundreds or thousands of miles away, and rural Coloradans can benefit from telecommuting and the wider availability of telemedicine/telehealth. Any plan for infrastructure that doesn’t include making sure Colorado has universal access to high-speed internet is simply an outdated proposal.

  • Our Broadband Deployment Fund could fund internet projects across the state, but the law surrounding it is vague and murky, resulting in slow-moving investments in building out high-speed internet. We will speed that investment by changing the law to move resources faster.
  • We’ll give rural towns and citizens the freedom to plan for and invest in broadband by removing the antiquated requirement to conduct costly and time-intensive elections to do so. Municipal broadband is one of the most powerful consumer protection tools we have to preserve net neutrality and maintain an open internet.
  • Colorado will partner with local governments to create strategic regional broadband plans and support public-private partnerships by encouraging state agencies to collaborate in building reliable internet across the state using existing resources.
  • I’ll leverage existing public broadband infrastructure from CDOT and school districts to enhance access in communities across our state.
  • I will nominate Public Utility Commission members who support building out rural broadband and side with consumers over well-funded special interests. I will also encourage CDOT to coordinate with local governments in using existing fiber lines and resources to close service gaps.

Enacting thoughtful best-practice land use policies that reduce the need for travel by

  • Recruiting local governments in developing statewide design guidance that help communities pursue mixed-use zoning, increased density where appropriate, and transit-oriented attainable housing.
  • Adopting best practices for land use by shifting our focus from parking requirements to pedestrian friendly streets, and development that maintains our architectural soul, improves the character of our cities and towns, enhances the built environment, and creates a sense of place.
  • Investing in walking and biking paths across the state, ensuring connectivity with our transit systems and making bike commuting a reality for more Coloradans.

A Dignified Retirement
Here in Colorado, we take care of each other. We all have a role to play in making sure that everyone in our great state is able to live a great life and succeed. And, with Colorado expecting major growth in the coming years, it’s more important than ever that we plan for a future that manages growth effectively while maintaining our Colorado quality of life—that especially matters for older Coloradans on fixed income. In fact, by 2030, the Colorado Health Institute projects that population growth among older adults is set to grow by 61 percent. To put that in perspective, Colorado has one of the fastest growing populations of older adults in the country.

We need to begin planning for the impacts this will have on services for older Coloradans now. The good news is that according to the United Health Foundation, Colorado is ranked as the 4th healthiest state for older adults. But, there’s still more to do. Too often, policies meant for older citizens neglect the importance of everyday issues such as convenient transportation and affordable housing in the overall quality of life in our later years.

I’ve been proud to fight for older adults in Congress. One of the great honors of my life was working alongside President Obama to help pass the Affordable Care Act, which expanded Medicaid, lowered the cost for prescription drugs, and increased preventive services for older adults. I’ve also rejected efforts to reduce funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides millions of low-income older adults with access to food. And, in 2014, I voted to reauthorize the Older Americans Act in Congress, which provides funding for critical nutritional and health services to help people age with dignity. As governor, I will fight to make sure that Colorado’s older citizens aren’t left behind in all aspects of everyday life as we confront the challenges of the future.

Our state needs to refocus its local and state governmental bodies to think, legislate, and act in a way that acknowledges this age shift and confronts future challenges now. This is not a political issue, nor is it a partisan one. This is about taking care of our friends and family the best we can so that every Coloradan can age with dignity.

Improve transportation options that meet the needs of older Coloradans
For many older adults who live in assisted-living communities, or are transit-challenged and live alone, a lack of access to transportation options can be isolating and a health risk. The Colorado Department of Transportation should better tailor their work to address this problem across all transportation projects to ensure our infrastructure projects provide older adults with realistic transportation options. That’s why in my plan to build a fully interconnected transit system for Colorado that relieves traffic and saves people money, I prioritize the development of transit-centered affordable housing, and encourage safe ride-share companies, taxi cab companies, and public transit agencies to help close first and final-mile points of access to transportation options. Front Range Rail, a commuter line that will connect Fort Collins and Pueblo by rail, will be of great help in building out our intercity connectivity throughout Colorado. By building with older communities in mind, we can bring families closer together and make simple tasks like running errands less of a challenge.

Make life easier and more affordable for those on fixed-incomes
Older Coloradans living on a tight fixed income know how challenging it can be to afford to live in the home you love. The Colorado Property/Rent/Heat credit (PTC) is a lifeline for low-income older adults and individuals with disabilities by helping to offset the rising cost of property taxes, rent, and heating. This gives more Coloradans the ability to age in place and afford the cost of living in our state. In 2016, just over 18,000 Coloradans were able to benefit from this program. Relative to our nearly $30B state budget, this program costs approximately $7M to fund. That’s just .023% of our state budget. As governor, I support funding this program and indexing rebate amounts to inflation so that older adults on fixed income can continue to live in the homes they love now and in the future.

We can also do a better job of informing older adults of their eligibility for SNAP, and also aid in enrollment. With the cost of living outpacing Social Security benefits, many older adults are left with the choice of paying utility bills or putting food on the table. In Colorado, 13.7 percent of people over the age of 60 struggle with food insecurity.This is unacceptable. Simply put: no one in Colorado should go hungry. As a former Member of Congress, I have the unique experience necessary to make sure Colorado is working effectively with the federal government to make sure every eligible older adult has access to affordable and nutritious meals.

Enact fair, transparent, and ethical arbitration laws
When an older Coloradan moves into a nursing home, one of the most common documents signed is a forced arbitration agreement between the resident and the nursing home. Let’s be clear: most nursing homes are serving our family members incredibly well. The people who work in them are often unsung heroes in improving the quality of life for older Coloradans. And, when conflicts do arise, arbitration can help Coloradans get justice quickly and at a much lower cost. However, one thing we can immediately do to make sure Coloradans who have entered into these agreements aren’t put at a legal disadvantage when they suffer psychological or physical abuse is to enact fair, transparent, and ethical reforms to our arbitration laws that help level the playing field for families while also expediting the long and costly legal process. A dignified retirement requires a no-tolerance policy for elder abuse of any kind, and reforms that set high standards on ethics and include strong enforcement of criminal laws against elder abuse can help ensure that ailing older adults are treated well.

Protect the Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) for current and future retirees
Throughout their careers, state employees from teachers to state troopers have ceded making investments in Social Security in favor of the state managing their pensions through PERA. Making sure that PERA is solvent for years to come is more than just smart budgeting: it’s keeping our promise to those who have served our state.

While I’m grateful that the legislature came to a compromise on ensuring PERA’s solvency for decades to come during the 2018 legislative session, I believe the bill placed too much burden on retirees to do so. No governor should ever play political games with the secure retirement of more than 500,000 Coloradans. We must preserve PERA’s designation as a defined benefit pension system as a way of keeping our promise to those who have served our state.

I will reject efforts to reform PERA on the backs of our teaching professionals and state or local employees in the future. If we must make adjustments, we need to make sure the changes are as fair as possible to all involved – retirees, current employees and employers. And, my record on this is clear. I’ve always stood up for a dignified retirement in Congress by rejecting attacks on Social Security and Medicare. I will do the same thing as governor — by rejecting extreme proposals to undermine PERA in ways that risk its future solvency and the benefits promised to hardworking Coloradans.

Create a Secure Savings Plan for Working Coloradans
According to a recent study, the average Social Security benefit for a Coloradan aged 65 or older is $16,900 per year while the average cost of living for that age group is $19,785. For Coloradans without any independent savings, this can cause hardship, delay retirement, and create financial uncertainty in later years. Legislation has been offered in the General Assembly to help private-sector workers plan for their future by creating a portable secure savings plan to help workers build wealth. Not only could this open the door to a dignified retirement for more people, but it could help promote healthy saving habits and financial literacy for working Coloradans in the future.

End prescription drug price gouging and increase cost transparency
As governor, I will improve support for Colorado’s state-of-the-art All Payer Claims Database and conduct a system-wide audit of the database, cross-referencing other publicly available data to help identify additional health care savings and implement improvements to data collection. I will also work to require pharmaceutical companies to disclose development, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution costs to ensure older adults are paying fair prices for their medication. Further, I’ve long supported the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, and will fight to make that easier in Colorado.

Help older Coloradans stay in the homes the love and age in place
Far too many older adults face significant financial hurdles to remaining in their homes as they age. High-quality home care is often restricted to those who are fortunate to have been able to put money aside for their retirement throughout their lives. Others are left behind and unable to afford the high cost of home care. For those who can afford it, home care has proven to reduce hospital readmissions and secure a higher quality of life in later years. However, we are suffering from a critical shortage of qualified home care workers. With our population of older adults set to grow rapidly, I will refocus our efforts to build a professionalized and sustainable workforce of qualified home caregivers, better utilize DOL-certified apprenticeship programs, and help more Coloradans receive home and community-based service waivers for in-home care through Medicaid.

We can also provide relief for the rising cost of living through existing programs. Colorado currently offers a Senior Homestead Property Tax Exemption which helps older adults afford the cost of living in their home after a lifetime of work. However, this property tax exemption isn’t guaranteed and our Constitutional requirement to have a balanced budget combined with the negative impacts on our revenue collection from TABOR often put this benefit for older adults at risk of cuts when economic downturns occur, and I will explore efforts to provide multi-year stability for this program.

Criminal and Social Justice
President Trump’s assault on our values and communities calls for bold leaders at the state level to build upon the progress we made under the leadership of President Barack Obama. Colorado needs to lead the way in building diversity in our economy that creates jobs and increases wages, but also reduces the racial wealth gap. In fact, the Economic Policy Institute has found that average white wealth is seven times higher than for African American families. That makes saving for retirement, buying a home, or providing higher education opportunities to children a difficult task. I will work to address this growing crisis and make Colorado a state where communities of color will succeed.

We must rededicate ourselves to a mission of building equitable access to opportunity so that everyone has the means to live a good life:

Colorado's Civil Rights Commission
I will not entertain any dismantling of Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission, nor will I ever sign a law that diminishes or otherwise harms the ability of people of color to cast a vote. Voting is a right and everyone should have a chance to let their voice be heard in our democracy.

Racial Disparities in Our Government
I’m committed to tackling the racial disparities in our government. I’ll request that my Cabinet studies Colorado’s current laws and rules to identify pervasive policies that suppress communities of color. Not only will my office aggressively challenge legal and economic injustice, but I pledge to be an open, accessible, and honest partner in solving this problem.

Addressing Racial and Systematic Disparities
Every child in Colorado deserves a quality education, regardless of race, background, personal experience or the neighborhood they come from. I am committed to working with districts throughout the state to make sure opportunities for both teachers and students of color are equitable and fair. Additionally, I will work with the Commissioner of Education to ensure there is a plan for minority children to succeed academically from pre-k to 12, and in preparation for college. We will make sure that racial and systematic disparities are addressed adequately.

Subcommittee Of Civil Rights And Education
A recent study of Colorado’s disciplinary practices in our schools found that when compared to white students, African American students are 4.1 times more likely to be suspended and 3.4 times more likely to be referred to law enforcement, Native American students are 3.8 times more likely to be suspended and 3.2 times more likely to be referred to law enforcement, and Latinos are twice as likely to be suspended and referred to law enforcement. Being arrested in school has the potential to double the chances of a student dropping out, which exasperates the “school to prison pipeline.” I will create a subcommittee of civil rights and education leaders under the commission tasked with creating a blueprint for Colorado schools to end disciplinary practices that disproportionally expel or suspend children of color as punishment in our classrooms.

End Investment In Private Prisons
I understand the need for criminal justice reform. I will end our investment in private prisons and reinvest those dollars into rehabilitation, diversion, alternative and restorative justice programs. A criminal record can be a barrier to getting a job and housing and those factors greatly contribute to recidivism of inmates. Also, many prisons are located in rural areas and supply jobs to entire communities. We will reinvest in economic development of rural Colorado communities in a way that provides for sustainable economic growth without dependency on incarceration to support Colorado towns. We know that incarceration of family members can be emotionally and financially taxing on loved ones, and it’s important that we identify and end predatory practices in our prisons. My administration will prioritize ensuring that the Department of Corrections puts people over profits so that Colorado never prices services for inmates, such as phone calls, in excess of what is statutorily allowed or necessary for operation.

Racial Disparities In Our Prison Population
At the same time, we will work to address racial disparities in our prison population. Addressing institutionalized racism, including police brutality, is paramount in rebuilding trust in our communities and in ensuring that the law is enforced fairly across our state. My administration will continue the difficult negotiations to completely address civil asset forfeiture reform following 2017’s groundbreaking legislation on the subject and the resulting task force’s recommendations on how to protect due-process while keeping the public safe.

Drug Policy
Our nation’s drug policies continue to disproportionately harm African Americans. I’m proud to be the only candidate in this race that publicly supported the ballot measure to legalize marijuana, and I have fought hard to declassify marijuana as a Schedule I drug in Congress. Colorado can choose a better way and lead the nation in dismantling injustice in all corners of our government, and that includes looking at pardons for those convicted of nonviolent marijuana charges. We will also take measures to ensure racial equity across both the laws and prosecution practices in the effort to combat drug abuse.

Death Penalty
The last time Colorado exercised the death penalty was in 1997, and since then we have continued to learn about the impact that inherent biases and high costs can have on its application. If the legislature sends me a bill to repeal the death penalty, I will sign it.

Reducing Barriers For Finding Safe And Quality Homes
We will create fair and equitable housing laws in our state that reduce barriers for people of color to find a safe and quality home, and for retirees and low-income Coloradans to stay in the communities they love. For example, landlords shouldn’t be allowed to charge application fees when they know that they have no vacancy, and renters would benefit from disclosure of the condition of their new home before signing a lease. And, in Colorado, an eviction on your record can be a permanent barrier to securing housing later on in life. I will work to reform our eviction laws to be more humane.

Improving Infrastructure Consciously
When we pursue opportunities to improve infrastructure, we must be cautious to not do so in a way that forces people out of their homes, destroys property values, or changes the essential character of a neighborhood. Improvements to our infrastructure and neighborhoods that push people out of their communities are policy failures, and are not rooted in valuing the lives of those most-often impacted: lower income communities, African Americans, Latinos, and long-time residents of our neighborhoods.

Nonviolent Offenders
A recent article in The New York Times highlighted that, “commercial bail has grown into a $2 billion industry,” and preys on those who cannot afford to pay a bond company’s fee. Bond agents have broad legal authority to arrest clients, charge high fees, and engage in what amounts to extortion. Those who can’t afford bail often spend extended bouts of time in prison as they await trial. For our criminal justice system to operate at a high level and prioritize public safety, we must not allow someone’s economic status to be a likely determinant of their outcome in court. As governor, I will seek to limit the use of cash bail in our state for nonviolent offenders as well as speeding up the process for trial proceedings to occur.

Reducing The Cap For Annual Interest Rates
High interest rates, high fees, and short timelines for repayment are hallmarks of payday lending – a practice that can trap consumers in debt for years. For example, a loan worth $392 can result in $119 in fees and interest. In fact, payday loans have a $50 million impact on Coloradans across the state who are struggling to make ends meet. Colorado’s Attorney General’s office has found that people of color are disproportionately targeted by lenders in our state, and the Center for Responsible Lending has found that majority-minority areas in Colorado are twice as likely to have a payday lending business in their community. In 2010, Colorado passed landmark legislation curtailing the predatory practices of lenders, but lenders and borrowers have found loopholes. I support current efforts to reduce the cap for annual interest rates of these lenders from the astronomically high average of 129 percent to 36 percent, which is the cap on rates that Congress determined lenders are allowed to charge for members of the military.

Diversity is a Strength
I will conduct an executive branch-wide review of appointments and staffing of our governing boards and commissions to ensure their racial representation mirrors our state’s demographics and regions. I will actively seek to hire qualified people of color for important positions, and will have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind in our state’s hiring policies. Diversity is a strength that we cannot do without.

Blockchain
Though our economy has grown, the next governor will need to continue to keep our state at the forefront of emerging markets in the technology sector. In recent years the growth of distributed ledger technology has turned into a multibillion dollar industry and has the ability to revolutionize industries across the nation and our state. From supply chains to cybersecurity to banking, blockchain-based solutions have the potential to reshape our economy, jobs, cybersecurity, and government transparency. As governor, I will ensure that Colorado explores the potential use of blockchain technology and works alongside the business community, policy experts, local communities, and Coloradans to build a robust economy for the future.

Here are a few actions I will take as governor to ensure Colorado’s economy and government benefit most from blockchain technology:

1. Voter Protection // Bolster Colorado's Cybersecurity
Now more than ever, it’s critical for us to implement 21st-century cybersecurity infrastructure to make our government and election systems more secure, transparent, and efficient. As governor, I will coordinate with the Secretary of State and lawmakers to make sure we can empower local communities to explore improving municipal and county elections through the implementation of blockchain technology. We will also work alongside the Council of the Advancement of Blockchain Technology Use to create suggestions that will revamp and bolster our cyber network.

2. Regulatory Sandbox and Securities
Similar to Wyoming, I will work alongside the legislature to create a statewide safe harbor designed to exempt cryptocurrencies from state money transmissions laws, and I will work to establish legislation that protects “open blockchain tokens” or cryptocurrencies that are exchangeable for goods and services. These moves could allow our state to attract innovative companies and allow them to engage freely in them – as issuers, exchanges, wallet providers – without the licensing requirements of the multitude of securities and currency laws. Colorado can pave the way into the future and implement safeguards here at home with the hope that the federal government can catch up to our progress. These ideas, while bold, will put Colorado on the map for fostering new technology and experimenting with the best way to implement safeguards here at home and across the nation.

3. Energy Load Balancing
In order to become a leader in the renewable energy market, the State of Colorado should work alongside the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), municipalities, and utility companies to explore blockchain-based solutions to improve our energy grid. This transition could have the potential to make our energy more reliable, secure, and cheaper for Coloradans pocketbooks.

4. Government Transparency // Digitize Government Records
Explore public ledgers with Colorado contracts and expenditure to be more transparent for Coloradans. This can reduce the size and cost of government bureaucracy while improving government services.

5. Council for the Advancement of Blockchain Technology Use
Continue to support the Office of Economic Development and International Trade to build on the progress of Governor Hickenlooper and explore further work and use of blockchain technology. In coordination with the Office of Economic Development & International Trade, the business community, lawmakers, local communities, and policy experts we will work to explore definitions, potential uses, and implementation of this sector that will benefit Coloradans.

My goal is to establish Colorado as a national hub for blockchain innovation in business and government. I believe strong leadership will put Colorado at the forefront of innovation in this sector – encouraging companies to flock to the state and establishing government applications that save taxpayers money and create value for Colorado residents.

Animal Welfare
You can tell a lot about people by the way they treat animals, and the same can be said for our society. Colorado is home to some of North America’s most majestic wild animals, and millions of domestic and farmed animals, too. Like on so many issues, Washington D.C. is walking away from its moral responsibilities, and it’s time for states to lead.

We still have a long way to go
Just this year, President Trump ended the implementation of anti-cruelty protections for poultry and wiped information regarding animal welfare from the United States Department of Agriculture’s website. I opposed this change because it makes it so much harder to ensure we are treating livestock with the respect they deserve. According to the Humane Society of the United States, Colorado is ranked the fifth most humane state in the nation in 2017. And while we can be proud of our state, we still have a long way to go.

Here’s how we’ll get to number one:

  • Pets should be protected from abuse, neglect, and abandonment, especially during extreme weather conditions. No dog should be left outside and exposed to extreme cold during a snowstorm. We should include this in our definition of animal abuse.
  • Pet homelessness and overpopulation is a problem across the country. We want to reduce the number of unwanted animals in Colorado shelters by encouraging pet owners to spay and neuter, and supporting shelter and adoption.
  • Puppy mills are large-scale, commercial dog breeding facilities where the welfare of the dogs is often substandard, and we should end this practice. Coloradans must stand together against these types of operations and instead rely on responsible breeders, shelters, and rescues for their companion animals. We must ensure that our Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act, has the tools and resources it needs to properly oversee and inspect breeding facilities.
  • Animal cruelty is illegal and must be addressed, not only for the safety of the animals involved, but also because there is a well-documented link between violence towards animals and violence towards other people. Protecting animals also protects people.

Colorado should create a statewide tracking system for convicted animal abusers that will be available to local and state law enforcement. I will work with our criminal justice system and animal welfare advocacy organizations to protect the privacy of those individuals and create a rehabilitation program for convicted animal abusers.

Colorado should be the best place to be a wild animal
Colorado should be the best place to be a wild animal, too. From bald eagles and buffalo to elk and black bears, some of our wild country’s most iconic creatures make our state their home. That’s why my Keep Colorado Wildplan prioritizes protection of these animals.

  • Today, there are about 2,300 species listed under the Endangered Species Act. State wildlife agencies across the country have identified more than 12,000 species that are in serious decline, and are in greatest conservation need, and I will create species-specific and habitat-specific conservation policies. As Governor, I will have the experience as a former Member of Congress to ensure that Colorado is advocating effectively for federal funding, is on the front lines of wildlife habitat restoration efforts, and works closely with neighboring states on habitat conservation and wildlife corridors.
  • This past year had one of the highest number of human-bear conflict incidents in recent history. Unfortunately, this too often results in CPW having to kill bears to prevent any danger to the community. As governor, I will sign an executive order requesting that CPW evaluates alternative methods to mitigate human-bear conflicts such as secure garbage collection.
  • We will also seek to preserve Colorado’s historic wild horse herds, and oppose inhumane methods of population control, like confinement and castration, in favor of more humane methods to maintain a healthy population.
  • Colorado will take an active role in the fight against rare animal-trafficking by prohibiting the sale, purchase, trade, or distribution of any animal covered by the Endangered Species Act.
  • Should President Trump and Secretary Zinke choose to not strongly enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, then Colorado will adopt its own standards for the prevention of bird deaths due to industrial activities.

Humane policies require humane people in office
Our state is home to some of the most responsible farmers and ranchers you can find in the United States. And, as a former beekeeper and alfalfa farmer myself, I’m proud of Colorado’s agricultural heritage. We have an enormous opportunity to lead in providing Americans with the highest quality meats, cheeses, and eggs possible and the most humane and healthy treatment of farmed animals. We can also do more to expand the availability of plant protein products derived from Colorado crops.

In 2008, Colorado passed landmark legislation improving livestock confinement practices. I believe that ten years later, it’s time to revisit that law to make sure we are consistent with the most humane and up-to-date livestock confinement practices for all animals. For example, Colorado produces over 100 million eggs per year, and healthier hens produce healthier eggs. Chickens that have sufficient room to walk, stretch their wings, and socialize live longer and produce more eggs. To reduce the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, we will direct the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture to identify and encourage best practices to prevent the overuse of antibiotics on farm animals.

I have the record to get this done and am proud of my work in Congress. I’ve earned 100 percent on a report card from the Defenders of Wildlife based on my voting record to protect animals. I’ve supported saving lab mice and rabbits from cruel practices by sponsoring H.R. 2790, the Humane Cosmetics Act, which will phase out cosmetic testing on animals and replace it with more humane and effective tests. I also proudly voted against revoking the predator rule, which prohibits conservation protections for bears and other predators. And, I’ve introduced amendments to the federal budget to encourage the protection of wild horses and burros.

Humane policies require humane people in office. Together, we will make Colorado the most humane state in the nation for animals in our homes, in the wild, and on our farms and ranches. ⎼]

Campaign website

Polis' campaign website included the following themes:

  • The Economy: The promise of America is that if you get an education, work hard and play by the rules you can enjoy your version of the American Dream, but wage stagnation coupled with rising costs are threatening that promise. That’s why I am fighting for an economy that rewards hard work and provides opportunities to all American workers, while at the same time fostering innovative ideas that will keep us competitive in the 21st century.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: America’s economy is transitioning to an innovation and information economy. In order to keep our economy competitive with the rest of the world, my top priority is to use my experience starting and running online businesses to ensure that our new innovation economy works for everyone and has the power to unleash new opportunities for every American to prosper.
  • College Affordability and Access to Skill based Training: A college education and post secondary education is becoming a necessity in our modern economy, yet obtaining these skills is becoming harder and harder because of the rising costs. We must tackle the cost drivers, expand access to non-traditional higher education and reform the student loan programs that are leaving too many in unsustainable debt.
  • Early Childhood Education: Expanding access to quality education, starting with preschool, is Jared’s top priority. Before serving in Congress, Jared served as the Chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education and founded two charter school networks serving at-risk kids. He currently serves as a senior member of the House Education and Workforce Committee.
  • Campaign Finance Reform: Anonymous dark money is threatening our democracy. Corporations are not people they don’t have free will, compassion, or a conscience and they can’t vote. It is time to restore power to the people our election system was designed to serve.

The Historyapolis Project

Striking Minneapolis worker, Creamette Company, September 1939. Image by John Vachon, Library of Congress.

The Historyapolis Project seeks to illuminate the history of Minneapolis. Inspired by the idea that history is a powerful tool for community-building, our team is working to unearth stories that can explain how the city took shape. We hope to entertain and engage as many people as possible. But we also have a fierce desire to challenge popular assumptions about our city’s bygone days.

This work began with the recognition of a community need. In our state’s largest city we do not have a clearinghouse where people can go to find the full story of the past. No complete history of the city has been written since 1940, when Minneapolis: The Story of a City was issued as a joint effort of the Works Progress Administration and the Departments of Education for the city and the state.

Today, Minneapolis sees itself as a progressive metropolis. Residents boast about a superior quality of life that includes superlative arts, world-class parks, an innovative non-profit sector and a climate of social tolerance, especially for sexual diversity. While this civic pride is commendable, it can obscure dark and troubling episodes that contemporary residents would like to forget. Our team is working collaboratively to craft a courageous history of our community, creating narratives meant to encourage a reckoning with the complex legacies of our collective past.


Our History

Historyapolis began in 2013, when the project was launched in the History Department at Augsburg University. Thanks to a grant from the State of Minnesota from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, a team of student, faculty and community researchers spent 2014 working in archives to identify sources relevant to Minneapolis. We organized our findings in a new research guide to Minneapolis history sources that we hope will serve as a roadmap to the past. Our goal was to make it easier for everyone to dig into the city’s history.

Citizen-Researcher Rita Yeada shows Augsburg junior Anna Romskog city planning photographs from the 1930s. These rare images of the near North side are some of the sources identified by Historyapolis in the Minneapolis City Archives. Members of the Historyapolis Lab worked in various repositories in 2014 to identify sources pertinent to the history of Minneapolis. Photograph by Lisa Lynch.

As we worked to identify new sources for Minneapolis history, we also experimented with using digital tools to share our insights. In 2013, we started posting historical vignettes on Facebook. That same year we developed this website, which features a blog with myriad contributors. We envision this as both a portal to the past and a foundation for new relationships in the present. The Historyapolis Project seeks to connect the curious, bringing together anyone interested in an innovative exploration of the history of Minneapolis and its contemporary meaning.

Augsburg University is surrounded by a neighborhood known as Cedar-Riverside. The traditional gateway for newcomers to the city, it was the commercial heart of the Scandinavian immigrant community at the end of the nineteenth century. Its main thoroughfare was known historically as “Snusgatan,” This area was transformed after World War II, when assimilated Scandinavians sought better housing in south Minneapolis. This exodus cleared the way for the neighborhood to become the center of the state’s small counterculture it also became the epicenter for new battles over urban renewal, as activists resisted the idea that the wholesale demolition of the neighborhood’s nineteenth century streetscape would stem the tide of urban deterioration.

It was in this contentious period that Augsburg University began to see the surrounding neighborhood as an extension of the classroom. Over the last fifty years, the College has earned national recognition for integrating civic engagement into every aspect of campus life. The neighborhood provides a rich environment for this kind of learning, thanks to a new wave of immigrants that has remade Cedar-Riverside into a center for East African life. Lined with immigrant businesses that provide living reminders of the neighborhood’s history, Cedar Avenue has been transformed from “Snusgatan” into “Little Mogadishu.”

The Historyapolis Project has taken root in this vibrant culture of civic engagement at Augsburg. Its students, alumni, staff and faculty have transformed this history-making experiment into a community resource. The project creates new opportunities for those interested in learning the skills necessary to use digital platforms in the service of socially-engaged local history.


Insider's takeaway

Vaccines are important because they save lives. For example, the WHO estimates that immunizations save 2-3 million lives, each year, from diseases like diphtheria, pertussis, measles, and influenza.

The effectiveness of vaccines, however, depends on everyone continuing to get them — as some vaccines aren't safe to administer until babies are 12 months old.

"It's really important to get vaccines — not only are you protecting yourself and your kids, but you're also protecting other people in the community," says Comber.


5.9 ARCHAIC GREECE

The story of the Greek world in the Dark Ages could mostly be described as a story of fragmentation. With a few exceptions, individual sites had limited contact with each other. The Archaic period, however, appears to have been a time of growing contacts and connections between different parts of mainland Greece. Furthermore, it was a time of expansion, as the establishment of overseas colonies and cities brought the Greeks to Italy and Sicily in the West, and Asia Minor and the Black Sea littoral in the East. Furthermore, while Greeks in the Archaic period saw themselves as citizens of individual city-states, this period also witnessed the rise of a Pan-Hellenic identity, as all Greeks saw themselves connected by virtue of their common language, religion, and Homeric values. This Pan-Hellenic identity was ultimately cemented during the Persian Wars: two invasions of Greece by the Persian Empire at the end of the Archaic period.

While warfare in the Iliad consisted largely of duels between individual heroes, the hoplite phalanx was a new mode of fighting that did not rely on the skill of individuals. Rather, it required all soldiers in the line to work together as a whole. Armed in the same way – with a helmet, spear, and the round shield, the hoplon, which gave the hoplites their name – the soldiers were arranged in rows, possibly as much as seven deep. Each soldier carried his shield on his left arm, protecting the left side of his own body and the right side

5.9.1 Rise of the Hoplite Phalanx and the Polis

A Corinthian vase, known today as the Chigi Vase, made in the mid-seventh century BCE, presents a tantalizing glimpse of the changing times from the Dark Ages to the Archaic Period. Taking up much of the decorated space on the vase is a battle scene. Two armies of warriors with round shields, helmets, and spears are facing each other and appear to be marching in formation towards each other in preparation for attack.

Modern scholars largely consider the vase to be the earliest artistic portrayal of the hoplite phalanx, a new way of fighting that spread around the Greek world in the early Archaic Age and that coincided with the rise of another key institution for subsequent Greek history: the polis, or city-state. From the early Archaic period to the conquest of the Greek world by Philip and Alexander in the late fourth century BCE, the polis was the central unit of organization in the Greek world.

While warfare in the Iliad consisted largely of duels between individual heroes, the hoplite phalanx was a new mode of ghting that did not rely on the skill of individuals. Rather, it required all soldiers in the line to work together as a whole. Armed in the same way – with a helmet, spear, and the round shield, the hoplon, which gave the hoplites their name – the soldiers were arranged in rows, possibly as much as seven deep. Each soldier carried his shield on his left arm, protecting the left side of his own body and the right side of his comrade to the left. Working together as one, then, the phalanx would execute the othismos (a mass shove) during battle, with the goal of shoving the enemy phalanx off the battlefield.

Historians do not know which came into existence first, the phalanx or the polis, but the two clearly reflect a similar ideology. In fact, the phalanx could be seen as a microcosm of the polis, exemplifying the chief values of the polis on a small scale. Each polis was a fully self-sufficient unit of organization, with its own laws, definition of citizenship, government, army, economy, and local cults. Regardless of the differences between the many poleis in matters of citizenship, government, and law, one key similarity is clear: the survival of the polis depended on the dedication of all its citizens to the collective well-being of the city-state. This dedication included service in the phalanx. As a result, citizenship in most Greek city-states was closely connected to military service, and women were excluded from citizenship. Furthermore, since hoplites had to provide their own armor, these citizen-militias effectively consisted of landowners. This is not to say, though, that the poorer citizens were entirely excluded from serving their city. One example of a way in which they may have participated even in the phalanx appears on the Chigi Vase. Marching between two lines of warriors is an unarmed man, playing a double-reed flute (seen on the right end of the top band in Figure 5.10). Since the success of the phalanx depended on marching together in step, the flute-player’s music would have been essential to ensure that everyone kept the same tempo during the march.

5.9.2 Greek Religion

One theory modern scholars have proposed for the rise of the polis connects the locations of the city-states to known cult-sites. The theory argues that the Greeks of the Archaic period built city-states around these precincts of various gods in order to live closer to them and protect them. While impossible to know for sure if this theory or any other regarding the rise of the polis is true, the building of temples in cities during the Archaic period shows the increasing emphasis that the poleis were placing on religion.

It is important to note that Greek religion seems to have been, at least to some extent, an element of continuity from the Bronze Age to the Archaic period and beyond. The important role that the gods play in the Homeric epics attests to their prominence in the oral tradition, going back to the Dark Ages. Furthermore, names of the following major gods worshipped in the Archaic period and beyond were found on the deciphered Linear B tablets: Zeus, king of the gods and god of weather, associated with the thunderbolt Hera, Zeus’ wife and patroness of childbirth Poseidon, god of the sea Hermes, messenger god and patron of thieves and merchants Athena, goddess of war and wisdom and patroness of women’s crafts Ares, god of war Dionysus, god of wine and the twins Apollo, god of the sun and both god of the plague and a healer, and Artemis, goddess of the hunt and the moon. All of these gods continued to be the major divinities in Greek religion for its duration, and many of them were worshipped as patron gods of individual cities, such as Artemis at Sparta, and Athena at Athens.

While many local cults of even major gods were truly local in appeal, a few local cults achieved truly Pan-Hellenic appeal. Drawing visitors from all over the Greek world, these Pan-Hellenic cults were seen as belonging equally to all the Greeks. One of the most famous examples is the cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus. Asclepius, son of Apollo, was a healer god, and his shrine at Epidaurus attracted the pilgrims from all over the Greek world. Visitors suffering from illness practiced incubation, that is, spending the night in the temple, in the hopes of receiving a vision in their dreams suggesting a cure. In gratitude for the god’s healing, some pilgrims dedicated casts of their healed body parts. Archaeological findings include a plentitude of ears, noses, arms, and feet.

Starting out as local cults, several religious festivals that included athletic competitions as part of the celebration also achieved Pan-Hellenic prominence during the Archaic period. The most influential of these were the Olympic Games. Beginning in 776 BCE, the Olympic Games were held in Olympia every four years in honor of Zeus they drew competitors from all over the Greek world, and even Persia. The Pan-Hellenic appeal of the Olympics is signified by the impact that these games had on Greek politics: for instance, a truce was in effect throughout the Greek world for the duration of each Olympics. In addition, the Olympics provided a Pan-Hellenic system of dating events by Olympiads or four-year cycles.

Finally, perhaps the most politically influential of the Pan-Hellenic cults was the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, established sometime in the eighth century BCE. Available for consultation only nine days a year, the oracle spoke responses to the questions asked by inquirers through a priestess, named the Pythia. The Pythia’s responses came in the form of poetry and were notoriously difficult to interpret. Nevertheless, city-states and major rulers throughout the Greek world considered it essential to consult the oracle before embarking on any major endeavor, such as war or founding a colony.

5.9.3 Maritime Trade and Colonization

The historian Herodotus records that sometime c. 630 BCE, the king of the small island of Thera traveled to Delphi to offer a sacrifice and consult the oracle on a few minor points. To his surprise, the oracle’s response had nothing to do with his queries. Instead, the Pythia directed him to found a colony in Libya, in North Africa. Having never heard of Libya, the king ignored the advice. A seven-year drought ensued, and the Therans felt compelled to consult the oracle again. Receiving the same response as before, they finally sent out a group of colonists who eventually founded the city of Cyrene.

While this story may sound absurd, it is similar to other foundation stories of Greek colonies and emphasizes the importance of the Delphic oracle. At the same time, though, this story still leaves open the question of motive: why did so many Greek city-states of the Archaic period send out colonies to other parts of the Greek world? Archaeology and foundation legends, such as those recorded by Herodotus, suggest two chief reasons: population pressures along with shortage of productive farmland in the cities on mainland Greece, and increased ease of trade that colonies abroad facilitated. In addition to resolving these two problems, however, the colonies also had the unforeseen impact of increasing interactions of the Greeks with the larger Mediterranean world and the ancient Near East. These interactions are visible, for instance, in the so-called Orientalizing style of art in the Archaic period, a style the Greeks borrowed from the Middle East and Egypt.

As section 5.3.5 will show, however, the presence of Greek colonies in Asia Minor also played a major role in bringing about the Greco-Persian Wars.

5.9.4. Aristocracy, Democracy, and Tyranny in Archaic Greece

Later Greek historians, including Herodotus and Thucydides, noted a certain trend in the trajectory of the history of most Greek poleis: most city-states started out with a monarchical or quasi-monarchical government. Over time the people gained greater representation, and an assembly of all citizens had at least some degree of political power—although some degree of strife typically materialized between the aristocrats and the poorer elements. Taking advantage of such civic conflicts, tyrants came to power in most city-states for a brief period before the people banded together and drove them out, thenceforth replacing them with a more popular form of government.

Many modern historians are skeptical about some of the stories that the Greek historians tell about origins of some poleis for instance, it is questionable whether the earliest Thebans truly were born from dragon teeth. Similarly, the stories about some of the Archaic tyrants seem to belong more to the realm of legend than history. Nevertheless, the preservation of stories about tyrants in early oral tradition suggests that city-states likely went through periods of turmoil and change in their form of government before developing a more stable constitution. Furthermore, this line of development accurately describes the early history of Athens, the best-documented polis.

In the early Archaic period, Athens largely had an aristocratic constitution. Widespread debt-slavery, however, caused significant civic strife in the city and led to the appointment of Solon as lawgiver for the year 594/3 BCE, specifically for the purpose of reforming the laws. Solon created a more democratic constitution and also left poetry documenting justifications for his reforms—and different citizens’ reactions to them. Most controversial of all, Solon instituted a one-time debt-forgiveness, seisachtheia, which literally means “shaking off.” He proceeded to divide all citizens into five classes based on income, assigning a level of political participation and responsibility commensurate with each class. Shortly after Solon’s reforms, a tyrant, Peisistratus, illegally seized control of Athens and remained in power off and on from 561 to 527 BCE. Peisistratus seems to have been a reasonably popular ruler who had the support of a significant portion of the Athenian population. His two sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, however, appear to have been less well-liked. Two men, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, assassinated Hipparchus in 514 BCE then in 508 BCE, the Athenians, with the help of a Spartan army, permanently drove out Hippias. In subsequent Athenian history, Harmodius and Aristogeiton were considered heroes of the democracy and celebrated as tyrannicides.

Immediately following the expulsion of Hippias, Athens underwent a second round of democratic reforms, led by Cleisthenes. The Cleisthenic constitution remained in effect, with few changes, until the Macedonian conquest of Athens in the fourth century BCE and is considered to be the Classical Athenian democracy. Central to the democracy was the participation of all citizens in two types of institutions: the ekklesia, an assembly of all citizens, which functioned as the chief deliberative body of the city and the law-courts, to which citizens were assigned by lot as jurors. Two chief offices, the generals and the archos, ruled over the city and were appointed for one-year terms. Ten generals were elected annually by the ekklesia for the purpose of leading the Athenian military forces. Finally, the leading political office each year, the nine archons, were appointed by lot from all eligible citizens. While this notion of appointing the top political leaders by lot may seem surprising, it exemplifies the Athenians’ pride in their democracy and their desire to believe that, in theory at least, all Athenian citizens were equally valuable and capable of leading their city-state.

Developing in a very different manner from Athens, Sparta was seen by other Greek poleis as a very different sort of city from the rest. Ruled from an early period by two kings – one from each of the two royal houses that ruled jointly – Sparta was a true oligarchy, in which the power rested in its gerousia, a council of thirty elders, whose number included the two kings. While an assembly of all citizens existed as well, its powers were much more limited than were those of the Athenian assembly. Yet because of much more restrictive citizenship rules, Spartan assembly of citizens would have felt as a more selective body, as Figure 5.14 illustrates.

A crucial moment in Spartan history was the city’s conquest of the nearby region of Messenia in the eighth century BCE.

The Spartans annexed the Messenian territory to their own and made the Messenians helots. While the helots could not be bought or sold, they were permanently tied to the land in a status akin to medieval European serfs. The availability of helot labor allowed the Spartans from that point on to focus their attention on military training. This focus transformed Sparta into the ultimate military state in the Greek world, widely respected by the other Greek poleis for its military prowess. Other Greeks were fascinated by such Spartan practices as the communal bringing up of all children apart from their parents and the requirement that all Spartan girls and women, as well as boys and men, maintain a strict regimen of exercise and training.

But while Athens and Sparta sound like each other’s diametrical opposites, the practices of both poleis ultimately derived from the same belief that all city-states held: that, in order to ensure their city’s survival, the citizens must place their city-state’s interests above their own. A democracy simply approached this goal with a different view of the qualifications of its citizens than did an oligarchy.

A final note on gender is necessary, in connection with Greek city-states’ definitions of citizenship. Only children of legally married and freeborn citizen parents could be citizens in most city-states. Women had an ambiguous status in the Greek poleis. While not full-fledged citizens themselves, they produced citizens. This view of the primary importance of wives in the city as the mothers of citizens resulted in diametrically opposite laws in Athens and Sparta, showing the different values that the respective cities emphasized. In Athens, if a husband caught his wife with an adulterer in his home, the law allowed the husband to kill said adulterer on the spot. The adultery law was so harsh precisely because adultery put into question the citizenship status of potential children, thereby depriving the city of future citizens. By contrast, Spartan law allowed an unmarried man who wanted offspring to sleep with the wife of another man, with the latter’s consent, specifically for the purpose of producing children. This law reflects the importance that Sparta placed on producing strong future soldiers as well as the communal attitude of the city towards family and citizenship.

5.9.5 The Persian Wars

Despite casting their net far and wide in founding colonies, the Greeks seem to have remained in a state of relatively peaceful coexistence with the rest of their Mediterranean neighbors until the sixth century BCE. In the mid-sixth century BCE, Cyrus, an ambitious king of Persia, embarked on a swift program of expansion, ultimately consolidating under his rule the largest empire of the ancient world and earning for himself the title “Cyrus the Great.”

Cyrus’ Achaemenid Empire bordered the area of Asia Minor that had been previously colonized by the Greeks. This expansion of the Persian Empire brought the Persians into direct conflict with the Greeks and became the origin of the Greco-Persian Wars, the greatest military conflict the Greek world had known up until that point.

Over the second half of the sixth century, the Persians had taken over the region of Asia Minor, also known as Ionia, installing as rulers of these Greek city-states tyrants loyal to Persia. In 499 BCE, however, the Greek city-states in Asia Minor joined forces to rebel against the Persian rule. Athens and Eretria sent military support for this Ionian Revolt, and the rebelling forces marched on the Persian capital of Sardis and burned it in 498 BCE, before the revolt was finally subdued by the Persians in 493 BCE.

Seeking revenge on Athens and Eretria, the Persian king Darius launched an expedition in 490 BCE.

Darius’ forces captured Eretria in mid-summer, destroyed the city, and enslaved its inhabitants. Sailing a short distance across the bay, the Persian army then landed at Marathon. The worried Athenians sent a plea for help to Sparta. The Spartans, in the middle of a religious festival, refused to help. So, on September 12, 490 BCE, the Athenians, with only a small force of Plataeans helping, faced the much larger Persian army in the Battle of Marathon. The decisive Athenian victory showed the superiority of the Greek hoplite phalanx and marked the end of the first Persian invasion of Greece. Furthermore, the victory at Marathon, which remained a point of pride for the Athenians for centuries after, demonstrated to the rest of the Greeks that Sparta was not the only great military power in Greece.

Darius died in 486 BCE, having never realized his dream of revenge against the Greeks. His son, Xerxes, however, continued his father’s plans and launched in 480 BCE a second invasion of Greece, with an army so large that, as the historian Herodotus claims, it drank entire rivers dry on its march. The Greek world reacted in a much more organized fashion to this second invasion than it did to the first. Led by Athens and Sparta, some seventy Greek poleis formed a sworn alliance to fight together against the Persians. This alliance, the first of its kind, proved to be the key to defeating the Persians as it allowed the allies to split forces strategically in order to guard against Persian attack by both land and sea. The few Greek city-states who declared loyalty to the Persian Empire instead–most notably, Thebes–were seen as traitors for centuries to come by the rest of the Greeks.

Marching through mainland Greece from the north, the Persians first confronted the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, a narrow mountain pass that stood in the way of the Persians’ accessing any point south. In this now-legendary battle, 300 Spartans, led by their king Leonidas, successfully defended the pass for two days before being betrayed by a local who showed a roundabout route to the Persians. The Persians then were able to outflank the Spartans and kill them to the last man. This battle, although a loss for the Greeks, bought crucial time for the rest of the Greek forces in preparing to face the Persians. It is also important to note that although the Spartans were considered even in the ancient world to be the heroes of Thermopylae, they were also accompanied by small contingents from several other Greek city-states in this endeavor.

The victory at Thermopylae fulfilled the old dream of Darius, as it allowed access to Athens for the Persians. The Athenian statesman Themistocles, however, had ordered a full evacuation of the city in advance of the Persian attack through an unusual interpretation of a Delphic oracle stating that wooden walls will save Athens. Taking the oracle to mean that the wooden walls in question were ships, Themistocles built a massive fleet which he used to send all of the city’s inhabitants to safety. His gamble proved to be successful, and the Persians captured and burned a mostly empty city.

The Athenians proceeded to defeat the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis, off the coast of Athens, thus shortly before winter turning the tide of the war in favor of the Greeks. Finally, in June of 479 BCE, the Greek forces were able to strike the two final blows, defeating the Persian land and sea forces on the same day in the Battle of Plataea on land and the Battle of Mycale on sea. The victory at Mycale also resulted in a second Ionian revolt, which this time ended in a victory for the Greek city-states in Asia Minor. Xerxes was left to sail home to his diminished empire.

It is difficult to overestimate the impact of the Persian Wars on subsequent Greek history. Seen by historians as the end-point of the Archaic Period, the Persian Wars cemented Pan-Hellenic identity, as they saw cooperation on an unprecedented scale among the Greek city-states. In addition, the Persian Wars showed the Greek military superiority over the Persians on both land and sea. Finally, the wars showed Athens in a new light to the rest of the Greeks. As the winners of Marathon in the first invasion and the leaders of the navy during the second invasion, the Athenians emerged from the wars as the rivals of Sparta for military prestige among the Greeks. This last point, in particular, proved to be the most influential for Greek history in the subsequent period.


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As Black communities around the country celebrated the verdict, many were cautious to call it a victory or justice.

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Likewise, Cynthia Lee, a professor of criminal law at The George Washington University Law School, told Politico "this verdict is historic."

"The verdict can be seen as the first step in a long road to recovery," Lee said. "We need to hold officers accountable when they cross the line and abuse their authority. This verdict shows that is possible in America."


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