Jared Polis, a Democrat, is running for a fifth time for re-election in Congress.
He has been a member of Congress since 2008 and he is the house representative for the second district which includes Larimer County as well as Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Summit and Park counties.
Polis serves on many different committees such as the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. He is also a co-chair on the LGBT Equality Caucus and the Equal Protection Task Force of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Polis was on the CSU Lory Student Center Plaza on Wednesday to spread the word about the election and meet students. Many students asked to take selfies with him and talk about some of the issues he is working to fix.
“I was a business person in the technology industry, and I really saw the importance of an education and people being able to have good jobs that pay well,” Polis said. “So, I got very involved with improving our schools, and I served on the state school board. When I ran for Congress, I wanted to be on the education committee so I could work to make college more affordable and improve our public schools.”
He said he enjoys feedback from students who are being affected by issues such as the economy, taxes and the environment.
“He is definitely for the people,” said Ben Blea, a freshman business major. “He is for climate change and he definitely believes in it. So, I mean he just technically believes in stuff that I want to believe in, so I support him.”
Polis’ main concern with the status of the country is to provide education to all Americans regardless of where they reside, according to his campaign website. He believes that education is the most powerful investment that America can make. He also wants to invest in infrastructure, medical research and science.
Polis aims to reduce the cost of higher education and to cap the student loan interest rates and create an income-based repayment system.
“Currently, the government makes a profit off of administrative student loans, so at the very least, we should decrease the interest rate so the government breaks even as opposed to having a profit.”
He is also working towards making tuition cost less through open-source textbooks and providing more transferable credits from high school to higher education.
Polis plans to provide more educational opportunities for veterans and people of different ethnic or economic backgrounds.
Polis was elected for a seat on the Colorado State Board of Education in 2000. He had this position for six years and also served as vice-chairman and chairman. Polis is also responsible for founding two charter schools, the New America School and the Academy of Urban Learning.
Polis is the first openly gay Congressman and he wants to stop Americans from being discriminated against for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Polis considers himself pro-choice and believes that a woman’s personal health should remain private. Polis also supports the legalization of marijuana across the country.
Polis is also working towards improving immigration policies, with other Democrats and Republicans, in order to give civil rights and equality to all.
TAX CODE, ELECTION SPENDING
Polis wants to reform the tax code to eliminate loopholes and create a better system to benefit the middle class and small businesses. His goal is also to raise the minimum wage and ensure equal pay for equal work. Polis believes that in order to strengthen the economy there must be a strong consumer base.
Polis is co-sponsoring a constitutional amendment in order to overturn Citizens United, a supreme court ruling that allows corporations to donate as individuals to election campaigns.
Polis’ campaign also supports training for more green jobs in order to make America energy independent. He is also looking to close loopholes for the oil and gas industry in the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Polis also wants the tax on carbon emissions and pollution to be paid by the source rather than the taxpayers.
Polis attended Princeton University in New Jersey and founded one of his three companies while still enrolled. Polis was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2000 by Ernst and Young. He owns American Information Systems, bluemountain.com and Proflowers.com. In 2014, Polis received 56.7 percent of the vote against his opponent, George Leing.