February 24, 2009

New video. Boulder’s Pride: (Congressman) Jared Polis goes to Washington at 33 years old. First openly gay person ever elected to Congress. Gets appointed to powerful committee (rare for Freshman). And (deep breath) CNN features him. [Videos]

Above and below: a few random photos (including one of Jared Polis and I tossing Polis tee shirts to crowd) from Jared’s last few appearances at elephant journal’s talk show, elevision, at the Boulder Theater, and our debate co-hosted with New Era Colorado.

Jared Polis is a longtime acquaintance /slash/ friend of yours truly, and elephant. We’ve interviewed him a few times on our talk show, ‘elevision,’ he wrote a great article for us on education, he helped my lifelong brau Sol Halpern run for School Board—taking an active role, beyond just great advice.

Of course now that he’s Congressman, everyone’s been buddies with J-Rod for years. Well, Congressman “Just call me Jared” Polis and I had dinner the other night, and he gave me some helpful advice on my prospective Council run (while politely declining to endorse, he did generally encourage said run, which I’m still on the fence about—I’m going to Council meeting tonight, and continue to meet with wise women and men and seek their advice).

Anyway: Jared, who made half a billion bucks by the age of 10, then went on to invent the internet, head up the State Board of Education and win a seat in Congress (and get appointed to the “powerful” House Appropriations Committee) at the tender age of 33. And now he’s blogging and video blogging for CNN…here’s his first two weeks, in his own words…

• Been kissed by Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen — on stage, no less at the Human Rights Campaign Ball).

• Had my congressional ID pin accidentally stolen by fellow freshman Rep. Tom Periello of Virginia.

• Hosted eight houseguests in our humble, one-bathroom abode on Capitol Hill for the inauguration.

• Participated in the greatest single outpouring of national pride and emotion our nation has ever seen.

• And gotten lost (repeatedly) in the labyrinthine passageways beneath the Capitol and House office buildings.

…and CNN has asked Jared to video his ‘Freshman’ experience:

What’s it really like to be a new member of the world’s most powerful legislature? Two new U.S. representatives are teaming up with CNN.com to report their “Freshman Year” experience through videos and commentaries.

Jason Chaffetz and Jared Polis are taking video cameras with them as they negotiate their way in the 111th Congress, both inside and outside Washington.

They both won convincing victories in November in neighboring states, yet they are world’s apart. Utah’s Chaffetz is a conservative Republican married father of three who is sleeping on a cot in his congressional office to save money. Democrat Polis from Colorado is a former Internet entrepreneur who is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and the first openly gay male to be elected to the House of Representatives as a freshman.

And here’s Jared’s great blog. Excerpt:


WASHINGTON (CNN) — Patience, they say, is a virtue. Yet in times of emergency, the government needs to be able to make snap decisions and take bold, decisive action to protect the American people.

This is exactly what the framers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution, crafting the various branches of government so they had the ability to expeditiously work together while simultaneously watching over each other’s actions to prevent waste and misuse.

The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or stimulus bill, as it is often called, is a perfect example in which dire circumstances necessitate immediate action. But with such large amounts of taxpayer money at stake, a hastily developed, under-thought-out plan could have been disastrous.

For those of you who have read your Federalist Papers or seen the Schoolhouse Rock music video “I’m Just a Bill,” you know that the process of how a bill becomes a law is complex, but necessary. With each vote we make, members of Congress must reflect on and truly represent the

…for the rest, click here.





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