Rep. Jared Polis
Jared Polis is an independent leader who uses his private and public sector experience to find pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing Colorado and the nation. He has given much of his life to the cause of improving and reforming education. In Congress, he has become a recognized leader on school reform, as well as immigration, civil rights, and the environment. First elected to represent Colorado’s Second Congressional District in 2008, Polis serves on the powerful Committee on Rules, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on Ethics. He also serves as a Vice Chair on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, the Vice Chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, and co-chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus. Additionally, Polis co-chairs the U.S.-Mexico Congressional Caucus, Congressional Blockchain Caucus, and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Congressional Caucus.
Polis’ top priority is ensuring that all Americans regardless of geography or economic background receive a world-class education. As a successful entrepreneur, he understands that America’s economic success is tied to every child’s success in the classroom. He believes that education is the single most meaningful investment America can make in its economic future and in its people. While still attending Princeton University, Polis co-founded his first company, American Information Systems, a success he followed with the launching of bluemountain.com and Proflowers.com. He has been named an “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst and Young. At home in Colorado, Polis first won elected office when voters selected him for a seat on the Colorado State Board of Education in 2000, on which he served for six years including as vice-chairman and chairman. He also founded two innovative charter schools: the New America School, where he served as Superintendent of, to extend the benefits of English literacy and a high school liberal arts education to new immigrants; and the Academy of Urban Learning, which educates homeless teens or those from unstable living environments. During the 114th Congress, Polis was one of seven House Democrats chosen to serve on the conference committee to reauthorize the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), also known as No Child Left Behind, the nation’s most sweeping K-12 law, which had not been updated since 2001. As a member of the conference committee, Polis worked with his colleagues to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill and ultimately produce a bill that passed both chambers of Congress and was signed into law. Polis works with Democrats and Republicans to reform our nation’s broken immigration policies, to advance the cause of civil rights and equality for all, and to protect Colorado and the world’s natural beauty and environment.