From Colorado's earliest days, connecting with wilderness has been part of what defines us as Westerners. As a lifelong outdoorsman and leader of the Colorado Outward Bound School for 10 years, I can attest to the importance of Colorado's wilderness to our economy and our special way of life.
Our great state has been shaped and molded by the strong Colorado women who lead their communities, bolster our economy and provide for their families. One of the best parts of my job representing Colorado in Washington, D.C., is to promote policies that open up economic opportunities for everyone — and last week, I co-hosted the Colorado Women’s Forum on Economic Opportunity to bring all those ideas and idea-makers together.
Colorado is home to some of the most important and innovative aerospace operations in the world. The remarkable work done by Colorado's thriving community of scientists, engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs has established our state as an aerospace pioneer and helped our nation remain at the forefront of 21st century ingenuity.
Throughout our nation's long history, American manufacturing has buoyed our economic success and helped us win the global economic race. From the post-war boom through today, Made-in-America jobs and products have laid the foundation for much of Colorado’s prosperity and success.
Coloradans agree that no one should have to ask their boss for a permission slip to access critical health services — birth control or otherwise. But just over two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 decision, turned back the clock on decades of progress toward gender equality by deciding to allow the vast majority of employers to refuse to cover contraception as part of employees’ health insurance policies.
President John F. Kennedy famously said that when the rights of one are threatened, the rights of all are diminished. Fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — our nation’s landmark legislation outlawing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin — these words continue to ring true.
Colorado is winning the global economic race thanks to our college graduates, who have the drive, skills and expertise to keep our state at the forefront of the 21st century's innovation economy. But with the price of education rising faster than ever, student loan debt is dragging down their financial health and hindering our economy's ability to grow.
Washington has a lot to learn from how we do business in Colorado — and there's no better example of this than our diverse and balanced approach to energy. As a member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I know there's no silver bullet to addressing our nation's 21st century energy needs. What we need is a silver buckshot approach.
Starting a new business shortly after the recession began wasn’t easy, but Wy Livingston — of Lakewood, Colorado — was undaunted. Through a small-business loan, hard work and investing her own money, Wy made Wystone’s World Teas in Lakewood a thriving business that won the 2010 Minority Enterprise Business Award for Retail Firm of the Year. And she continues to expand her business today throughout the Denver metro area.
More than three years ago, I was proud to lead the successful bipartisan effort to end the wasteful and unnecessary process of congressional earmarks. Earmarking, while a small part of the federal budget, put too much focus on narrow, local priorities and didn’t emphasize enough transparency and oversight to ensure taxpayer funds were being used efficiently.
Colorado has repeatedly broken the "most destructive fire in state history" record over the last several years, from the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires of 2012 to the Black Forest Fire of 2013. This cycle of increasingly destructive fires has made it clear that the question is not if, but when, we’ll have another catastrophic megafire.
From Colorado’s towering peaks to its rolling plains, the Centennial State requires a certain toughness from those who call it home. The pioneering, strong women who settled Colorado trekked across these plains and over the Rocky Mountains, rising to the challenge of helping to settle the frontier. It was this spirit of strength and independence that has helped define our special way of life in Colorado.
The Colorado we know today was born from a mining boom that drew thousands of pioneers and entrepreneurs to places like Leadville and Clear Creek with the promise of gold and silver. In fact, the Colorado Capitol's golden dome harkens back to the Centennial State's mining roots. But even as many families benefited from the gold and silver booms, Colorado and the West are littered with stories of pioneers who thought they hit the mother lode and discovered only too late that they instead had found pyrite — a worthless stone also known as "fool's gold."
The upcoming Colorado Capital Conference in Washington, D.C., is an opportunity for you and others from across Colorado to meet and engage with national leaders and key opinion leaders in our nation's capital.
Colorado's story is one of opportunity and perseverance in the face of adversity. That has been true throughout our state’s history — a history that has been shaped by the pivotal role played by African Americans. Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions African Americans have made to expanding access to opportunity across Colorado and around our nation.
From Janet Yellen's confirmation as the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve to Colorado once again leading the nation in proportion of women serving in the state legislature, we're truly witnessing history in the making. These milestones confirm that gender should never limit opportunity if every one of us is to reach our fullest potential.
In the nearly three years since the Affordable Care Act became law, we've made important progress toward ensuring that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care. As of January 1, more than 138,000 Coloradans have found affordable coverage through our state’s new health insurance marketplace and the common-sense Medicaid expansion the law supports.
I know it seems like members of Congress don’t get much done in Washington, D.C. And it’s often the truth. But despite the ongoing partisanship in Washington, with you by my side, we Coloradans accomplished a lot in 2013. Even as a minority of lawmakers focused their efforts on senselessly shutting down the federal government and blocking legislative action, with Coloradans by my side I was able to make progress on the issues we care most about. From protecting our constitutional rights to caring for our veterans, I’m proud to have been able to bridge the partisan divide and get things done for Colorado and our nation.
Coloradans don’t have to look far to see how truly magnificent our state is. From the towering 14,000-foot peaks of the High Country to the grasslands of the Eastern Plains, I love calling Colorado home. Our diverse and stunning landscapes allow us to enjoy the outdoors year-round with plentiful hiking, skiing, hunting, fishing, kayaking and dozens of other activities to keep us moving.