Update 1:00 pm MT Tuesday: THANK YOU REDDIT for 14.4k upvotes so far and for the great discussion! I have to return to work now, I'll be back sometime for sure!

Update 12:15 PM MT Tuesday: Final half hour everyone! Thanks for helping to make this AMA a success

Update: 8:55 am MT Tuesday: I am back and will start in again on the answers for the next few hours! You guys are really night owls!

Update 11:46 PM MT logging off for the night, see ya'll tomorrow for the final round (I'll answer some more when I get back in the am)

Update: 11:20 PM MT, going to sleep soon, keep 'em coming and I'll respond to some more in the morning to finish it off.

My short bio: Internet entrepreneur (bluemountain.com, proflowers.com, Techstars, others) member of Congress representing Northern CO (tech work includes Email Privacy Act, fighting NSA/DOJ surveillance, bitcoin/blockchain), founded two public schools and was Chairman of State Board of Education, gaymer and dad, candidate for Governor of Colorado My Proof: https://imgur.com/uU8F9j8

Comments: 945 • Responses: 94  • Date: 

apreche540 karma

If congresspeople hate making fundraising calls all day, why don't you pass campaign finance reform?

jaredpolis588 karma

I'm for it. Ask some member of Congress who isn't for it!

Here's the bill I support: https://polis.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=397722

jaredpolis326 karma

also I'm not accepting any PAC special interest money in my campaign!

up-in-the-hills476 karma

What are the downsides you see to our state having legalized marijuana? Overall, is it a net positive or negative?

jaredpolis1168 karma

Overall a POSITIVE. I supported Amendment 64 and I think that it not only generates tax revenues, creates jobs but also helps drive the criminal cartels out of business!

I don't see a lot of downsides to it being legal, I think it's important that we do more work to reduce driving under the influence of any drug or alcohol, and that we try to prevent kids from using marijuana

diracwinsagain252 karma

Colorado should be proud of the progress it's made on child and teen marijuana use since legalization. See this plot from Washington Post:


jaredpolis327 karma

We're driving neighborhood drug dealers out of business!

KimmelToe38 karma

is the increase of homeless in downtown denver due to the construction boom, or pot?

seattle has seen the exactly same issues--even my hometown now has a huge amount of homeless.

jaredpolis134 karma

There are lots of causes, I think the biggest is a very simple one: It is a lot more expensive to live in Denver than it was 10 years ago or 5 years ago. Rent is much higher, and there are more people who simply can't afford a place to live even if they have jobs and are therefore homeless.

up-in-the-hills52 karma

How would you address this?

jaredpolis159 karma

We should consider a permanent funding source for affordable housing programs across the state. We also need more protections for folks who are vulnerable to displacement and housing supply and demand. And we need better zoning laws to expand mixed-income/mixed-use housing, as well as more multi-family homes that are affordable to middle-class families.

PM_ME_KIM_JONG-UN225 karma

Do you support a Carbon tax? Why or why not?

jaredpolis407 karma

yeah i think that if we had a carbon fee we could reduce income taxes and taxes on small businesses to help them grow and make it cost more to pollute

TheGreatClockwyrm219 karma

Here’s a low-key question. I remember a while back learning that you played League and mained....Maokai? if I’m not mistaken. Do you still play, and if so, who do you main? What do you think of all the changes the game has underwent the last couple of years?

THE RlVER KlNG is my username btw on NA. The I’s are actually lowercase l’s.

jaredpolis430 karma

I used to play a lot more. I was an early player and played several nights/week until a year or two ago. Yes it has changed SO much I would need to practice to be good again. I played a few weeks ago and so much had changed that I wasn't very good. It's still a great game, just different.

Been playing Heroes of Might and Magic VII lately, but honestly very little time for gaming because I have THREE jobs the next 11 months (member of Congress, candidate for Governor, dad) so I look forward to either being Governor or unemployed then I can game more.

TheGreatClockwyrm101 karma

Haha yeah I bet! Good luck in the race. If I were a Colorado citizen I’d vote for you (btw I’m the guy on Twitter). I’ve heard good things about HoMaM.

The Isles will bloom again!

jaredpolis68 karma

t/y guy on twitter! ;)

jaredpolis105 karma

btw good job remembering who I main :) Tree forever!

zatch17208 karma

Would you sponsor a bill for towns to be able to control their own fiber internet?

jaredpolis312 karma

Yes this is part of my rural broadband plan for Colorado (which would work in other states): https://www.summitdaily.com/opinion/polis-and-stiegelmeier-overcoming-rural-colorados-broadband-hurdles-column/

-Slugtastic-166 karma

Hey Jared! What's a "gaymer"?

jaredpolis384 karma

haha, someone who is gay and a gamer

and wait for it there is a subreddit for it! ;)


-Slugtastic-101 karma

Hah you learn something every day! Cheers.

jaredpolis386 karma

yeah there is a subreddit for that too!


nmhnmhnmhnmh159 karma

Hi Jared! I'm a resident of Fort Collins, and I have 2 questions for you:

I am trying really hard to differentiate between the various Democratic candidates for governor. You all seem very progressive, so I would like to know: what sets you apart from the others?

And question two is: are you supporting anyone for Senate in 2020 to take over Gardner's seat? If not, have you considered Trish Zornio?

jaredpolis194 karma

1) I would say my out of the box approach and creativity, you won't find others (that I know of) talking about blockchain and what states can do for net neutrality in addition to usual progressive stuff. I'm also proud of my work in education not only in policy but founding and running public schools.

2) Wow I'm thinking about 2018! I don't know Trish feel free to make an intro. I doubt I will think about who to support in 2020 much until after 2018 election!

nmhnmhnmhnmh55 karma

Thanks for your answers! On number 2--Zornio is the one potential candidate I've found who is testing the waters to take on Gardner's seat, and she is also a major progressive. Her campaign issue stances seem very congenial to your own.

I've decided that it's important to get started on this political process early, so I've already reached out to Trish to let her know that she has my support and volunteer-time. Hopefully she takes the message and declares her intent to run--and, if she does so, perhaps we can all work together to help her campaign. I'm so excited to help push Colorado into a more progressive future. Thanks for hosting this AMA :)

jaredpolis60 karma

yeah especially if you are just starting out in politics you definitely need time to build a winning campaign.

The funny thing is that so many people tell me they wish campaign seasons were shorter, but to win you need to start SO early to build support and name id

nmhnmhnmhnmh25 karma

Right?! If campaign seasons were any shorter, that would practically guarantee that grassroots political movements would never be able to take off. It just takes time to reach out to individuals.

And I have a followup question/concern: I've only been learning about you for a few weeks as I research candidates, but one concern that pops up is your wealth. I and many others have problems with politicians who are run by special interest groups--but that doesn't seem to be your case. You made your wealth through selling businesses or something like that, right? That's cool--but has your wealth proved an issue in previous (and current) political campaigns? Has anyone tried to frame you as an oligarch (sorry) or anything like that? I hope this question doesn't seem offensive--I just want to have your character accurate in my head, in case I decide to lend you my more vocal support in 2018.

jaredpolis35 karma

I don't think anyone frames me as an "oligarch" because that would probably mean I still have active businesses I run, and I don't run any businesses now and most of my assets are in a blind trust.

I think the positive you hit on is right, I can take on the special interests because I don't rely on them. I think the main negative is the assumption that all rich people are a**holds or that all rich people are totally out of touch.

nmhnmhnmhnmh22 karma

I can take on the special interests because I don't rely on them.

That's excellent. Yeah, I hate to sound like I'm painting anyone in that light, but I know that progressives, especially young ones, are suspicious of people of vast wealth, and sometimes unreasonably so. I like the idea that you're not only philanthropic, but also you have an increased immunity to corporate interests. That's something special.

I'll leave room now for others to ask more questions. Thank you again, and I'll make sure to use your answers in (probably) supporting you in your campaign for governor.

Good luck! If you ever make it to For Collins in the next few years, I hope you can check out our efforts to get more progressive measures on the 2019 ballot. We're aiming to do something special here :)

jaredpolis45 karma

well people should be suspicious of wealth, especially wealthy interests co-opting the political system for their advantage. I'm in FoCo quite a bit so if you see me around say hi! good luck on the ballot!

firefly212127 karma

Would you support a bill that would offer Colorado graduates student loan forgiveness in exchange for an increased income tax rate of 3 or 4% of their income (so they'd still pay into the education system over time, but not have the debt burden)?

jaredpolis162 karma

These exist. They are called "Income Share Agreements" usually.

I introduced a bi-partisan bill to provide some more legal certainty around them and reduce costs as an alternative way to finance college: https://polis.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=397901

gunterglobs118 karma

How should we address Senator Gardners donations from telecom and his commitment to destabilizing net neutrality? He doesn't hold town halls so how does a average citizen go about getting listened to?

jaredpolis163 karma

keep trying, as a Representative I prefer getting emails, but postcards and calls also work. I get a summary each week of every call to my offices. If you don't like the way someone is representing you then you can replace them in the next election. I work for you! and so does Senator Gardner!

FragsturBait34 karma

Hi Jared! Denver resident here. I'd first like to thank you for doing this AMA, I feel like I've gotten to know you and your views much better, which I'm sure was the point. Second, while you've touched on it briefly, I'd like to know more about how you feel about campaign finance reform, specifically Citizens United vs FEC and Corporate Personhood. From my perspective it seems like Senator Gardner does not in fact work for me, but for what or whoever makes a large enough donation to him.

jaredpolis16 karma

I sponsor a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. And while corporations are considered people for economic purposes, they should not be considered people as political constructs. WE THE PEOPLE. And people means you breath and you live and you die. Corporations are a very important economic innovation but they should not be a political innovation that renders actual humans obsolete.

dabecka92 karma

Jared, Coloradan transplant here for 8 years holding a 10 week old native Coloradan.

What is your opinion of the latest Denver Post op-eds and other general talk around town on how Denver and Colorado is becoming “East California”? I get a ton of native Coloradan vitriol on how Denver and Colorado has changed.

How can we remain competitive in the marketplace and continue to be a “get here” state?

jaredpolis152 karma

Colorado has one of the best economies in the country, but when I travel across the state I hear from folks talking about how it’s getting harder and harder to buy a home, pay for college, or save for retirement. I’m running for governor because I want to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. I know if we work together we can think big and fix this! See my white paper on how we can get this done: http://v.fastcdn.co/u/70bc6dd0/21710611-0-JP-EconomyV3.pdf

cyroxos65 karma

Hi, I live in Fort Collins and was wondering if our new municipal Internet will protect us from some of the big ISPs' agenda. If so, the front range could become the new Silicon Valley. What do you think?

jaredpolis107 karma

YES! Municipal Internet will probably become more popular in progressive minded cities and towns because of the repeal of net neutrality. If there is any silver lining that is it. Ironic!

And yes all of Colorado can really be a hub for startups (it is already becoming one!)

edu-fk62 karma

Do you think being a gay married dad impacts your campaign?

Do you feel any pressure to avoid appearing with your family for fear of alienating some conservative voters?

jaredpolis186 karma

1) I think having kids and dealing with parenting issues connects me to many families in Colorado. I've been there changing diapers. Our 3 year old is out of diapers but still wets the bed at night sometimes and has a sleep diaper. That kind of thing.

2) Well Marlon is shy and I don't want the kids to grow up more in public than absolutely necessary, so those are the main reasons that we don't appear in public more together. If Marlon was more outgoing and enjoyed it I would certainly encourage him to attend more events but I respect his desire not to.

mountainreader56 karma

Hey Jared! Great to hear you are running for governor, is there anything I can do in particular to help your campaign?

jaredpolis78 karma

Yes! You can sign up to volunteer at: www.polisforcolorado.com or make a small contribution of $5 or $10! Thank you! And spread the word!

ClF3FTW55 karma

What are your views on zoning deregulation in crowded cities? Do you think that less restrictive zoning laws could decrease housing prices in many cases?

jaredpolis78 karma

well of course they would, simple economics (more supply of housing) but local residents often oppose them because of protecting their neighborhoods quality of life or property values. In Colorado, this plays out at the local level in fights for city council and county commissioner races.

BlackWindBears37 karma

Increased political tribalism has me very concerned. What GOP proposal or platform element are you most supportive of? What do you think Democrats have lost their way on?

(Yes, I'm well aware that the GOP as currently constituted is bonkers. But, obviously Democrats don't have a monopoly on the truth.)

jaredpolis56 karma

Thank you for disputing the false equivalency with the second part of your comment. Yes Democrats can be wrong but are not generally speaking completely bonkers.

In general I support more individual freedom and a smaller, more efficient government that gets the job done. Some people say that Republicans used to support these things. That was before they went bonkers.

Many of my bills in Congress are bi-partisan.

One issue lately I've been working with many Republicans on is Kurdish Independence. It's not inherently a partisan issue but lately I've been getting a better reception on the R side. Here's a piece I wrote a couple years ago on the topic: http://www.denverpost.com/2014/10/03/polis-the-promise-of-an-independent-kurdish-republic/

LegalizeMyself34 karma

Thanks for doing this, and thanks for your work on cannabis law reform over the years. My question: What are some of the things Colorado’s next governor can do to defend the state’s marijuana laws from potential federal attacks?

jaredpolis54 karma

I will push back on any federal effort to interfere with our laws and not share information if it's not related to a criminal investigation under our own law or ordered by a court. The federal government has very limited law enforcement resources in the states, most of law enforcement is in the hands of cities, counties, and the state and so as long as we dont' cooperate it would be hard, almost impossible, for there to be a major federal-only enforcement action.

LegalizeMyself12 karma

Thanks! On a related note, are you hopeful that the appropriations rider protecting state medical cannabis laws will be continued for FY18? Certainly it has a lot of support among lawmakers from both parties, but House leaders have blocked votes on it recently. How do we get around that?

jaredpolis15 karma

YES I plan to offer it as an amendment if it's not included and will do everything I can to get it included.

This restriction on funding being used to contravene state medical marijuana laws has passed Congress before and would probably pass by even more now if we can GET IT TO A VOTE!

LegalizeMyself6 karma

That’s a pretty big if, though, given Pete Sessions’s moves to block any and all marijuana votes over the course of the past year. I’m not hopeful the Rules Committee will allow said amendment to even get to the floor. As you know, being a member of the panel, it’s pretty stacked and GOP members haven’t been inclined to vote for amendments to rules to allow cannabis measures to advance.

jaredpolis11 karma

yeah Rules is the last resort we need our Republican friends like Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) to push hard to get it into the base bill

diracwinsagain33 karma

Governors have to make quickly make decisions on a very wide range of policy issues, often outside their area of expertise.

What is your process for making decisions and educating yourself on policy issues? How do you ensure that you don't become intransigent on an issue if new data becomes available, or if you came to the wrong conclusion?

Edit: Have you recently changed your mind on any of your closely held beliefs? If so, which one? If not, are you certain you are testing them often enough?

jaredpolis29 karma

That's really important. Effective public officials should be driven by data and science. I am familiar with avoiding the sunk-cost fallacy from my success in the private sector, and we should apply the same lesson to government. Summary (not wedded to this, just best summary I could find on google in 2 mins): https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/sunk-cost-fallacy-how-to-avoid-bias-based-on-past-decisions--cms-26642

One should look to the data and the best science with objectivity and without a pre-determined outcome in mind. While I know a lot about a few areas (education, business) I realize I have to be a generalist and make decisions on areas like fire prevention, transportation, etc on which I need to rely on expert opinion and I would try to find the best experts to talk to and if appropriate employ.

diracwinsagain8 karma

I think I may have editted this in while you were typing your response, sorry for my lack of reddiquette:

Have you recently changed your mind on any of your closely held beliefs? If so, which one? If not, are you certain you are testing them often enough?

jaredpolis24 karma

yeah I didn't see that part. So Being in Congress is different. We only get to vote on something once (usually). So if you later change your mind you don't get to go back and change your vote. Doesn't mean you can't change your mind, but your input phase is already done unless a similar vote comes up again.

As Governor and in business, you can change your mind if you determine you were wrong on a more dynamic basis. Adjustments in course are very important.

Also many "closely held beliefs" are based on morality as well, and while ones morality can change over time usually a person stays fairly true to what they believe as right and wrong. Tactics, however, change. In addressing climate change, I regret that the the Democrats pushed cap and trade over a simpler, carbon fee that would have allowed tax reductions in other areas. It's not so much that the policy was horribly flawed, but the latter could have been marketed more effectively and would have been better for the overall economy.

TrumpsTwitterIntern29 karma


I’m a constituent of yours, and while we disagree politically, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your candidness here and on your Facebook page. It’s refreshing to see someone who will explain their positions and not hide behind trite phrases. I respect that so much.

My question is simple- do you support widening I-25 between Wellington and Johnstown? It’s one of the only tax increases I’d actually support, and we just need it so badly- the problem’s going to get worse before it gets better, too.

jaredpolis37 karma

yes I've personally been stuck there many times. 25-N my the top transportation priority in the area I represent. I don't think public private partnership toll lane will be enough.

I also would like to get traffic off 25 if we establish the feasibility for front range commuter rail (FTC to Denver and then further south), I think as long as commute times were the same or better, and the cost was the same or better (compared to gas and car depreciation), then that could be a good longer term solution as our population increases in Northern CO.

mountainreader23 karma

Hey Jared! Thanks for being such a great representative. I’m a college student at CSU and am wondering what best I can do to help preserve net neutrality?

jaredpolis59 karma

The FCC is set to decide (the wrong way) this week not sure if any of us can stop them now.

Now I hope that:

1) Congress can pass a statutory form of net neutrality

2) The States can lead the way in protecting consumers (If I am elected governor, CO as one of them in the forefront!)

Chuckzduck22 karma

Hi Jared, Why did you vote for the highly partisan measure to open debate on impeachment for President Trump prior to the conclusion of Mueller's investigation, contrary to the desire of many of your constituents?

jaredpolis50 karma

Well I certainly didn't poll my constituents on that topic so I don't know if they support or oppose the move, although they voted overwhelmingly against Trump in the election.

At the end of the day as a Representative, you have to be comfortable with your conscience and while I have not reached a conclusion on whether to impeach, I absolutely believe that there is credible evidence of an impeachable offense and that we need to move the process forward to get to the truth.

BlackWindBears19 karma

As one of your constituents I do not oppose you taking any measures that you deem appropriate if, in your judgement it seems likely that the President committed a crime.

jaredpolis31 karma

Thanks. I think that both fans and opponents of Trump should avoid a rush to judgement, but yes there is credible evidence of a crime and we should move forward with the process of getting to the bottom of the issues around collaboration, emoluments clause, or other violations to see if in fact an impeachable offense was committed

jaredpolis21 karma

FYI here was my statement on the vote to proceed and not table: My full statement on that vote: With great reflection and sadness, today I voted to open debate on an Impeachment Resolution against President Trump.

From day one, our president has shown contempt for the truth and for basic transparency at every turn. New evidence comes to light almost every week casting serious doubt upon his truthfulness, his integrity, and his ability to lead — from undermining a federal investigation into his campaign, to allegedly sharing classified intelligence with Russian government officials, to potential collusion and obstruction of justice.

Congress cannot continue to pretend that the president's behavior isn't putting our republic at risk. This is a debate that must happen NOW for the good of our country.

Colorado families deserve to have confidence in our elected leaders and this is one step toward ensuring our government remains accountable to the people. I’ve never hesitated to fight for our values as a representative, and I won’t hesitate to fight for them as your governor.

Fewwordsbetter22 karma

Do you now support Medicare for All?

jaredpolis42 karma

yes, I have for almost ten years

ZombieFeedback19 karma

Hello Mr. Polis, thank you for doing this AMA! I'm not a Colorado resident, so forgive me if I'm distracting from your intended topic, but given your support of net neutrality, I'm wondering what actions you think people can take to help beyond calling their representatives? I'm a Maryland resident, and both of my senators, as well as my district representative, all support net neutrality, so calling them feels like preaching to the choir. What else can I do?

jaredpolis26 karma

maybe write a letter to the editor in your local paper, or choose to support other candidates (with money or time as a volunteer) in nearby areas who are in favor or net neutrality running against candidates who oppose net neutrality.

MedicGoalie8418 karma

Hi from Aurora,

I am a vehemently pro gun liberal, and when researching your positions on guns I found that when asked about an assault weapons ban you responded:

I support the 1986 law which provides extremely strong restrictions on automatic weapons such as machine guns. It is time we update this law for the 21st century. I know that we can save lives, protect our freedom, and support our sportsmen and hunters.

I find it interesting that you chose to reference the Hughes amendment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act instead of the assault weapons ban of 1994. This leads me to wonder

  1. What changes to FOPA would you reccomed?

  2. Do you support an assault weapons ban?

  3. What, if any changes would propose to existing gun legislation in Colorado?

jaredpolis15 karma

This has become a divisive issue in our country and our party. I support our 2nd Amendment rights and would work closely with sportsmen and those who own guns for hobby or defense in crafting any gun safety regulations.

The reason I mentioned the 1986 law is specifically a reference to my support for banning bump stocks and devices whose sole purpose is to covert a legal gun into an illegal (under the 1986 Act) automatic weapon. I think that's a reasonably thing to do at the federal level and I would support it as Governor too. Are you ok with banning (specifically defined) bump stocks?

diracwinsagain17 karma

Hi Jared! I'm a resident of Boulder and I just have two quick questions:

Recent research (http://www.nber.org/papers/w24107) appears to show that occupational licensing is creating significant barriers to migration around the US.

Other obstacles to migration include restrictions to building housing, a high level overview is available in the recent NYT piece What Happened to the American Boomtown (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/upshot/what-happened-to-the-american-boomtown.html).

Economists estimate that far more GDP/productivity is lost to lack of migration in the US than, for example, the benefits of tax reform. Would you consider either supporting the ALLOW act to reduce occupational licensing while in congress, or support by-right development in Colorado to help ameliorate this problem?

jaredpolis20 karma

Occupational licensing requirements can be a problem. Would love to increase freedom for people to support themselves (while not compromising public safety). Unnecessary licensing can also be a barrier to upwards mobility. But I see the rest of the question is about mobility. I will look at the ALLOW Act (harder to understand the federal role because this is mostly a state issue) but certainly something I would work with the legislature on as Governor.

diracwinsagain4 karma

I appreciate the candid answer.

Any thoughts about By-Right development, or the Yes In My BackYard (YIMBY) movement in general?

jaredpolis7 karma

I would need to learn more about it. I believe based on what I know that it would be the prerogative of local government and I'm not sure how the state would be involved. Is there a state role you see?

Here's a good article on how Form-Based-Codes might work in practice: https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2016/12/07/how-get-right-zoning-right

lad_l14 karma

Hi, Rep. Polis. Since you're running for governor, what could you do as gov to protect net neutrality in CO's borders?

jaredpolis26 karma

I know there is a group working on net neutrality on a statewide basis in Colorado (and perhaps other states). They are looking at various legal options and have some great political minds at the table. I've seen some initial polling numbers on a state initiative that look very good.

A Governor can also work to expand the number of municipal ISPs and remove hurdles for cities or counties acting on their own to provide access. We could also look at implementing consumer protections at the state level to protect a free and open internet within Colorado.

lad_l8 karma

Thank you! Def voting for you. Where I can I sign up to volunteer for your campaign??

jaredpolis8 karma

wow that's a great question 8) www.polisforcolorado.com


Hello, thank you for doing this AMA. As governor of Colorado how will you push back against protectionist/isolationist rhetoric that is popping up in the United States?

In addition, do you feel that free trade will benefit Colorado?

jaredpolis30 karma

This neo-isolationism saddens me greatly. Protectionism is bad for all parties. I believe in bringing the world closer together. I've supported expanding trade opportunities in Congress and I believe that bringing the world together is the best way to prevent deadly conflicts.

This is (yet another area) where President Trump's worldview is fundamentally flawed. We are not fighting over a static pie with China, Mexico, Canada, etc. Trump thinks if we get more, they get less and vice verse. Trade between willing, informed parties benefits both sides. We can GROW the pie together.

Yes as Governor I can have an impact. A Governor can lead trade missions to other countries to build economic and cultural ties between our state and other nations, and I look forward to that part of the job!

Yes Colorado is a trade dependent state and for our agriculture industry, mining, manufacturing, and much more we can benefit from global supply chains and more access to new markets.

jptboy11 karma

Will you make gun laws more draconian and infringe second amendment rights if you become governor? I want to like you, I support many of your policies, I got a letter from you for academic excellence( or stamped with your signature) but I am hard right on the second amendment and want to own firearms in the future. I am scared that this state will become like California with frankly stupid regulations. Deaths from gun violence are very small even though the mass shootings look bad and even if guns were banned I believe we would have bombings and car attacks like in europe.

jaredpolis6 karma

We are not about to become like California here in CO. Very different culture and state. And congrats on what you achieved! Yes I sign all of those!

I would work closely with sportsmen, hunters, and those who own guns for self-defense in crafting any safety laws. I sponsored a bill nationally to restore gun ownership rights to people convicted of violating marijuana laws that are now legal: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr3483

Tragically we already do have bombings (NYC yesterday) and car attacks here in US also :\

firefly21210 karma

As Governor, would you have any ability to make sure public lands stay public and mining/logging/drilling free in the event the federal government decided to shrink Arapaho National Forest or any of our incredible National Parks?

jaredpolis18 karma

I will always fight to protect our public lands. I’m working with Democrats and Republicans to preserve our natural areas for future generations. As governor, I will continue to fight to protect and expand our state parks and open areas. https://www.outsideonline.com/2266181/public-land-isnt-just-fighting

-ferth10 karma

Hi Jared, I'm glad you were representing Colorado in congress. Is there a reason you are trying for governor now rather than trying to continue to represent us in congress?

jaredpolis23 karma

yes I think that I can make more progress on what drives me to serve at the public level. First and foremost education. I want to bring quality preschool and kindergarten to every child in Colorado, every child deserves a strong start! And with President Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords, we need to continue to make progress at the state and local level and I have a plan to transition our state to 100% renewable energy by 2040.

bookwench9 karma

Just want to say as a former Coloradan - thank you. Your "internet is for porn" bit getting read into the Congressional record for all posterity was a tremendous act of humor and rebellion.

How do you feel about the current state of marajuana legalization? What challenges are you facing in the state on a legal level, and how closely did your office work with the governor's office to share information? How does that even work?

jaredpolis3 karma

That was a fun moment in Congress :) It's not in the Congressional Record during the Sopa/Pipa fight!

Marijuana legalization has gone very well in CO, and even though it is more and more popular in Congress (leaving it up to states to decide, not legalizing it everywhere) and I think we have a majority in the House, we cannot get it to a vote because House Leadership is against it. We will keep fighting, and we are also very worried about AG Jeff Sessions.

backgroundrehab7 karma

Hi! Just moved here and landed my dream job as a state park ranger. I believe our parks are vital for tourism and every day sanity for the folks that use our parks. My question is how do you view the state parks and what will you do to help fix the broken budget of them? Would you consider separating parks and wildlife?

jaredpolis12 karma

Welcome to our wonderful state! I know you will love Colorado and I'm excited that you will be part of running the best state park system in the country!

Our state parks and other public land are not only an important part of our identity as Coloradans, but they are a critical part of our quality of life and our economy. I will look into the idea of separating the two, I hadn't heard it before. We need to properly fund our state parks so that we can enjoy them and preserve them.

For those who aren't familiar with our state park system, check some out near you: http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Pages/ParkMap.aspx

tlw18766 karma

I'm for net neutrality but what can a governor legally do about net neutrality?

jaredpolis6 karma

1) Push the envelope legally on state consumer protections to keep the internet free and open

2) Make it easier for municipal broadband to be extended across CO

3) Remove state-specific laws that slows resources from the Broadband Deployment Fund to be used for rural broadband open internet buildout

xbettel6 karma

Will you run for president?

jaredpolis11 karma

I really don't think so.

shadowgerbil5 karma

Hi Representative Polis, thanks for doing this AMA. If elected governor, would you work to change the balance of power between local municipalities and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission? If so, what changes would you make?

jaredpolis10 karma

I have consistently supported making sure our local communities have a seat at the table around issues that directly impact their quality of life. The health and safety of Coloradans should come first.

Yourfriendjames5 karma

How do you feel about places like Broomfield where buying or selling marijuana is banned by the local governments?

jaredpolis25 karma

I LOVE Broomfield. Now you can keep chickens in your yard there too!

Under our statewide Amendment 64, it's up to cities and counties (Broomfield is a city/county) to decide whether to allow dispensaries within their borders. I believe though that you have a right to grow up to six plants yourself anywhere in Colorado

ambjhs5 karma

Hi. I am from Ft. Morgan. What ideas do you have for bringing economic prosperty to rural Colorado? The front range is doing great but the plains are seeing housing prices skyrocket but wages are very stagnate. 11 dollars for an IT tech working for local health department doesn't cut it.

jaredpolis7 karma

1) Bringing high speed internet to rural areas my op-ed on the topic: https://www.summitdaily.com/opinion/polis-and-stiegelmeier-overcoming-rural-colorados-broadband-hurdles-column/

2) Universal preschool and kindergarten making our less urban areas better places to raise kids'

3) Loan forgiveness for teachers who work in under served rural areas.

4) Bringing mid-size and advanced manufacturing to rural CO, especially near existing rail lines and highways to provide a competitive advantage

and more!

ambjhs3 karma

What about rural healthcare? Currently the Hugo hospital (Lincoln Community Hospital ) is advertising on I70 at Limon that they are the last hospital for 80 miles. This hospital is barely surviving and with Trump's attempt to kill the ACA, it may not last much longer.

jaredpolis8 karma

First (and this relates to my current job) preserving the MediCaid expansion and reauthorizing and funding the Children's Health Insurance Program are CRITICAL to keep even our existing network of rural providers in business. I would do everything I could as Governor to expand coverage even more, which would help rural providers.

Second as governor, I would work to expand telehealth opportunities to those who don't have access to a hospital.

mracidglee4 karma

Do black lives matter?

Is it ok to be white?

Why is Colorado the best state?

jaredpolis23 karma

yes. yes. Because: https://imgur.com/a/Np3TJ

firefly2124 karma

Do you think constitutional amendment is needed to provide meaningful reform, update, and clarification to the 12th? IDK if it matters, but I'm in Lakewood, used to be in your district, but I moved.

jaredpolis19 karma

YES I support a constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college and move to direct election of the President.

since passing constitutional amendments are so hard, a more realistic path would be in my new job as Governor to support the interstate compact:


2pete4 karma

Hi Jared! I'm a former and hopefully future constituent of yours. I have three questions for you:

  1. I was fortunate to grow up in the Boulder Valley School District, the largest school district within your congressional district. The BVSD has some of the best schools not only in the state, but in the country. However, much of the rest of the state, particularly the more rural areas, don't have the same quality of education. What will you do to spread this success?

  2. Many states, such as Arizona, Utah, and Hawaii, are facing a teacher shortage crisis in their public school systems. What steps need to be taken to make sure that Colorado doesn't go down the same path?

  3. There are many systematic issues with the way that the federal government is elected, chief among them being gerrymandering, an issue which can be solved at the state level. What will you do as governor to reduce or eliminate gerrymandering in Colorado?

I wish you the best of luck in the coming election!

jaredpolis11 karma

  1. Here is my education plan for the state, every child in our state deserves a great education: https://actionnetwork.org/user_files/user_files/000/019/145/original/Polis_2018_Education_Plan.pdf

2: We have a lot in there about that like affordable housing for teachers in high cost areas and loan forgiveness for teachers working in undeserved rural areas

  1. The Governor as a seat at the table to sign any redistricting plan coming from the state legislature, and I believe in competitive and cohesive districts

hitbyacar13 karma

I love your focus on universal Pre-K. That's something that's not a national issue here but in MA Martha Coakley ran with that as a key plank in her platform. It would be far more effective than free college at leveling the playing field.

jaredpolis5 karma

yes all the data shows that the early years are the most important and can make the biggest difference in closing the achievement gap. And in CO we will get it done!

hitbyacar13 karma

Do you think it's something that needs more exposure at the national level or is the issue DOA with the national Democratic Party's focus on higher ed and the GOP's resistance to anything that smells like government spending?

Are resources better spent fighting this fight at the state level?

jaredpolis4 karma

yes and yes. Deserves more attention and DOA ;)

So we introduced a bill in the House and Senate on this topic: https://www.help.senate.gov/ranking/newsroom/press/murray-casey-scott-polis-introduce-comprehensive-child-care-and-early-learning-bill-to-ensure-families-have-access-to-affordable-high-quality-child-care

But it won't pass with this composition of Congress. So I hope and plan to actually get it done as Governor.

Mentalpopcorn3 karma

In the Spring I'll graduate from CU with a B.A. in political science, summa cum laude (and Phi Betta Kappa, if that means anything anymore). I also have a programming background and have worked at CU for a couple years as a developer. On top of that, I used to run popular Boulder restaurant which I'm almost sure you loved.

What's the potential of getting a paid position on your gubernatorial campaign? While I'd love to volunteer, those student loan payments are going to come knocking fast.

jaredpolis4 karma

oh cool what restaurant? Congrats on your graduation. We will probably be looking for organizers in the spring. PM me your contact info.


What is the best way and what is your plan to help promote private sector employment of those with disabilities?

jaredpolis5 karma

I visited this restaurant recently and was impressed: http://www.timescall.com/business/local-business/ci_28305968/real-world-work-longmont-restaurant-owners-create-environment

Counties can partner with businesses to get those with disabilities successfully into the workforce doing meaningful work to ultimately support themselves. There are some great programs out there we just need to scale them up!

hitbyacar13 karma

You mention your work with bitcoin in your bio. Do you think the current spike in prices is a bubble?

What do you envision as the role of bitcoin, given that it fails all three tests that economists generally consider to define money?

jaredpolis3 karma

I think it's a cool and high profile application of blockchain technology. I have no idea what it's price will be in a day or a year.

CocteauQuintuplet3 karma

What political party are you affiliated with?

jaredpolis12 karma

I'm a Democrat!

Shino3363 karma

Hi Rep. Polis! I'm one of your constituents, and I was wondering if you would be willing to share your thoughts on Edward Snowden, and the idea of whistle blowing as a whole. I know one of the former senators from our state, Mark Udall, was a forerunner in congress when it came to cybersecurity issues, so I'm curious if you have any kind of strong opinions on it.

Also on an unrelated note, I just wanted to mention that should you win your primary election (I'm registered republican so I don't think I can vote for you in your primary? Or did we just change that? I'm not sure if that initiative passed last year) I will be thrilled to vote for you in the general election - because while personally I disagree with a lot of your politics, damn do I have a lot more respect for you than anyone my party is currently putting forward.

jaredpolis3 karma

Hey Thanks! So CO did change the law and now Unaffiliated voters will get both Democratic and Republican primary ballots and can choose which one to return (but can't return both) so if you want to become Unaffiliated you can vote for me in primary but hopefully you'll have a chance in the general too! :)

I appreciate that Edward Snowden made us aware of government espionage programs that I argue were NOT authorized by Congress. He did, however, violate the law. He could have gone to the Intelligence Committee in Congress for instance rather than the general public. I think that a reasonable plee bargain in recognition of his whistle blowing but with some punishment for breaking the law would be the best outcome, convincing him to come back and serve some period of time in jail and then get on with his life.

MrHutabaga3 karma

How do you feel about fracking in the state of Colorado (and the country)?

jaredpolis7 karma

I support making sure that local governments have a seat at the table around planning, and that the health and safety of residents should come first.

Auroriia3 karma

I have a couple questions.

Do you think the cost's of living are going to ever to go back down or begin stabilizing in Colorado, What is your stance/thoughts on that?

I've been here for 25 years, and the prices have gotten horrible. Most Native Coloradoians are moving out of state because living out here is skyrocketing because of pot. No joke. Edit: If I land a full time job even at 15 an hour. I still would not be able to even afford a good small studio out here. (I may eventually be forced to move out of state.)

My next question is your stance on net neutrality, I'm 25, but what Can I do to get their attention and stop them from gutting net neutrality.

If net neutrality get's removed, I can kiss all my schooling, learning, and future career job goodbye since I'm a learning illustrator, and most everything I do is digital.

jaredpolis3 karma

1) Well we don't want it to go down for the wrong reasons- jobs leaving and unemployment. I remember well the days of the 2009 housing crisis. Lots of people underwater on their mortgages and big decreases. We want it going down by having more affordable housing opportunities available nearer to where people work, and in transit planned communities near commuting rail. While land use is local not state, I would partner with cities and counties to deliver more reasonably priced housing. So yes I think I can make progress on this. I do not think that marijuana is big part of why home prices have increased, but if you are right and it is then that will change soon because many more states are now legalizing it including the huge state of California.

2) I don't think there is much we can do to stop them this week, so we need to look at what we can do AFTER to save the internet for you and everyone else who relies on it. Here are some ideas:

a) Legislation- unlikely to pass and be signed with Trump in office (since he appointed the FCC that is repealing net neutrality) but still the best long term solution

b) Elect a different President in 3 years who appoints a different FCC that supports net neutrality

c) expanding municipal broadband (which is my plan as governor)

d) Adding consumer internet protections to state law (for CO)

rat__girl3 karma

hi jared! i’m curious—what do you see as the legal path forward for net neutrality? assuming the repeal goes forward this week, what is our best shot at getting it back? through the legislature? or through the courts?

also, i’m proud to have you as my rep here in boulder and look forward to voting for you for governor. cheers!

jaredpolis6 karma

So I think that if it goes through, which it probably will, we should proceed with:

1) Legislation- unlikely to pass and be signed with Trump in office (since he appointed the FCC that is repealing net neutrality) but still the best long term solution 2) Elect a different President in 3 years who appoints a different FCC that supports net neutrality 3) expanding municipal broadband (which is my plan as governor) 4) Adding consumer internet protections to state law (for CO)

rat__girl3 karma

thanks for your answer! i’m all for the municipal internet and hope we can forge that path in boulder as well. looking forward to it gaining momentum when the FCC inevitably makes its silly decision.

capt_slow2 karma

Hi Jared! Thank you for being my rep in congress! I'm proud to have a progressive like you fighting for me. My question: You want to encourage more companies to participate in profit sharing and employee ownership programs. How exactly do you convince the CEOs of those companies to do that?

jaredpolis4 karma

Companies I started like proflowers.com had stock options for every employee.

I have several ideas to make it easier for companies to implement this here they are (copying and pasting):

State-support for an Employee Ownership Business Center to provide technical support to companies looking to share profits and ownership with their employees.Currently Vermont has one of the highest percentages of employee owned business per capita in the nation; they also have one of the oldest state supported Employee Ownership Business Centers. We can look to the success that other states have had with creating and supporting Employee Ownership Business Centers. This smart investment in supporting the replication and growth of employee ownership models will help Colorado lead the nation in profit sharing.

In Congress,I introduced the Work Act with Senator Bernie Sanders to provide funding to states who are willing to invest in Employee Ownership Business Centers, as Governor I can do even more to replicate these successful tactics.Establishing employee-owned companies as a priority for state contracting. All other things being equal, the state should work with companies that are structured to reward hard work.Statewide branding campaign with support the of the Governor’s Office. Employee owned businesses can display their status with pride, as part of efforts of building an inclusive economy for all Coloradans. In 1999, Colorado launched an innovative brand campaign “Colorado Proud” to promote Colorado’s agricultural products. We can support Employee Owned Business and encourage businesses to pursue profit sharing by launching a marketing program designed to help consumers identify and support employee owned businesses.Make Colorado the national center for formation of employee owned cooperative businessesby highlighting our extraordinarily low business filing and registration fees, the absence of Secretary of State excise taxes, and further improving the flexible and robust nature of Colorado’s cooperative law. Colorado is an ideal place to incorporate a cooperative or employee-owned business, and just as over 50% of all publicly-traded companies and 64% of Fortune 500 companies select Delaware as their legal home, I will help make Colorado the leading state for formation of employee owned cooperatives.Explore opportunities for the state to play a role in facilitating less costly financing for firms transitioning to employee ownership.Establish objective metrics for comparison with the goal of Colorado being the number 1 state in employee-ownership percentage within 8 years.

More info at: http://v.fastcdn.co/u/70bc6dd0/21710611-0-JP-EconomyV3.pdf

topaic2 karma

How can I, a random teenager, help Net Neutrality stay?

jaredpolis6 karma

well if you are American, you can call your representative and Senator (seriously). They want you to be from their state and district but age doesn't matter. If you like to write you can write a letter to your local paper (less than 250 words) about why net neutrality is important to you and your friends and they will probably print it.

And be a savvy consumer and try not to use any company that violates your values as an ISP

solutionssecond2 karma

As governor, what could you do to support or protect an open free internet?

jaredpolis7 karma

just answered above, the FCC will try to stop states from implementing net neutrality protections: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/fcc-will-also-order-states-to-scrap-plans-for-their-own-net-neutrality-laws/


But it's a nuanced legal area and I believe that states have a lot of authority and we would defend that in court

Yourfriendjames2 karma

I'm a constituent from Broomfield who voted for you previously. What do you think of Corey Gardner? Why do you think he's anti-net neutrality? What can we do since he isn't up for reelection until 2020?

jaredpolis9 karma

I have a decent working relationship with him and of course he is a charming guy wrong on many issues. Net neutrality is one of them. I really wish he would place consumers and startups first and realize that the pipes piece is not the magic, it's the content and services that make the internet great, and the free and open ecosystem!

He should be responsive to constituents because Colorado is a swing state so keep reaching out.

And yes, if he doesn't satisfy you by all means feel free to replace him in 2020.

-Hawksfire2 karma

My county is riddled with fracking. It's loud, smelly, terrible for the environment, and annoying to look at. What is your stance on fracking and will you do anything to remove fracking from residential areas?

jaredpolis1 karma

I support making sure local governments have a seat at the table around planning and protecting the health and safety of Coloradans first!

Regretmostthings1 karma

How do you think our beautiful state could help with disaster response for our other states and other countries?

And do you have any ideas on how to help with foreign aid, and would you be willing to increase the budget on foreign aid?

Thank you so much for all the great work for civil rights and net neutrality and thank you for continuing to listen to my voice on a regular basis!

jaredpolis2 karma

1) Yes we got a lot of help from FEMA during our flood, and during our fires from other states. We need to be there too for CA and other areas affected.

2) Yes, helping to build a democratic and prosperous world is in our interests as a country and foreign aid is an important part of that.

3) You're welcome, honored to work for you!

essie1 karma

Hi Mr. Polis,

Thanks for doing this AMA! I work in Boulder and have a career in the energy industry. What are your thoughts about Boulder's attempts to kick out Xcel and create a municipal utility?

jaredpolis3 karma

Since I represent Boulder as one of the cities in my district, I am willing to work to meet their federal needs whatever path they choose. I work with Xcel because they power much of the district I represent and are the biggest in the state, I work with the Fort Collins and Longmont municipal utilities, and several rural electric co-ops.

slowdick1 karma

Do you think the Colorado Rockies are making the right moves to improve next season?

jaredpolis5 karma

Most of the big potential moves are just rumors at his point.... Adding Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Santana would be great if they can pull it off.

Nothing against Alex Colome but I'm not a fan of buying high on closers, especially for the Rockies,

bonkette-1 karma

Hi Representative Polis,

I want to thank you for the times you have met with me. I am a member of Moms Demand Action and I appreciate your support in our efforts to prevent more gun violence in our country.

I am also the mother to an 8 year old transgender child. Is there anything you would recommend I tell her in light of the presidential election, Trump's administration's efforts to roll back protections for the LGBT community, and what that says about our country's acceptance of her?

jaredpolis6 karma

Yes, I think that society is moving forward in accepting all people regardless of one's gender identify. Tell her how now is different and better than the 1950s. Or the 1980s or even 1990s when you (guessing) grew up. And that people her own age are far more accepting and they will grow up and vote and not elect people like Trump.