Hi everyone! It's been a while since I did an AMA, and now the ancient Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times" has very much come true across the world. Coloradans, like our brothers and sisters across the world, are battling the global pandemic of COVID-19 and we've lost just under 1,000 people so far (77,000 across the United States, 276,000 across the world). AMA

Update: 12:04 AM MT, winding up soon. Thank you REDDIT! I'll answer a few more from bed on my iphone and then a few more tomorrow morning.

Update 11:06 AM MT, I got a few more answers in this morning. Thanks for the great AMA, I'll answer a few more this afternoon and hope to be back sometime soon.

Proof: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_4CVLilNhV/?igshid=fo0yn7eewqrr

Comments: 1355 • Responses: 114  • Date: 

nicereddy647 karma

What do you say to people who are skeptical of vote by mail, since Colorado has been doing it for 8 years now?

jaredpolis1006 karma

Ask a Coloradan, we take it for granted here and it has gone really well. Even before almost everyone did it, it was an option and most people voted that way

tracejm10 karma

I was born and raised in Colorado and lived there for 40 years. I moved to WA about 5 years ago to be closer to my wife's family.

Until recently, I didn't realize that everywhere didn't do this.

I've just been spoiled, I guess.

jaredpolis22 karma

Colorado misses you!

200lbCorgi545 karma

After this virus is over, would you allow Colorado civil servants, who can do a portion of their jobs at home, to continue to telework on a more regular basis?

jaredpolis1338 karma

Yes, in one of the few silver linings of this whole horrible experience, both the private sector and public sector are learning to be as productive if not more from home, saving office overhead. We’ve been at over 60% of state employees telecommuting and I’ve challenged my agencies to figure out how we can achieve 20-30% permanently increasing employee morale and retention as well as saving taxpayer money over time by reducing the need for office space.

hola_n_stuff487 karma

Is there a way you can help the deaf/hard of hearing community get more of the masks with clear inserts (so they can read lips)? It's been really hard for the Deaf. Also, my 4 year old son wears hearing aids, and he won't be able to see his speech therapist with Children's Hospital until they can find these -- since all the providers have to wear masks now, and you can't really do speech therapy with a DHH kiddo without being able to see each other's mouths. Thank you! I think you've been doing a great job.

jaredpolis629 karma

Our daughter does speech therapy and does it virtually online now, is that a possibility for your son? Telemedicine can take the place of most but not all forms of therapy.

DrOddcat434 karma

Gov. Polis,

My grandmother died of covid complications after an outbreak at her nursing home in Denver. My mother wants me to ask when will there be testing for all nursing home staff?

jaredpolis843 karma

We have already started this, and done testing of all staff at five of the largest nursing homes. But once isn't enough. We need to test asymptomatic regularly.

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I lost mine a few years ago to a respiratory condition. Please accept my condolences.

SmaugTheMagnificent423 karma

What are your thoughts on RTD and their failure to provide lightrail service that reaches boulder and longmont?

jaredpolis644 karma

I'm extremely upset with them for not delivering on the promised rail. https://www.dailycamera.com/ci_30785507/rep-polis-urges-rtd-finish-rail-line-boulder

williambilliam05355 karma

If you had the magical ability to get any one bill passed through Congress, what would that bill be and why?

jaredpolis944 karma

Well I used to think a lot about this when I was in Congress, and I sponsored and co-sponsored lots of great bills that I wish made it across the finish line. I support the COVID-19 relief work that Congress is working on for sure, but if you mean non-covid stuff I would love to see tax reform down- getting rid of special interest tax subsidies and using the proceeds for lowering the tax rate for everyone.

ToeJamFootballs321 karma

Hi Mr. Polis, as a CO resident, thank you for your public COVID speech, it felt like it was geared to bring us together. Seeing that Denver has decriminalized magic mushrooms, what are your thoughts on psychedelic policy for the state of Colorado? What are your opinions on the decriminalization and legalization of psychedelic medicines for PSTD/ trauma and addition treatment?

Thank you for your public service, and this AMA.

jaredpolis363 karma

We defelonized most drug possession statewide, I think that includes mushrooms, but it still can be a misdemeanor in most areas. I don’t think it’s generally prosecuted unless the person did something else too.

captainfatmatt311 karma

What kinda games do you play, and on console or pc?

jaredpolis509 karma

League of Legenda, PC!

captainfatmatt121 karma

Do you play with randoms, or do you have friends that you play with? If you play with friends, what do these people think about the fact that they're playing games with a governor

jaredpolis347 karma

Usually with my partner Marlon :) We have a few online friends too

jaredpolis450 karma

Pc!

flextapejosefi269 karma

Hi Governer,

I'm a DPS high school student, and I'm wondering what the plan is for reopening schools in the fall, especially in the very high likelihood that we're still socially distanced?

jaredpolis430 karma

It’s very likely that schools will physically reopen in the fall, but none of us have a crystal ball. Schools in Denmark and other countries have already re-opened and you can look at some videos of that to get a sense of what it might be like here

Ryodd153 karma

Dane here! Just schools for younger kids though. Schools for 15 and up or so are still closed.

jaredpolis262 karma

How is it going?

flextapejosefi233 karma

Do you have long term higher political aspirations, be it Senate or even President once there’s an open primary and your Governors term is up? Also what are some of your favorite musical artists?

jaredpolis493 karma

I I’ll be excited to be finished with my time in public service.

They Might be Giants, Cher, ABBA, Barbra, John Denver

ExhaustiveExperience145 karma

Triangle man, Triangle man

jaredpolis442 karma

Triangle man hates particle man They have a fight, Triangle wins Triangle man

Beansprout_69189 karma

I remember you giving a talk at my elementary school when I was in the second grade. At the time you a representative in the House and when I heard that you were a candidate for governor I remembered what you told myself and my peers. Seeing that a gay person could hold office helped me come to terms with my own sexuality. My question for you is; What advice would you give young people unsure about their identity?

jaredpolis446 karma

I'm honored to have helped make your way easier. I don't think you should feel any need to declare any kind of identity. I mean if you feel comfortable with one, by all means proudly be who you are, but no need for labels if you aren't comfortable with any particular ones. You be you!

fakechaw163 karma

Hi Governor,

This isn’t really a serious question, but which tv show (if you watch tv shows) is most like politics in the US? Is it actually Veep?

jaredpolis359 karma

Absolutely. Veep is far more accurate than House of Cards or West Wing.

[deleted]40 karma

[deleted]

jaredpolis52 karma

I wish!

Sassyboo72147 karma

Hi, Governor!

In my state, there are very opposing views on how to handle Covid-19. These tend to split down party lines. I, personally, think my governor is doing the job to the best of his ability, but I feel like many governors are in a damned if you do, damned if you don't position. I feel like he is going to be condemned by someone no matter what route he chooses. Do you feel like it is the same in your state and how can we work together to solve the current divide?

jaredpolis374 karma

Yeah I can’t figure out why it’s partisan all. Obviously both Democrats and Republicans care about saving lives AND saving jobs. I think the two are entirely consistent with one another, the safer people are, the quicker the economy will recover.

hola_n_stuff130 karma

OK, I gotta ask, as one who already asked a question (and overall thinks you're doing a good job) ... what do you think of hospitals in CO deciding to furlough/lay off/cut pay of employees bc of lack of work (mainly due to lack of elective procedures)? Personally, when I first thought of the coronavirus pandemic, I pictured sick people overflowing into the halls of our hospitals, similar to the photos of Italy. Instead, my husband, who works for a large Centura facility, was asked to take two weeks of PTO he didn't have. I have a hard time jiving those two things.

jaredpolis227 karma

Because of the shortage of PPE (masks and gloves) we, like almost every state, had to stop elective surgeries for a time. They resumed April 27th and your husband and others will hopefully be back at work soon. We hope to have enough capacity in our hospital system for covid Patients to not have to do that again.

Isentrope116 karma

We've heard from your fellow governors the lengths that they've taken to secretly procure PPE, going as far as getting the Patriots to send their private jet or having the National Guard protect the supplies. Do you have any similar stories when it comes to procuring these supplies for Colorado?

jaredpolis291 karma

Yes it’s a global free for all. Lots of stories but not time to share them yet. We have been successful in navigating the global supply chains but lots of scams and posers along the way

sir_spanko113 karma

Governor Polis,

Hello from the Western Slope!

Thank you for your leadership in this time of crisis! It's relieving to know that in the absence of any real solutions on a federal level, that the Colorado is creating solutions of it's own.

With this health emergency making plain our embarrassing lack of resources, will there be another push for Colorado to create it's own state-wide Medicaid expansion, or "universal healthcare"?

jaredpolis213 karma

Right now i am dealing with the crisis itself, but as a strong proponent of universal healthcare I very much look forward to getting back to that work! In the mean time we made COViD testing free (no copay)

hairylikeabear96 karma

Any idea on the plans for reopening state park campgrounds? What about developed national forest campgrounds?

jaredpolis137 karma

Hopefully soon on state parks! I will ask the feds about the national forest campgrounds.

MarsNeedsRabbits85 karma

Hello, Governor Polis. Our family appreciates your hard work and dedication to our beautiful state.

Many children have parents or caretakers/grandparents with conditions that put them at high risk of complication from Covid19. Some children have conditions that put them personally at risk (asthma comes to mind). Many teachers have the same sorts of conditions.

When schools reopen, hopefully in August, how will we prevent primary/secondary school students from infecting themselves/their families; and keep teachers and school workers safe?

Thank you.

jaredpolis115 karma

We are working w the Colorado Department of Education to develop these protocols to increase safety at schools. It also will involve acting quickly for any outbreak to test people and isolate those who are particle to prevent further infection.

I also suspect that some parents will want their kids to do online, more than the usual amount. But most kids will likely be back in late August

1LOn3sTaR79 karma

Hello Governor Polis,

What kind of timeline does Colorado have for gyms? Currently we can personal train up to four people at a time. I have a CrossFit gym in a warehouse that is over 4000 square feet and we could fit in 10 people with plenty of space for each individual. We have the ability for each person to use their own equipment, control how many people can access the facility and to clean it after each group. Where do gyms similar to mine fit in? Thank you for doing this.

jaredpolis117 karma

Private training sessions at gyms are already occurring, but we don’t yet have a date for gyms open to the general public. I truly hope as soon as possible, we are monitoring the data closely these next few weeks now that the lockdown has thankfully ended

heyuwitdaface77 karma

Governor, what can the president do right now to best help the state?

jaredpolis221 karma

Testing and N95 masks

Minemose75 karma

Hi Governor Polis! Have you considered making face masks mandatory when entering stores? I have done pickups at several essential stores and many of the shoppers going in and out aren't wearing masks, putting the employees at risk.

jaredpolis141 karma

Based on the majority of the scientific evidence? Face masks make a real difference in reducing transmission. We have required statewide that all people working in a position that does business with the public wears them to protect themselves and others (eg in retail stores). Many cities and some counties in our state are requiring them for customers in stores too, and whether it’s an order in your area or not, be smart and wear a mask!

YoureGrammerIsWorsts58 karma

I feel like you avoided the question: Are you considering requiring this statewide?

jaredpolis312 karma

It’s really up to municipalities to enforce this. My advice to Mayors is that if you live in an area where people are more likely to wear masks if you order it, and you’re prepared to enforce it, then yes it can help keep people safe. If you live in an area of Colorado where requiring masks could result in a civil war, then maybe look at other ways to convince people to wear masks. We’re a big, diverse state.

supremecrafters66 karma

Hello, Governor! Is a hotdog a sandwich?

jaredpolis369 karma

It can be all that it dreams to be with the right buns!

bestpilotever57 karma

Hello Governor! As a resident of Fort Collins I am very proud to have you as our Governor in the hard times and I appreciate all you have done for the state.

Will Colorado ever see a high speed rail along the front range? We can not build enough lanes to make I25 a safe and efficient means of transport, nor can we afford the extra CO2 emissions. Thank you and keep up the hard work!

jaredpolis70 karma

Yes we had been working on this! I do think high speed front range rail is the solution. Plans might be delayed by COVID we will see.

I_Miss_My_Horn55 karma

What is going to happen with school funding? Is there anything that will keep band programs from being cut? <Next year will be my senior year, final marching band season, and I am really hoping that we won't have *another* season end badly. Also, I've read things about band programs being cut to help school funding. My band has been the catalyst for personal growth for me, and countless other students. Even certain freshman, who haven't finished a year, have grown so much! I can't imagine life without band. And my band director is an amazing person who always puts his students before himself. I've had days where he sat down and made sure I was doing okay, and I've seen him do that for practically every student. How does anyone know things are going to be okay?>

P.S. Thank you for not telling everyone in Colorado to inject bleach! Also, thank you for leading us in an orderly, consistent fashion.

(Copied <and edited> from the r/CoronavirusColorado crosspost)

jaredpolis57 karma

Thankfully the federal government has stepped up and is sending some money to school districts, but it will still be tough times. The decision about whether to have band is in the hands of each district, but I hope if they do need to make cuts that they don't cut the arts including band.

frankPutty44 karma

Governor Polis, appreciate your leadership in Congress on blockchain. What opportunities do you see ahead of your state and the US in implementing the technology to digitize and create more streamlined and hands free processes?

jaredpolis80 karma

We are doing a lot to make Colorado a leader in blockchain tech. We’ve created a financial regulatory safe harbor and have a blockchain task force. While it hadn’t been part of our thinking until recently, we should certainly look into how blockchain can empower hands free processes.

jessabeille44 karma

Hi Governer!

How many times have Covid-19 kept you up at night since the beginning of the crisis?

I'm learning Spanish and am impressed to see that you answer reporters' questions in Spanish. How did you learn Spanish and can you do the rolled "r"?

jaredpolis99 karma

I don’t think I’ve had a good nights sleep in over a month. These decisions are so important for all of us and I’m looking information upon and thinking all the time.

My son (8) asks me the same thing. I’m just able to roll Rs well, not sure how I learned and I can’t even successfully teach my own son to do it too. Perro, burro

PM_ME_KIM_JONG-UN43 karma

What are your honest projections for the Colorado Rockies this year?

Considering the circumstances and the possible changes to the NHL playoff format, are you willing to declare the Avalanche the true 2019-2020 Stanley Cup champions?

jaredpolis117 karma

If MLB doesn't occur, the Rockies will be tied for first place! Sorry, gallows humor. I am a huge baseball fan and hope they play, even if it's to empty stadiums. And of course we have a shot in our division. And go Avs!

Gingivitis_Khan39 karma

Thoughts on Justin Amash? Not as a presidential candidate, but as a person and a Congressman.

jaredpolis125 karma

He's awesome! My second choice for President. Also a man of integrity, rare in politics these days.

jazzberryjamm35 karma

Hey Gov! Two questions for you.

First: What's your reaction to how the White House has been managing the nationwide Covid-19 response?

Second: Where's your favorite breakfast burrito in Denver?

jaredpolis105 karma

1) 🤭 2) La Casita (with some tamales on the side!)

BackdoorDan35 karma

First off, thanks for your service. As a Boulder resident I feel like CO has done a great job with this coronavirus ordeal.

I was wondering why there hasn't been more nuance in discussing best practices for social distancing. For example, safer at home says you should stay within 10 miles of your home. The idea makes sense, if everyone stays in their own little 10 mile radius then the infection doesn't spread as quickly.

With recreation being given the thumbs up, I'm wondering why I can't go rock climbing a couple hours away. My rationale is that if I don't need to fill up gas, stop for food, etc... and climb at an area where there are no other people I wont be spreading the disease to other communities.

A lot of people have been just putting out blanket statements on social media saying don't go out and do anything but I feel like when you strip nuance from that conversation people will be less likely to follow guidelines.

Could you talk about your thoughts of my previous example that describes a place 3 hours away from boulder I would like to go to?

jaredpolis61 karma

Yeah working on it. It's not about the outdoor activity itself obviously, it's about not filling up with gas, going to convenience stores, etc in other parts of the state. Any ideas on how to effectively communicate that and not get into more reinfections for areas that are free of it?

BackdoorDan42 karma

thanks for the response! My answer should really be credited to my girlfriend who is sitting right next to me. I agree that the root goal is to minimize cross-community spread in the safer at home order as opposed to keeping gas stations, grocery stores, etc clean.

Perhaps instead of a "here are the rules" statement a decision making flow chart makes more sense. This would allow people to figure out on their own if they were putting others at risk in their actions as opposed to following simple rules. I feel like this flow chart exercise would also give people a chance to understand what actions are risky. The downside of this is obviously that it puts the burden on the citizen to use the flow chart effectively and the more complex the flow chart, the less people will use it.

For someone like me, a decision making flow chart would be more effective; however, I'm not a civil servant and I don't know the data for what is effective for the citizenry on the whole.

PS: I love that you're active on reddit. It's great to have such a close connection to my governor.

jaredpolis61 karma

I would certainly prefer to do it the way you indicated. But a lot of people prefer black and white... yes and no. We do need to make it easy for people. we will hopefully be out of that stage in the next few weeks anyway.

PillowWorldDreams34 karma

Hi Mr. Governor sir, this is a bit unrelated to the COVID thing, but I always wondered what it was like for you personally being the first openly gay governor in the US? Did you go through a lot of backlash for being a gay man involved in politics? And what emotion would you say best sums up your experience as governor?

jaredpolis130 karma

I don’t think people think about my orientation much, they judge me on the job I’m doing. I’m honored I got to help break the “pink ceiling” and hopefully inspire other members of the LGBT community to live their dreams 🏳️‍🌈

VJgnus28 karma

Are you able to cope up with this situation mentally?

jaredpolis94 karma

It's my job. So yeah. It's a heck of a job, but it's what I have to do.

pancakes_pancakes23 karma

Hello Governor!

I'm on the Western Slope. Cases are just beginning to take off. My husband is an ER doctor and we are worried people here aren't taking this seriously.

What are you doing to help rural communities and hospitals in the state? It won't take much for our small hospital to be overwhelmed.

jaredpolis29 karma

There were some early hot spots in Routt and Eagle and to a lesser extent Pitkin. Which county are you in? Montrose is higher than Mesa right now.

VictoriousVik23 karma

Gov. Polis, thank you for all that you do!! What are the chances you’d consider running for President some day?

jaredpolis126 karma

slim to none. I really like Colorado and don't want to leave.

badassitguy22 karma

Hi,

I run a large festival in Northern Colorado. We haven’t cancelled yet. Do you think we’ll be able to have large events by September?

jaredpolis46 karma

I think you should delay the decision as long as you can

MamaRob1420 karma

What books are you reading with your kids?

jaredpolis44 karma

We read Robert Frosts poem Nothing Gold Can Stayvstvdinner with them tonight.

bahnzo19 karma

Not virus related, and maybe more geared towards federal, but since you were my Rep in Congress, I thought I'd ask...

What is the possibility to get all housing vouchers replaced with the "good" ones which allow you to pick your housing? I'm stuck in a place with a voucher which is "location based" so I can't move. And believe me, this place knows that. Removing these vouchers which are owned by the property and giving them to the people to use elsewhere would improve things across the board.

jaredpolis32 karma

Housing reform has been delayed many years by Congress. Meaning there are lots of good ideas like the one you outlined but it's largely been frozen. Maybe there will be some silver lining from this pandemic and it will force Congress to act.

girlsgothustle17 karma

When can rural areas expect more test kits? My family has been quite ill, but no one can get tested here (prowers county, Lamar) without needing hospitalization. I would drive the two hours to Pueblo, but I have a nursing infant and it would be a long, difficult day to go that far. Our elderly parents are pushing us to end our quarantine, and it would help us immensely to be able to get tested.

jaredpolis31 karma

We have them ready to send out if we have a local partner to administer them. Here is a map of free testing and there is some in Crowley and Bent and Otero: https://cdphe.maps.arcgis.com/apps/PublicInformation/index.html?appid=7da93ffdaf954ef5ab5d74ab22dcbd4e

crimpmatch16 karma

How is Colorado addressing the impact of the pandemic on mental health for Coloradans of all ages? What increased capacity and services will be available? Screenings at school and work? Additional training and funding?

jaredpolis37 karma

It is no doubt stressing everyone out. I don't have any hard statistics on this but it's obvious. People are worried about their health and their jobs. People should seek help through teleservices or call our crisis hotline 1-844-493-8255

Daredizzle16 karma

Hello Governor,

WA resident here and it's always been nice to see alignment on a lot of different topics between states. What is your working relationship with other state leaders? Both during COVID and aside?

jaredpolis24 karma

We are part of a group of western states w WA and o also talk regularly to our neighboring state govs

AppropriateDay814 karma

Hello there,

I'll try to keep this short enough, but I'm currently one of the activitated national guardsman in CO now and glad to be helping in that capacity. But as a medical professional, I'd also be interested in helping in hospitals and the like if needed at any point as well. It doesn't sound totally necessary at this point in CO thankfully, however if needed would this be something you'd consider tasking us to do?

jaredpolis25 karma

Thank you so much for everything you are doing and for your service! You are probably doing pseudo-medical things now, are you in a unit assisting with the testing for instance? The National Guard has been supporting our testing at senior centers and community sites in addition to working with the homeless in Denver.

gnarlybobmarley14 karma

Mr. Polis, I understand that while sports aren't the biggest priority at the moment, I'm curious what your stance is on allowing their return in Colorado. If, say, the NHL, NBA, or MLB ask teams to play some games in Denver in the near future, will that be permitted, or will the government deny games being held in Colorado, as is being talked about in other NHL/NBA host cities?

jaredpolis18 karma

We plan on being ready when they are!!!

M8Lion13 karma

Governor Polis,

This might go in some comparison to K-12 schools but, what are the plans/advice for universities when it comes to reopening in the fall?

jaredpolis35 karma

They will likely be resuming in person classes. But look, no one has a crystal ball including me.

kaatie8011 karma

Hi Governor Polis!

My husband and I are very grateful for the work you've done so far throughout this pandemic. I'm 6 months pregnant with twins and concerned about the safety of giving birth in a hospital right now/soon. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on loosening restrictions on midwives for home or birth center births in this state, so that maybe lower risk pregnancies like mine (considered high risk only because of the multiples box being checked) can avoid the hospital and so medical staff doesn't have to worry about caring for and quarantining yet another family?

jaredpolis28 karma

Are there restrictions that get in the way of midwives/doulas? Many Coloradans give birth that way. Please reply with anything you have on this as I would love to help. Also, hospitals are reasonably safe. Almost congrats on the twins! Your first?

YetAnother2Cents11 karma

Are there plans in the works for a cooperative response to a future crisis, so states are not up bidding each other for critical materials? Also that what is available is distributed equitably?

jaredpolis30 karma

Well we are in constant competition with other states and nations for supplies... I hope that our federal government can do something to help the states work together instead of against one another

yepyep124310 karma

Hi Governor, How much do you think the legal marijuana trade will cushion your state's budget against the financial impact of this crisis? We don't have ot yet in MN, but it looks like it sure would help soften the blow.

jaredpolis36 karma

Hardly at all, it’s just a tiny part of the overall economy. But yes we are grateful for every penny to fund our schools.

dupontcircle10 karma

What idiot convinced you to do this late on a Saturday night?

jaredpolis59 karma

This is my therapy.

puerile869 karma

Hello Governor Polis,

Why do people like to hate on Boulder, Colorado? I ask this, because I went to Denver one time and that's the impression I got from the locals there.

jaredpolis28 karma

Friendly rivalry between cities. 🤷‍♂️ I’m more of a small town guy than a big city guy and prefer Boulder and smaller cities.

fonziefonz9 karma

We still have a long way to go, but is there anything you wish you did differently during this crisis looking back to the beginning?

jaredpolis42 karma

I always wish I had tomorrows information today, and next week's information this week, but I make the best decisions with the information that I have.

ThatWanderGirl9 karma

Hey gov!

Just wanted to say that I hugely support the actions you’ve taken to fight COVID-19 here in Colorado! Very disappointed that my internship in your office was basically cut short by this, but it was an amazing experience!

Do you have any idea when travel to the United States might open up again from the countries put on a travel ban back in March (aka Europe)? Do you think Colorado might have any additional restrictions, for people coming from overseas?

Thank you so much for all you do!

jaredpolis14 karma

Hi! I hope I got to meet you? Colorado has no legal authority to put restrictions on overseas travelers, the federal government runs out ports of entry (DIA).

Personally, I think travel should already be allowed with a test and/or quarantine period.

ThatWanderGirl9 karma

Yes! I was in scheduling so... right there. I saw you a lot!

And awesome, thanks for that! I didn’t know who would have jurisdiction over DIA so

jaredpolis16 karma

Sorry I didn’t say hi more and get to know you better!

ezrago8 karma

To My guy, governor Jared Polis

Colorado is cool but I don’t know much about it could you tell me some fact or something?

jaredpolis14 karma

The lowest elevation in Colorado is still higher than the highest point in many other states including large states like Minnesota

throwaway_pics098 karma

First off, Who was your favorite Democratic candidate in the primary this year/your favorite nominee for 2024 (assuming Biden doesn’t pursue a second term)?

Secondly, In your opinion what’s the best CO ski resort?

jaredpolis12 karma

Oh gosh it’s so early for that. Biden will hopefully run a second term!

All the ski areas are amazing, my family has been going to Vail for almost 40 years!! It’s where I learned to ski and now our kids too.

crottorc8 karma

Governor,

Thank you for doing this AMA. It’s nice to see politicals embrace other forms of social media. While disappointed in your commutation of Owens, Ray, and Dunlap’s sentences to life, I think you’ve done well responding to the pandemic and balancing the needs of the state across its diversity of people, geography, and politics. I think it’s important we recognize that we as citizens don’t have to agree on everything and can still be civil while expressing our positions. I hope you’ll continue to create more dialogue and encourage dissenting opinions to spur innovation and improvement within your administration. A few questions for you to opine upon:

  1. What actionable steps can get I-25 expanded to relieve its exceed carrying capacity to the north? Yes - I am asking about road way expansion/funding as public transportation is only part of the issue, but not the sole solution when carrying capacity and deteriorating infrastructure aren’t sufficient.
  2. What are your thoughts, and if you support it, what steps will you take, to expand the University of Colorado system to a western slope campus?
  3. Do you feel that CO should take an as aggressive approach as say CA at state-wide wildfire management via reformulating the CO Division of Fire Prevention and Control into a much larger and better staffed (i.e., more 24-7 resources) professional firefighting organization? Why or why not, and if yes, how? Follow-up: is there anything that, as governor, you feel that you can do to sustain culture change for wildfire preparedness and prevention? Burn, rebuild, burn is a continuing failing model. If so, what?
  4. What are your top 2 (or next 2) priorities for mental health and how will you implement them, measurably, before the end of your term?
  5. You have a day off (ha, we can pretend). Run us through your day of relaxation within the great state.

Again, thank you for participating in the AMA. I have to go wash my hands now.

jaredpolis30 karma

1) expanding I-25 is largely a (expensive) funding issue. Because the state doesn’t have the money (even more so now), the north I-25 lane expansion is funded w a “public private partnership” which means the money comes from a private entity and they are allowed to charge tolls to get repaid. There were bipartisan negotiations around A major road funding package But covid interrupted those.

2) we have Mesa and Colorado Mountain already in western CO, but I’d love to see CU do more in western CO also. I appoint the boards of all the public colleges except CU ( we elect their regents). The CO Springs campus has been doing well and grown a lot this last decade and can provide a model for expansion.

3) it sounds like you have some ideas in this area I’d love to hear them. I just had our fire preparedness plan presented to me last week. Most of our improvements are earlier detection and action using satellite and drones before it’s too late.

4) I have a behavioral health task force working now on just that, reinventing our mental health system from the ground up, eliminating redundancies and making it more patient centric. We were going to have our plan by June but covid pushed the timeline back to September. Stay tuned.

5) I don’t expect one for a while, but I do get some half days off and usually it means hiking with the kids or doing a craft project w then (8 and 5)

bendcats7 karma

When do you think you'll have required/best practices for opening restaurants? As a restaurant operator trying to plan for the transition from takeout to 50% occupancy, it is extremely important to have an idea of what realistic requirements to expect. Reservation only seems likely, but also totally change my required staffing and flow. What should other expectations be? All staff in masks, 6ft between diners, limited hours? Timelines obviously aren't easy but initial guidelines would help the rehiring and training process.

jaredpolis10 karma

We are working on all of these in detail. I don't expect that limited hours will be part of anything (unless you want to limit your hours). It will likely be at a reduced capacity. We will have it out as soon as we can, BEFORE re-opening. Hopefully a week or two before.

lamborb7 karma

hello! what’s your summoner name?

jaredpolis48 karma

Sorry I don’t post it on here. Haven’t been playing much lately, needless to say :/

Maokai and Anivia

chunk1212127 karma

Has being governor impacted your personal life in ways you didn't expect?

jaredpolis22 karma

It's very different than being in Congress. Being in Congress you are more or less anonymous in most settings. As Governor I have security everywhere and they even drive me. It's weird.

chunk1212127 karma

Do you miss the autonomy/anonymity? Or do you enjoy the new sense of security and free time while being whisked around? Just an experience almost none of us will ever have so appreciate the candid insights!

jaredpolis22 karma

I do miss the autonomy and anonymity. I haven't even driven a car in months. I look forward being a former Governor in 2 years or 6 years!

slowdick19 karma

'Former Governor' can still be president! Or General Manager of the US National E-Sport Team.

jaredpolis29 karma

I like the ring of that last one...

Dekkamus-II6 karma

What have you done to address gerrymandering in Colorado? Was there a gerrymandering problem before you took office, if so, how did you make sure that the districts were fairly drawn?

jaredpolis10 karma

The voters in Co have fixed this and taken it out of the hands of politicians by creating a non-partisan redistricting Commison!

wysmyster6 karma

Hello Governor Polis, do you have any response to the recording that was released of Ken Buck? I'd be curious to hear your comment on election fraud in a braider sense of the country. Thanks for taking the time.

jaredpolis22 karma

Haven't really been following it, busy w a pandemic :/

chemistryhacker6 karma

In the 2024 or 2028 election for president could you run for president? You have behaved in a far more presidential manor than the current sitting president.

jaredpolis8 karma

No thank you.

Ghosts_r_real6 karma

Hey Mr. Polis, currently a resident in Colorado, fresh out of the Marine Corps and currently working in the engineering field. I was rated 50% disability from the VA for anxiety. I tried a lot of anti anxiety meds from the VA but they all were awful. Only thing that seemed to help was smoking a little weed before going to bed. My work however has D.O.D contracts which means drug tests. Any insight as to when weed will be decriminalized federally?

jaredpolis21 karma

Should have been yesterday. I'm really sorry to hear that you have to go through that crap. It's fully legal in CO.

SnowGlobeTrekkr6 karma

Is there anything you/we can do to overturn the pit bull ban in Denver? Ps LOVE having you as our gov!

jaredpolis11 karma

I would love for Denver to overturn it! I had a friend's pit bull puppy visit me at the Governor's mansion a months ago, in happier times.

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/ruh-roh-gov-jared-polis-throws-shade-on-mayor-michael-hancocks-veto-of-pit-bull-ban-repeal

protowizard6 karma

Governor Polis, thanks for doing this AMA. My question is why have you not endorsed Spaghetti High as the official best Colorado web series? It's been on Adult Swim and on Colorado's largest television festival. Your silence on this grave Colorado cultural matter is deafening.

jaredpolis25 karma

I'm withholding my endorsement until it wins the primary.

Le_Monade6 karma

Hi Governor Polis,

I have several family members and family friends who are teachers, and in my opinion teachers are underpaid in this country. Do you agree, and if so, what are some of the best ways to raise teacher pay in Colorado and in the country?

And as a follow-up, what are some of the ways you are investing in early education like Pre-K and kindergarten in Colorado?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

jaredpolis21 karma

Yes teachers are underpaid! And we finally have free full day kindergarten in Colorado, and it is a major goal of our state to expand preschool.

birdiesss6 karma

There are lots of people who are still suffering from evictions, whether legal or not. Do you have any more plans in place to help these people?

jaredpolis15 karma

No one is suffering from an eviction in Colorado right now, because there weren’t any for non-payment in April and there won’t be any in May. The courts should be back up and going and able to process new evictions in June.

Corsair3145 karma

Hello, Governor. I am a public defender practicing in Pueblo. Tonight, I watched the film Just Mercy for the first time. Have you seen it? Thank you for signing the death penalty repeal. We have a long road ahead to fix the criminal injustice system, but that was a tremendous and courageous step forward, and my colleagues here in Pueblo and across the state are proud of you.

jaredpolis4 karma

I'm glad that Colorado has finally eliminated this archaic form of punishment.

loving-moonful5 karma

Hi governor Polis, Would you consider cancelling rent and mortgage payments for May? How does the state plan to assist the housing insecure with the economic fallout of the virus? Thank you for your hard work during these times.

jaredpolis12 karma

we are halting evictions for april and may, but they will resume as soon as the courts are up and going more in June. Hopefully the $1200 payment from the feds helped. The economic fallout is horrible. It's a health crisis and an economic crisis.

Bean_0424955 karma

What’s your favorite meal?

jaredpolis18 karma

sushi!

hana9265 karma

Governor Polis - I work for a wedding venue in Jeffco and am wondering if you think holding any weddings will be possible this summer? Do you think we may eventually get up to a 50 person gathering?

I get multiple emails from brides everyday, and my crystal ball is unfortunately out of order. Any guidance would be great .

Thank you!

jaredpolis10 karma

I sure hope so, but sadly I don't have any more of a crystal ball than you do. It's 10 and under now, next step would likely be 25 or 50 and under but when that is reasonably safe depends on how well Coloradans are social distancing and wearing masks.

tsalizz4 karma

Hi Governor! Thank you for your time to do this AMA and more importantly for your leadership the last few months. I try to watch your press conferences and they’ve been very informative.

As we reopen, I was wondering if the state has any plans for people coming from out of state areas that may have more active spread of the virus? Will our options for local recreation (RMNP for example) remain closed to discourage interstate travel? Or are there other options being considered, such as limiting overnight lodging, so that Coloradans can enjoy the easily accessible areas if our state?

jaredpolis9 karma

States don’t control our borders, but are high country communities aren’t ready for tourists yet. When they are we will work with them to make it as safe as possible. It’s a fine line because many Coloradans love our open spaces and summer recreation, but we don’t check to see what state you are from on our trails

Cjk1919984 karma

So Colorado is "opening up" faster than most states that believe in science blue states. What is Colorado doing that allows it to "open up" faster than most states in the country?

jaredpolis21 karma

It’s not about red states or blue states. I look at the data in real time in Colorado and make the best decisions I can with the information I have.

archmage246014 karma

How will the government best go about ensuring compliance with new public health tactics (social distancing, wearing masks, etc)?

jaredpolis21 karma

By winning the hearts and minds of the people with accurate, scientific information about how best to protect yourself and your loved ones.

drakoran4 karma

Governor Polis. I voted for you and have been very supportive of almost everything you have done as our governor thus far.

I was also very pleased at your fast response in issuing stay at home orders towards the beginning of the virus outbreak. Your press conferences have been very informational uplifting and positive

However I cant understand why you chose to remove the stay at home order when you did. We were one of the first states to remove the stay at home order, right after GA and even the president said GA opened too soon.

I realize we cant stay locked down forever, but given how few tests have been done in our state (not blaming you for that but we are in the bottom half in terms of testing) it seems like a rash decision and a 180 from your early response to the virus.

I would like to know what your thought process was in making the decision to begin reopening so early compared to most other states. It seemed to come right on the heels of some of the protests downtown, did that factor into your decision?

I know we are still under safer at home but a vast majority of Coloradans dont seem to care. I had to leave the house today for the first time this week and traffic was about like it is on a normal Saturday. The hardware store was jam packed with people and only about half were wearing masks.

It would be nice if all Coloradans would choose to be safe without an executive order forcing it but the reality is our state is just as full of idiots as the rest of the country, and those idiots jeopardize all of our health and safety. Why put the health and safety of the state in the hands of people who clearly dont care about their own health and safety or that of those around them when you have the authority to force them to stay home or at the very least wear masks in public?

jaredpolis13 karma

Georgia opened restaurants, theaters, gyms etc. we just opened retail stores and offices. We need a few weeks of stable data before we can go further.

pierredelecto5324 karma

Hi governor. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

My question, very simply, is that, in a time of such uncertainty, how can you keep the residents of Colorado safe while opening up the state’s economy?

jaredpolis11 karma

That is what exactly occupies my thoughts night and day. On it.

najing_ftw3 karma

What’s up with your membership with the Liberty Caucus?

jaredpolis20 karma

Don’t we all love liberty? 🇺🇸

TrailFeatures3 karma

Hello, Governor!

As a MTBr, I've been respecting the advice to stay close to home when exercising (riding). I'm wondering if we've now gotten to the point where it's safe/acceptable to travel outside of 10 miles to ride some of our local trails? One of my favorites is almost 40mi away, and I'd love to get out there if it's allowed.

Thank you!

jaredpolis3 karma

Not quite yet... We will hopefully be there soon.

argentinevol3 karma

Hello Governor Polis

While I’m not a resident of your state I’ve always been really impressed by your ability to stay connected with voters whether it be in person or especially now online. But I would like to ask about who you view as some of as your inspirations for your beliefs and political career? For example I find Edmund Muskie to be one of my favorites, an early environmentalist, liberal, and internationalist. I find him to be one of the finest America’s had. What figures helped shaped your views?

Also I love your work and hope you stay connected because having major leaders stay connected and directly reachable is fantastic.

jaredpolis3 karma

Former US Rep Pat Schroeder from Colorado. Senator Alan Cranston of CA, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

foreversittingg3 karma

Governor Polis,

Thank you for doing one of these. What is the most effective way for Coloradans to let you know their thoughts and concerns?

I personally am worried about the state opening up too soon. What are you doing to ensure the safety of the folks who have to go back to work/ the rest of society who interact with them?

And most importantly, if you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be and why? (I am not asking what kind of bird you’d like to be... I want an introspective answer on what bird you are).

Thank you!

jaredpolis9 karma

You can always post to my facebook or call my office. My spirit animal is a dolphin, but if I was a bird I suppose I would be a Goose.

resident_slacker3 karma

What is your favorite place in CO? I've always wanted to see Maroon Bells and I can't wait to finally visit your state!

jaredpolis8 karma

Our state has so many amazing places, I’m partial to our many gorgeous natural hot springs. We hope to be open for visitation and tourism again as soon as possible!

ToddBradley3 karma

I didn't know you were a hot springs guy. If you haven't been yet, you should check out the new-ish Iron Mountain Hot Springs on the west side of Glenwood. Nice variety of pools. One of the top 3 commercial hot springs in the state in my book now.

jaredpolis3 karma

Thanks for the suggestion! I also recommend this book: https://www.amazon.com/Colorados-Springs-Pruett-Deborah-Frazier/dp/1941821138/

Ap0them3 karma

This has very little to do with COVID but could you explain how the marijuana laws work, how is it legal here in CO and illegal federally?

jaredpolis5 karma

Well the federal government has not arrested anyone that is following our state laws. They theoretically could, but they haven’t and I don’t expect that they will.

williambilliam053 karma

As a Coloradan, do you feel TABOR has negatively affected your ability to govern?

jaredpolis11 karma

There was a TABOR surplus my first two years, and in my second year it went to an income tax reduction that was a result of a bipartisan deal a decade earlier which I was thrilled with https://coloradosun.com/2019/12/31/jared-polis-income-tax-reform-colorado-politics-opinion/

Now we won’t be at the TABOR cap for many years, probably the rest of my governorship, so it’s not really top of mind.

AGil20203 karma

Hi Governor Polis - first of all, thank you so much for your incredible leadership during this period. So many of us feel incredibly lucky to have you at the helm right now.

I live in Boulder County and am very fortunate to have lots of trail space only a few miles from my house. With more than the usual amount of trail users out and about (especially on weekends), it's been hard to keep quiet when a hiker isn't wearing a mask and isn't practicing social distancing. How would you speak to someone like that who you saw on a hike? I'm not advocating social shaming, but there really seems to be a difference in attitude for a lot of hikers about the safety of others - especially when it's a pack of people with no masks and dogs off their leashes!

Separate question - what are you thoughts on opening up Boulder's streets to businesses this summer, per Musk's opinion piece in the Daily Camera?

jaredpolis8 karma

Definitely something for Boulder to consider! Not sure the best way to bring it up. By wearing a mask yourself you are hopefully guilting them. The passive aggressive way would be to cough as you walk by them.

ihavecolorfulsocks3 karma

Hello Mr. Polis!

I want to say thank you for how you have handled the COVID19 pandemic in CO.

I work for Human Services in the a northwest county, and I wanted to know what changes you hope to see in regards to affordable child care and preschool?

We have so many struggling families that find that to be their largest barrier for long term self sufficiency.

jaredpolis5 karma

Thanks for your work for the state! Increasing early childhood education is a big reason I ran for governor. Free full day kindergarten, increased preschool, and more childcare. During this crisis we are more focused on helping the childcare we have stay in business and be safe, but I will get back to working on my goals for the state as soon as I can and am doing some planning even now.

Trekari2 karma

We've met precisely NONE of the CDC guidelines for re-opening our state. Why are you putting our lives at risk during a pandemic by insisting upon re-opening right now as though you're some kind of Trump toadie?

jaredpolis6 karma

Our casecount rate of increase have been going down for more than two weeks, our hospitals have less people in them than two weeks ago, and our positive rest rate has hovered around 10% this last week. Our lives will be at risk from this global pandemic for many months to come. Be safe, only go out when you need to, and wear a mask when you do. https://covid19.colorado.gov/

RawPacket2 karma

Considering how vulnerable many companies are in Colorado right now, what are we doing to protect Colorado companies and all their associated IP from being snapped up by foreign interests? Especially considering China owns or has majority investments in critical infrastructure (such as the meat packing plants) that we rely on here in Colorado...

jaredpolis5 karma

Nothing at all. We welcome foreign investment in Colorado that creates jobs for Coloradans. We welcome investment from anywhere and everywhere in our great state.

TheWaystone2 karma

Hi Governor Polis, I appreciate you doing this AMA. I live in Colorado and am in a high risk category. Can you tell me why you decided to move forward without the recommended decrease in positive tests or getting anywhere near the number of required tests? The recent work from the Harvard Global Health Institute shows we fall "far short" of what's needed to reopen, and that "in the last few weeks, all of the models have converged on many more people getting infected and many more people [dying]"... but we're doing it anyway.

Andy Slavitt summed it up with "...Like many countries we picked a strategy to beat COVID-19. We just decided not to stick to it.It’s a long and difficult road & after we climbed halfway we decided it was too hard and decided to roll back down the Hill.”

What can you tell me to dispel the feeling I have that you've decided "reopening the economy" outweighs human lives?

jaredpolis13 karma

We accomplished our goal with the stay at home: we avoided overrunning our hospitals and slowed the curve. Now by having ten times as much testing as well as increasing tracking and tracing abilities, we are creating a more sustainable way for social distancing to occur over a period of months. The mask wearing is also helping align with the measure we are taking to protect our senior care facilities.

TheWaystone3 karma

The goal is saving human lives, ultimately, right? That was the point of flattening the curve after all, the reason we didn't want to overwhelm hospitals. Are you saying you're reconciled to accepting a slower spread? Not working to put the fire out, as many other places have proved they can do?

So why not continue to wait until we truly are ramped up enough to test at a decent capacity? Or until we have the recommended number days of declining deaths and hospitalizations?

The mask wearing is also helping

Unfortunately, without a mandate that all must wear masks, we're going to continue to get a low level of compliance. I went out recently for a medical appointment and less than half the folks I saw were wearing masks. With the increased threats (for example, my local health department was the one threatened with "civil war" if we didn't relax our current fairly lax standards). This mixed bag of local mandates only makes the irrational more irrational, and municipalities frankly can't stand up to this sort of behavior.

jaredpolis9 karma

There is no way that has ever been presented to me to "put the fire out." Small island nations like Taiwan and NZ have been successful, but over 1.2 million Americans have had it and probably several times that based on antibody studies. We flattened the curve. Getting rid of it from CO and the USA? Who wouldn't pick that option. If only it were one.

jaredpolis9 karma

You should also know that Andy Slavitt is a major genius and I call and talk to him regularly, he has been a huge help especially in the early days of the crisis he'd make a fine Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Biden.

fonziefonz2 karma

Do you think counties are being too lenient on the businesses who flagrantly defy your public health orders? It seems as though there are few repercussions to doing so and other businesses may be emboldened to do the same in the near future.

jaredpolis5 karma

Everyone must follow the law in Colorado, even those who disagree with it. We are able to do some state level enforcement as well.

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

jaredpolis6 karma

I think it’s very likely that the campus experience will be back, but with additional precautions.

Harley4100 karma

First of all, I very much respect you as a leader. Although I am very concerned about the consequences of this pandemic and the decisions that have been made, and I don't support all of the decisions in theory, I have complied with everything because I have always respected and supported YOU. You communicate so competently and measuredly, and I feel as if you are really honoring the complexities of the situation.

Small potatoes question - can we have any hope that playgrounds will be opened? The small ones are struggling.

jaredpolis2 karma

Aren’t playground generally free and run by cities and schools? I’m not sure what you mean they are struggling. They are still being maintained and if anyone is struggling it’s kids who can’t play on them right now. Maybe you mean something other than what I mean by a free public playground?

And yes, I’m doing my best to do all the trading and pore through the statistics to make the best choices for Colorado at any given point in time. It’s not a great time anywhere in the world right now.

Harley4101 karma

Sorry - unclear! The little kids are so sad - we live next door to bunch of wonderful playground and it's hard to explain why they can't play. So cities will be the ones who open playgrounds?

jaredpolis2 karma

They won’t be going out of business! But i think as we get more into summer they will reopen. The parks around them are open and kids should be running around outside. Not time to share equipment yet though.

ElDiablo666-3 karma

Hi Governor,

I'm a delusional and vicious opponent of human liberty and democracy. I strongly support keeping rent and not paying unemployment any longer than absolutely necessary. Will you continue to represent folks like me or will you break with us?

jaredpolis8 karma

I love every Coloradan

ElDiablo666-3 karma

The fact that you love and take orders from traitors who deserve to be publicly executed like me is really courageous.

jaredpolis11 karma

I love you, I don't take orders from you.

-Howdy-Partner--6 karma

Do you plan to keep emergency powers after this COVID 19 situation is over?

jaredpolis14 karma

Nope

masturkiller-15 karma

We all know that the numbers are inflated and you're using the pandemic to further hurt the Trump presidency and upcoming re-election. Why would you put your state at risk economically only to harm the president and further perpetuate a false pandemic?

jaredpolis16 karma

I really hope you don’t actually think that and are either messing with me or are just a foreign-sponsored bot. If you are a real thinking person please reconsider that this horrific global pandemic has nothing to do with the Trump presidency or any upcoming election, other than that of course voters will assess how various elected officials have handled it.