Protecting Freedom and Enabling Opportunity

Protecting Freedom and Enabling Opportunity

Like many Coloradans, I am watching our government in Washington with outrage and with deep concern for the future of our country and our state.  Our constitutional and civic tradition of protecting freedom and enabling opportunity—and our Colorado way of life—is now at risk.  For my family, this American tradition is deeply personal; my mom and grandparents came to this country as refugees after my mom was born in a concentration camp in 1945.  My wife Heidi’s dad fled Germany on the last boat that made it to the United States—the one before the St. Louis, which was turned back.  Her parents, like mine, were the first in their families to go to college and, through hard work, both of our families have lived the American Dream.  As people who benefited from our country’s freedom and opportunity, we are inspired to fight for opportunities for all Coloradans and to protect our freedoms as our next Attorney General.

My life’s work is to help and support others.  Today, many Americans are worried that the American Dream is out of reach for them and that our government is responsible to the rich, the powerful, and the special interests.  To protect our democracy, we must end the corrupting force of dark money in politics (that is, unreported campaign spending), draw fair districts that promote competitive elections, and prevent voter suppression efforts.  

It is easy to be cynical or despair about the state of our politics.  But our constitutional democracy and economy has emerged from past challenges—and we can do so again, but only if we pull together.  With our changing economy, we need an Attorney General who cares deeply about protecting consumers, standing up against abuses, and making it easy for entrepreneurs to start businesses here.  Our entrepreneurial community is an incredible asset for our state and represents the Colorado ethic of working together, caring about each other, and innovating.  I am excited about taking those values into our state government.

I first came to Colorado in 1994 to begin my legal career here.  Like many of us adopted by this state, I fell in love with the great quality of life and natural environment here, but more importantly, I love how people here root for each other to succeed and are resourceful in finding ways to get things done.  As the Dean of the CU Law School, my deep concern for our students and commitment to innovation led me to raise the quality of the law school experience, advocate for employment opportunities, and decrease the level of average law school debt.  As a result, CU Law defied the national decline in law school applications (a 40% drop) and saw applications rise.  We succeeded by building successful partnerships with and earning recognition from leaders in the community, including the Colorado District Attorneys Association and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.  That same concern for others and innovative spirit guide my leadership in our entrepreneurial community, including my founding of Startup Colorado, the Blackstone Entrepreneurs’ Network, and the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship.  

Taking on a race for statewide office is a daunting task.  As I take this step, I am inspired by wonderful mentors, role models, and friends & family:

  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose strong commitment to civil rights and equality remains an inspiration;
  • President Barack Obama, whose commitment to enabling opportunity and embracing the future is a model for our state and nation;
  • The many students and professionals I have worked with in Colorado, whose collaborative, caring, and innovative approach to problem solving makes our State special; and  
  • Most of all, I am inspired by my family, starting with my mom and dad, who taught me the importance of hard work; my wife, Heidi, whose commitment to helping others in her work (as a doctor) and in mine makes this campaign possible; and my kids, Aviva and Sammy, whose future is at stake as we fight for our freedoms and opportunities for all Coloradans.