- 1 Background
- 2 Business career
- 3 Business
- 4 Congress
- 5 Congressional Progressive Caucus
- 6 Peace Action support
- 7 Voted against cutting funding for ACORN
- 8 Introducing Dolores Huerta
- 9 Campaign to Make Immigration Reform a Top Issue in 2010
- 10 J Sreet endorsement
- 11 JStreet Conference
- 12 JStreet 2014 endorsement
- 13 America's Future Now Conferences
- 14 Anti-Fracking legislation
- 15 LIBERT-E Act
- 16 Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- 17 PDA contact
- 18 NCLR forum
- 19 Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
- 20 Urges "progressive" DEA chief
- 21 H.R. 1534, The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act
- 22 Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation
- 23 ARA endorsements
- 24 New Democrat Coalition, 113th Congress
- 25 Staff
- 26 External links
- 27 References
Before entering Congress Jared Polis was the President and Founder of the Jared Polis Foundation as well as Chair of the Colorado State Board of Education. As Chair, Polis focused on recruiting and retaining quality teachers as well as spearheading the School for a New America a "new non-profit educational endeavor that will provide literacy tutoring for hundreds of recent immigrants to Colorado."
Born in Boulder in 1975, Polis was the first of three kids to Stephen Schutz and Susan Polis Schutz, both of whom came of age in the ’60s and embraced the era’s antiwar movement and political activism. Susan was a writer, poet, and teacher—she now also makes documentary films—and Stephen earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Princeton but worked only briefly in the field, opting instead to become an artist. Jared’s brother, Jorian Schutz, calls that decision the biggest of the children’s lives, even though it happened before any of them were born. “If he’d been one generation older, he probably would’ve worked on the Manhattan Project,” Jorian says. “He decided to take a more independent path, and I thank God for that.”
What started as silk-screening Susan’s poetry on a dozen posters and selling them to a local store evolved into mass-producing greeting cards and distributing them all over the world. By the mid-1980s, the success of Blue Mountain Arts meant they were making names for themselves—today, Susan’s poems have been emblazoned on more than 300 million cards—and the publicity-shy pair didn’t welcome the attention.
To escape it, they moved to Southern California, where young Jared played every day in a canyon near their house. A neighbor asked Stephen and Susan to speak on behalf of preservation; they demurred, but 11-year-old Jared overheard and asked if he could go to the meeting.
At the hearing an attorney talked about the raccoons, foxes, and homeless population that made the canyon hazardous and ripe for development. Jared raised his hand and asked the man if he’d ever actually visited the canyon; Jared went there every day and had never felt unsafe. He regaled the panel with stories of how he and his friends loved their small tract of suburban wilderness. When he finished, the town’s mayor led the vote to deny the development plans, and the preservationist crowd had found a new preteen hero.
Despite being highly intelligent and a superior student—Polis had finished numerous AP courses by his sophomore year and passed an AP comparative government exam without taking the class—he always viewed school as a necessary evil that he had to plow through so he could “get into the real world and start doing things.” This outlook never kept him from racking up lofty academic credentials, and his siblings followed his path. Jorian is a Harvard grad, a student of sacred Jewish texts, and a writer who is establishing a permaculture, or sustainable food production, farm in Virginia. Jordanna Schutz, 34, recently earned an MBA from MIT and a master’s degree from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and works for a medical technology nonprofit. “Our whole family is a little different,” Susan says. “My husband has never looked at their report cards. And even though all three of them are superachievers and everyone thought we were pushing them, we didn’t at all.”
At 15, Princeton accepted Polis. He left high school after his junior year, but not before he spent his last pre-college summer looking for business opportunities in the newly democratized Russia. He’d earned enough money to make the trip by salvaging and reselling scrap metal, and while there he sold privatization vouchers on the country’s commodities exchange, a popular program at the time that has since been blamed for concentrating too much wealth in the hands of oligarchs.
Early in his tenure at Princeton, Polis and two friends acquired a few servers and set up an Internet service provider business, American Information Systems, in their dorm rooms. They expanded and ultimately raised about $2 million in investment capital—by this time, Polis was a 20-year-old senior at Princeton—and finally sold the company for $23 million in 1998. Although he’d been admitted to Harvard Law School, he deferred enrollment; he didn’t want to blunt his flourishing entrepreneurialism. The next time he attended a school regularly, he was running it.
While still attending Princeton University, Polis co-founded his first company, American Information Systems, a success he followed with the launching of bluemountain.com and proflowers.com. He has been named an “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst and Young.
First elected to represent Colorado’s Second Congressional District in 2008, Polis serves on the powerful Committee on Rules. He also serves on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, as a Democratic Caucus Regional Whip, co-chairman of the New Democrat Coalition Education Task Force, chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and co-chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus. Additionally, he co-chairs the U.S.-Mexico Congressional Caucus and the Congressional Caucus on Nepal, and is a member of the U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
Peace Action support
- When Democratic Rep. Mark Udall decided to run for Colorado’s open Senate seat in 2008, he opened up a race for Colorado's 2nd district in the House of Representatives.
- The open election for Colorado’s second district was our chance to help elect someone who truly represented the interests of voters in the Boulder area. Peace Action West helped Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected to Congress for a first term, over the finish line in the November election.
- Since then, Polis has consistently voted to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to cut wasteful military spending. In 2011, he led the charge to bring home tens of thousands of US troops from Europe, offering amendments to the Defense Authorization bill to limit the size of the military presence there and save money that could be spent more wisely.
Voted against cutting funding for ACORN
In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included Jared Polis. 
Introducing Dolores Huerta
Huerta drew connections between the fight today for gay rights and her work with Cesar Chavez to organize farm workers in the 1960s.
"If we're going to make our progressive agenda a reality, we need to bring our movements together," she said to applause. "We're all in our little silos, with labor over here, and immigrants' rights over here, and environmentalists over there. If we get together, we are the majority."
Huerta was in Lafayette to kick off the city's Cultural Arts and Heritage Festival, which continues Friday and Saturday with music, poetry, theater and speeches related to Latinos and the labor movement, including a keynote address by Huerta tonight at Centaurus High School. The festival is organized by the Lafayette Cultural Arts Commission and the Latino Advisory Board.
Huerta quoted Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as saying President Barack Obama is "a prisoner of the empire."
"He thought he was going to govern," she said. "Then he finds out there's this military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, the pharmaceutical-industrial complex. It's very hard to change things." 
Campaign to Make Immigration Reform a Top Issue in 2010
On October 13 2010 , immigration activists from around the country gathered to join in a vigil and rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC., where Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez and other elected officials launched a new push for comprehensive immigration reform, building to the opening months of 2010. their banners read “Reform Immigration FOR Families” and “Family Unity Cannot Wait.”
More than 750 people traveled to Washington on buses from up and down the Eastern seaboard and as far away as Texas, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Michigan. They spent Tuesday morning meeting with Congressional offices before being joined by thousands of people from the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area, who gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol to listen to testimonies from families, veterans, and children who face family disintegration because of immigration laws and deportation.
Religious leaders from a diverse array of faith traditions around the country, some organized through Familias Unidas, added their voices.
- At the event Congressman Gutierrez outlined a set of principles for progressive immigration reform that needs to include a rational and humane approach to legalize the undocumented population, to protect workers’ rights, to allocate sufficient visas, to establish a smarter and more humane border enforcement policy, to promote integration of immigrant communities, to include the DREAM Act and AgJOBS bills, to protect rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and to keep families together.
The lawmakers who joined Rep. Gutierrez on stage, and addressed the gathering included Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairman Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairs Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Congressional Black Caucus Member, Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Michael Quigley (D-IL), and Delegate Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands).
J Sreet endorsement
On Oct. 26, 2009, Jared Polis spoke alongside fellow congressmen, Bob Filner and Jan Schakowsky at the JStreet 2009 Conference. JStreet is a Jewish organization that, according to its website, "was founded to change the dynamics of American politics and policy on Israel and the Middle East".
JStreet 2014 endorsement
JStreet endorsed him again in 2016.
- . Polis’s strong Jewish upbringing has informed his love for Israel and passion for peace. Polis supports a two-state solution and recognizes the importance of US leadership in promoting a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. JStreetPAC is proud to re-endorse Polis, a five-time endorsee.
America's Future Now Conferences
Jared Polis was on the list of speakers at the 2009 America's Future Now conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.
On March 14, 2013, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) have introduced the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE) Act, and the Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydraulic Environmental Regulation (FRESHER) Act, in order to ensure that the hydraulic fracking industry follows the same rules that other industries do in preserving our natural resources. This legislation is focused on ensuring the safety and the health of the communities where the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process is already taking place.
The BREATHE Act would ensure that we close the oil and gas industry’s loophole to the Clean Air Act’s aggregation provision, in addition to adding hydrogen sulfide—a chemical associated with nausea, vomiting, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat—to the Clean Air Act’s federal list of hazardous air pollutants.
The BREATHE Act has the following original co-sponsors including: Reps. Rush Holt, Jr., Raul Grijalva, John Sarbanes, James Moran, Michael Quigley, Earl Blumenauer, Gerry Connolly, Zoe Lofgren, Michael Honda, Paul Tonko, Barbara Lee, David Price, Carolyn Maloney, Michael Capuano, Mark Pocan, Jim McDermott, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alcee Hastings, Keith Ellison, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Adam Smith, Jim Langevin, Chellie Pingree, Judy Chu, Louise Slaughter, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Meng, Jan Schakowsky, Nita Lowey, Jared Huffman, Gary Peters and Alan Lowenthal.
The following organizations have endorsed this legislation and are actively working to garner support within Congress and throughout the country: Physicians for Social Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Sierra Club, Earthworks, Breast Cancer Action, Clean Water Action, Environment America, Greenpeace, Nature Abounds, Oil Change International, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Citizens for Huerfano County, Clean Water Action Colorado, Erie Rising, Grassroots Energy Activist Network, Holy Terror Farm, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, SOS Foundation, Western Colorado Congress of Mesa County, Western Slope Conservation Center and Wilderness Workshop.
June 18, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to address National Security Agency surveillance.
H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act), restricts the federal government’s ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public.
A coalition of 32 Members of Congress joined Conyers and Amash in introducing the bill.
The following Members of Congress cosponsored the legislation:
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) Rep. William Enyart (D-IL) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ) Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) 
Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
- By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.
Signatories included Rep. Jared Polis.
The National Council of La RazaAction Fund and partner organizations hosted Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, and Congressman Jared Polis on Nov. 6th 2013, in Denver, CO for a discussion on moving immigration reform forward in the House of Representatives. State Senator Jessie Ulibarri moderated the event, while the three lawmakers discussed the prospects for reform in the House and took questions from the audience. Thank you to Rep. DeGette, Rep. Perlmutter, and Rep. Polis for taking the time to discuss immigration reform with us, and to State Senator Ulibarri for leading the discussion, to our partner organizations Del Norte NDC, GOAL Academy, CLLARO, Mi Casa Resource Center, CIRC, OFA, UFCW, AMG, and the Colorado Fiscal Institute for helping put the event together, and to Denver Public School Board Member-at-Large Elect Rosemary Rodriguez for attending today’s discussion.
Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.
The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.
“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.
Signatories included Rep. Jared Polis ..
Urges "progressive" DEA chief
May 1, 2015, Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) sent a letter to President Obama urging him to nominate a new Drug Enforcement Administration chief that has a more progressive approach to federal drug enforcement. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) also joined in sending the letter.
The Representatives urged the President to nominate a DEA Administrator who is willing to work with state and federal officials to create policies that work with—not against—the evolving landscape of state marijuana laws. The letter states that retiring DEA director Michele Leonhart placed too great an emphasis on prosecuting marijuana use and not enough on drug-related activity that truly poses a public-safety risk.
“The DEA plays a critical role in promoting the health and safety of Americans. But to succeed in its mission, it must refocus its efforts on cracking down on bad actors who seek to evade state laws rather than those who abide by them,” the Representatives wrote. “All of us share a commitment to keeping drugs out of the hands of children, diminishing the reach of criminal cartels, and helping individuals who are addicted to drugs find the help they need to turn their lives around.
“To accomplish these aims, the DEA must end its resistance to the changing public consensus on marijuana use and stop expending its limited resources to prosecute individuals who are not a threat to public safety and, instead, focus on drug activity that poses a more serious risk,” they added.
H.R. 1534, The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act
The 2015 Bill H.R. 1534 would reduce the number of nuclear-armed submarines operated by the Navy, to prohibit the development of a new long-range penetrating bomber aircraft, to prohibit the procurement of new intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Sponsor: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3rd district). Co-sponsors were Reps James McGovern, Mark Pocan, Peter DeFazio, John Conyers, Raul Grijalva, Michael Quigley, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Sam Farr, Jackie Speier, Barbara Lee, Donna Edwards, John Lewis, Jared Polis, Louise Slaughter.
Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation
On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States 
The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.
New Democrat Coalition, 113th Congress
- Jared Polis
The following are past and present staff:
- Jonathan Asher
- Christine Berg
- Brian Edward Branton
- Christina Brown
- Shawn Coleman
- Lara Elizabeth Cottingham
- Conchita Cruz
- LaGreta Dennis
- Jonathan de Wolff
- Nissa Erickson
- Stuart Feinhor
- Christopher Fitzgerald (Chris)
- Scott Groginsky
- Danielle Henry
- Lisa Kaufmann
- Rosalyn Kumar
- Katherine Lechuga
- Adam Lowenstein
- Jorge Loweree
- Andrea Martin
- Melissa Meyer
- Natalie June Munoz
- Danielle Oliveto
- Daniel Palugyai
- Adam Pase
- Spiros Protopsaltis
- Rafael Reyneri
- Samuel Ricketts (Sam)
- Gina Marie Salazar
- Andrew William Schultheiss (Andy)
- John Sharrar
- Susan Windels (Sue)
- congressional bio, accessed Aug. 1, 2011
- congressional bio, accessed Aug. 1, 2011
- Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
- Peace Action West, How our election work has already made a difference
- [http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/the_75_democrats_who_are_prose.html American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig]
- Dolores Huerta in Lafayette: 'If we get together, we are the majority' Labor movement legend, 80, urges progressives to merge causes By Erica Meltzer Camera Staff Writer Posted: 10/08/2010 12:02:35 AM MDT
- Immigration Matters New America Media, Richard Stoltz, 0ctober 18, 2009
- J Street 2008 Annual Report
- Flickr.com: Rep. Schakowsky at JStreet Conference
- KeyWiki: JStreet
- J Street The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans
- JStreetPAC 2016 Endorsees
- Confabb website: America's Future Now 2009 Speakers (accessed on July 13, 2010)
- Polis website. Polis, Cartwright Introduce Legislation to Hold Fracking Industry Accountable,
- NSA Surveillance: Amash, Conyers Introduce Major Bill, Bipartisan Coalition of 34 Members of Congress Propose LIBERT-E Act, Jun 18, 2013
- Update on Cuba Travel: We Gathered 59 Signatures, The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Karina on May 03, 2013
- PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
- Action fund
- CISPES press release, Press Statement: 51 Members of Congress Call for US Neutrality in Salvadoran Elections December 16, 2013
- Polis, Blumenauer Lead Letter Urging White House to Choose Progressive DEA Chief May 1, 2015
- Washingtonwatch.com, H.R. 1534, The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act
- H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States, accessed December 26, 2015
- NDC Member List
- Accessed 12/05/2011