Jared Polis is an independent leader who uses his private and public sector experience to find pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing Colorado and the nation. He has given much of his life to the cause of improving and reforming education. In Congress, he has become a recognized leader on school reform, as well as immigration, civil rights, the environment and tech issues.
First elected to represent Colorado’s Second Congressional District in 2008, Polis serves on the powerful Committee on Rules and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. He also serves on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, as a Democratic Caucus Regional Whip, as co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Immigration Task Force, chair of the Equal Protection Task Force of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and as co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus. Additionally, he founded and co-chairs the bi-partisan House Innovation caucus and 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. Congressman Polis is also a Vice-Chair for the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition.
Polis’ top priority is ensuring that all Americans regardless of geography or economic background receive a world-class education. As a successful entrepreneur, he understands that America’s economic success is tied to every child’s success in the classroom. He believes that education is the single most meaningful investment America can make in its economic future and in its people.
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.
At home in Colorado, Polis first won elected office when voters selected him for a seat on the Colorado State Board of Education in 2000, on which he served for six years including as vice-chairman and chairman. He also founded two innovative charter schools: the New America School, where he served as Superintendent of, to extend the benefits of English literacy and a high school liberal arts education to new immigrants; and the Academy of Urban Learning, which educates homeless teens or those from unstable living environments.
During his first term in Congress, Polis served on the House Education and Labor Committee, where he introduced legislation reforming nearly every section of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which governs federal K-12 education efforts. His continued efforts in this area focus on getting accountability right at all levels, expanding educational models that work, and improving persistently failing schools with data-driven models to reduce achievement gaps.
Polis has been working with Democrats and Republicans to reform our nation’s broken immigration policies, to advance the cause of civil rights and equality for all, and to protect Colorado and the world’s natural beauty and environment since he was elected.