In This Section
By Rep. Jason Crow and Rep. Joe Neguse
Jason Crow: Responsive to the Community
We live in a pivotal moment in history. This is an unorthodox presidency, and Congress recognizes that. Many of us, including myself, came to Congress as part of a new class of candidates. We have not held office before. We are veterans, small business owners, teachers, and parents.
It is an experience that has helped shaped my priorities. First and foremost, I believe we need to take on the system in Washington that gives special interests too much influence over what gets done in Congress. The amount of money in politics underpins every single issue and stands at the root of Congress’ dysfunction and gridlock. It is why my first bill in Congress was the End Dark Money Act, which would close loopholes that allow mega-donors to hide their political contributions and bring more transparency and accountability into our elections.
One of the reasons I ran for Congress was to help pass gun violence prevention legislation. We cannot let mass shootings become the new normal. It is common sense that the same guns I carried through the streets of Baghdad should not be allowed in the neighborhoods of Aurora. I am honored to serve as vice chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Committee and to co-sponsor H.R. 8, the universal background checks bill.
I also serve on the House Small Business Committee. Colorado is home to more than 610,000 small businesses that employ more than one-half of the private sector workforce, and I am proud to bring that perspective to Washington and make sure Congress is advocating for our small businesses. As chair of the Innovation and Workforce Development Subcommittee, I am looking forward to working with small businesses to make sure they have access to the latest technology, the resources to hire and retain talented employees, and the support they need to address their challenges, such as health care, retirement, or labor issues.
We must continue to improve and repair the Affordable Care Act. For too many businesses and families, our current health care system is too inaccessible and far too expensive. Lowering prescription drug costs should be a top priority while ensuring that folks are getting the health care they deserve.
And we need to protect our planet. The threat of climate change is real and imminent. We have already seen the human and economic toll that drought, higher temperatures, and natural disasters has had on our country. I look forward to pushing for renewable energy and protecting our public lands for generations to come.
Lastly, though this certainly is not an exhaustive list, is immigration reform. We need to make sure we provide DREAMers a path towards citizenship and bring the millions of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and do so in a way that protects family unity.
Any legislative agenda, though, is not possible without a strong district office that is responsive to the community. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with local officials to ensure they have a strong partner at the federal level.
As a representative for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, I am taking my lead from my constituents, including municipal leaders and county governments, and adopting the spirit of commonsense problem-solving that runs through Colorado. Across our district, our mayors and local governments are doing incredible work to make each of our communities and cities the best that they can be. In Washington, I hope to partner with these efforts and support our local governments.
I was proud to have two of my first pieces of legislation included in the recent public lands package — two important provisions that came from our local communities, which would provide access and use of the Bolts Ditch head gate to the Town of Minturn and a boundary adjustment for Arapaho National Forest. In addition, one of the first pieces of legislation I have introduced was written by Coloradans and is the culmination of years of collaborative input from outdoor businesses, conservationists, ranchers, and municipal leaders. The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, co-led by Sen. Michael Bennet, protects nearly 400,000 acres of precious public lands at the heart of Colorado’s character and economy. This is the type of legislation that I will prioritize in the 116th Congress, that which focuses on Colorado’s values and hits at the heart of the issues most important to my constituents: combating climate change, protecting our public lands, lowering the cost of health care, investing in our infrastructure, and serving the most vulnerable in our community, from our school children to our elderly.
Joe Neguse: Taking My Lead From You
As your representative, my first duty is to the workers and families in our great state, ensuring that every Coloradan is making a livable wage and has affordable health care, equal opportunity in the workforce, and access to affordable housing. Across the 2nd District, the most pressing issue I hear about is the need for affordable housing. As our communities expand, and the economy changes, many constituents find it more and more difficult to live where they work. At the federal level, there are commonsense fixes we should and must employ to fully invest in affordable housing.
We must also address congestion and traffic issues on I-25 and I-70 and invest in our infrastructure. This is absolutely essential to supporting our local economy. In the 116th Congress, we have the opportunity to pass a bipartisan infrastructure package. Identifying the local needs in each of our communities, working with county and city leaders, and ensuring that Colorado is considered in this package is a chief priority for me.
In addition, essential to solving all of these problems is the important work that the American people mandated in the November elections: We must return accountability and trust to every level of our government by strengthening our nation’s ethics laws, removing dark money from our political system, and increasing access to the ballot box. In Colorado, I have fought for online voter registration and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and I look forward to continuing to fight for these initiatives as a member of the Democratic leadership team.
As a representative of Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, it is a great honor to represent this district, to fight for our cherished wild places, to protect the economic security of our families, and to lead boldly on progressive policies. I truly believe this seat belongs to the citizens of the 2nd District, and it is my honor to be your voice in Washington.