Founder and board member of a natural foods company; previously practiced law in Colorado for over 20 years as a partner in more than one Colorado law firm
University of Colorado (Boulder), B.A. in Political Science (1972) University of Texas School of Law, J.D. (1975)
I have been actively engaged in politics for all of my adult life. Between college and law school, I was on the staff of U.S. Senator Gordon Allott of Colorado (R). During law school, in 1974, I was on the staff of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Impeachment Inquiry serving as a law clerk to John Doar, Special Counsel to the Committee. I am married to former Colorado State Senator Gail Schwartz (D) (2007-2015), who represented Colorado’s 5th Senate District, which included a large swath of Western and Southern Colorado. Prior to serving in the Colorado State Senate, Gail was elected to the University of Colorado Board of Regents representing the 3rd Congressional District. In 2016, Gail ran unsuccessfully for Congress as the Democratic candidate from the 3rd Congressional District. I have been very closely involved in all of my wife’s campaigns and in her public service, including extensive travel throughout the vast area of Colorado that Gail represented. I have contributed financially to the campaigns of numerous candidates for public office since November 10, 2015, almost all of them Democrats, including Gail Schwartz, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Hickenlooper, Jared Polis, Michael Johnston, Cary Kennedy, Jason Crow, and various other candidates for federal, state and local office in Colorado as well as from other states.
I have served on the Boards on Directors of numerous civic and community organizations over the years, including the national governing board of Common Cause, Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Conservation Trust, the Rocky Mountain Regional board of the Environmental Defense Fund, Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley, Governor Romer’s Taskforce on Homelessness, and the Aspen Music Festival. Since November 10, 2015, I have served on the Board of Trustees of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) representing the 3rd Congressional District, and as a corporate officer and to-bono legal counsel to PeaceJam, an international non-profit that was started in Colorado and is based in Arvada (www.peacejam.org). PeaceJam is the global leader in the field of peace education for youth, and its Board of Directors is composed of a dozen Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
I practiced land use and environmental law in Boulder, Denver, and on the Western Slope of Colorado for over 25 years, representing clients - often on a pro-bono basis - from every sector of our state and our economy, including local governments, non-profits, and environmental organizations. The work entailed a constant balancing and compromising of competing interests in search of consensus. I have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Roaring Fork Valley Outdoor Volunteers, Urban Peak (addressing the needs of at-risk youth in the Denver-metro area, and the University of Colorado Pre-Collegiate program (addressing the needs of first generation pre-collegiate students in the Roaring Fork Valley). I spent several years working with the CU School of Medicine to help establish and fund a “Rural Residency” program to bring physicians and high-quality medical care to underserved and underprivileged communities in rural Colorado. Throughout the many years of my wife’s public service on the Western Slope and in Southern Colorado, we traveled the state together, putting tens of thousands of miles on our cars every year meeting with citizens and helping to tackle the myriad challenges facing their communities, from under-funded schools, to the lack of access to higher ed, to inadequate health care, to rural economic development, to the need for broadband, and much more. As a result, I have come to know Colorado better than most, and to experience first-hand it’s diversity in ways that few people have the opportunity to experience. Working closely with my wife to advocate for and help create the “BEST” (Building Excellent Schools Today) program which funded over $1Billion in new schools in rural Colorado, and the “Rural Residency” program mentioned above, are fruits of this work that I am most proud of because they will have the longest and the greatest impacts on our rural communities in Western and Southern Colorado.
The partisan divide in our country could unravel our democracy unless people of good will come together and help us move forward with a common vision. That vision starts with making sure that each of us has an opportunity to have our voices be heard in the political process. I know the stakes for our state and for our country, and I am committed to healing the divide, to bridging the gap and to bringing people together. I’m a uniter by nature, not a divider, and I know how to seek and find common ground. I know it’s there, and I am willing to do the very hard work to find it and to implement it. As stated above, I have been fortunate to travel throughout the state extensively, and to roll up my sleeves with the citizens of very diverse communities in search of solutions to our most challenging problems. I am ready and willing to roll up my sleeves again in order to help create the fairest maps possible and give voice to every corner and every community of our state.
If the individuals appointed to the Commission are committed to fairness, and promoting consensus, and finding common ground, then the odds are very good that the Commission will succeed in its mission. Speaking for myself, I am committed to the mission and I will pledge to dedicate myself to fairness and impartiality in this process. Although I just mentioned “speaking for myself”, this process actually will entail a whole lot more “listening“ than speaking, and I pledge to do my best to solicit and to “hear” what every citizen that comes forth in our diverse communities has to say on this crucial subject.
For better or worse, I was trained as a lawyer. I’m focused on getting results and staying true to the mission at hand. The task before the Commission is extremely complex and multi-faceted. I have had some exposure to the task in the past, and I know that it is all-consuming. I’m prepared to apply my own personal strengths and trust that they will compliment the strengths of others on the Commission in search of the end goal.