Jessica Laurel Clark-Roe
Executive Communications at Deloitte as a government subcontractor in the Defense Health Agency under the Department of Defense.
Masters of Law - University of Denver (Dec, 2019), Bachelors of Journalism and Minor in Political Science - Colorado State University (May, 1996)
I personally ran for the Littleton Public School Board in Littleton, CO and came in as the runner up in November, 2019. To prepare for the race, I attended Colorado Emerge, a workshop put on for female democrats running for office. I met several aspiring politicians at that event, including Amy Padden, whom I got to know very well, and I've since served in her kitchen cabinet and given her several $20-50 donations throughout this past year until her election tomorrow. Additionally, I've donated to David Ortiz for HD38 in Colorado, John Hickenlooper for US Senate (CO), Amy McGrath for US Senate (KY), Sarah Gideon for US Senate (ME), and and possibly a few other small campaigns like the astronaut for senate in AZ.
Supermajority, Colorado Press Club, Colorado Women's Bar Association, Colorado Emerge, and the alumna association of the Denver Business Journal's Forty Under 40 (Class of 2013)
I went from covering politics as a journalist to then working in Governor Hickenlooper's administration starting in 2011. One of my first assignments as the Director of Communications at the Department of Regulatory Agencies was an outreach assignment, which allowed me to be an ambassador of his administration - although Democratic - to business leaders of all political affiliations. My assignment was to work with the 18 members of his immediate cabinet, and take three to four at a time around the state, to meet with half a dozen business leaders, each of whom represented at least a thousand or more people in their industry. An example would be the President of the Colorado Association of Realtors, who spoke to us on behalf of 43k Realtors in Colorado. At these meetings, we were to gather any and all red tape they have associated with state government, and then I was to work on drafting a report for the governor, which then led to his first executive order of 2013, which got rid of tens of thousands of rules and regulations on the books, as silly as, "No buggies can drive down cobblestone streets past 9pm." More appreciated, were things we did at the Dept of Revenue (DOR, in fact it was the Realtor himself who said it's ridiculous that once a year, he himself has to sit on hold - or hit redial consecutively - to renew his license, and that by that year, this should be online, yet instead, the DOR still had a recording that said, "I'm sorry, too many people have called us at this time beyond our capacity, goodbye." This was one of my first experiences to represent groups from all over the state and present them to an elected official who had the power to "make change" based on the, "...interests of groups, organizations or associations in Colorado." Additionally, I've since been active in several groups in Colorado, including the local chapter of Indivisible, the HD38 Community, the Arapahoe County Democrats, and I regularly attend both the Littleton Public Schools board meetings twice a month and the City of Centennial Council Meetings twice a month. I'll often provide comment or feedback in relation to causes our community cares about, and, given I ran for school board and received nearly 10k votes, people in our community trust me and come to me to speak out on their behalf when they feel there is corruption or when they feel board or council members are "rubber stamping" things that need more debate and discussion, or, when something needs to be stated for the record.
I would be honored to serve on this commission as I bring to the role a deep understanding of how our state has grown to the point that it is now at a population where we deserve this additional representation at the national level, but also a deep understanding of why our state grew when it did. Much of this has to do with the bipartisan work that was done under the Hickenlooper administration in which I served. For quite some time there, a lot of things were moving like a well oiled machine because our state legislature was able to work together to get things done. Our state then became more appealing to people from elsewhere. I also understand, however, how now there are people just like me, that can hardly afford to live in our homes because property taxes are so high, and the cost of living here has skyrocketed. It is my hope whomever is elected to this seat has this front and center on their radar. I have in many professional roles served as a moderator of focus groups, and in others, as a contributor to group-collaboration type work, which demonstrates I am an effective individual able to take a task, focus on a mission, and work through our ideals and viewpoints, yet stay laser focused on our task. This role is a large one, yet one in which the majority of Coloradans have no idea is underway, or even a part of the political future here in Colorado. Whether it's been in my role as someone "in the know" as a journalist; as someone "in the know" behind the scenes of leadership in state government; or, as someone helping great people become our next leaders as I volunteer countless hours on their campaign, I have proven time and again my understanding of this change underway in Colorado and the importance of how this commission will have an important role in shaping the future of Colorado.
Entering into a conversation or exercise where you know that you must emerge with a consensus requires first that you get to know - and learn to respect - those who you will be working with on this assignment. Not those outside the room. Not with those you’ve rubbed elbows with who are VIPS and names you can drop in the conversation. But pure old-fashioned, “Tell me about yourself” followed by a whole lot of listening. No hoping that one - or a few of these people will be replaced by backup jury members, like it works in a court case, and one can sometimes maneuver, because in this case, we cannot - but a complete understanding that these are people with whom you will know very well in a short period of time, and know where they stand on every issue. With this understanding as I come to the table, it is clear that I not only recognize my goal is to create a conversation by bringing a unique viewpoint to the table, but, in the end, to come to a consensus. I want o share that the honest truth as to why I think I am uniquely able to do this is because of my upbringing. I’ve always thought and believed in a progressive, liberal way, yet I’ve been brought up as the daughter of an oil man (a geophysicist) who has told me every election that if the democrat wins, there won’t be a Christmas. Literally. My mother would repeat this to the point the year Clinton won - and I was away at my freshman year at college - she sent me a letter saying that if she came across evidence that I voted for him, she would stop sending me an allowance, and possibly, quit paying my sorority fees. Ironically, that made me laugh since I’m pretty sure I was only in a sorority to make her proud (given I hated it) and little did she know, the little rebel in me had voted for Ross Perot. Fast forward to today, and my mother at age 70 died suddenly this summer, which led to my family moving in with my father to care for him as he is elderly and a Type I diabetic, who could no longer hold on to his home without financial assistance. It was a partnership that worked for him, and my husband and teens as well. Today we are at the point where we can talk about how President-Elect Biden has carbon alternative programs to re-train people like my father - in his mid 70s - to learn how to mine energy from things like the energy that comes off of pouring cement. Yes, the stuff we walk on sidewalks. He can still plot and play with his geophysicist maps and keep wells going at the same time, but he is open enough to see his generation in Biden, and we can have a conversation about these things that were once so divisive, I could not understand how he could come from the republican viewpoint. Granted, he’s now unaffiliated, but through this process of better learning to understand how this republican belief system was so much a part of my family upbringing, I uniquely have a perspective on how those completely opposite of myself view the same things from a different angle. I also have the calm ability to discuss these things and appreciate their viewpoint, and share mine in a way that they can appreciate my viewpoint, as well.
Throughout my career, at the heart of every position I have held professionally, I have been a problem solver. As a journalist, I was entrusted to take in a news tip or a fact from public officials, and then either confirm its truth or non-verifiability, and then report that information in the most simplistic of terms with two or more sources confirming that information. Essentially, I had to find what people didn’t know, figure out whether it was worth sleuthing through, and whether it was worth bringing to their attention. As I climbed the ranks to a newsroom manager and grew into leader, I have been trusted with employees’ futures in my hands, deciding who deserved to be coached up, and who needed to be coached out. In the role as public servant as an employee for the State of Colorado, I had to apply logic and reason to every single minute of how I spent my time: Would taxpayers approve of what I am doing right now? Would they consider this effort that was just assigned to me a worthy cause? Is this expense we will incur based on the task I was just given something taxpayers should be covering? Which persona above me in state government should I speak up to if I have determined through my analytical skills that their instruction given to me was something that might be a great idea, tactic or exercise in the private sector, but frivolous and highly criticized in the public sector? And later in life as I attended law school in my mid-40s, while also juggling a full time job, my time to study was minimal, as I was also parenting two teenage children. This meant I had to approach many of my exams with logic and reason, recalling the time I had - generally only once - to read through the law brief, and then to apply real life experience and logic. With the combination of those three factors, I made it out of law school with nearly straight As. The same goes for the general strategy of solving problems with a group. There are a few general steps we must do in order to work together to use our accumulated knowledge and experience from all of us and all of our respective fields, which we will of course measure equally, as experience on this commission is just as important if you are a homemaker or if you are a house maker. (1) We must comprehend the problem, in that our state has grown and has a need for more complex representation on a national level. (2) We must understand the rules and policies by which we can represent the problem in formal terms. (3) From understanding our goal, we must plan a solution. (4) We must work together to execute that plan to find a solution. (5) We must evaluate our plan and be able to interpret it and present it - collaboratively - to you. This only works if the right people with the right experience and chemistry are selected for this commission, and I thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.