Application for Legislative Commission for Christopher W Lane

Contact Information

Full Name

Christopher W Lane

Party Affiliation

Democrat

Occupation

Antique print & map seller, The Philadelphia Print Shop West, Denver, CO

Educational Background

BA, honors in Philosophy (Trinity College, Hartford, CT); MA Oxon in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Oxford University, England); All but thesis in PhD program in Philosophy (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA)

Zip Code

80220

Background

Professional Background

As a dealer in antiquarian maps and prints, I joined the board of the Denver Public Library Friends Foundation almost as soon as I moved to Colorado, from Philadelphia, in 2010. The library holds an important collection of western material, and both my wife and I are long term supporters of reading as a means for children and adults to improve their lives. Even once I left the board, I have continued to work with the Friends, running a number of programs for them to help raise awareness and money, including some "Antiques Roadshow" type events (I have been a regular appraiser on that TV program) and giving regular, free lectures on maps and prints. I have also been a board member of the Rocky Mountain Map Society, running both their regular lecture programs and their annual Map Month every May (except this one). These are all free programs open to the public. My wife and I have been regular supporters of a number of local arts groups, including Wonderbound and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, as well as local history related groups such as Historic Denver, History Colorado, Colorado Preservation, and Four Mile Historic Park. I worked as a board member of the BCOC for three years.

Past Political Activity

I was a Precinct Committee Person for the Democratic Party, Precinct 623, House District 6, from 2015 to 2016. My wife and I have made small donations to the Cary Kennedy campaign (2108), and also some small donations to the campaigns of Michael Bennet, for (Senate) and John Hickenlooper (Presidential & Senate)

List of Political and Civic Organizations belonged to

Board member, Denver Public Library Friends Foundation, 2010-2014; Board member, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, 2015-2018; Board member, Rocky Mountain Map Society, 2005-current; Board member, American Historical Print Collectors Society, 2010-2015, 2019-current

Statement

The crux of our democracy is the ability of all citizens to vote and have their vote matter to the same extent as everyone else’s vote. My academic training was mostly in philosophy (with a smattering of political science), and one of my main interests was in ethics. The intersection of democracy and ethics is the notion of equity for all citizens; viz. that every person has equal say and power to shape the nature of the political bodies which affect his/her live. The way that voting districts are set up is, obviously, the foundation of whether any particular system is equitable or not. Redistricting has been used for partisan purposes—by all political parties—from well before Governor Gerry ‘gerrymandered’ the Massachusetts districts in 1812 up to today. This has been the source of a considerable lack of fairness in our political system. I am proud of Colorado for being a leader in the movement to take the redistricting function away from legislatures in order to try to come up with a fair and rational process which will benefit all citizens in a equitable fashion. This is an important step forward both for Colorado, and through our example, for the rest of the country. I would be honored and excited to be able to participate in this important work.

Statement on Working with Consensus

I believe that I am intellectually suited and trained to be able to wrestle with the issues that a redistricting committee will face, I have a very strong sense of the importance of fairness, I have strong organizational skills, and, of course, I also am very well versed in map related subjects. My academic training was much focused on philosophical argument, in the sense of being able to take an open-minded and clear-eyed look at the issues involved in any particular question to be decided. I have the ability to identify the core issues of various questions and to present them in a clear and unbiased manner. Even if I disagree with another person in an argument, I am adept at understanding his/her viewpoint and am able to lay out exactly where and why we disagree. This does not always solve the argument, but it at least lets the parties understand the real issues involved. In terms of fairness, my belief in the fundamental importance of fairness is rooted in the moral belief which I hold to be the most important to live by, viz. that everyone should treat others as they wish to be treated. If one follows this Golden Rule, then fairness necessarily follows, as no one would want to be treated unfairly by another. I have mostly supported the Democratic Party in the last decade or so, but that support is circumstantial; my support for a fair, equitable political system is far more foundational to my beliefs.

Relevant Analytic Skills for Commission

I studied philosophy in higher education institutions for almost a decade, and indeed originally planned to teach philosophy as a profession. Two of my main areas of study were ethics and logic. The latter is something which I feel is a sine non qua for any rational argument, and indeed I have taught a class in informal logic to high school students as I think it is a skill necessary for any “reasoned life.” I believe one of my most important and strong skills is the ability to reason in a logical manner.

Demographics

Racial categories the applicant identifies with:
Caucasian
Applicant identifies with the following gender

Male