Who is Jared Polis - the Gay Governor of Colorado: Biography, Time Life, Career and Profile
|Jared Polis - the Gay Governor of Colorado - Photo: wbur.org|
Biography Jared Polis - the Gay Governor of Colorado
Jared Schutz Polis (born May 12, 1975) is an American politician, entrepreneur, and philanthropist serving as the 43rd governor of Colorado since January 2019.
A member of the Democratic Party, he served one term on the Colorado State Board of Education from 2001 to 2007 and five terms as the United States Representative from Colorado's 2nd congressional district from 2009 to 2019.
During his time in Congress, he was the only Democratic member of the libertarian-conservative Liberty Caucus. He was elected governor of Colorado in 2018, defeating Republican nominee Walker Stapleton.
Early life and education
Polis is the son of Stephen Schutz and Susan Polis Schutz, founders of greeting card and book publisher Blue Mountain Arts. He was born at Boulder Community Hospital in Boulder, Colorado in 1975. He lived in San Diego, California as a high school student, graduating from La Jolla Country Day School in three years with multiple honors. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in politics in 1996, writing a 157-page senior thesis, "Paradigm Shift: Politics in the Information Age", under the supervision of Carol M. Swain. While at Princeton, Polis served as communications director of the undergraduate student government and was involved in other campus organizations, such as Model Congress and the Princeton Juggling Club. In 2000, he legally changed his surname to his mother's to raise awareness for a fundraiser and because he simply "liked it better".
Personal life Jared Polis
Polis is one of the few people to be openly gay when first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first gay parent in Congress. Polis and his partner, Marlon Reis, have a son and a daughter, born in 2011 and 2014, respectively.
In June 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, an event widely considered a watershed moment in the modern LGBTQ rights movement, Queerty named him one of the Pride50 "trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance, and dignity for all queer people".
Polis enjoys video games such as League of Legends, and his favorite champions include Maokai and Anivia. He is Jewish. Polis is also an avid Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos fan.
Career Jared Polis
Polis co-founded American Information Systems (AIS), Inc., while still in college. AIS was an internet access provider and was sold in 1998. In 1996 he co-founded a free electronic greeting card website, bluemountain.com, which was sold to [email protected] in 1999 for $430 million in stock and $350 million in cash.
In February 1998 Polis founded ProFlowers, an online florist, in La Jolla, California. In December of that year, economist Arthur Laffer began advising Polis and joined ProFlowers as a Director. ProFlowers later renamed Provide Commerce, Inc., went public on NASDAQ as PRVD on December 17, 2003. In 2005 Provide Commerce was acquired by media conglomerate Liberty Media Corporation for $477 million.
Polis and other investors founded TechStars in Boulder, Colorado in 2006.
During his tenure in Congress, Polis was among the wealthiest members of Congress, with a net worth estimated at over $300 million.
In 2000 Polis founded the Jared Polis Foundation, whose mission is to "create opportunities for success by supporting educators, increasing access to technology, and strengthening our community." Its main programs are the annual Teacher Recognition Awards; the Community Computer Connection program, which refurbishes and donates more than 3,500 computers a year to schools and nonprofit organizations; and the semi-annual Jared Polis Foundation Education Report. Polis has also founded two charter schools, one with multiple campuses across three states and a post-secondary school, the New America College, for at-risk students. In 2004 he established the New America School, a charter high school that primarily serves older immigrant youth ages 16–21 and has three campuses in Colorado, two in New Mexico, and one in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2005 Polis and Urban Peak co-founded the Academy of Urban Learning in Denver to help youth at risk of becoming homeless or living in unstable living conditions.
Polis was named Outstanding Philanthropist for the 2006 National Philanthropy Day in Colorado. He has received many awards, including the Boulder Daily Camera's 2007 Pacesetter Award in Education; the Kauffman Foundation Community Award; the Denver consul general of Mexico "Ohtli"; the Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Humanitarian Award; and the Anti-Defamation League's inaugural Boulder Community Builder Award.
At the time of his first election to Congress, Polis had founded a number of companies and was one of the 10 richest members of Congress.
Political career Jared Polis
In 2008, Polis won a heavily contested Democratic primary election for Colorado's 2nd congressional district and went on to win the general election on November 4 with 62% of the vote. He succeeded Mark Udall, who was elected to the United States Senate that year.
In 2010, Polis was reelected with 57% of the vote.
In 2012, Polis ran uncontested in the Democratic primary and won reelection to Congress with 55% of the vote.
In 2014, Polis won the fourth election to Congress with 57% of the vote.
In 2016, Polis was reelected with 56.9% of the vote.
In 2018, Polis announced his candidacy for governor of Colorado. Polis was elected governor with 53.4% of the vote, defeating Republican nominee Walker Stapleton by approximately 11% and becoming the first openly gay person elected governor of any state. (The first gay person to serve as a state governor was Jim McGreevey, the 52nd governor of New Jersey, who came out as gay in August 2004 after being elected.)
At the time of his departure from Congress, Polis was one of seven openly gay members of the 113th Congress and caucused in the LGBT Equality Caucus. Polis pushed for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and praised the Obama Administration's decision for the Justice Department to no longer defend DOMA, saying that "Section 3 of the law is unconstitutional." In a statement, Polis said, "I applaud the Administration for finally recognizing what my colleagues and I have long criticized, to deny people the ability to officially acknowledge their relationship and feel welcomed as partners only for being LGBT is absurd and today's decision confirms this". Polis has also credited President Obama for openly endorsing gay marriage calling it "welcome news to American families."
Polis was an original cosponsor of H.R. 116 or the Respect for Marriage Act. H.R. 116 repeals DOMA allowing marriage recognition for gay and lesbian couples in the US, the District of Columbia, and US territories.
Polis voted for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which prohibited openly gay and lesbian members of the Military from serving. Along with 67 members of the House, in a letter to President Obama, Polis urged for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In the letter, it cited a California district judge's ruling of the unconstitutionality of DADT and the 14,000 service members that have been discharged from the military since the passage of DADT.
As an openly gay man, Polis has made history several times through his electoral success. In 2008, he became the first same-sex parent elected to the United States Congress. In 2018, he became the first openly gay person and second openly LGBT person (after Kate Brown of Oregon) elected governor of a state in the United States. He is also the first Jewish person to be elected governor of Colorado.
In November 2020 Polis and his partner, although asymptomatic, both tested positive for COVID-19.
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