I attended an Economic Club of Chicago luncheon today where John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado, was the featured speaker.
I’m a believer.
What he has done as Mayor of Denver and Governor of Colorado is stunning. He is a lifetime entrepreneur who views problems — no matter how complex — as solvable if everyone works together. He led the campaign to pass FasTracks, the largest regional transportation initiative in U.S. history, and helped convince 34 metro mayors who represented both parties to unanimously support and pass the 0.4% sales tax increase.
He recruited the best, most talented people to his cabinet and in eight years streamlined the total workforce 7%. In 2005, TIME Magazine named him one of the five top big-city mayors in America. He recently added “author” to his resume with the publication of his forthcoming memoir, The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics.
He was inaugurated Governor of Colorado in 2011 with the goal of collaborating for community good. He is redefining the relationship between state government, and business and civic communities.
Governor Hickenlooper’s goal: to create the most pro-business state government with the highest environmental and ethical standards in the country. His administration has eliminated or streamlined thousands of rules and regulations, created the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN), and provided Advanced Manufacturing Grants to accelerate start-ups and early stage technology businesses. They are building an integrated workforce training system in conjunction with the Markle Foundation and LinkedIn that will create a single, seamless continuum for education and workforce preparation, from childhood to old age.
Governor Hickenlooper has applied his passion to create good government on a national level as well. His 2015 “Chair’s Initiative” at the National Governors Association, was a bipartisan success focused on hiring, appropriate creation and implementation of regulations, and continuous improvement. He believes that governors, far more than Congress, can revive an American democracy that is at a crossroad.
The most significant thing about the Governor’s remarks is that he was completely non-partisan. If I hadn’t known he was a Democrat, I would not have known. He is a man of ideas and optimism with a “can do” spirit that our country needs.
If he runs, I’m going to become a grass roots supporter in a way I haven’t been since the 60’s. Keep an eye on him, and let me know what you think. I’m in.
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