The Blog / en Copyright 2011 2011-11-08T23:18:36+00:00 Rep. Polis Says “It Gets Better” /index.php/blog/entry/rep.-polis-says-it-gets-better/ /index.php/blog/entry/rep.-polis-says-it-gets-better/

LGBT, Main 2011-11-08T22:18:36+00:00
Your Drug War Stories in the House /index.php/blog/entry/your-drug-war-stories-in-the-house/ /index.php/blog/entry/your-drug-war-stories-in-the-house/ Last week, Rep. Polis took to the floor of the House of Representatives to share stories submitted by Fearless Campaign supporters across the country about the effects of the failed War on Drugs.

It's clear, after 40 years of wasteful spending on a war leading nowhere, that our country's drug policy must change. Join us today, to help make it happen.

Drug Policy, Main 2011-07-06T13:05:30+00:00
Vote on the Fearless Education Agenda /index.php/blog/entry/vote-on-the-fearless-education-agenda/ /index.php/blog/entry/vote-on-the-fearless-education-agenda/ You considered how education in America must be reformed. You’ve submitted your ideas to fix the system. 

Now, it’s time to vote!

Fearless Education AgendaWe’ve taken the reform ideas we received for Fearless Education supporters across the country and put them up for a vote. The winning ideas will be included in the Fearless Education Agenda, which we’ll lobby for in Congress during the current session.

You can vote now by clicking here. 

Voting will remain open for two weeks. The five reform ideas with the most votes at the end of the day will become a part of the Fearless Education Agenda -- the reforms that we’ll fight for in Congress.

Vote now!

Education, Main 2011-06-23T12:35:05+00:00
Rep. Polis Talks Marriage Equality on MSNBC /index.php/blog/entry/rep.-polis-talks-marriage-equality-on-msnbc/ /index.php/blog/entry/rep.-polis-talks-marriage-equality-on-msnbc/ On June 21st, Rep. Polis sat down with Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss marriage equality and what President Obama has done to repeal DOMA and end discrimination.

You can join FearlessLGBT by clicking here.

LGBT, Main 2011-06-22T22:30:04+00:00
An Unmitigated Disaster /index.php/blog/entry/an-unmitigated-disaster/ /index.php/blog/entry/an-unmitigated-disaster/ Writing in the New York Times, columnist Charles M. Blow comments on the 40th Anniversary of the War on Drugs, which will take place on June 17th.

Writes blow:

Friday marks the 40th anniversary of one of the biggest, most expensive, most destructive social policy experiments in American history: The war on drugs.On the morning of June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon, speaking from the Briefing Room of the White House, declared: "America's public enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive. I have asked the Congress to provide the legislative authority and the funds to fuel this kind of an offensive. This will be a worldwide offensive dealing with the problems of sources of supply, as well as Americans who may be stationed abroad, wherever they are in the world."So began a war that has waxed and waned, sputtered and sprinted, until it became an unmitigated disaster, an abomination of justice and a self-perpetuating, trillion-dollar economy of wasted human capital, ruined lives and decimated communities.

You can join the Fearless Campaign's efforts to end the Drug War by clicking here

Drug Policy, Main 2011-06-12T16:56:09+00:00
Real reforms for a real future for our kids /index.php/blog/entry/real-reforms-for-a-real-future-for-our-kids/ /index.php/blog/entry/real-reforms-for-a-real-future-for-our-kids/ What does education reform mean to you?

To my Republican colleagues in Congress, it means cuts -- cutting funding for reading programs, school libraries, and teacher training.

For too long, both sides of the education reform argument have promoted this false choice, claiming that we could either fund our schools as they stand or reform them, but not both. But cuts aren't real reforms; they leave the real problems unaddressed and unresolved.

I've had enough of watching my colleagues play politics with our kids' futures. I'm putting together a list of education reforms -- real reforms -- to promote in Congress, and I want your help.

Once I've collected all your ideas, I'm going to put them up for a vote on the Fearless Education Reform site. The top vote-getters will become the basis of the Fearless Education Agenda -- the reforms that I'll fight for in Congress this legislative session.

The ideas I've received thus far make up the beginnings of a plan, but I want as wide a variety of choices as possible for the Fearless community to vote on. We need the best options to be available in order to create a better future for our kids.

That means I need to hear from you. Read the ideas I've received thus far, and then tell me how you think we need to reform our schools:


Education, Main 2011-06-09T18:53:57+00:00
Treated Like Criminals /index.php/blog/entry/treated-like-criminals/ /index.php/blog/entry/treated-like-criminals/ For 40 years now, the federal government has wielded a powerful weapon to perpetuate the failed war on drugs: to ability to ignore legitimate state and local laws to enforce marijuana prohibition.

Practically, this means that in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where the public has voted in favor of medical marijuana, our government is using federal banking laws and the IRS’ tax code to circumvent the voters’ will.

It means that banks in states like Colorado and California, where medicinal marijuana is legal and well-regulated, can be prosecuted if they accept deposits from a marijuana dispensary. You read that right: in states where doing business is completely legal, state-sanctioned dispensaries can’t even use simple banking services like checking accounts.

It’s a big reason why I started the Fearless Campaign and it’s why I’m now joining with four other fearless members of Congress – Pete Stark, Dana Rohrabacher, Barney Frank and Rand Paul – in sponsoring three bills to support these small business:

  • H.R. 1984  (The Small Business Banking Improvement Act of 2011), which I am proud to introduce, will allow banks to treat legal marijuana dispensaries just like any other small business.
  • H.R. 1985 (The Small Business Tax Equity Act), introduced by Rep. Stark, would allow legal dispensaries to write off business expenses just like other, regular businesses.
  • H.R. 1983 (The States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act), introduced by Rep. Frank, would allow states to make their own medical marijuana laws free of federal interference and change marijuana’s federal designation from Schedule I to Schedule II to reflect it’s increasingly obvious medicinal properties.

These bills are an important first step toward restoring state governments’ ability to represent the will of the voters they serve -- rather than the will of the federal government to perpetuate the failed war on drugs.  But they aren’t enough. Over the coming weeks and months, I’ll be doing more to fix our broken drug policy. 

You can join us in this fight, too -- become a citizen co-sponsor of this legislative package today and join the Fearless Campaign.


Drug Policy, Main 2011-05-25T19:45:07+00:00
Report from the NORML Conference /index.php/blog/entry/report-from-the-norml-conference/ /index.php/blog/entry/report-from-the-norml-conference/ Our movement for sensible drug policy reform continues to gain momentum.  This weekend, Congressman Polis addressed an overflow crowd at NORML’s Annual Conference in Denver.  Phillip Smith from reports on Jared’s remarks:

"I am optimistic that we will reach a day when America has the smart, sensible marijuana policy that we deserve," Polis told an attentive audience. "But it could go either way. We could return to the dark ages of repression, or we could be on the eve of a new era of marijuana legalization. Your efforts will help determine which route this country takes and the legacy of this generation of activists on what marijuana policy looks like. Together we can accomplish this," he told the crowd.

Polis said that he would file a marijuana legalization bill this session in Congress. The language was still being developed, he added. He is also working on a bill that would address problems the medical marijuana industry is having with banks, he said.

"Marijuana policy is really coming of age," the businessman turned politician said. "Our Colorado model is very exciting," he added, touting the vibrant local medical marijuana industry on display for conference attendees from across the country. "In my last two elections, even my Republican opponents were for legalization. It's become a very mainstream value here."

You can join our campaign to reform marijuana laws today, by helping us to De-Fund the Drug Czar.

Drug Policy, Main 2011-04-28T18:36:10+00:00
Rep. Polis Fights for the Open Internet /index.php/blog/entry/rep.-polis-fights-for-the-open-internet/ /index.php/blog/entry/rep.-polis-fights-for-the-open-internet/ Yesterday, Congressman Polis took to the floor of the House to fight Republican attempts to reverse a recent set of FCC rules aimed at protecting internet freedom. The Republican proposal would put big corporations in charge of online content and would strip the FCC of its ability to ensure net neutrality.

Join our campaign and call your member of Congress today.

Main, Net Neutrality 2011-04-06T14:31:56+00:00
Rep. Polis Talks Marijuana Policy on MSNBC /index.php/blog/entry/rep.-polis-talks-marijuana-policy-on-msnbc/ /index.php/blog/entry/rep.-polis-talks-marijuana-policy-on-msnbc/ This Thursday, Congressman Polis was a guest with Cenk Uygur on MSNBC in a conversation about the the nation's failed war on drugs. He discussed the growing support in Congress for reforming marijuana laws and the Fearless Campaign's upcoming attempts to move us forward.  Watch the full video and join our campaign to defund the Drug Czar:

Drug Policy, Main 2011-04-01T16:01:57+00:00
Minority Leader Pelosi Stands Up for SNDA /index.php/blog/entry/minority-leader-pelosi-stands-up-for-snda/ /index.php/blog/entry/minority-leader-pelosi-stands-up-for-snda/ Would you stand up in defense of a child who was being bullied? I hope your answer is yes.

Now, what if that child were gay? Hopefully, you didn't have to give that question any more thought than the first one.

Bullying is an unfortunate reality of adolescence, but it isn't an inevitability. As events over the past year have shown, bullying is far from harmless, especially when the young person being picked on is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. We can and must put a stop to it.

Far too often, schools turn a blind eye to bullying. Sometimes, however, they do something even worse.

When a school district in Texas recently moved to ban all extra-curricular clubs in order to avoid having to approve a Gay-Straight Alliance, it really crossed the line. The school itself became the bully.

As leaders in their local communities and in our country as a whole, members of Congress have an imperative to stand up to this kind of unfair treatment. They need to protect our children from bullying, whether those children are straight or gay.

In that spirit, Senator Al Franken and I introduced a new bill last week. It's called the Student Non-Discrimination Act and, if passed, it would protect LGBT students from bullying, discrimination, and harassment. We're doing everything we can to turn the bill into law.

This week, I have some more exciting news to report. Minority Leader Pelosi has signed on to the bill as a co-sponsor, lending it the credibility and attention it deserves.

Our message to the bullies clear: Pick on someone your own size.

I'll be honest with you: The odds of this bill passing this session are uncertain. Even with Congresswoman Pelosi's support, many of my colleagues are reluctant to vote for ANY LGBT-friendly legislation even when it means protecting our children.

The odds may be against us, but I won't stay silent and you shouldn't either -- Join the Fearless Campaign and become a citizen co-sponsor of my bill today.

Tell the bullies to pick on somebody their own size.

LGBT, Main 2011-03-30T16:02:11+00:00
Advocating for the Respect of Marriage Act /index.php/blog/entry/advocating-for-the-respect-of-marriage-act/ /index.php/blog/entry/advocating-for-the-respect-of-marriage-act/ Today, several members of the House, including Congressman Polis, will again introduce the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and end federally-sanctioned marriage discrimination.

Unsurprisingly, it will be a difficult bill to pass and the Fearless Campaign is gearing up to make a big push.  We’re asking all supporters to become Citizen Advocates for the bill. Then, Rep. Polis will do door to door building support for the bill, starting with the Member of Congress whose constituents speak out in the greatest numbers.

We’re also asking our supporters to thank the fearless Members who are already courageously standing with us as original co-sponsors of the bill.

Don’t know where your Representative stands? Use our advocacy tool to find out and send them a message.

LGBT, Main 2011-03-16T18:09:38+00:00
Texas School Tolerance Club Blocked by Intolerant Administrators /index.php/blog/entry/texas-school-tolerance-club-blocked-by-intolerant-administrators/ /index.php/blog/entry/texas-school-tolerance-club-blocked-by-intolerant-administrators/ Flour Bluff Independent High School student Bianca “Nikki” Peet saw a need in her school district for a Gay-Straight Alliance, and aimed to create one.

Instead of being rewarded for her enterprising character, school administrators repeatedly vetoed a club that would address homophobia, racism, and other types of intolerance in the Flour Bluff Independent School District.

Not only did administrators block the Tolerance Club, they went to the absurd extreme of preventing all extracurricular clubs from meeting on campus.

The legal back-flip was intended to avoid penalties under the Equal Access Act, which prohibits federally funded schools from denying students ‘equal access’ to open forums.

The district’s discriminatory, hurtful, and childish actions underscore the drastic need to protect LGBT youth under the constitution.

Add your signature to the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and hold federally funded schools accountable for unfair discrimination against LGBT students.

LGBT, Main 2011-03-11T13:03:21+00:00
Be Fearless on the Student Non-Discrimination Act /index.php/blog/entry/take-fearless-action-on-the-student-non-discrimination-act/ /index.php/blog/entry/take-fearless-action-on-the-student-non-discrimination-act/ Civil rights protections guard us against unfair infringements to our individual freedoms. We fought diligently to win civil rights throughout our history, and with the Student Non-Discrimination Act, we continue the fight. Today, Congressman Polis and Senator Franken are introducing the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

The bill extends civil protections based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity with the goal of creating a safe learning environment for LGBT students. It would make sure local school districts don't discriminate against LGBT students, just as they're not allowed to discriminate based on gender or race.

The Act would sanction federally funded schools for discriminating against or ignoring harassment of LGBT youth.

You can support the Student Non-Discrimination Act by becoming a Citizen Co-sponsor today.

LGBT, Main 2011-03-10T09:50:17+00:00
Watch the Live Townhall with Congressman Polis /index.php/blog/entry/watch-the-live-townhall-with-congressman-polis/ /index.php/blog/entry/watch-the-live-townhall-with-congressman-polis/ Please join us this Wednesday night at 9pm eastern for a live townhall conversation with Congressman Jared Polis. The forum will be moderated by Michael Mitchell of the National Stonewall Democrats and we're asking you to join the conversation.

Click here to view the townhall and submit questions.

LGBT, Main 2011-03-10T00:18:46+00:00
Stop the Crusade to Keep DOMA /index.php/blog/entry/stop-the-crusade-to-keep-doma/ /index.php/blog/entry/stop-the-crusade-to-keep-doma/ In the wake of President Obama's brave stand against discrimination, Speaker Boehner and his Republican colleagues did exactly as we hoped they wouldn’t. They appointed their own lawyer to defend the Defense of Marriage Act and keep it in force, since the Department of Justice has announced that it will not.

It's a modern day crusade -- a waste of taxpayer money and motivated entirely by prejudice and hate.

Are you as outraged as we are?

The Republicans know this is unpopular. They saved their announcement for the last minute on a Friday so it would be next to impossible to organize a response. But there are two things you can do to make sure everyone finds out about their crusade.

  1. Tweet your outrage
  2. Share your outrage on Facebook




LGBT, Main 2011-03-05T22:48:43+00:00
Help Us Defund the Drug Czar /index.php/blog/entry/help-us-defund-the-drug-czar/ /index.php/blog/entry/help-us-defund-the-drug-czar/ Drug policy in America is broken. Each year the government spends $7-8 billion arresting and incarcerating nonviolent marijuana users. 89% of marijuana arrests are for possession, not sale or manufacture. Every comprehensive, objective government commission that has studied the issue over the past four decades has recommended reform. And yet the “war on drugs” roars on.

But together we can change that.

Last week, the Fearless Campaign launched its first initiative to fix our drug policy: A campaign to defund the Office of National Drug Control Policy, commonly referred to as the “Drug Czar’s” office.

This action would save $1.5 billion in taxpayers dollars slated to be spent over the next ten years and would help reframe our priorities when it comes to addressing drug abuse. It’s something that Republicans and Democrats are getting behind.

The campaign has already generated great buzz, but we need to keep the pressure up. Join the effort today by signing the petition, sharing out effort with your friends, or sending a letter to President Obama.




Drug Policy, Main 2011-03-01T21:20:42+00:00
Making DADT Repeal Real /index.php/blog/entry/making-dadt-repeal-real/ /index.php/blog/entry/making-dadt-repeal-real/ When President Obama signed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell into law in December, our country took a giant step towards ensuring that all Americans enjoy equal rights. But our work to achieve equal treatment for gays and lesbians in our armed forces is just beginning.

This Saturday, I began urging the Air Force Academy’s advisory board to create a more welcoming atmosphere for openly gay and lesbian cadets. To start, our armed services should consider hiring gay and lesbian chaplains and cadets should be welcome to bring “the date of their choice” to balls and other social functions.

And last week, I signed onto a letter with 32 other lawmakers urging the Defense Department to allow any service member discharged under Don't Ask, Don't Tell to apply for honorable-discharge status, making them eligible for veterans' benefits. You can read the full text of the letter below.

These two issues are about more than tolerance and respect. They are about making our military stronger through the diversity of our armed forces.

Sign up now to join FearlessLGBT and join our fight to empower political leaders with the moral courage to stand up for progress.


Shinkseki DADT Letter

LGBT, Main 2011-02-11T14:48:33+00:00
A truly fearless kickoff /index.php/blog/entry/a-truly-fearless-kickoff1/ /index.php/blog/entry/a-truly-fearless-kickoff1/ Thanks to everyone who braved the conditions last night and ventured out to Local 16 on U Street in Washington, DC!

Despite near blizzard conditions, over 100 activists, opinion leaders, and members of the press joined Congressman Polis to help kick off the Fearless Campaign. It was a truly fearless way to launch our efforts.

Check out some photos from the event, and the weather outside, below.

And if you missed out on the fun, don’t fret. There are many more Fearless events coming down the line, beginning with launches for our six key issues next month. Sign up to make sure you don’t miss out!

Drug Policy, Education, Food Policy, Immigration Reform, LGBT, Main, Net Neutrality 2011-02-02T20:32:01+00:00
A Message from Congressman Polis /index.php/blog/entry/A-Message-from-Congressman-Polis/ /index.php/blog/entry/A-Message-from-Congressman-Polis/ Dear Friend,

Thank you for joining me as we kick off this exciting new effort to move our politics past fear and put people first.

At its core, the Fearless Campaign is about putting people over politics. It’s about empowering our political leaders with the moral courage to vote fearlessly on the politically charged issues of today, regardless of the perceived political risk. It’s an opportunity for everyday Americans to transform our country from the outside in.

This is undoubtedly a tall task, but collectively we can make our voices heard and bring about the change we need. Will you join the campaign today?

We are at a crossroad in our nation’s politics. Our media is obsessed with partisan bickering and fractious debate that serves no one. Important issues are not met in Congress with innovative solutions but instead with platitudes, gridlock, and more of the typical partisan solutions. Our leaders are often content to play the political game instead of courageously standing up for progress.

That’s where the Fearless Campaign comes in. What’s missing from our public discourse is the voice of actual Americans who are directly advocating for the issues that matter to them. Our campaign provides an opportunity for Americans to impact their country’s policymaking process from the inside and show their elected leaders that it’s ok to be fearless.

I chose issues that are rarely and meekly talked about in the corridors of power, but that many mainstreet Americans care about. As a member of Congress I have been disappointed that Congress hasn’t moved forward in these areas, and I hope that Fearless Campaign will lead to it doing so.

In the coming days we’ll be launching separate initiatives on six issues that have been lacking a voice for too long:

  • Strengthening education.
  • Fixing our broken immigration policy
  • Fighting for LGBT rights and equality for all
  • Repealing the failed prohibition of marijuana
  • Removing special interests from our food policy
  • Ensuring that the Internet remains free, open, and neutral

But, in the meantime, sign up for updates on how you can get involved.  

I look forward to beginning this movement with you and hope you will get involved.

All the best,

Congressman Jared Polis




Drug Policy, Education, Food Policy, Immigration Reform, LGBT, Main, Net Neutrality 2011-01-24T14:22:25+00:00
Fearless Campaign Launch Party /index.php/blog/entry/fearless-campaign-launch-party/ /index.php/blog/entry/fearless-campaign-launch-party/ Congressman Jared Polis

~ and co-hosts ~

Camilo Acosta, Aniello Alioto, Charles Barone, Darcy Burner, Steve Fox, Karl Frisch, Brooks Garber, Adam Green, Joaquin Guerra, Arshad Hasan, Aaron Houston, Lane Hudson, Michael Huttner, Brian Komar, Elizabeth Kucinich, Michael Mitchell, Ali Noorani, Bill Piper, Amy Pritchard, Robert Raben, Ali Savino, Babs Siperstein, Heather Smith, Gigi Sohn, Keith Stroup and Stephanie Taylor

~ invite you to join them for the launch of the ~

Fearless Campaign

Wednesday January 26, 2011

Local 16
1602 U Street NW, Washington, DC

The Fearless Campaign is an effort launched from the halls of Congress to effectively coordinate fearless members of Congress with the passion of grassroots advocates to transform our country from the inside out. Through the Fearless Campaign we will revolutionize our nation's approach to six issues where special interests have blocked progress for too long: drug policy, education, food policy, immigration, internet freedom and LGBT equality.

Please RSVP here: /local16

Contact Lisa Kaufmann at 303-381-0121 with any questions.





Drug Policy, Education, Food Policy, Immigration Reform, LGBT, Main, Net Neutrality 2011-01-24T13:01:38+00:00