January 27, 2020

In Colorado We Do Things A Little Bit Differently

Dear Friends,

In Colorado, we do things a little bit differently. We listen to each other, we respectfully exchange views and we roll up our sleeves to find solutions that will benefit our communities, our nation and the planet. That's exactly what I've sought to accomplish since being sworn into Congress last January.

In my first year in office, I introduced 30 pieces of legislation, many of which were bipartisan bills worked on across party lines in Congress. I held 24 town halls across our district and traveled to all 10 counties in order to hear from individuals across our communities, whether they agree or disagree with the work we've done. As we enter 2020, we are not slowing down. During my first full week back in Colorado, we held 4 more town halls, traveled up and down the 2nd Congressional District visiting with local municipal leaders, students, seniors, and small business owners and listening. While we are tremendously proud and humbled by what we have been able to accomplish so far in Congress, we know there is a lot of work ahead, and we're ready for the task.


This past week, I hosted two State of the District town halls in Boulder and Fort Collins to provide a comprehensive update on the work we've accomplished in Washington this past year and the work still ahead.

In 2019 we introduced important legislation for our district, the ideas for which came directly from our communities, including legislation to invest in regenerative agriculture research, expand opportunities for affordable housing, create a pathway to modernize federal labs in our district and across the nation and preventative measures to combat climate change. We passed major Colorado wilderness legislation out of the U.S. House of Representatives and saw four of our bills that will directly impact Colorado signed into law.

I was incredibly inspired and encouraged by the turnout from constituents at both of our State of the District events and the insightful questions and passion that we continue to see at every town hall. It was an honor to share with you all the work we've accomplished and my vision for the year ahead. Our district amazes me every time we hold a town hall for the participation and excitement for civic engagement and activism.


I had the privilege of sitting down with municipal leaders from Berthoud, Loveland, Fort Collins and Larimer County this week to discuss 2020 priorities and provide updates from Congress. We talked about everyday issues affecting the district like affordable housing, transportation and infrastructure, rural broadband, education and childcare funding.

One of the best parts of my job is getting the opportunity to travel throughout the district meeting with constituents and city officials to see the everyday issues through a smaller lens and focus on specific areas that need work. It was great to sit down with local municipal leaders this week to come together on a plan to improve day-to-day life for working families.


Following an incident in April which enabled a Florida woman to wrongly pass a background check after arriving in Colorado and cause schools across the Front Range to shut down, I sent a letter to the Department of Justice Inspector General requesting answers about how this incident was able to occur.

Recently, we received a response from the agency and acknowledgement from the Inspector General that these issues require a thorough audit. We plan on continuing to work with the Department of Justice to ensure that Colorado's background check system are working as they should and our communities are kept safe from future incidents of gun violence.


Lastly, I want to tell you about my experience visiting Cache La Poudre, a middle school in Colorado's 2nd District that gives me hope for our future generations. This week, I had the privilege to talk to a group of young people about what democracy means in this country. I got to listen to their thoughts and answer their questions, all the while understanding that they will one day be responsible for maintaining this democracy.

Last April, a group of students from Cache La Poudre wrote my office letters about the need for additional special education funding for their schools, specifically through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. I was proud to return to speak with these students less than a year later to give them an update on the $400 million additional funding I was able to secure in the end of year funding process for IDEA. It's an incredibly important reminder that every voice matters and that everyone, no matter their age can and will make a difference.

As I traveled across Colorado this week, I was reminded of the hope that inspired me to go into public service to begin with. The passion, engagement, service and activism of individuals across our district is what has positioned Colorado as a leader in multiple fields and that continues to drive the ingenuity, innovation and compassion embedded in our state. I am so honored to represent our district and Coloradans in the United States Congress.


Congressman Joe Neguse