Phil Weiser, former Dean of CU Law and former Obama appointee is running for Colorado Attorney General for 2018. Phil sat down with our group last week to discuss his campaign.
James Barry, a CU Law School grad invited Phil to attend our huddle and he replied, an enthusiastic “Yes!” almost immediately. I was impressed with his willingness to make time for a curious group of Coloradans. I’d heard good things about Phil, but wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. He is a lawyer, after all. So, there was the risk that he was going to be boring or overly academic. What I found during the 90 minutes that I had the chance to spend with Phil was that he is incredibly genuine, smart, and passionate.
One of the first topics the group brought up was pretty basic, “What does a state attorney general do?” Phil was glad for the chance to clarify the question and outlined a few basic responsibilities of the role:
- Defense of the Colorado Constitution and resident rights such as civil rights and consumer protection laws
- To serve as an interpreter of the Colorado Constitution
- Represent the state and challenge the federal government when it violates the constitution
Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list of responsibilities
Phil expressed enthusiasm on three areas that he plans to focus on (there are more details on his priorities and position on a variety of issues on his site):
- As pathways to the middle class are disappearing, Phil expressed a desire to focus on the economy and help the underserved residents of Colorado who have fewer employment prospects and less representation than ever before.
- Upholding the constitutional rights of people, with a focus on equality. As the son of immigrants, he expressed a lot of passion around respecting and maintaining the rights that the constitution promises to everyone no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
- Prioritizing our environment and maintaining Colorado’s position as a leader in environmental protections.
Phil’s background is incredible and well-suited to an AG position. Brad Feld said it better than I could in a recent post, “Phil is a rare entrepreneur who can bring innovation to the government, which is just the sort of leadership we need now.” … “To have an Attorney General with an innovative mindset will mean that the Colorado AG’s office will become an engine of policy development and new thinking on a range of issues.” Note: Please read Brad’s post. It’s excellent.
After about thirty minutes spent with Phil, I was on board. Phil seems to have a deep understanding of the needs of Coloradans. He clearly understands the realities and hardships many residents face and cares deeply about protecting their rights and supporting constitutional legislation that improves the lives of all Coloradans.
The AG’s office isn’t the sexiest, especially in a mid-term election. If you haven’t heard it a million times already, Democrats aren’t the best at participating in the mid-terms. It’s critical that we get involved in 2018 and put in our vote for candidates like Phil.
If you’re interested in getting involved, Phil’s campaign is looking first for donations. There are some limitations to the amount that an individual can donate (I believe it’s $1150, but I could be wrong) so the more donors, the better! They are also looking for volunteers. Right now, there is only one staff member and there’s a lot of work to do! If you’re interested you can reach out to their volunteer team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and get involved with the RealDemocracy.co group. We’ll be putting together group volunteer activities in the coming months to support Phil’s campaign. Email me at andrea [at] thinkbetter.co to get more information.
Lastly, Phil is looking for connections in some of the more rural areas of Colorado. As he travels the state to campaign, connections in smaller communities will become incredibly useful. Contact Phil’s team if you have a support system in rural areas in Colorado.