Live Chat: Blue America Is Proud To Welcome Back An Old Friend -- Jared Polis (D-CO)

Last year, while many Democrats were failing to draw enough of their former supporters to the polls -- two incumbents, Blue Dogs Betsy Markey and John Salazar, were defeated in districts adjacent to Jared's -- Democrats and independents in CO-2 were anything but disappointed in their freshman Representative. Jared had run on a strongly pro-jobs, pro-family, pro-equality candidate and few freshmen worked as tirelessly as he did to deliver. He was rewarded with a hefty 57% of the vote (148,720 to be exact, over 15,000 more votes than the Democratic performance in the previous midterm).

His latest legislative initiative is H.R. 998, the Student Non-Discrimination Act, a widely supported, bipartisan bill that will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Title 9 protections afforded students who are victims of bullying. From Jared's website:

Every day, students who are, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are subjected to pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence, which is harmful to both students and our education system. While civil rights protections expressly address discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin, they do not explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity and, as a result, LGBT students and parents have often had limited legal recourse for this kind of discrimination.

To address this lack of protection and ensure that all students have access to public education in a safe environment free from discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence, the Student Non-Discrimination Act establishes a comprehensive Federal prohibition of discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity and provides victims with meaningful and effective remedies, modeled after Title IX.

When I talked with Jared on the phone yesterday, he reminded me to ask everyone to sign up to get action updates from the Fearless Campaign which will help them develop an effective activist base across the country. Please join us in the comments section below for a free ranging chat with Congressman Polis.

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