Joe’s parents immigrated to the United States from a war-torn country in East-Africa, drawn here by America’s promise and the opportunity to live the American Dream. But that dream is under assault now as never before.
In Congress, Joe is leading the charge to reclaim that dream for countless Americans – by pushing back against the Trump Administration and fighting for real change in Washington D.C. He was elected by his peers to serve in House Leadership, and serves on three committees: the Judiciary Committee (where he serves as the Vice-Chair of the Antitrust Subcommittee), the Natural Resources Committee, and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Refugee Caucus and as a Vice-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Before being elected, Joe pledged that he’d be present in the community, just as he’s been all his career — and since being sworn in, holding frequent town-halls has been a true cornerstone of his service. He was recognized nationally in early 2019 for hosting the most town-halls of any freshman lawmaker in the United States, and launched a successful Service Town Hall initiative that combines constituent services with volunteerism and was awarded the “Spirit of Service” award for his efforts.
Joe has introduced 30 bills in the 116th Congress — the most of any freshman member — and has already seen four of his public lands and school funding bills signed into law (the most of any member of Colorado’s congressional delegation). Each and every day in the U.S. House, he is working to expand opportunities for all Coloradans and protect our fundamental rights as Americans, including:
- The right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. As the only Colorado lawmaker appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, and one of the first lawmakers in the country to support the Green New Deal, Joe has been a champion for combatting climate change. The very first bill he introduced is a proposal to expand solar energy (the Solar Edge Act), and he’s introduced and sponsored multiple bills to significantly increase investments in renewable energy and drastically reduce our carbon emissions. He also successfully secured millions of dollars during the House appropriations process to support the incredible Federal research labs across the 2nd District.
- The right to quality health-care, which means opposing efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and as a Vice-Chair of the Medicare for All Caucus, being an original co-sponsor of the Expanded & Improved Medicare-For-All Act, which would ensure universal healthcare coverage. Shortly after being sworn into office, Joe also partnered with Rep. Ro Khanna and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to introduce a comprehensive legislative package to decrease prescription drug costs (including by mandating Medicare negotiate prices and enabling importation of prescription drugs from Canada);
- The right to participate in our economy, by co-sponsoring fair wage policies such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, co-sponsoring the Raise the Wage legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 that recently passed the U.S. House, sponsoring measures to ensure that every public higher education graduate finishes debt-free, and protecting internet freedom by reinstituting net neutrality;
- The right to not be discriminated against because of who you are, where you’re from, or whom you love, which means protecting women’s reproductive rights, including being an original co-sponsor of the EACH Woman Act of 2017 (which protects a woman’s right to choose), helping lead the effort in the House for the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, and serving as an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act to protect all Americans from discrimination;
- The right to be safe from violence in our communities, by fighting in the House for sensible gun-control measures, such as universal background checks and closing the Federal “gun show loophole,” supporting an assault-weapons ban, encouraging states to pass “Red Flag” laws which prevent people at risk to themselves or others from having access to firearms, and by opposing concealed-carry “reciprocity” legislation;
- The right for every student to obtain a quality education at a public school. During the House appropriations process, Joe successfully worked with his colleagues to secure millions of dollars in increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and he continues to fight for increasing teacher pay, federal Title I funding for low-income students and federal Title II funding for teacher training, and holding Betsy Devos’ Department of Education accountable.
- The right to participate in our democracy, which means serving as one of the original co-sponsors of HR-1, which would overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision, and enact public financing of our elections and Automatic Voter Registration. In the House, Joe successfully secured a bi-partisan amendment to HR-1 that would enact pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds, and he continues to fight for reforms to the dysfunctional Federal Election Commission and protections of our sacred right to vote; and
- The right to enjoy our treasured public lands, which means fighting against privatization and oil-and-gas development efforts on Federal public lands and championing efforts to protect open space in our district. Earlier this year, Joe shepherded his public lands package — the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (CORE Act) — which became the first major Colorado wilderness legislation to pass the U.S. House in nearly a decade.
Put simply, Joe is honored to serve as part of a new generation of leaders who are pushing for bold solutions to our most pressing problems, and not accept the status quo. As our Congressman, he is a passionate advocate for protecting our rights and fights each and every day for the people of the 2nd Congressional District.