Senator Udall has been asking his constituents to weigh in on a number of important issues that Congress needs to resolve by the end of the year.
With time growing short, the Senator has been making sure Coloradans know that their voices matter in Washington, and their efforts to speak up on updating the filibuster rules, extending the production tax credit, and finding a fair solution to the fiscal cliff can push legislators to act.
Weigh in here:
Fix the Filibuster
Fair Fix for the Fiscal Cliff
Extend the PTC
It's pretty inspiring the way Senator Udall has been standing up for something he believes in.
Senator Udall has made it a personal mission to renew funding for the Production Tax Credit, without which Colorado would see the loss of several wind-energy business and thousands of good paying jobs.
Aside from 13 (and counting!) floor speeches in Congress, Senator Udall has been making sure his campaign list has a chance to weigh in.
Last month, a member of the management team at a major Colorado wind company wrote an email on behalf of the senator, letting his supporters know about his dedication to the issue, and asking them to support his ongoing advocacy:
I can tell you firsthand how profound an impact wind energy has already had in Colorado, where it has resulted in at least $2 billion in investment, and significant job creation.
The same is true across the country — wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of clean, new electrical generation, and it has attracted more than $15 billion annually in private investment to the U.S. each year for the past five years.
This investment has created a new U.S. manufacturing base with nearly 500 facilities, and the wind industry kept 75,000 people working in solid, meaningful jobs through the recession. Many of these jobs are under immediate threat if the PTC isn’t extended. But with stable tax policy, the industry could support 100,000 jobs by 2016, and as many as 500,000 jobs by 2030.
Senator Udall knows that supporting wind energy is a no-brainer, and he is going to extraordinary lengths to make sure the rest of Congress gets the message.
And this week, the Senator — outraged over comments made on the campaign trail — sent out a call to his supporters to write a letter to Mitt Romeny, to make sure he is informed about Coloradans’ support of wind energy and the clean energy economy:
It’s frustrating to witness Mitt Romney broadcast his opposition to what we all know is a common sense, bi-partisan policy like the PTC, but I’m not discouraged. I know that renewable energy is a big deal in Colorado, but maybe Mr. Romney doesn’t understand that his opposition simply won’t go over well with Coloradans.
Without the extension, the PTC will expire at the end of this year, which will be a major blow to several Colorado-based businesses and result in the loss of thousands of good Colorado jobs. That’s why I’ve been helping to lead the fight in the Senate to extend the PTC.
I’m asking for Coloradans to let Mr. Romney know that we support wind energy jobs and believe we should continue investing in a clean energy future.
Sign up for the Senator’s email list here, and make sure to stay up-to-date on his important work to protect clean energy jobs in Colorado.
Congressman Perlmutter is reaching out to constituents to help him support his impressive door-knocking campaign. In addition to the “Ed Walks the Extra Mile” video published last month, Ed has been publishing updates every week or two to his pEDometer, which tracks his steps taken and miles walked while talking to his constituents.
Ed also sent an appeal today from Mark Udall, in which the famously backcountry-savvy Senator praises the Congressman’s steady progress:
You’ve got to respect a guy who’s been spending as much time trekking as Ed Perlmutter. While most of the miles I’ve logged have been in the high country, Ed has been tackling an equally impressive summit: talking to as many people in his district as he possibly can before the election in November.
Ed’s been keeping track of the miles he’s walked (check out his web site to see the graph), and I know that over the course of the last 803,331 steps he’s knocked on doors from Lakewood to Golden and Arvada to Thornton, and listened to his constituents’ concerns about the economy, the environment, keeping small businesses running, looking out for veterans, and making sure that everyone can access the medical care that they need.
The appeal asks for sponsors at the $25: Hiking Hero (1 mile) Level; $50: Walking Warrior (2 miles) Level; $100: Trekking Titan (4 miles) Level, and; $250: Canvassing Champion (10 miles) Level.
Project New West Summit in Las Vegas
The Intermountain West was critical to the Democrats in 2008, but will it be even more important in 2012?
You can bet on it.
That’s why Project New West convened the top political strategists from around the country to discuss how we frame Western issues on the eve of the 2012 presidential race. The Western Summit featured speakers like Tom Brokaw, Ted Turner, Senator Harry Reid, and our own Senator Mark Udall, Senator Michael Bennett and, Governor John Hickenlooper.
We also released new polling data from Western states that will provide many with critical insight into the electorate and help them effectively message both traditional and emerging demographic groups.
Lot’s of good ideas and insights came out of the panels and presentations at the Summit. Let’s all hope that, at least this time, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.
News clippings from the summit:
The West is an increasingly important political battleground, and Democrats hope to show they are better suited to appeal to their base as well as the ever-important independent-minded voter, said Jill Hanauer, president of the Colorado-based Project New West
“Folks do things differently out here,” she said. “Voters here vote for the person, not the party, and the policy, not the ideology. You don’t get elected by just folks from your own party, you need independents and others from the other party.”
Project New West’s 2011 summit is pulling in the region’s top business leaders, politicians and academics for three days of panels focusing on emerging issues in the New American West.
Read more: Powerful Western Democrats meeting in Vegas
LAS VEGAS—Western states are becoming more urban and diverse, with an influx of Hispanic, Asian and young voters who tend to vote against Republican candidates, according to political strategists who spoke Monday at a Democratic conference.
“The trend is worrisome if you are a Republican,” Robert Lang, a sociology professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said during the event.
The battle to win the West is being planned in Las Vegas this week, with Republican and Democratic political consultants holding dueling strategy meetings.
Read more: Strategists: West becoming more urban, diverse
As the 2012 elections approach, both parties are furiously jockeying for position. If the Democrats can turn out their votes in sufficient numbers, Western strategists believe, the party could regain many of the House seats it lost in last year’s GOP landslide, while holding the Senate and retaining the White House. If the Democrats fail to do so, the GOP could enjoy an electoral sweep.
The stakes could hardly be higher: For many residents in the region, the battle for 2012 is about basic economic survival. Yet the contours of what the Western fight will look like are still being drawn.
“Now more than ever,” averred Project New West president Jill Hanauer, “the nation should look west for new ideas. We vote for the person, not the party; the policy position and leadership, not the ideology.” For generations, she continued, people in the West have cherished both their communities and their independence, creating a politics suspicious of centralized government but determined to innovate at a local level.
Read more: The Democratic Plan to Recapture the West
Yet during a public panel that I moderated here sponsored by Project New West, a Democratic research organization, leading party strategists expressed unruffled, almost blithe, optimism about Obama’s ability to hold the three Mountain states he carried in 2008. Partly that was because they expect more young people and minorities to vote in 2012 than did in 2010. But it was primarily because they think Obama will benefit from the contrast with the eventual Republican nominee. The Democratic hope is that those twin dynamics will allow Obama to reassemble the coalition of minorities and suburban whites that reelected Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet last year in Colorado.
As Tuesday’s raucous GOP debate underscored, the Republican nominee will provide Obama plenty of clear contrasts. All of the contenders are betting they can sell a larger retrenchment of government than any GOP nominee has proposed since Reagan (if not Barry Goldwater); they are doubling down on pledges to dismantle environmental regulation and unshackle domestic energy production. The stakes on that wager won’t be greater anywhere than in the increasingly pivotal Mountain West, where acute anxiety about jobs jostles against enduring affection for the land.
Read more: Rocky Territory
Colorado’s Senior Senator got another well-earned feather for his cap today as the Military’s discriminatory and outdated policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed. Senator Udall has championed repeal for years and we couldn’t be happier to play our part to suppor him and the rest of his team. Mark’s work on equality issues and national security are two of the many reasons we’re proud to call Mark Udall our client and our Senator.
Read him in his own words in this op-ed from The Hill:
A day to celebrate
By Sen. Mark Udall – 09/20/11 11:26 AM ET
Today we will finally put an end to a discriminatory military policy that was crafted almost two decades ago during a time when we weren’t at war with another country, but rather we were bitterly divided – politically and socially – against ourselves.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell began as an inadequate and deeply flawed compromise that attempted to resolve a debate that raged at all levels of our society – in families, communities, and among military and political leaders. It was a Catch-22. It allowed gay troops to serve, but only by forcing them to compromise one of the core values they’re trained to uphold as members of the military: integrity.
By requiring service members to lie about who they are, DADT became a tool for bigots rather than making it possible for gay troops to serve quietly as intended. And over the last decade of conflict, it has forced 14,000 service members to leave the military just when we need them most.
I opposed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell from the beginning, and I’ve been proud to fight for its repeal. But what really brought the policy to an end is the fact that America itself has changed.
The late Senator Barry Goldwater, a WWII veteran and staunch conservative, famously said, “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.” I think Goldwater was ahead of his time because even as recently as two decades ago, it seems many of our troops didn’t see it that way.
But as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I’ve heard in recent years from countless young men and women in uniform – gay and straight – who have told me that the concerns about the impact of open service no longer seem important. In combat, sexual orientation, race, religion, and gender simply don’t matter. What counts is a fellow service member’s courage, loyalty, integrity, and commitment to the mission.
They’ve also told me about the toll Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has taken on our military.
After a decade of fighting simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the strain of repeated tours of duty has been devastating to thousands of troops and military families. The fact that we need every able man or woman who wants to serve has made the cost of kicking out otherwise qualified troops simply because of their sexual orientation seem that much more absurd and reckless. Arabic linguists, fighter pilots, and infantrymen with critical skills and combat experience have been discharged only because their sexual orientation was discovered.
Earlier this month, we reflected on who we are as a nation and what it means to be an American 10 years after 9/11. In the days and weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, families and entire communities – even politicians – forgot past divisions and came together. And amid the decade of strain and grieving that has followed the attack on U.S. soil, we’ve sharpened our sense of what’s important, put aside some intolerant views and re-focused. What no longer makes sense to a majority of Americans – and what never made sense to my children’s generation – is to force brave and loyal service members out of the military for being gay.
So now – 18 years after don’t ask don’t tell went into effect – we’re ready to end it. The Pentagon has said it’s ready. Our troops say they’re ready. And most importantly, the American people say they’re ready.
Today is the date circled on calendars as the long-awaited end to this outdated policy. I hope we’ll remind our grandchildren that Sept. 20 is the day we gave up discrimination in favor of unity. It’s the day we strengthened our military by allowing it to attract our nation’s best talent to defend its borders, regardless of whom they love.
Today is a day to celebrate.
Senator Mark Udall is a Democratic Senator serving Colorado.