ABOUT THE COLORADO FORUM

The Colorado Forum was established in 1978 to create an informed, objective voice on critical public policy issues facing the state. Our 65 members are recognized leaders in the business, education, healthcare, media, legal, real estate, energy and non-profit communities and represent disparate regions in the state of Colorado. Forum membership is politically diverse; we are a nonpartisan organization that operates by 100% consensus. More >

 

40th ANNIVERSARY VIDEO

WATCH: Our members discuss their experiences with The Colorado Forum here.

 

ABOUT US

 

The Colorado Forum was established in 1978 to create an informed, objective voice on critical public policy issues facing the state.  Our 77 members are recognized leaders in the business, education, health care, media, legal, real estate, agriculture, financial, energy, consulting, tourism, construction, and non-profit communities and represent disparate parts of the state.  Forum membership is politically diverse; we are a nonpartisan organization that operates by 100% consensus. 

The effectiveness of the Colorado Forum is based on a history of success in identifying issues critically important to the state of Colorado. We engage in research and thoughtful discussion, listen to advocates on all sides of the identified issues and partner with other interests to create strong outcomes for Colorado and its citizens. We have worked closely over the years with local, state and federal governments as well as non-profit organizations and business interests to effect positive change. Currently, our primary focus is in the areas of fiscal policy, education, health care, energy, immigration, transportation, and a healthy Colorado.   

Our membership has played a pivotal role in many important success stories for the state. The Forum is the founder and the convener for Building a Better Colorado, a nonpartisan effort to engage Coloradans in a conversation about our state's future. Successful 2016 campaigns for initiative reform (Amendment 71), election reform (Propositions 107 and 108), and a statewide campaign for redistricting reform in 2018 to create fair and balanced Congressional and legislative districts (Amendments Y and Z) were launched as a result of the important work of Building a Better Colorado. The Colorado Forum was instrumental in the timely and safe cleanup and closure of the Rocky Flats nuclear facility, and played an important role in the passage and successful implementation of the Denver preschool initiative. We worked for over 20 years to achieve the successful completion of the Animas La Plata water project in Southwest Colorado, and we were a key advocate for the development of Denver International Airport. The Forum served as a primary convener for the successful 2004 Referendum C initiative which gave Colorado state government a five-year reprieve from TABOR spending limits. We have worked for many years to ensure the safe and timely cleanup and closure of the Pueblo Chemical Depot, and we continue to monitor the cleanup as it progresses with the Pueblo community and the U.S. Army aligned on methodology and goals.

Membership in the Colorado Forum is by invitation only and is purposely limited in number to encourage open discussion and direct participation by the members. Consortia from Western and Southern Colorado together with representation from Northern Colorado, the Eastern Plains, and the Denver Metro area enhance diversity in the Forum and provide a breadth of interests, expertise, and exposure to issues that extend beyond Colorado's Front Range. Because the Forum operates by 100% consensus, the positions it takes on issues are powerful reflections of sound public policy, not political bias.  

Herrick Roth founded the Colorado Forum more than three decades ago.  A remarkable individual, Mr. Roth was a WWII veteran, a teacher, talk show host, Labor leader, candidate for U.S. Senate and a distinguished state legislator.  He was also deeply committed to understanding what he called “horizon issues,” which he defined as long-term public concerns that needed thoughtful reflection, discussion and understanding in order to keep Colorado growing in a meaningful, healthy way.  The Forum is his vision and, in our work, we remember him with great respect and admiration.

 

A MESSAGE FROM GAIL KLAPPER, MEMBER AND PRESIDENT

 

We are very privileged to live in Colorado and members of the Colorado Forum care deeply about the future of our state. The Colorado Forum was formed forty years ago and has a long history of positive engagement on issues of importance to the state.  Our diverse membership of business and civic leaders works to achieve good public policy results for Colorado and, because the Forum has no term limits, our consistency of purpose allows us to address issues for as long as it takes to create important and lasting change. 

It is our greatest strength to be consistent advocates over long periods of time, to remain nimble in response to changing times and attitudes, and to leave politics and our own vested interests at the door as we work to make Colorado a better place. 

This is a unique organization.  It is powerful in its ability to listen carefully to all sides of an issue, learn together and ultimately reach 100% consensus on important policy issues -- with every member of the Forum concurring with the path forward.  I am enormously proud of the work of the Colorado Forum and commend the members of this organization for their ability to step outside their business, civic, and personal interests to think about the best public policy outcomes for the State and work toward those goals.