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 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.
The effectiveness of the Colorado Forum is based on a history of success in identifying issues critically important to the state of Colorado, engaging in research and thoughtful discussion, listening to advocates on all sides of the identified issues and partnering 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 water.
The organization has played a pivotal role in many important success stories for the State. 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. More recently, the Forum has been a convener for Building a Better Colorado. Members of the Forum led successful 2016 statewide campaigns for initiative reform (Amendment 71) and election reform (Propositions 107 and 108.)
Membership in the Colorado Forum 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 the diversity in the Forum and provide a breadth of interests, expertise, and exposure to issues that extend beyond Colorado's Front Range and the borders of the Denver metropolitan area. Because the Forum operates by 100% consensus, the positions it takes on issues are powerful reflections of sound public policy, not driven by 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.