Template:Future election candidate Jared Schutz Polis (born 1975[1]) is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and politician from the state of Colorado. A former chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, he is a candidate for the United States House of Representatives in Colorado's 2nd congressional district; the seat being vacated by Mark Udall.[2]

Polis received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Princeton University after attending the La Jolla Country Day School, and lives in Boulder, Colorado. He is the son of Stephen Schutz and Susan Polis Schutz.

Polis is openly gay.


Polis has founded a number of companies and is estimated to be worth well over $200 million. He founded American Information Systems, an internet access, web hosting and application service provider. He, with his parents, also co-founded, an online greeting card website, which he sold to Excite@Home three years later in a deal worth $780 million.[3][4] In 1998, he launched an online florist company ( that expanded to become Provide Commerce, Inc., recently acquired by Liberty Media Corporation. In 2001, he founded Sonora Entertainment Group, [5] which has developed a chain of movie theaters that screen films dubbed or subtitled in Spanish. In 2004, Fortune estimated his personal wealth at $160 million.[6]


In 2000, Polis founded the Jared Polis Foundation, whose mission "is to create opportunities for success through education and access to technology." Its main programs are the annual Teacher Recognition Awards; the Community Computer Connection program, which refurbishes and donates more than 3,500 computers a year to schools and non-profit organizations; and the semi-annual Jared Polis Foundation Education Report. Polis has also founded two charter schools for at-risk students. In 2004, he established the New America School, which primarily serves older immigrant youth ages 16-21 and has three campuses in the Denver Metro area. Polis serves as Superintendent. In 2005, he co-founded with Urban Peak the Academy of Urban Learning[7] in Denver to serve youth struggling with homelessness or unstable living conditions.

Polis serves on the board of directors of Colorado Conservation Voters, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, and the Anti-Defamation League, and is Vice-Chair of the Colorado Commission for High School Improvement. He is Chairman of the Commission on Financial and Investor Literacy, established by the National Association of State Boards of Education, and co-chair of the Colorado State Board of Education Online Education Task Force. Polis was named Outstanding Philanthropist for the 2006 National Philanthropy Day in Colorado. He is a recipient of many awards, including the Boulder Daily Camera’s 2007 Pacesetter Award in Education[8]; the Kauffman Foundation Community Award; [9] the Denver consul general of Mexico “Ohtli”[10]; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Colorado Humanitarian Award; and the Anti-Defamation League’s inaugural Boulder Community Builder Award.


In 2000, Polis was elected at-large member of the Colorado State Board of Education, and served for six years, until January 2007. He was part of the team that designed and passed Amendment 23, an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that required the state to annually increase expenditures on per pupil K-12 education by the rate of inflation plus enrollment plus one percent until 2010-11, in order to prevent K-12 spending cuts.

Most recently, Polis served as co-chair of Coloradans for Clean Government, a committee that supported Amendment 41, a citizen-initiated ballot measure to ban gifts by registered lobbyists to government officials, establish a $50 annual restriction on gift-giving from non-lobbyists, create an independent ethics commission, and establish a two-year cooling-off period before former state legislators and statewide elected officials can begin lobbying. In November 2006, about two-thirds (62.3%) of Colorado voters approved the “Ethics in Government” constitutional amendment. [11] Potential effects of this measure on state employees, and Polis' role in supporting it, aroused controversy in Colorado during the 2007 legislative session. Political observers have speculated that the controversy may be related to Polis' rumored candidacy for Colorado's 2nd congressional district.[12] [13]

He also co-chaired the “Building for our Future” campaign that supported ballot question 3A in the Boulder Valley School District to issue $296.8 million in bonds for the improvement and modernization of aging school facilities - the largest capital construction bond issue in the district’s history and the largest school bond proposal in Colorado that year. In November 2006, 58 percent of Boulder Valley School District voters approved 3A. [14]

External linksEdit


  1. Jennifer Brown. Being gay not hindering Polis' race. The Denver Post. Retrieved on 2008-07-26.
  2. "Polis vies for Congressional seat", Denver Business Journal, 2007-05-21. Retrieved on 2007-05-22. 
  3. Susan Glairon. "After 35 Years, Card Company Still on Top", Associated Press, January 20, 2006. 
  4. Larry Dignan. "Excite@Home buys for $780m",, October 25, 1999. Retrieved on 2008-02-07. 
  5. "Jared Polis". Retrieved on 2007-03-01.
  6. "Rich kids", Fortune, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-01. 
  7. "About Academy of Urban Learning. Retrieved on 2007-03-01.
  8. Education: Jared Polis. Retrieved on 2007-01-28.
  9. Ground Floor Media. Retrieved on 2007-03-01.
  10. City receives Amistad Award: Mexican government honors cultural, social accomplishments. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  11. Gift law spurs major battle. Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
  12. Greenlee, Bob. "The new sport of backpedaling", Boulder Daily Camera, 2007-03-11. Retrieved on 2007-05-01. 
  13. Bartels, Lynn. "Polis criticized for spending on ethics measure", Rocky Mountain News, 2007-04-19. Retrieved on 2007-05-01. 
  14. Bonds will pump new money into aging schools. Retrieved on 2006-11-10.

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