By: Darian Macias
Chris Hansen, a legislator in Colorado, was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives as a Democrat in 2016 to represent the east part of Denver, House district 6. He was chosen as one of the guest speakers of Colorado Youth and Government to talk about his experiences as a legislator of Colorado. He commenced the General Assembly by giving us a brief background of how he grew into the government industry. “So what I wanted to do is give you just a little bit of background from that moment when I was 14 sitting in the Kansas Legislation,” he said while describing how the YMCA Youth in Government program has been around for quite some time, and how fortunate we are to be able to participate.
Subsequently, Legislator Hansen brought up his hometown, Goodland, Kansas, and explained how growing up the newspaper was the Denver Post, and all news stations resided in Denver; which made him feel as if he grew up in Colorado while across the state line. Chris Hansen finished up his High School Career in Goodland, and had the opportunity to study Engineering in Kansas State. He then studied Nuclear Engineering in Manhattan, Kansas, and at the age of twenty two he felt ready to save the world and moved to Washington DC. This was the place where he felt like he could accomplish many things, and therefore took a job in Clinton Administration. Hansen took his first job at a college where he worked in the Department of Commerce at the Advanced Technology Program.
Later Hansen finished up a two year stem fair, and had a chance to study Engineering once again in Johannesburg, South Africa. Representative Hansen later came to applying for the Post-Graduate program in Data Science and Engineering in the UK. According to the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, “this program is a captivating online program established specifically for professionals to develop their knowledge and skills needed to accelerate the entry into data science careers”. Not only that, but he also went over to England for four years and studied Energy Economics and launched his professional career, ending up working for an Energy Research Firm called SIRE. He then added on by speaking about the different countries he has been able to travel to like Dubi, where he lived there for one year and a half. Gratefully he said, “Amazing opportunity to travel the world and do the type of work that I really enjoy which in my case is focused on Energy strategy projects. So helping companies, and governments, and nonprofits figure out what they should be doing next in the energy space.” This includes lots of work in electricity projects, renewable energy, and solar projects all over the world.
Energy projects, renewable energy, and solar projects influenced Hansen to run for the state House of Representatives. In the summer of 2015, Legislator Hansen quit his job to start knocking on house doors as he began his government life.
He explained how much he really enjoyed campaigning, and how it helped him grow as a person when he got to connect with all different kinds of people. He went on by saying, “ and that’s one of the wonderful things about legislation of Colorado. It’s very close to the motor, and very close to the people.” Then he added,
“It’s about talking to your neighbors and letting them know that you want to work hard for them, represent them, and listen to their concerns and that’s what I did for eighteen months. Door after door after door. About 5,000 doors I did myself, and my campaign did almost 40,000 doors throughout that entire period.”
Due to all the hard work put into place, he was then elected in 2016, but didn’t start actually serving in the house until January of 2017. Just recently he finished his two year cycle in the House of Representatives.