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LEAD Metro North Program Day Presentations

Speaker Bios

Governor Jared Polis is an entrepreneur, education leader, and dedicated public servant.

Prior to becoming Governor, Polis launched several successful companies, founded schools for at-risk students and new immigrants, served on the State Board of Education, and represented Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District.

As Governor, Polis is focused on saving Coloradans money, keeping our economy strong, and preserving our Colorado way of life.
Polis has delivered historic savings for Coloradans and their families, including the Colorado Cash Back refunds which delivered $750 to individual filers and $1500 for joint filers; free, full-day kindergarten; universal preschool; more than $1 Billion in property tax relief; a more than 50% reduction in the cost of state parks passes; and healthcare savings through nation-leading efforts like reinsurance, the Colorado Option, hospital transparency, and capping the cost of insulin.

Beyond these savings, the Governor has worked to protect our quality of life, including expanding the supply of housing, transforming our mental and behavioral health system, and creating a Colorado workforce that can meet economic demands now and in the future.
Polis has also made significant progress towards the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040, and continues strengthening our wildfire response. In addition to increasing investments in firefighting tools and capacity, the Governor is working to ensure that Colorado is prepared to address the challenges brought on by the changing climate and population growth, protecting the Colorado we know and love in 2040, 2050 and beyond.


Commissioner Steve O’Dorisio brings a wealth of information to his role in Adams County. He uses his experience in construction, his law degree from Denver Sturm College of Law, and private sector global management experience to guide issues in social justice, equity, and neighborhood prosperity.

Commissioner O’Dorisio formerly served the people of Adams County as a Deputy District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District of Colorado where he prosecuted a variety of crimes and sought justice by balancing the interests of the victim, the community, and the defendant. He continuously strives to make sure vulnerable residents have opportunities and everyone has a voice.

Commissioner O’Dorisio currently serves on the following boards/committees: Denver Regional Council of Governments, Airport Coordinating Committee, Rocky Mountain Partnership/Policy and Legislative Advisory Network, Progressive 15, Aerotropolis Regional Transit Authority, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp's Board of Governors, Colorado Counties, Inc., County & Commissioners Acting Together, Child Welfare Allocation Committee, Metro Area County Commissioners, and National Association of Counties. When he is not bolstering regional connectivity, Commissioner O’Dorisio can be found innovating new strategies to retrofit historic neighborhoods with sidewalks and safe routes to school or guiding the successful adoption of policies to mitigate the impacts of growth and new development.

As a former agent of justice, Commissioner O’Dorisio is a compassionate servant of equity in social justice issues. He has a passion for proactive code compliance that partners with neighborhoods, and he works to ensure the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meets the needs of our residents.


Elizabeth Garner is the Colorado State Demographer and has directed the State Demography Office in the Department of Local Affairs since 2004. Elizabeth travels the state, talking with Coloradans about social and economic conditions that are brought about by population shifts. The State Demography Office applies an understanding of demographic trends to changes in a range of areas, including the state’s economy, workforce, education, housing, migration, and rural populations.

Elizabeth has over 25 years of experience analyzing population and economic trends in Colorado. Her current research agenda involves examining Census 2020 results, demographic impacts from COVID-19, housing supply and demand, and aging.

Elizabeth is an economist and received her B.A. in Business at the University of San Diego and her masters in Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Elizabeth was born and raised in Colorado, something only 43% of the state’s population can claim.

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