Washington Park

About Owen

I have been involved in politics and the Democratic Party since I was a kid in Baltimore, biking around my neighborhood to distribute campaign literature and bumper stickers in Paul Sarbanes’ first Senate campaign.  A Coloradan for 25 years, I first came to the mountains as a camper, counselor, and program director at a wilderness camp in Durango.  I began attending Colorado College in 1984, and have lived in Colorado ever since. 

I found a new gear in 2008, serving as a delegate for Hillary Clinton and Mark Udall at the County, Congressional District, and State Conventions and Assemblies.  After the primary, I vigorously volunteered on the Obama and Udall campaigns.  I am proud to have worked for three outstanding candidates, and I relished the opportunity to work to unite Clinton supporters and Obama supporters en route to our party’s historic victories.

I started my efforts on my front stoop, walking my neighborhood, canvassing for Obama and Udall, working to engage voters in my precinct and beyond in thoughtful discussions, and doing whatever it took to get out the vote.  My work with the Denver Elections Division was a source of great pride for me, as I learned more about the internal workings of our voter registration and election processes, and I was able to quickly apply that knowledge to protecting the voting rights of Denver citizens, helping to facilitate a remarkably smooth election cycle with unprecedented voter turnout.  I was excited to take on the role of PCP in Precinct 323 and to continue strengthening the grassroots movement that swept me and so many of my neighbors into action in 2008.

I stepped up my involvement once again by seeking the position of Secretary of the Democratic Party of Denver.  My communication skills as an effective writer and speaker, my penchant for institutional organization, my enthusiasm for working with other volunteers, and my commitment to making our party stronger and bringing about meaningful change in our community are qualities that served me well in that role.  I worked to combine the organizational diligence of a perfectionist dedicated to getting things right with the unbridled enthusiasm of someone full of hope about what we can accomplish as an organization and committed to finding away to effectively govern from a divided legislature.

More recently, I've become increasingly local in my politics.  After my term as a County Officer, I continued my work as a Precinct Committee Person, which thanks to Reapportionment now finds me in Precinct 243.  I am starting my second term as Captain for House District 2B, and I completed a two-year term as Senator Irene Aguilar's Director of Communications and Campaign Manager following the successful election in November of 2012. 

In managing Senator Aguilar's campaign and coordinating our efforts in House District 2, I was exceptionally proud of our results and our turnout.  HD2 had the second highest turnout in Denver, and the fifth highest of 65 house districts in Colorado, getting out the vote in force and playing a central role in winning Colorado for President Obama.  We also focused our efforts on neighbors with particularly challenging races, most notably Representative Daniel Kagan's House District 3, my old district, which had gone from a decidedly Democratic safe seat to a 50-50 seat that was thought to be one of the closest races in the country.  Our grassroots efforts to support Representative Kagan led to a convincing victory and a reversal of a one-seat deficit in the State House to an eight-seat advantage.

I am grateful to the previous leadership of the Denver Dems and their inspiring efforts to be an inclusive party and to give fellow Democrats an opportunity to channel their enthusiasm.  I hope I've represented a fresh perspective for the party on behalf of those who are newly invested in lending our hands and voices to the effort.  I've worked hard to earn your support as I've taken on new responsibilities, and I look forward to the opportunity to work together as we seek a common purpose in a time still marked by hope and challenge.

Recent Political Activity

  • Obama delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte
  • Obama delegate to the 2012 County, Congressional District, and State Conventions and Assemblies
  • Captain, House District 2B, Democratic Party of Denver, 2012-present
  • Campaign Manager and Director of Communications for Senator Irene Aguilar, 2011-2012
  • Secretary, The Democratic Party of Denver, 2009-2011
  • Daniel Kagan Steering Committee, 2010 General Election
  • Romanoff delegate to the 2010 State Assembly
  • Site Selection  Committee, The 2010 State Assembly
  • Udall delegate to the 2008 State Convention and Assembly
  • Clinton delegate to the 2008 County, Congressional District, and State Conventions and Assemblies
  • Obama Campaign for Change volunteer in the 2008 general election
  • Udall Campaign volunteer, Forward Colorado, 2008 general election
  • DNC Host Committee Volunteer, 2008
  • Denver Elections Division--Election Judge, Supervisor, and Field Representative, Voter Registration and Provisional Ballot Processing, 2008-present
  • Precinct Committee Person, Precinct 323/243, 2009-present

Professional Experience

  • Award-winning journalist covering Sports, Arts and Entertainment, Environment, Politics, and Investigative Reporting since 1992
  • English and Theater Teacher, college, high school, and junior high school levels, 1986-1998
  • Wilderness Instructor, 1987-1999

 

Volunteer Service

  • Committee Member, 2009-present, The John Austin Cheley Foundation, a charitable non-profit dedicated to making mountain camp experiences available to youth who would not otherwise have the economic means to attend month-long experiences in outdoor-oriented summer experiences.

  • President, Secretary, Finance Committee, 1986-2010 for The Robert Perkins Fund, a charitable foundation developing creative projects throughout the nation aimed at providing positive opportunities for young people; working with the volunteer board to manage a $300,000 endowment and oversee programs and grants.

  • Executive Director, Founder, The Rocky Mountain Student Theater Project, 1990-present.  Developing and coordinating all aspects of a nationwide Playwrighting Contest for high school students and a Playwrighting Festival featuring professional productions of the winning plays

Education

  • Master of Arts, The University of Colorado, Creative Writing Program, Boulder, 1993
  • Bachelor of Arts, Colorado College, English Major, Minor in The Arts, Colorado Springs, 1987
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