Capital idea: Participants sought for D.C. conference

Applications will be accepted through March 25 for an annual conference offering Colorado residents an opportunity to learn more about the federal legislative process.

Colorado Mesa University, the University of Colorado and U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner plan to host the 2016 Colorado Capital Conference on June 8 to 10 in Washington, D.C. Participants will meet with members of Congress and the Cabinet as well other leaders.

CMU President Tim Foster said he’s pleased the university is among the sponsors of the event. “A healthy republic relies upon active, informed citizen participation in every level of government. This conference gives Coloradans an audience with key decision makers in Washington, D.C.”

Participants who represent a diverse cross-section of Colorado will be selected through an application process. Participants will be announced no later than April 8.

A registration fee of $375 will include most meals and conference materials. Participants are responsible for their own accommodations at a group rate and airfare.

For more information on the conference or to apply to participate, log on to www.coloradomesa.edu/capitalconference/ or call 623-9388.

“Without an informed public, representative democracy does not work. Events like the Colorado Capital Conference are an essential part of creating that informed public, and I’m grateful to Colorado Mesa University and the University of Colorado for organizing this gathering,” said Gardner, a Republican from Colorado. “This conference gives Coloradans an opportunity to interact with and learn from academics, business leaders and policymakers and, more importantly, gives those of us in public life a chance to hear and learn from Coloradans.”

Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, said the conference gives lawmakers an opportunity to learn from constituents about what’s important. “After all, the best ideas for Colorado don’t come from Washington D.C. They come from Coloradans. We are grateful to Colorado Mesa University, the University of Colorado and Sen. Cory Gardner for helping to arrange this conference. It’s an excellent opportunity to connect with the people who make Colorado a great place to live and work.”