It’s time for change, not politics as usual.
ABOUT ROBERT BOWEN
Robert Bowen is a community advocate for Littleton and Centennial and a third generation Colorado native. In his career he has been a political strategist, real estate developer, small businessman, and legislator. Now retired, he is an author and columnist who spends his time working to make the community better and improve the lives of people.
Robert was born and raised in West Denver, a few blocks south of the Auraria Higher Education Center. His family, which included three sisters, ran a corner grocery store. His parents were forced to sell the store for health reasons and they moved to East Denver where he graduated from Machebeuf High School. The family then relocated to Northwest Denver where Robert lived for 20 years. He attended Metro State College of Denver (now University) where he was student body president and a student lobbyist with many accomplishments. He received a BA in History and Political Science in 1971.
After college, he worked for a state assemblyman and attorney general candidate in New York City for two years and returned to Colorado. He was blessed with a son, Robert now deceased, and a daughter, Christine who lives in Alaska where she is a medical lab technician. He is a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church and also a member of the South Metro Chamber of Commerce.
During his high school and college years, Robert was a member of Teamsters Local 17 and worked for the Colorado AFL-CIO for two years. In his long business career in Colorado, California, and Tennessee, he was a real estate broker; he owned or ran construction and development companies; he owned a recycling business; and was a partner in a charter airline. He created over 300 direct jobs, and 2,500 indirect jobs through sub-contractors he hired. He was responsible for millions of dollars of investment into various local economies including Denver, and millions of dollars in tax base.
Robert served as a State Representative in Colorado between September 1982 and January 1989. At that time, there were as few as 14 Democrats out of 65 members of the House. He worked across the aisle and passed several pieces of major legislation including: joint custody, used car lemon law, and the Older Coloradans Protection Act. He eliminated the RTD sales tax from food and utilities. It was Bowen’s bill that forced RTD to build Denver’s Light Rail system. He was known for his hard work, persistence, and ability to persuade colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, to support legislation that was enacted into law. Go there to see some of the bills he enacted into law.
Today, Robert serves on the Institutional History Committee of Metropolitan State University of Denver and he is also a member of the Auraria History Museum Group. In that capacity he is working to establish a major Historical and Cultural Center on the Auraria Higher Education Center. This will create a place for greater dialogue and understanding between the many various cultures in our community.
In 2015, he authored The Vision, the Struggle: The Beginning of Metropolitan State University of Denver. The book tells the history of the seven-year struggle to create Metro State in the 1960s, but it also gives insight into the 1960s and the social changes that occurred at that time. Check out the feature article, Metro State: The Little College That Could, about the book and Robert Bowen in The Villager Newspaper, a subscription-based local publication.
Bowen is a citizen journalist for Examiner.com. He has two columns, a national and a local column: Economic Policy Examiner which looks at the nation’s economic policy and the politics surrounding it; and Colorado Green Energy Examiner which looks at energy — particularly green energy — and climate change.
Some of his recent advocacy work includes the following:
1. Testifying at the EPA hearing on regulations regarding carbon emissions from power plants and the effect on climate change.
2. Moderating forums on the Living Wage and Community Prosperity as well as The Affordability of Higher Education and Student Loan Debt.
3. Testifying at the State Legislature on behalf of the Right to Rest Bill regarding homelessness in Colorado. His testimony was quoted in this CBS local article, Colorado Weighs ‘Homeless Persons’ Bill of Rights’ Proposal, and Denver Homeless Out Loud printed a full page of his testimonial in the No Right To Rest final report.
4. Testifying at the legislature on climate change legislation and bill allowing homeowners to use rain barrels, which passed.
His current projects (besides running for office) include:
1. In addition to the Historical and Cultural Complex, he is working to establish an “Urban Rest Stop” in central Denver or on Auraria to give the homeless a safe, dry space to eat, use restrooms, and attend to their personal hygiene without fear of being “swept up” by authorities and without encroaching on private or public property for basic human needs.
2. He is participating in the Haircuts for Homeless Veterans event on April 25th, 2016 by facilitating voter registration, and assisting with PR, fundraising, and more. This is coordinated through the Volunteers of America Bill Daniels Veterans Services Center.