The business coalition Colorado Concern announced Monday that seven legislators and one mayor are "In the Arena," an award recognizing leaders who work across the aisle to improve the state's economic landscape.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and Sen. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson; Sen. Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder; and Speaker of the House Alec Garnett, D-Denver, were recognized for passing Senate Bill 260.
The transportation bill created fees to pay for electrical vehicle infrastructure, provide financial assistance for government and other entities to use electric vehicles and pay for projects that reduce traffic or directly reduce air pollution.
The other lawmakers who carried House Bill 1230 to create a user-friendly internet portal on state agency rules: Reps. Mark Baisley, R-Roxborough Park; Brianna Titone, D-Arvada; and Sens. Rob Woodward, R-Loveland; and Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada.
“We observed that in the case of each of the elected officials we selected for this honor, there was a measure of political risk, uncertainty, doggedness, and an intensity of focus," Colorado Concern CEO Mike Kopp said in a statement. "They all exhibited an unwavering attitude which always stands out in politics and is compelling and appreciated.
"Good for each of them for seeing these important projects through and for remembering that it’s not the critic who counts, but it is about entering the arena where the contest actually takes place.”
The award is inspired by the "Man in the Arena" speech given by former President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910, a year after he left office.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better," Roosevelt said in the speech given in Paris. "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”