Out of all the politicians I’ve spoken to over the years, Adam Frisch is one of the very few who truly “gets it.” By that I mean, he understands that being an elected official is about serving your constituents, not using them to bolster your fame on a national level (like his former opponent, little Laurey Boo-Boo).
In an attempt to learn everything he can about those he wants to serve in Washington, he’s already logged over 45,000 miles driving through Colorado’s 3rd District, talking to anyone and everyone who will be under his charge if elected. By reaching out in such an individual, personal way, he’s been given the luxury of understanding what’s most important to the average citizen. And according to Frisch, “80% of us share 80% of the same views and concerns about basic livability and cost of living and how we want to raise our kids, clean water and clean air.”
According to Frisch, it’s this common ground he’s found in voters that has allowed him to laser-focus his campaign on a three-pronged message: Colorado water, Colorado energy, and Colorado jobs. “I don’t want to run on team blue or team red, but on team Colorado District 3. There’s too many people that allow representatives that are not spending time on their district [and] they’re focusing on all these cultural issues which a lot of people don’t have any interest in.” He continued, “I want to focus on Colorado water, Colorado energy, and Colorado jobs.”
“The number one thing we’ve been spending our time talking about is water. Especially in Southern, and especially out in Western Colorado, there’s a huge water shortage. It’s not just about the Colorado River, because we have some other rivers—the Arkansas and the Rio Grande—but, the Colorado River is the lifeblood of 40 million people in the Western part of the United States; seven states, 30 different tribal lands.” He said that during his time in congress, he intends on “making sure as much of that water stays in Colorado, stays in the upper-basin states before they go through lakes Powell and Meade and get lost into California and Arizona and Nevada forever.”
When it comes to the other issues of primary concern (energy independence and increasing the quality of Colorado jobs), Frisch is using the 150-year-old Evraz Rocky Mountain steel mill in Pueblo as his template. During our conversation, he made it clear that “we [need to] produce as much energy in Colorado as we can,” and that Pueblo is a great example because of their “150-year-old steel mill that is 80% solar-powered—it’s the only solar-powered steel mill in the country.”
His plan focuses on taking old-school manufacturing techniques and enhancing them with modern, environmental-friendly upgrades. “Pueblo is a great example of taking that old-line manufacturing, horse-power with some of the new energy things we want to focus on that has really good paying jobs. These are $40-, $50-, $60-dollar-an-hour paying jobs, and that gets into $100,000 [per year] pay. Then all of a sudden we’re talking about a sustainable living, especially out there in rural America. So, [we’re] trying to figure out how to get more of those type of high-paying jobs in the energy sector.”
Of course, providing a plethora of new, higher-paying jobs is an admirable goal, but if your constituents can’t afford to stay healthy, then all the jobs on the planet aren’t going to help. When I asked about the current healthcare crisis in America, Frisch made it clear that affordable/reliable healthcare is also a bedrock of his platform.
“Everybody in the country has issues with healthcare because of how damn much insurance and hospital visits and doctor [visits] cost. Those of us outside the big metro areas and outside of the I-25 corridor, we have an additional burden of accessibility that goes back to the physical, geographical lack of healthcare. A lot of people are a half-an-hour away to two-hours away from seeing a doctor. Birthing centers are closing up. You’re starting to see the closing of other little clinics and people going from 45 minutes to 3 hours [for healthcare].”
He also made it clear that “Protecting women’s healthcare freedom is something that is going to remain near and dear to my heart. It’s important to codify [Roe] and just keep the government out of women’s healthcare decisions, especially as it affects reproductive rights.”
Yes, all of these are incredibly lofty goals. Thankfully, Frisch has a plan to make these wishes become a reality by joining as many congressional committees and sub-committees as he can. “How you spend your time on committees really has your cards played out. At the end of the day, our district is focused on water, natural resources, public lands, ranching and farming, and agriculture. So, to get on some subcommittees that have those aspects of water and land and energy is something that’s really important to me.”
Even though his plan is sound, Frisch is also aware of the gridlock in Washington and views his abilities to bring about major changes with a heightened sense of reality. “I think there’s something to be said about going in [congress] and getting on a subcommittee and getting on a committee and hitting a bunch of singles and doubles, and every once in a while you’ll hit a triple or a home run. But a major overhaul with this divisiveness isn’t going to happen right away.”
When it comes to this legendary congressional divisiveness, I asked Frisch what he thinks could be done to make the government more functional. “I talk a lot about this ‘problem solvers’ caucus in the House and it’s a shame that not every single person in DC is in a problem solvers caucus because that’s really what we’re supposed to be going to do there. Especially those of us that are going to be elected. And the problem solvers caucus in the House is currently 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans, and [they’re] supposed to be the most moderate and thoughtful people that are willing to find common ground.”
Though he supports the problem solvers caucus he does believe that “a re-boot of the problem solvers caucus would be necessary. Making sure that everyone in the caucus is truly bucking their party from time to time, and focus on what’s best for the country and what’s best for their district, and try to put all this party stuff aside. My mom calls it the ‘pro-normal party,’ and that’s what we’ll be, the pro-normal party coalition.” Ultimately, Frisch wants the pettiness to stop, “The only kind of arguing I want to see in DC is arguing over who gets credit for all the good things that are happening—and right now everyone is arguing over who’s to blame.”
Like I wrote in the opening, Frisch is one of the very few politicians I’ve ever spoken to who has taken the experiences of his constituents and implemented them into his platform to serve those people the best; his answers/plans definitely point to that direction.
But what about the REALLY big questions? Like, what will the Broncos do with Russell Wilson?
“Are you sure you don’t want to talk about the Nuggets?” he responded with a laugh. Though he did feel that Wilson may not be the quarterback he once was, like any good politician who knows how much Coloradoans love their Broncos, he deferred by saying “There are people in that organization who know a lot more about what to do [about Wilson] than me.”
Frisch made it clear that during the campaign, he wants to hit up every single county in the state and meet with as many people from as many different backgrounds as possible. And if he does make it out to your area, I highly recommend you take time out to meet with the candidate. I promise that whatever you tell him, he’ll actually listen.