A Day in the Life: Assistant to the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives

May 8, 2013

Working for the Speaker of the Colorado House is easily the best job I have ever had --  but as you can imagine, every day brings something different. Everyday as I walk into the Capitol and under the Gold Dome I realize how fantastic it is to call this my office. It’s a phenomenal building full of history and I am working for a man that is making history right in front of my eyes.

I first became a public employee almost 6 years ago. After interning in the Denver County Court system every summer during college, I knew I wanted to make a career out of helping people and making a difference. I started in Denver Juvenile Probation and was there for 2 ½ years. I worked with some of the most amazing people and, while I felt like I was close, I wasn’t fulfilling my passion there. I gave myself a couple months to really think about what route may be the right fit for me and what my passions were -- but it only took me a couple days.

As all of my friends would attest, politics was my passion and conveniently what my college degree was in. I made a couple calls about volunteering and within a month I had changed my career and was in the political world.  Before I knew it, I was the assistant to the Minority Leader and after two years, my boss became the Speaker of the House.

Working in this building there is no such thing as a “typical day." I have had so many memorable and historic moments here it’s hard to pick favorites. Today I thought I was coming in for a regular day of debate on any number of bills and I went home having shook President Obama’s hand twice -- one that made it onto the news.

I was here to witness Civil Unions get passed and watch and take pictures as my boss, the first openly gay Speaker sign that bill -- a huge moment in Colorado history which was once dubbed the “hate state."  Whether I am sitting on the floor of the House until midnight hearing members fight over gun rights, or watching the hope and joy in high school students faces when we pass a bill that gives them in-state tuition even if they are undocumented, I finally have that feeling that when I show up I’m a part of the puzzle that is making people’s lives better.

While my version of a “typical day” varies,  my primary purpose is to handle all scheduling requests that come in to the Speaker’s office. Most of those meetings are with various lobbyists to address their issues on bills that are coming forward. We also handle groups from different countries, various non-profit groups, and constituents who may be having issues that the Speaker can help with.  I work in conjunction with the Chief of Staff to attempt to make the Speaker’s life run as smoothly as possible whatever that may mean.

I am proud to be a public employee because I feel like I am part of an amazing team that is working together tirelessly everyday to make the groups of people I care about most have a better life.

This post was written by Sadie Hansen.

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