Growing up in a working-class family, we never received cash stuck in a birthday or holiday card, which is why I remember the time I got a $25 U.S. Savings Bond from my grandmother.
It came in a birthday card, when I was seven or eight years old. Twenty-five dollars was a fortune to me. As badly as I wanted access to that cash then, I knew my payout would double to $50 if I waited 20 years for the bond to mature.
This was my first memory having to deal with money, but certainly not my last. And it was my introduction to financial literacy as a child.
My name is Dave Young, and I’m the Colorado State Treasurer. I am a life-long Coloradan who never thought I would run for public office. I started out as an educator, and got into politics because of my sister. Now, I’m working to make sure our government works for all of us.
As a second generation Coloradan, I am honored, humbled, and excited to serve as Colorado State Treasurer. After graduating high school, I spent time as a coder for a small programming company in Colorado Springs that performed DoD programming for NORAD. I then taught math, science, and technology in Greeley Weld 6 School District at Heath Junior High in Greeley from 1975 to 1999, where I met my wife, Mary. During my time there, I was active with the Greeley Education Association for twenty years, and was proud to serve as President for the Greeley Education Association for two years.
After leaving K-12 public education, I worked for two years as an information architect with iXL, an international Web design firm. For nearly a decade, I returned to public higher education as a senior instructor for the Information and Learning Technologies program at CU - Denver.
I never planned to enter politics, but my younger sister is challenged with significant disabilities and I could see the difficulties she had getting basic care. I learned my sister wasn't the only one struggling to get essential services, and decided to run for office to fix a system that was taking advantage of the most vulnerable in our society.
Appointed to the Colorado legislature from House District 50, encompassing Greeley, Evans and Garden City, in 2011, I was then elected to that position in 2012, being re-elected twice more. Throughout my career, I have seen first-hand how pivotal education and training are for opening opportunities for people. That's why I was pleased to be appointed to serve on the following committees: House Public Health Care and Human Services, Education, Health, Insurance and Environment, Transportation, and Appropriations.
After the devastating 2013 September floods, I was appointed co-chairman of the Flood Disaster Study Committee, touring communities damaged by the flooding and creating legislation to help homeowners and communities rebuild and recover.
In 2013, I was one of the prime sponsors of bipartisan legislation creating an Advanced Industries Accelerator program for startup companies in Colorado. During 2014 I was also a prime sponsor of a bill creating a tax break for small businesses with less than $15,000 in business personal property. I crafted numerous pieces of legislation to overhaul the state's Medicaid program, and worked intensely on public school funding.
In November 2014, I was appointed to the Joint Budget Committee and as the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. For four years, I worked with a bipartisan JBC to develop a balanced budget for the State of Colorado. In 2018, I ran for State Treasurer and won. I was sworn in as Colorado State Treasurer in January 2019. As State Treasurer, I was tasked with managing state funds in one of the most challenging and unprecedented times in Colorado’s history — the COVID-19 pandemic.
I worked with Governor Polis and the state legislature to ensure that Colorado’s small businesses could remain open during the pandemic, playing a pivotal role in establishing the CLIMBER small business loan program. I continue to work closely with Governor Polis and the state legislature to ensure that the hardworking people of Colorado have the resources they need to build back better, advocating for legislation that centers economic justice, including the Colorado Secure Savings Program. The Colorado Secure Savings Program is a retirement savings plan for private sector workers who currently do not have access to workplace retirement savings plans. The plan will offer an accessible retirement savings option to almost one million Coloradans and their families, more than 40% of the state’s workforce, who do not currently have access to a retirement savings account or plan at work.
I earned my Bachelor's degree in Mathematics at Colorado State University, and a Masters in Information and Learning Technologies at CU Denver. I am lucky to be married to Mary Young, Ph.D., who has worked in the Greeley schools and neighboring school districts through the Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES). She has been a special education teacher, a special education coordinator, and a school psychologist. She is now the State Representative for HD 50, and I am honored to now serve as the first gentleman for the district I used to represent. My sister, Dorothy, who is challenged with intellectual and developmental disabilities, lives in Pueblo West.