Gov. Polis Announces New Americans Initiative to Ensure Immigrants and Refugees Thrive in Colorado

Friday, November 22, 2019

DENVER - Today, Governor Jared Polis announced the launch of the New Americans Initiative, headed by Kit Taintor, Senior Advisor to the Governor for New American Integration. 

Focusing on Colorado’s new American populations, the Initiative will involve executive agencies and diverse stakeholders, including nonprofit providers, to ensure new Americans have the opportunity to thrive in their communities. Kit will provide strategic focus to support a Colorado community that immigrants and refugees are eager to call home. 

“This week, as the United States Supreme Court hears arguments on DACA, we want to clearly state that Coloradans embrace new Americans, and see the value and strength they bring to our communities,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are working with a terrific group of partners and community members to identify and address the barriers to prosperity new Americans face. With Kit’s background, she brings a strong foundation to move our work forward from day one.”

In June 2019, Joe Barela, Executive Director of the Department of Labor and Employment launched a working group seeking to identify gaps and needs around services to new Americans. “Immigrants and refugees strengthen Colorado through their considerable contributions to our culture, communities, and economy. Kit’s extensive experience advocating for and serving immigrants and refugees across Colorado will allow this work to enter a new and exciting phase.”

New Americans’ contributions to our economy is undeniable, according to a study done by New American Economy (NAE), immigrant-owned firms generate $16.7 billion in sales and employ more than 100,000 Coloradans.

“Removing barriers immigrants and refugees face from access to childcare, to occupational licensing and education, will make Colorado a welcoming and prosperous place for New Americans,” said Taintor.

The New Americans Initiative will play a critical role in protecting what makes Colorado the best state in the country to live, work, start a business, raise a family, and retire.