Max Tyler: No stranger to the process

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Posted Thu, Mar 25, 2010

No matter what side of the political aisle we find ourselves standing on, we must not forget the importance of knowing the people we elect to represent us. As we get bogged down with the many distractions and stresses of life, we often forget the importance of knowing the local and state, elected officials that come straight out of our own communities.

Max Tyler came to Colorado to attend the University of Denver in the late 1960’s. He grew up in the Midwest as a self-proclaimed “corporate brat,” seeing as how his family moved often. He attended nine different schools during his primary years, and he has said that this provided him with skills to adapt well to new environments.

He graduated from DU with a degree in speech dynamics, and has said that he stayed and made Colorado his home, largely because of, “the friends [he] made here in college.” He has been a small business owner in Colorado for more than 35 years, and he has been a Democratic activist within Denver and Lakewood for more than 20 years.

Tyler served as chairman for the Jefferson County Democratic Party for the last two election cycles, and was the chairman for House District 23. He has always been very active in the community, but his most recent political move was to become the newest member of the Colorado House of Representatives where he holds the seat for House District 23.

Tyler was sworn into office on June 5, 2009, after running unopposed for the seat which had been held by Democrat Gwyn Green since 2004. Green, 70, announced her retirement in April of 2009. Tyler worked tirelessly on Green’s campaigns during the last few elections, and they have been friends and colleagues for years. When asked how Green has effected his time in office, Tyler said that they speak often and that, “she’s still a great mentor.”

Though he is the reigning, “new guy,” within the House of Representatives, he is no stranger to the process, and is no novice when it comes to working for his community. He was told early in life that there is, “an obligation to give back to the community that nurtures you,” and his experiences since then have shown a commitment to that principle.

Since college, Tyler has created and operated three small businesses. While running his first business, a print and design shop, he met his wife, Susan. His current business, The Star Group, is a small business consulting firm.

 Tyler’s experience in business allowed him to work on former Gov. Roy Romer’s Small Business Council. He also served on former Denver Mayor Federico Pena’s Airport Finance and Development Committee, where he helped oversee the entire building process of Denver International Airport. He said that working on these committees really gave him insight into the “civic side of things.”

After his involvement with these committees during the Romer and Pena administrations, Tyler found a new motivation at the beginning of this last decade. “The Iraq War really got me energized, and that’s when I ended up as the House District chair.”

When asked why he chose to step into Green’s seat in the House, Tyler said it was, “about having the right opportunity at the right time.”

Since he took office, Tyler has advocated for health care reform, funding for higher education, and an increase in the utilization of renewable energy. He said that on his first day in office he started, “bugging the Governor’s energy office,” about expanding green technology and that he is impressed with the, “incredible amount of work going on.”

Most recently he was the prime sponsor for House Bill 1-2010, which requires large utility companies to generate 30 percent of their electrical output from renewable energy sources by the year 2020. There is another package of three bills that will help finance House Bill 1-2010.

Tyler is up for re-election this election cycle. When asked of his time at the Capital so far he said it has been, “really amazing.” “I have a lot of respect for the people who work here.”

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