May 16 Summer Field Session - Governor's Offices of State Planning & Budgeting, Policy, Research & Legislative Affairs by Jimmy Taylor
May 16 Summer Field Session:
Governor's Offices of State Planning & Budgeting, Policy, Research & Legislative Affairs
By Jimmy Taylor
May 16 was the first day of our summer field session, and it began bright and early with ride on the RTD Light Rail eastward to Union Station. Upon arrival, we walked through downtown Denver admiring the tall buildings and variety of restaurants and shops. Our eyes caught the reflection from the largest gold dome in the state of Colorado, the dome of the Capitol Building, glittering in the morning sun, drawing us toward it. We stepped inside and were struck by the beauty of the architecture, art and murals featured throughout the building, but we did not let these distractions derail our focus from the meetings that were to come.
In our first meeting, we had the honor of speaking with Jason Schrock, the chief economist of the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting. Schrock gave a presentation telling us about how he uses economic analysis and forecasting in his job and updated us on how the Colorado economy is doing compared to the rest of the U.S. In addition to these statistics and models, he discussed how to think like an economist and gave us recommendations for books that include skills that we should learn to become great economists. Before the end of our meeting with Schrock, several people walked in and took seats around us.
These individuals were members of the Governor’s Office of Policy, Research and Legislative Affairs. They introduced themselves and explained what they do, then opened the floor to questions so they could see what we wanted to know about their jobs. The team shared various anecdotes concerning everything from the Two-Generation Initiative to the topic of the possible release of Rene Lima-Marin. The latter became a news story just the next day, (the day that I’m writing this) because a judge has just ordered for his release!
The topical conversation was great, but the most useful words spoken to us – me in particular because I want to join the public policy realm one day – was the advice given on how and what we need to do to join a policy team. This advice shared a similarity with Schrock’s advice: we all need to learn how to think and frame a question.
After our sessions, the eight of us students went to Civic Center Eats and discussed all the information that we had just taken in over the past four hours while enjoying lunch.