My Story: Family, Community, Education and Leadership

Crisanta Duran, the Majority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives, is in her third term representing House District 5 in central Denver.

Rep. Duran has been a leader in legislative economic development efforts. The 2015 session, her first as Majority Leader, was notable for the strong bipartisan support given to Colorado Ready to Work, an eight-bill package she coordinated in an effort to boost business and connect more Coloradans to careers. Rep. Duran sponsored a measure to create “jump-start” zones in rural areas of the state that are lagging in Colorado’s economic recovery.

She also spearheaded a campaign to build legislative support for the proposed development of the National Western Stock Show site into a year-round attraction, including a Colorado State University campus.

Before being elected to the caucus leadership, Rep. Duran was chairwoman of the legislature’s powerful Joint Budget Committee. The 2014 state budget drafted by the JBC was notable for its significant increases for K-12 and higher education and funded a variety of measures to boost the state’s economy and increase the economic security of Colorado families with a focus on affordable housing and childcare.

Rep. Duran’s signal achievement during the 2013 session was enactment of a law making the in-state tuition rate at state colleges and universities in Colorado available to all students, regardless of immigration status, who graduate from high school in Colorado after attending for at least three years. To qualify, students who lack legal immigration status would also have to seek United States citizenship.

Rep. Duran’s bill extending benefits for unemployed Coloradans while they learn new workforce or entrepreneurial skills was one of the few jobs bills from either party to make it through the House in 2012, when it was controlled by the Republicans.

She is a sixth-generation Coloradan with a law degree from the University of Colorado, where she was elected president of the Student Bar Association and the Latino Law Student Association. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University of Denver, where she was a double major in public policy and Spanish. She graduated from Arvada West High School.

Rep. Duran serves on the board of the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials and the national Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs.

Since elected, Rep. Duran has received the following acknowledgements.

Awards & Recognitions:

  • 2015 LCLAA People's Award
  • Housing Colorado 2014 Legislator of the Year
  • Washington Post's 40 Under 40 Rising Political Stars
  • Conservation Colorado Legislator of the Year
  • Denver Democrats Pat Schroeder Families First Award
  • Colorado Alliance for Retired Americans Certificate of Appreciation
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver Legislator of the Year
  • University of Colorado Alumni Legislative Award
  • Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Legislative Award for Championing State Policies for Fair Immigration and Higher Education
  • CLLARO Roger Cisneros Poder Award
  • Denver Women's Commission & Colorado's Women's Chamber of Commerce Legislative Award
  • Planned Parenthood Champion of Choice
  • Colorado Association for Bilingual Education 2013 Federico Pena Community Leader Award
  • Health Care For All 2013 Legislative Hero
  • COLOR Legislative Champion Award
  • Denver Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award
  • Mentioned in the Denver Post article, "Colorado Women Broke Political Barriers."
  • United Veterans Committee of Colorado Distinguished Service Award

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