A committed citizen legislator, Sen. Kefalas strongly believes in creating opportunities for meaningful civic engagement and deliberative democracy. He has conducted almost weekly town hall meetings, issues forums and community conversations since being first elected to public office.
Sen. Kefalas has championed bringing people together around common sense solutions to help middle-class and lower-income Coloradans. He has won numerous awards for his legislative efforts, while passing bills to help create jobs; reduce taxes for working Coloradans and small businesses; protect consumers, seniors and children; promote renewable energy and efficiency; advance quality education; and lower costs while increasing value in our health care system.
His most significant legislative achievements in the past two years include the Colorado Innovation Investment Tax Credit to encourage “angel” investment in start-up companies that create new Colorado jobs, restoring the Colorado Earned Income Tax Credit as the first TABOR refund mechanism to lower taxes for working families, and the Plain Language Insurance Bill, which requires new automobile, health, dental and long-term care insurance policies to be written in plain English understandable to average consumers.
A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, former educator, health outreach worker and job-training counselor, Sen. Kefalas was first elected to the Statehouse in 2006 and quickly proved himself a hard-working, honest and accessible representative. In 2008, he received a record number of votes in House District 52, becoming the first Democrat re-elected in the district in over half a century. Kefalas won his third term in office in 2010 when he received about 57% of the vote. In 2012, Kefalas was elected by a wide margin of 58% to 36% with the remainder of the vote going to third-party candidates.
Sen. Kefalas is a member of the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force, focused on building a fair and sustainable economy through expanding economic opportunity and cutting poverty in half by 2019. He is also a member of the Behavioral Health Transformation Council, and serves on the board of Embrace Northern Colorado, a non-profit organization that facilitates a regional quality of life visioning process. In the past, Sen. Kefalas has served on numerous community boards and has been involved in local, national and international peace, justice and environmental work for over 35 years. A 1978 graduate of Colorado State University (CSU), Sen. Kefalas has a Masters of Art in Teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. He worked with Catholic Charities as a public policy advocate and community development coordinator for seven years.
Sen. Kefalas has been married for 31 years to Beth, who works as the Music and Worship Assistant at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Collins. They have two sons and three grandchildren. His younger son, Tim, graduated from CSU in 2008, and he lives and works in Fort Collins and coaches the CSU Ultimate Team. Harlan is a married father in the US Army who has served in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently a Sergeant First Class at Fort Leonard Wood Army Base in MO. His wife is Tracey and their three children are Lillie, Barbara and John.