Editor’s Note: This item has been updated with a letter from Romanoff, published below.
Andrew Romanoff, who lost the August primary to Sen. Michael Bennet, will be a senior adviser with an acclaimed anti-poverty group in Lakewood called International Development Enterprises, or IDE, The Denver Post reports.
The nonprofit, which won a $13 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2007, distributes innovative technology to small-plot farmers around the world. One of its successes is a foot-powered irrigation pump Romanoff likens to a StairMaster.
Campaigning around Colorado is not exactly a hardship assignment. Last weekend’s trail sent me to Golden, Vail and Crested Butte.
I took in not only some of the most beautiful views in Colorado but also some good advice along the way. “What’s the secret of your success?” I asked Sen. Dan Gibbs, a former colleague now running — unopposed — for Summit County Commissioner. “Don’t get an opponent,” he helpfully replied.
I’ve taken liberties with Dan’s words (his actual advice had something to do with “Dancing With the Stars”), but it’s not a bad strategy if you can swing it. I managed to avoid Republican opposition only once in four races for the State House; I drew a Libertarian instead.
What may not be welcome news for a candidate — robust competition — is exactly what voters deserve and democracy demands. Competition forces candidates to court their constituents and to earn their support. And even if this year’s courtship feels like it’s gone on too long (“It’s enough already,” as my grandmother would have said), we are better off with some choices than with none at all.
I’m excited to report another piece of good news, on the professional front. I just signed on as a senior advisor to International Development Enterprises, an award-winning nonprofit organization headquartered in Lakewood.
IDE equips the world’s poorest farmers with the tools they need — access to technology, training and markets — to lift themselves out of poverty. Over the last three decades, IDE’s treadle pumps, drip-irrigation systems and other green innovations have generated billions of dollars in income for 19 million small-scale farmers and their families in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had, I could say that someone’s life was better off because of how I spent my day. My colleagues at IDE get to say that every day, and I am honored to join them.