It's Time for a new kind of leader.
About Todd Mitchem
Todd Mitchem is a leader, entrepreneur, son, father, and devoted husband who cares deeply about America and like you has grown tired of the destruction going on in Washington. It's Time for this to change and Todd Mitchem is the person to make it happen!
A LEGACY OF SERVICE AND STRENGTH
Born in the small, rural, mining town of Bluefield, West Virginia, Todd came from humble beginnings. He grew up observing the power of hard work from his WWII veteran and blue collar, coal mining grandfather, Roby, who taught him that you never give up on this country or yourself. Todd, also learn valuable lessons from his father, also a military veteran, who worked for nearly four decades at the same company starting as a meter-reader and retiring as a senior executive leader.
THE WILL TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE
Todd Mitchem learned his survival instincts from the powerful women in his life, like his mother, a two-time cancer survivor, who never quit in the face of certain death. After receiving a diagnosis of only six months to live, Todd's mother not only decided to fight cancer, she decided to win. She taught him the power of perseverance and taking risks to beat any obstacle. The health care system failed her during her second cancer by telling her to "give up," and then sending her massive bills that were not covered by insurance. But being a fighter, Todd's mom turned to cannabis and is still alive today. It is her drive "to never give up" which Todd has adopted into his own life and business ventures.
A LEADER IS MADE NOT BORN!
Todd Mitchem knows how to get things done in the face of incredible odds and knows how to turn talk into action that gets results.
For ten years, Todd worked as a leadership developer and business development expert. During that time, he built learning as well as management change initiatives for companies all over the world. As a senior leader for one of the world's top change management companies, Eagle's Flight, Mitchem helped to create powerful and efficient solutions for some of the toughest leadership and organizational challenges in many of the world's fortune 500 companies.
TAKING ON HUGE CHALLENGES
After his mother's incredible survival miracle from cancer, Todd became more interested in the fast-growing marijuana industry. So, in 2013 he joined the emerging cannabis industry to help build companies, educate leaders, and raise standards. Never one to back down from a challenge, Todd quickly developed huge success in spite of incredible odds. He helped develop the largest brand in the space, O.penVAPE with over 1,600% growth in 12 months. Todd built the world’s first global social network unique to the cannabis consumer called High There! which grew from zero users to over 300K in less than a year. After marijuana legalization, he also developed the world’s first marijuana job fair called, CannaSearch which saw over 3400 job hopefuls, who ended up filling over 1000 new jobs in Colorado alone. Todd Mitchem also leads the industry as the first person to speak to Attorneys General on the need for standards in marijuana tracking, youth prevention, production, and business leadership.
Currently, Mitchem and his wife, Diana run a successful government affairs and community outreach company, TMC Partners, which develops initiatives in the cannabis space for businesses, including the state's number one company, The Green Solution. For his expertize and ability to get things done, Todd was asked to speak to countless conventions, youth prevention summits, and government town hall debates. Todd Mitchem is seen as "The smart level-headed problem solver" by municipalities in which he drives fundamental changes. He has spent the last four years working to protect consumers and workers while building a robust job creating industry, which now employees over 25,000 people in Colorado alone.
PASSIONATE AND POWERFUL PARTNERSHIPS
Todd is a loving husband to his wife Diana, who herself is an immigrant to this country. Diana Mitchem immigrated to the United States from war torn Lithuania at the age of twelve after not seeing her mother for seven years. She taught herself English by the age of fourteen, graduated high school early and went on to get two degrees from CU Boulder. Diana and Todd live in district two just up the hill from Golden, and work each day to make this world better than they found it. Diana and Todd work together, parent three amazing kids, and they never give up on each other or this country they love!
You can learn more about Todd Mitchem, his strategies for work and life, as well as his powerful philosophy for how to build collaborative environments in Washington from his book, YOU, DISRUPTED.
IT'S TIME FOR A NEW KIND OF LEADER, in his own words.
"I decided it was time to serve my country as my father and grandfather did before me, by entering the race for Congress. Like millions of Americans, I have felt the sting of rising taxes making it hard to thrive. Also like many people, I have felt first hand the blunt force hit of a broken health care system, which nearly destroyed my family financially. Like you, I am tired of the talk in Washington, the fighting, and the massive levels of government waste that pushes each citizen into deeper despair. From college students to our seniors and retirees, countless people have been left behind culturally and economically. It's time to stop the pointless talk and finally take action toward tangible solutions. We are all in this together, and it is together that we will show the world It's Time for action."
- Todd Mitchem
It's Time for action!
It's Time to look forward and solve the issues!
It's naive to think that one person can solve all our problems. That's not leadership, it's dictatorship. We must unite as a community, as a state and a nation to discover the right solutions for all.
At the core of how to solve even our most complex problems is the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But the real way to understand each of the issues we face as a nation is to talk to the people who work on these issues each day. From teachers to nurses to professionals in our police and fire departments, to you the citizens who are impacted by these challenges we all face, we must have opinions and ideas from you, rather than polarized politicians.
By using wisdom, innovation and a robust focus on collaboration, I believe we can, together solve even the biggest issues facing our country today. It's Time for you to be heard on these issues.
My team has already started to craft solutions to the problems you see here, based on the feedback we have already received. In the coming months, at face to face town halls, and after having received, even more feedback, I will relay our team's granular details on these issues and will keep you informed on the ideas.
It's Time for us to solve our challenges....together.
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In this country, millions of Americans are being financially destroyed by a failing, unsustainable health care system and its rising costs. No family should be forced to choose between paying for medial care or paying their electric bill, yet this happens daily in our country. The current model, while providing excellent doctors, nurses, and professionals who work each day to administer care, fail us in affordability and the limited services that are covered under skyrocketing premiums.
Like millions of Americans, I watched as a relative was turned to dangerous opioids to treat pain which lead to addiction. I supported my mother during her cancer battle while she saw her health care premiums rise as she aged. As a father and a husband who has dealt with the financial peril of rising health care costs, I understand on a deep level what it means to be devastated by the current system. I will work as your congressman to talk with leaders in the healthcare industry, consumers like you, and legislators to build a program that supports a long healthy life for all, without over taxation of the American citizen. We need Washington to take a breath, make a strategy and fix the system, rather than continue in this useless "ping-pong" back and forth bickering.
It's Time to fix our broken health care system once and for all through collaboration, building a competitive marketplace, lowering costs, and listening to all perspectives.
For starters, we need to increase competition between insurance companies by allowing them to operate across state lines. We also need to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions have access to health insurance and health care they can afford. I believe through supporting greater competition we can achieve this. I am collecting ideas that will help frame a new discussion in Washington based on real solutions for the current health care crisis. I am a big believer in a system filled with choices, not a system void of them. But which system will give us maximum benefit and good health? We need a system that rewards healthy lifestyles, works to support the poorest among us needing care, and does not seek to drain us all financially in the process.
Are you someone impacted by this nightmare of a health care system? Are you paying insurmountable premiums just in case you get sick? Are you a healthcare provider that has an idea? I want to hear how you would help me fix health care.
Right now millions of Americans are having their tax dollars spent in frivolous ways with little oversight. The current tax code is not designed to help you get ahead in your life. Instead, it aims to systematically and through force, steal your hard-earned money each year. This overreach does not only impact citizens who work for someone else, but small business owners and self-employed individuals are also under attack, with tax rates that exceed 35% and in many cases up to nearly 100% in new emerging industries. Because taxes are so high for small business, the innovation and expansion of these businesses and industries suffer due to lack of available funds that could be spent on wages and advances in technology. The current tax system is crippling businesses, citizens like you, and our entire country. As you are reading this, a family somewhere in this country is being harassed by the IRS for not paying enough taxes, and that same IRS can seize that family's home! It's Time for this to stop!
Like most small business owners, I have succeeded and failed in various ventures over the course of my career. Each time I get back up, fix the challenges and begin anew. There have been times however that added to my burden of attempting the American Dream. I have had to push off paying important bills because of a hefty small business tax burden. In my current industry, marijuana, I also witness business leaders each year pay 100% tax to the Federal government because of a tax code that seeks to punish them instead of work with them. When any one industry in our country is treated unfairly, we all suffer.
I understand that some taxes are critical to keeping our government running, but with the combination of government spending waste mixed with an overreaching totalitarian style of taxation, we as consumers can no longer tolerate the current paradigm.
I will propose an overhaul of critical tax guidance and seek to reduce income taxes for all Americans. This will mean we can look to possible solutions like a flat tax or a sales tax for the things we purchase. Instead of the government deciding to strip you of your hard earned money with a forced massive income tax, you could be taxed only when you decide to spend the money you make. We must also simplify our tax code by eliminating useless or redundant taxes for businesses and consumers while simultaneously driving down government spending.
Are you an accountant with ideas to reduce taxes? Are you a former IRS official with ideas? Are you a citizen who sees a path to lowering taxes for all? It's time we hear from you!
JOBS and WAGES
In Colorado, our current unemployment rate sits at around 2.3%, a record low, but not all news is good for the rest of our country: In the last ten years in America, we have lost millions of jobs in construction, manufacturing, retail, and the list grows while job opportunities dwindle. Wages are another critical issue for those who are employed. Many young people are forced into low-paying jobs even after completing a college program. To compound the problem, those same individuals, buried in debt caused by their education costs, find themselves unable to find adequate employment for fair pay. Families are also struggling to find decent jobs to support themselves and their children. Just to survive, many of them are working two or three jobs each to make ends meet.
Recently, while talking to a group of teachers here in our district who all work in Jefferson County, I was shocked to hear about how low their wages were, especially after income tax and other government related costs. Instead of thriving as teachers, they continue to struggle to find the balance of income they need to support their children and feel safe financially. We erode our families, our well being and our country when we as a nation do not support business, income growth, and competition in the marketplace. Through over-regulation, increasing health insurance costs to employers, increased taxes for those same employers and an overall need for the government to get out of the way of responsible business, we are in turn crippling the American worker.
So how do we fix our job and wage problems? Among the first steps are, we need to begin to incentivize the marketplace around wages by reducing the amount of over tax businesses receive. We also should stop forcing companies to pay a minimum wage. This imposed wage stifles job enthusiasm, falsely sets the wage low, and eliminates a competitive space for job seekers to thrive. By increasing competition, reducing taxes, and curbing excessive regulations, we can give companies an opportunity to pay their employees more. Next, we need to give industry a clearer path to innovation and expansion in America instead of in foreign countries. We see this example with manufacturers here in Colorado, as well as the entire cannabis industry. Business growth can be achieved if we stop treating companies as evil and start giving them a clear path to expansion, competition, and incentivizing them to support employees more. Another reason we have job loss in many sectors and high turnover is related to over regulations. These regulations are substantial burdens on businesses and people who are trying to make a living and often prevent new businesses from starting, prevent existing businesses from hiring new employees, and even force businesses to close.
With collaboration and by getting real with the American people, I think we can begin to unwind decades of gridlock around jobs, wages and the economy in general. But I want to hear from you. Have you lost your job recently? Do you own a country over burdened by regulations? Are you a concerned employer who has ideas about how to stimulate jobs and wages without the government interfering? Please send me your ideas today!
I am a believer in state's rights, and there is no better example of this concept than what can be seen in the emerging cannabis industry. Here in Colorado, the industry that I have helped to build since 2014 employs over 25,000 people that are working in the legalized system. There are also an estimated 15,000 supporting jobs in the areas of construction, manufacturing, real estate, retail sales, and all the many other support industries which serve the growing marijuana businesses. All this from an industry that, in 2017 alone, has already generated over a half a billion dollars in tax revenue. In fact, nearly three hundred million dollars have already gone to support Colorado schools. I am seeking to expand this reach to every state who wants it.
With a federal legalization effort of marijuana and hemp, we could add over 3 million extra jobs in less than two years in the United States. These are jobs in manufacturing, farming, retail, construction, and many supporting industry careers. A legalization solution would also begin to slow down the creation of felons in a system that was designed to destroy people with non-violent drug arrests.
Lastly, federal legalization of these plants would create a natural competition in the healthcare system. Did you know that in 2013 states with legal medical marijuana saved an estimated total of $165.2 million in Medicare program and enrollee spending that year? This number was reported by researchers at the University of Georgia in the journal Health Affairs. The results suggest that if all states had implemented medical marijuana the overall savings to Medicare would have been around $468 million for each state. Studies also show that in states where marijuana is made legal, opioid use and abuse drops by over 25%.
Do you have a plan for legalizing cannabis/hemp? How would you legalize as fast as possible without expanding the government? It's Time to legalize once and for all!
This year when our three kids started back to school, there was excitement in the air. Then the bill came. Our children attend a public school here in Jefferson County, paid for by all our taxes and millions in marijuana tax. But as I wrote the checks for over $500 in fees, lunches, and the many costs, on top of another $300 in school supplies, I was frustrated not to see our community's tax money at work to support the kids. It is also frustrating to watch hard working teachers of the district, pushed into learning plans that are not effective, and forced to use an outdated metric of scientifically dubious standardized tests, which do not work. All of this while barely surviving on the same or an even lower salary.
One-size-fits-all education, as mandated by the Department of Education, is holding America’s children back. Every child is different. Every community is different. Education should be chosen to fit the needs of each child, and situation. Teachers, parents, and students should be able to make their own choices. They are far better able to assess the needs of a particular child than an agency far off in Washington. I am going to propose that we give parents and kids more choices around education and we find more and more creative ways to create school competition, values, and funds in a way that does not cost us more as individuals. It's Time to change education for our kids and our future!
Back when I attempted to seek a college education, costs were high, and the pressure was on to attend. I struggled to find a program that matched both my budget and my desires to thrive as an entrepreneur. Ultimately I could not afford to finish the program, and like Steve Jobs, Marck Zuckerberg and the countless other successful entrepreneurs who moved out of college, I used my abilities to create businesses, build a thriving career, and overall succeed. Two compounding problems around higher education are similar to my situation. First, we are forcing kids to go to college who either want a different path in life or who simply are not ready immediately after high school. On top of this educational inflation, we simultaneously allow for a massive burden with federal support of tuition loans and subsidies. I do not want another student to be buried in debt after college or to limit the options for a student who wants to become a valuable electrition, police officer or firefighter. I believe we could make college affordable by getting government out of higher education. Without subsidies and costly mandates, competition will force universities to decrease their tuition or go out of business. Massive student debt would be a thing of the past. We must start to honor the individual needs and desires of our kids and support their wishes for the future without forcing them into debt or a continued education track that will not serve them in the long run.
Are you a teacher, administrator, parent, graduating student or even child in school with great ideas that can improve the education system here in Colorado and around the US? How would you fix our outdated and under-budgeted education system?
WAR AND THE MILITARY
Trillions of tax dollars are going to the ever-expanding waste of the war machine. Instead of building our military for defense, we are continuously threatening war or committing more of our young soldiers to die in the useless fighting and expanding conflicts. I believe we can have a more peaceful world by working on collaborative approaches with other world leaders. The United States relies too heavily on our military might in foreign policy. For more than a decade, our country has been waging ongoing wars in the Middle East some of which have recently been stretched even further into the future. This waste of resources has left our military tired, with thousands dead, and many more thousands wounded physically and psychologically.
Am I saying we as a nation should not give humanitarian aid to other countries after a disaster? NO! I am saying that I no longer feel we as a country can protect our homeland while we wage a war that has no end. Support yes, create fights, no. Our military deserves our respect, and that means we should respect the life each soldier is willing to give for our country. The time must end where we threaten our way to conflict resolution. These are lives we are giving up while receiving nothing of value in return. If we want our world to be a safer place we need less of a fight mentality and more steadfast diplomacy.
I believe that American foreign policy should focus more heavily on developing communications among people and finding peaceful resolutions to disagreements. I will work to draw down our troops by drafting smart legislation that limits the ways our country spends on unnecessary conflicts while still keeping an eye for protecting our safety and interests. It's Time for us to stop policing the world and start to build up our country as promised.
Are you active or retired military and have a plan to cut spending on the military that still keeps America safe? Do you have ideas that would help us solve the military overspending and aggressive over-engagement in other countries? Let me know how you would drawback troops and preserve freedom.
Our gridlocked politicians and the current failed immigration policies are creating havoc. From a recent article by CBS, "Some 140,000 professionals, more than half working in the technology sector, are granted permanent residency out of the nearly 900,000 immigrants America welcomes each year. And it is this group that tends to go through an increasingly costly, risky and tedious process." This is just one example of a burdened immigration system which causes hard working people to now become terrified with the fear of being deported.
Because our current politicians refuse to make the path to true citizenship more user-friendly with less government bureaucracy, millions of immigrants to this country are in limbo. The answer is not government programs or to deport millions of people. The answer lies in a more realistic and less bureaucratic system where good people can find a new path in America.
If you read my book, YOU, DISRUPTED, you know my wife immigrated to this country, taught herself English, graduated high school early and went on to earn two degrees at CU Boulder. Her story has inspired people from all walks of life, and it has opened my eyes to the crippling problem we have created around immigration. While she worked hard to find success and become a citizen, the path is complicated from the time a person leaves their original country to the time they arrive here. Often our nation's international and federal policies force otherwise good people to immigrate illegally. Our current federal rhetoric around deportation of parents and others back to countries they desperately fled is, in my opinion, wrong. I believe if someone is peaceful, they should be welcome to immigrate to the United States and become a hard working and contributing member of our society.
As your congressman, I will work in a bipartisan way to build welcoming legislation for all law-abiding immigrants who come seeking a better life. The vast majority of immigrants are very peaceful and highly productive so let's remember the beautiful words of Lady Liberty, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" It's Time we honor these words.
Do you have any ideas about how to fix the immigration laws or laws that should be put in place? How would you fix immigration issues that keep arising every day?
The air we breathe, the water we drink, they are all critical to our good health and long vital life. But, thanks to the two-party politics, our environment has been bargained with in devastating ways. While politicians argue over climate change, water becomes more and more polluted all over this country and industries are not adequately incentivized by the power of the market to change their polluting ways.
I believe through incentivizing companies and calling out the ones who are destroying our environment we can change our climate policy in a way that won't require more government. I will push Congress and our president to work with other world leaders to build a strong global accountability around self-regulated climate controls. One of my strong beliefs is that as long as you don't hurt others, you should be left alone to conduct business as you see fit. So, if you are damaging our vital resources, you should also be dealt with harshly. It's Time to stop fighting with our valuable climate and hold people accountable for destroying it.
What plan do you have that would help protect our climate, water, and other vital resources before it's too late? What can we do to prevent our natural resources from becoming so polluted, like water, that we have to pay even more money and extra taxes to refine them just for the every day use and survival?