Graduating Class: 2011
Industry: Government & Public Administration
Representative James Coleman was born and raised in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver, and
currently lives in Green Valley Ranch. He represents House District 7 in northeast Denver, but wrapped
up his fourth and final legislative session as a representative when the General Assembly adjourned on
June 15th. When he was elected to his first term in 2016, Rep. Coleman was the youngest of the 100
Colorado representatives and senators. He is currently running for State Senate, and after winning his
primary on June 30th is the Democratic Party’s nominee to Colorado Senate District 33.
This year in the House, he served as Vice-Chair of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee
and sat on both the House Education Committee and House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Coleman
plans to bring his experience, passion, and leadership skills to the Senate to continue to advocate for his
Rep. Coleman is especially passionate about Colorado’s youth and a fervent proponent of quality
education for all students. He has sponsored bills to provide culturally and developmentally appropriate
classroom management strategies to help reduce the number of suspensions for young children. In
addition to his advocacy for children who would in the past be removed from school, Rep. Coleman
created a program that provides additional recognition of high school students who are accomplished in
science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
His dedication to education includes a bill that is designed to lower drop-out rates by creating classes
that will help students gain competency in subjects that they struggle with while earning credits towards
a degree. Rep. Coleman has also passed education-based bills that increase financial aid application
completion rates as well as provide resources to higher-ed students struggling to complete their
Lastly, Rep Coleman passed an education bill that increases the accessibility of information regarding
concurrent enrollment, starting in middle school, so all families have access to the best educational
choices for their children as they enter high school.
Rep. Coleman also works to take care of members in his community by implementing long-term
strategies that will keep local businesses thriving. His policy, which encourages employees to inherit
mature, locally-owned companies, will keep jobs in Colorado communities. Large, corporate-owned
investors buy many unique, local businesses, but Rep. Coleman is dedicated to keeping hardworking
families employed by members of their community.
In the 2020 legislative session, Rep. Coleman passed a bill that mandates research into the creation of a
centralized web portal to increase transparency and accessibility of proposed new state regulations for
businesses – which will make it easier for businesses to be started and sustained in Colorado.
His dedication to his community doesn’t stop with education and economic growth. In the 2019
legislative session, Rep. Coleman passed bipartisan legislation that makes internal files of in-uniform or
on-duty peace officers subject to an open records request. The legislation serves his constituents by
increasing transparency. He was also directly involved in bringing about a historic police reform and
accountability bill, that was just signed into law by the Governor and will bring crucial reform to
Colorado’s system of policing.
Rep. Coleman has also passed other key legislation that not only benefits and protects his constituents,
but all those in the state of Colorado. He passed a policy in the 2020 session that protects student
athletes by allowing them to be compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness, without
jeopardizing their collegiate athlete eligibility. He also passed a bill that ends the unjust practice of
“prison gerrymandering” in Colorado, ensuring that those often overlooked and unheard in our prisons
will be represented fairly and their voices counted. He brought about another historic policy that
guarantees social equity will be brought to the cannabis industry in Colorado – an industry that for
decades has been another systemically unequal institution in our country, criminalizing Black Americans
while allowing others to profit. Under Rep. Coleman’s bill, those who have not had an equal chance to
participate or profit off this industry will be given more equitable opportunities. Lastly, Rep. Coleman
made sure to pass legislation in the 2020 session that provides extra financial assistance to some of the
poorest members of our communities who have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When not in the Capitol, Rep. Coleman serves as CEO at FaithBridge, a local nonprofit mobilizing faith
communities to improve K-12 education in the State of Colorado. His passion for faith-based community
service began when he was licensed and ordained as a minister at the age of 13, and began preaching
in churches and doing street ministry across the Metro Denver area.
Rep. Coleman earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Business
Administration, from Oral Roberts University. He and his wife Shayna have been together since the 8th
grade, and are the proud parents of 9 year-olds twins James Jr. and Naomi.
B.A., Psychology. Minor, Business Administration – Oral Roberts University
Colorado State Legislature
House District 7 State Representative