About the Fellowship
The Terry J. Stevinson Fellowship is designed to spur thoughtful policy discussions and potential solutions regarding the many policy and economic challenges brought about by population growth in Colorado. Through a multi-year effort, CSI will work with different fellows on an annual basis to dive into one particular area concerning growth.
The 2020 Terry J. Stevinson Fellowship was focused on transportation. Fellows, Ben Stein and Henry Sobanet offered a 2-phased approach to addressing both near-term and long-term funding issues. Here is what they have to say about their work on the project.
“Thanks to the Terry Stevinson Fellowship, I not only received the opportunity to lay out my thoughts and ideas on this important issue, the decision to have two fellows prepare this report meant that I had the world’s best co-author, Henry Sobanet. Making this experience even better was the incredible support we received from the Institute’s staff which turned our drafts into a readable document. I consider this fellowship the highlight of my career as a transportation professional.” – Ben Stein, 2020 Terry J. Stevinson Fellow
“There are several reasons to celebrate and acknowledge the Terry J. Stevinson Fellowship on transportation. But foremost among them, it represents exactly what philanthropic and civic engagement are meant to embody. Through this Fellowship, Ben Stein and I were able to bring hard facts and years of direct experience to a discussion that in Colorado has for too long been the victim of political inertia and damaging rhetoric. In a time when speaking up about taxes or fees means risking the wrath of social media or even one’s political career, Mr. Stevinson and the Board of the Common Sense Institute gave Ben and me a blank canvas and full editorial control of our paper – consequences or popularity contests be damned. It is this courage and leadership that to me are exemplary and it was an honor to be a part of it.” – Henry Sobanet, 2020 Terry J. Stevinson Fellow
To learn more about Ben and Henry, and rest of the CSI team, click here.
The full 2020 report titled A Path Forward: A Common Sense Strategy for the Continued Viability of Colorado’s Transportation Network has been widely cited and acclaimed. It laid out five ways to raise between $300 million and $533 million per year. The state would need to maintain its current level of quality or, on the upper end of the spectrum, to knock out the $3.2 billion in unfunded projects identified in CDOT’s 10-year plan. You can find the full 2020 report by clicking here.
About the 2021 Fellowship
With an influx in the Colorado population over the last twenty years, housing affordability has quickly become a pressing issue in many parts of the state. While this is not an issue unique to Colorado and its major urban areas, it remains an important issue to maintain Colorado’s quality of life and economic competitiveness. That is why the 2021 Terry J. Stevinson Fellowship will be dedicated to researching the issues surrounding growth and housing.
Potential Study Elements
1. Identify key areas of concern regarding the interaction of Colorado’s housing market across the state and both recent and anticipated population growth. Discuss the drivers of the anti-growth sentiments that have led to such changes as Initiative 300, Lakewood 1% growth cap, and the potential statewide Initiative 66, that stunt the supply of housing without addressing demand. Review the past history of growth issues, while keeping a future-forward innovative lens towards solutions.
2. Identify broad policy objectives for both local governments, and state government, to enable an increase in housing supply, while still maintaining the quality of life that local communities desire. This should be looked at from a regional perspective that gives different realities in urban and rural markets. Address how an increase in housing supply can be done in a way that is compatible with an anti-growth sentiment that is resistant to new development.
3. Work with CSI research staff to measure the underlying cost drivers for new housing across several Colorado cities. In addition, examine census and demographic data to better understand housing affordability differences across geography, industry, earnings, age, race, etc.
4. Identify specific policy reforms in certain cities across Colorado, which would be most effective in alleviating some pressure on current housing prices. These policies should account for the anti-growth sentiment that is evident across the front range and will continue to hinder substantial new growth efforts across the state.