Leslie Herod represents House District 8 in central Denver. She serves as Chairwoman on the Finance Committee and Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee.
A champion for minority communities, Rep. Herod introduced a bill during the 2017 session that would have required the staff of the Legislative Council to prepare notes on how legislative bills would affect different populations identified by, for example, race, gender, disability, geography or income. She also sponsored a resolution to ensure that Colorado women retain access to reproductive health care, including abortion, which recognized the disparate situation of people of color with regards to this issue.
But Rep. Herod’s biggest legislative achievement was a reform of civil forfeiture, the process by which government seizes illicit assets. The system had become so corrupted that exonerated people weren’t being compensated and assets were being seized from people not even charged with crimes. When he signed the bill, Gov. John Hickenlooper called civil forfeiture “government for profit.”
Rep. Herod is well-versed in the workings of the executive and legislative branches of state government. She was a senior policy advisor in Gov. Bill Ritter’s administration, specializing in social services, criminal justice, mental health and anti-poverty issues. Previously, she served on the staffs of former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, former House Majority Leader Alice Madden and former HD8 Rep. Rosemary Marshall.
Rep. Herod is the first African American LGBT person to serve in elected office in Colorado, and has worked as a program officer for the Gill Foundation, focusing on LGBT equality and alliance-building with communities of color.
She serves on multiple community boards and commissions, including serving as gubernatorial appointee to the state’s Judicial Performance Commission and as a mayoral appointee to Denver’s Cultural Affairs Commission. Leslie also serves on the board of directors of Urban Peak, Colorado’s leading homeless youth service agency.
Rep. Herod is a cofounder of New Era Colorado, the state’s leading organization focused on the political engagement of young Coloradans, and was president of Colorado Black Women for Political Action.
She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she was elected president of the Student Union’s Legislative Council.