Pat Steadman was selected in May 2009 to fill a vacancy in the Colorado State Senate that occurred when former Sen. Jennifer Veiga announced her resignation from office due to her planned relocation to Australia. At age 49, Pat has been a long-time resident of Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. He grew up in Westminster, Colorado, and graduated from Westminster High School, Regis College and the University of Colorado School of Law. In 2010 Pat was elected to finish out Sen. Veiga’s term, and in 2012 he was reelected to a full four-year term. He currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Joint Budget Committee.
Pat got started in politics during law school by working to fight ballot issues that targeted the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. After finishing law school, Pat worked to oppose Amendment 2 on the 1992 general election ballot. When the anti-gay amendment was approved by voters, Pat co-founded the non-profit organization that lead the successful lawsuit challenging its constitutionality all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The landmark case of Romer v. Evans declared Amendment 2 unconstitutional and established the first significant court precedent protecting the equal rights of LGBT Americans.
After law school, Pat worked for AFSCME Council 76, a labor union representing public employees. But his career soon turned to politics as ballot issue campaigns and lobbying work became his passion. Pat joined a lobbying firm in 1994, and in 2001 he became a partner in that firm with Fofi Mendez. Together they built a well-respected business that was known for taking on progressive causes, working with the Joint Budget Committee and waging successful ballot initiative campaigns.
As a lobbyist, Pat worked extensively to support public education, advance civil rights and civil liberties, protect a woman’s right to choose, expand worker’s rights, and defeat censorship and other far-right assaults on cherished freedoms. Over the course of 15 years of lobbying his accomplishments were many and included several significant pieces of legislation protecting the LGBT community that were sponsored by his predecessor, Sen. Veiga.
Pat has always been actively engaged in his community. He was appointed by Mayor Webb to the Denver Women’s Commission and by Mayor Hickenlooper to the Denver GLBT Commission, and was the first person to chair the Advisory Board for Denver’s Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations. He has spoken at countless forums and debates, appeared on television and radio programs and campaigned for and against various ballot issues across the state. As a senator, Pat continues to fight for progressive causes and give voice to those communities and issues that for too long have been marginalized and under-represented in the state legislature. In 2013 he was honored at the White House with the Harvey Milk Champion of Change Award for more than two decades of advocacy for equal rights.