Common Sense Institute's mission is to examine the fiscal impacts of policies, initiatives, and proposed laws so that Coloradans are educated and informed on issues impacting their lives. CSI employs rigorous research techniques and dynamic modeling to evaluate the potential impact of these measures on the Colorado economy and individual opportunity.
Common Sense Institute was founded in 2010 originally as Common Sense Policy Roundtable. CSI's founders were a concerned group of business and community leaders who observed that divisive partisanship was overwhelming policymaking and believed that sound economic analysis could help Coloradans make fact-based and common sense decisions.
"When we started this journey together, Peter and I were not quite sure what the outcomes would be. We knew that we wanted to create something that was unique, different from the dozens of policy papers on housing, and impactful, that provides meaningful steps to move forward and find solutions. The Terry J. Stevinson fellowship allowed us to be free to explore ideas and pursue methodologies however we deemed appropriate. Terry J. Stevinson, Kristin, and the CSI team, allowed us to take the lead without any preconceived ideas of where we would, or should, end up. And they let us develop our voice and supported us along the way. For all of that, we are truly appreciative. In this hyper divided political climate, the opportunity you gave us allowed us to think collaboratively in ways we forgot we needed. But it's apparent to us that more honest and open dialogue is what we all require for us to get beyond our problems and come to solutions for the good of our state and country. This fellowship is perfect for that. As a result of this partnership, we made some tangible and executable recommendations that we emphatically believe could change the current trajectory in the state. These ideas are the product of the collaboration and research we did and we don't think would not have occurred without this opportunity." - Peter LiFari and Evelyn Lim, 2021 Terry J. Stevinson Fellows
"CSI is on the forefront of the most important issues facing Colorado. Their research is irrefutable and their analysis provides the foundation for smart public policy. In other words, they lead and they have an incredible impact. The value CSI brings to policy discussions is invaluable." - Jennifer Gremmert, Executive Director, Energy Outreach Colorado
"Common Sense Institute is at the forefront of essential policy discussions affecting Colorado. CSI provides policymakers and voters with unbiased facts and data that allows for informed discussions and decision making regarding Colorado's economic health. As a provider of housing for all, we are proud to support CSI's important work and pleased to be a member of the Leaders Circle. " - Renee Zentz, CEO, Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs
"Denver South is both an organization and a region that believes non-partisan, pro-business public policies are the foundation that underpins a vibrant economy. Today, more than ever, those policies must be driven by data and facts, not conjecture and opinion. Common Sense Institute's use of data-driven tools like the Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) model offers policymakers unbiased-and otherwise unavailable-insights into the full cost and economic impact of proposed legislation." - Tom Brook, CEO, Denver South Economic Development Partnership
"For anyone who follows public policy in Colorado, the research produced by Common Sense Institute is a must-read. When looking at a proposed bill or ballot measure, CSI does an amazing job of explaining and quantifying the impacts on the economic sector being targeted. But then the staff and fellows at CSI go further, by showing how those impacts will be felt across other economic sectors and even how state and local tax revenues could be impacted.
Businesses and working families in Colorado are all interconnected. Whether the impacts are positive or negative, what happens to one industry will impact many other industries, the overall business climate and the broader state economy. Without CSI, this critical context would be largely missing from public policy discussions in Colorado." - Lynn Granger, Executive Director, Colorado Petroleum Council
"As the mayor of one of the fastest growing cities on the front range, the need for quality research is mission critical to our decision making process. Common Sense Institute is consistently my go to source for reliable, in depth data that drills down to the local level. There non-partisan approach to tackling tough issues is a breath of fresh air in today's political climate." - Benjamin Huseman, Mayor, Commerce City
"Common Sense Institute provides a great service to Coloradans by shining a light, through data and analysis, on important issues to our economy and our overall well-being as a state. Its utilization of the well-respected REMI economic modeling tool puts CSI's research ahead of the pack. The analysis conducted during the Proposition 112 campaign, as well as during legislative conversations surrounding Senate Bill 181, was critical. Any time respected and thoughtful research can contribute to the conversation, it reduces politics and pushes outcomes toward more thoughtful policy-making decisions." - Dan Haley, President & CEO, Colorado Oil and Gas Association
"Without the factual analysis provided by Common Sense Institute, Coloradans would be faced with supporting an insolvent state-run program. Thanks in part to CSI's research, elected officials and policymakers paused the debate on SB 19-188 and stopped the passage of a family medical leave program that would have stifled business and placed an enormous burden on our state budget. The study issued by CSI changed the conversation and proved to be a catalyst for a more thoughtful examination of the fiscal issues posed by this legislation. CSI fills a void with much-needed facts and data that is not found in partisan politics. In other words, when CSI weighs in with research, people listen." - Loren Furman, Senior Vice President State and Federal Relations, Colorado Chamber of Commerce
"CSI is a Colorado advantage, acting as our guiding voice when it comes to policy proposals. The nonpartisan research helps us to look before we leap, as it relates to ballot items and legislative bills. For elected officials who believe in doing productive work for all Coloradans, reaching across the aisle and leaving behind a legacy of law that will benefit our children - CSI's nonpartisan data highlights exactly where you can get something done. And, probably most important of all, CSI shows us in that "I-love-you-all-the-same" kind of way, exactly where Coloradans from Denver to Yuma might benefit. For those elected officials with noble fiber, the research highlights the path to real bipartisan productivity through policy. It shows us how to move Colorado forward, for the whole family." - Katie Kruger, CEO, Denver Metro Commercial Association of Realtors
"The Independent Bankers of Colorado (IBC) are proud to join CSI and support their mission to bring data and unbiased analysis to the policy debates facing our state. We pride ourselves on being good community partners as well as good community banks and engaging in the public policy debates that impact our customers is one of the most important things we can do as an organization."
- Mike Van Norstrand, Executive Director, Independent Bankers of Colorado
"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
"Common Sense Institute is helping lead the way when it comes to analyzing public policy in Colorado. CSI provides in-depth information about real policies that are being debated. Their high-quality studies provide instant credibility, which is why so many people pay attention to them. Last year, they put out studies on both Proposition 116 and 117, which provided useful facts and data about these important ballot issues. We are fortunate to have a group like CSI in our state."- Michael Fields, Executive Director, Colorado Rising Action