The Colorado Progressive Voice begin in the spring of 2007 at the University of Denver as the brain child of Jeffrey Graves, then President of the DU Dems. He recruited John McMahon, then Editor of the [dis]claimer, DU’s alternative paper/so-called hippie rag. Thus began the synergy of two great minds ready to take the youth progressive media scene by storm.
Starting as the Colorado Progressive Pulse out of KVDU, DU’s student radio station, Jeff and John quickly established the show on two main ideas: the exploration of differences within those broadly defined as ‘progressive’ and bringing the youth voice into the political conversation. With these thoughts in mind, the two built a rapport and started making their mark on the Denver scene, interviewing local activists and major figures, including then-Speaker of the Colorado House, Andrew Romanoff. When John left to study in Russia in the fall of 2007, the show took a short hiatus.
Upon John’s return, the intrepid young journalists relaunched the show as the Progressive Student Voice and struck out on their own, moving out of KVDU and using their own studio to get the show out through podcasting and internet streaming. They expanded their interview reach, talking with presidential candidate Mike Gravel, Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com, and Think Progress’ Matt Yglesias (to name a few). As Jeff moved out for the 2008 campaign season, working for Mark Udall in Colorado, Reggie Perrin filled in as John’s counterpart. Also during the campaign, John became a regular guest on the Mario Solis-Marich show on Denver’s AM760, bringing his thoughts and conversations with other young people to a wider audience.
After the historic election of Barack Obama, Jeff came back and the two relaunched the show in its current form as the Colorado Progressive Voice. With new dreams, new experience, and the new situation of having an administration in office they both voted for, the two set out to situate themselves as both thoughtful critics and analytical defenders of Obama.
Jeffrey Graves is a first-year law student at the University of Colorado in Boulder. A graduate of the University of Denver, where he studied Political Science and Theater, Jeff, a self-described ‘practical progressive,’ evaluates the political scene with inside experience, thoughtful analysis, and a dose of folksy humor.
John McMahon is a grad student working on his MA in International Studies at the University of Denver, where he majored in International Studies and Russian as an undergraduate. A self-avowed ‘postmodernist quasi-socialist,’ John is the ultimate skeptic of Obama and the Dems, and brings a critical eye, sarcasm, and a little bit of anger to the CPV.