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Staff Snapshots | Nellie Moran

Oct. 21, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

Nellie Moran

Hometown: Hamilton, Mont.

Role: Chief of staff, Colorado Senate Democratic Caucus

Years of legislative service: Four

What she’s currently reading: “I just started reading ‘Girl, Woman, Other,’ by Bernardine Evaristo, with my book club! I’m only a chapter in, but I’m loving the story telling thus far!”


Why did you choose to work at the legislature?

I had previously worked in Congress and felt continually frustrated by the lack of progress we achieved. We worked so hard and yet saw very little fruit from our labor. I decided that I wanted to work at the state level because meaningful policy changes are occurring on an almost daily basis, and as a staff person, there is tremendous opportunity to play a role in those efforts. Many public servants, including myself, enter this work because they want to help make their communities a better place and working in state government allows me to positively impact the policies that affect our state every single day. The Legislature is an incredibly fulfilling place to work!

What skill or talent are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my ability to build relationships with others. I am an extreme extrovert and genuinely love meeting new people and building community with others. Despite differences of opinions, it is really important to me to find areas in which I can relate to others and form a meaningful connection.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Oftentimes, it can be really uncomfortable to express your opinion or show your true colors in front of others. I am grateful that at a young age, I was given the advice that I shouldn’t be afraid of who I am or what I stand for. People are much more interested in the genuine you, even if they disagree with you, than a fake, shallow version of you. Navigating the world with a strong sense of self allows me to remain true to my values, fosters trust and genuine connection with others, and helps me learn and grow from those around me.

Who or what inspires you?

My mom. My mom is brilliant, incredibly thoughtful, and she cares so deeply about her community and the larger world around her. Her sense of adventure and continued commitment to self-reflection and evolution are incredible. I am the person I am today because of her love and support. She inspires me to be myself, think critically about how I show up in the world every day, and to never lose sight of what makes me happy and fulfilled. And she reminds me to take deep breaths and practice self-care J

What’s one thing you love about your state?

I love the incredible access to the outdoors that Colorado has, and am grateful for the foresight people had in preserving our public lands for recreation. I thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, a 500-mile route that spans most of the state, in 2019, and it was an incredible way to experience our beautiful state!

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.

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