Sunday, June 29, 2008

About Ryan

This is an online portfolio. Simply click on the information you'd like to see. Due to the limitations of the Blogger software, the files are posted as JPEGs. PDF files will be available soon through my Linkedin application.

My Résumé

My Bio

My Linkedin Profile

My work on the Colorado Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing

My Foreclosure Hotline YouTube Channel

Publications Portfolio

Government Relations Work

Portfolio of Press Releases and Research, etc.

My Work on The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline

Thursday, June 26, 2008

About Ryan

Click here for my bio.

My Résumé

Click here to view my résumé.

Portfolio of Press Releases and Research, etc.

Click here for some more samples of my written work.

Publications Portfolio

Click here for a portfolio of brochures, flyers, mailers, etc.

The Colorado Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing

Click here for more information on my work with the Colorado Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing

The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline

Click here for more on my work with the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline.

Some clippings

Click here for some of my clippings from my work as a spokesman for the Division.

Government Relations

Click here for more on my work with public policy and regulation.

Mises Institute articles (and other writings)

As of April 2013, I am the editor of The Free Market, the monthly flagship publication of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Here's the issue archive. Click here for an archive of my articles published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

The Mises Institute is an academic and research organization that publishes articles and books on economics and political economy from a free-market perspective. I've presented academic papers there during their annual scholar conferences. Topics of my papers over the years have ranged from 1970's conspiracy films to 19th-century British liberalism to the use of media in public policy.

These days, my focus is on libertarian themes in film and television and the intellectual history of the libertarian movement.

I also write for a related site called LRC, as it's known, is a top-ranking libertarian web site. It is edited by LewRockwell, the founder of the Mises Institute. Here is my article archive. These writings are far more polemical, and I now disavow some of the older ones, having changed some of my views over the years. Prior to 2003, for example, I was a restrictionist on immigration, although I now favor open borders.

Ryan's archives at

These are articles I've written over the years for the blog which is a libertarian Web site edited by the president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Some are still good reads, some have aged very poorly, and some I now repudiate altogether.

I also blog fairly regularly on the blog. We are mostly college professors, journalists, attorneys, and others who write primarily on policies and public affairs issues as related to Classical Liberalism.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline

I am a founding member of the Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Task Force and the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline. I am a member of the Task Force's executive committee which oversees the Hotline's activities and funding.

In late 2005, I began working with the Community Relations office at JPMorgan Chase to put together a local response to high foreclosure rates in Colorado. The Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Task Force was quickly formed, and the task force set to work exploring solutions to the foreclosure situation, which at the time was still in its early stages.

As the primary staff person serving the Task Force, I put together a statewide group of public trustees, local officials, Realtors, lobbyists, mortgage brokers, state officials, mortgage insurance companies, housing counseling agencies, and other interested groups. The Task Force brought with it decades of expertise in numerous aspects of foreclosures, real estate, banking, and housing counseling.

The Task Force settled on the idea of a hotline connecting all the housing counseling agencies in the state. As the hotline began to take shape, I took the lead in gaining national and local recognition of the hotline in preparation for the future funding and marketing needs of the hotline.

In the early days of the Hotline, I had difficulty gaining recognition for the Hotline. A national hotline with 20 million dollars of funding had been getting most of the attention up until that time. The Colorado Hotline's model of local services is quite superior to the national hotline's model, however, and by securing the help of some key mortgage industry people and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, I started to break through the the national lenders on whom we are dependent for funding.

Today, few doubt that the Hotline is one of the best in the nation. The very large amount of local coverage I was able to gain for the Hotline turned into national coverage and led to 2 stories on Fox News (one of which featured me personally), 2 stories at CNN Money, a column in the Wall Street Journal, and a story in TIME Magazine. I was also recently featured on National Public Radio's Marketplace.

I have established the Division of Housing as the source for foreclosure statistics and foreclosure commentary in Colorado, and rarely is there a story on foreclosures in Colorado that does not mention the Division of Housing in some capacity.

I have organized over 25 events in the last 2 years for the Hotline. Some have been events with elected officials such as "town hall meetings," some have been panels at conferences, and some have been public forums of various kinds.

I have developed a wide variety of marketing campaigns including public service announcements for television and radio, paid advertising, free media through print and electronic media, and public events designed to drive people to the Hotline.

After only 18 months, the Hotline has received over 45,000 calls, and continues to grow in its exposure and prominence as a premier hotline.

On August 25th, the Hotline officially became a nationally-recognized and award-winning Hotline when the National Association of REALTORS recognized the Hotline with an award and cash donation at a Democratic National Convention luncheon in Denver.

Professional Academic Work

Over the years I've attempted to stay somewhat connected to the academic world because it is interesting, and because I want to stay informed as a college instructor.

My primary research interests have long been American politics (especially Congressional politics), state and local government, political philosophy, Mexican politics, and U.S. - Mexico relations.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Click here to go to Ryan's Linkedin page.

The Colorado Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing

The Colorado Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing met from October of 2004 to November of 2005. When it was created, the panel was the first statewide panel in 17 years to examine housing policy in Colorado.

In order to make the panel truly reflective of the many interests involved in housing in Colorado, it was my job to assemble members from the for-profit, government, and non-profit sectors in order for them to come together and produce recommendations on a statewide housing agenda.

Members were generally chief executives from the local for-profit sector such as owners of single-family housing construction firms and directors of economic development groups; or they were board members from professional associations like the Realtors Association; or they were government representatives like county commissioners, mayors, city managers, and members of the General Assembly.

I put together the monthly agendas, arranged the meetings, and ensured the members were satisfied with the progress being made. I screened presenters and arranged for informational presentations and developed the final recommendations. By the end of the process, the panel members can formed a cooperative group whose final recommendations effectively set the tone for housing policy for quite some time.

I wrote the final 60-page report which can be found here:

To provide an opportunity for more localized views to inform the Panel, I organized six local advisory committees known as roundtables. These groups represented six different regions of the state including mountain rural resort areas, the eastern plains, and southern Colorado.

In some cases I organized statewide videoconferencing to allow all groups to see each other, and I traveled throughout the state to meet with local representatives from each group. Most members of these groups were local elected officials or affordable housing officials from non-profit groups.

The Panel's report and conclusions eventually set the agenda for a statewide public policy agenda regarding housing and local government.

Clippings, Part I

Naturally, I always prefer to direct reporters to the Division Director when appropriate, but I'm often put in the role of spokesman.

It's often interesting to see how news gets reported. On July 18th, 2008, I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal regarding work I'm doing on foreclosures here in Colorado.

The article pits me against Realtytrac, a foreclosure tracking business out of California. In fact, Realtytrac and I worked out our differences months ago. So the article, while technically correct, is extremely dated. It's odd that they're publishing this story now, but it's nice to be quoted in the WSJ:

We have a pretty good relationship with the home builders:

Why does this web site exist? exists solely to provide an online location for information about my public affairs work in order to assist me when job opportunities present themselves. As time goes on, this page will become a more and more complete online portfolio.

I have chosen this blog format because the software allows me to make updates and add information with minimal effort. The service also provides hosting services free of charge, so I don't need to pay any monthly fees to keep this site online.

This format has certain limitations however, and I am unable to post PDF files or other document formats. Posted documents will be in JPEG format until a better, but equally cost-effective, solution is found.

Government Relations

I've worked with legislation and policymaking from both outside and from within the government.

For four years with the student association, I worked primarily as a registered lobbyist, writing bills and amendments, lobbying the caucuses and the Joint Budget Committee on budget issues, and generally promoting positive relationships between the association and elected officials from the state government.

In recent years I've managed the Division of Housing's local government relations and provided analysis of local elections, ordinances, and agendas.

At the Congressional level, I've spent quite a bit of time doing joint events with members of Colorado's Congressional delegation and lobbying members and their staff on housing issues.

At the state level, I've planned numerous community events with members of the General Assembly while analyzing elections, legislation, and state budgets.

There is no elected official I won't work with. It is a priority of mine to find common ground and work with any elected official regardless of party, ideology, or agenda.

Here is a list of some of the legislation and public policies I've monitored, analyzed, or lobbied over the years:

State Level:
Higher Education: Common course numbering system
Higher Education: The creation of the College Opportunity Fund
Higher Education: Student privacy and ID numbers
Higher Education: A four-year fixed tuition plan
Higher Education: Expulsion for student rioting
Local governments and energy efficiency
Manufactured housing regulation
Tenant-landlord relations
State Housing Trust Fund
The Creation of the Foreclosure Prevention Fund

Higher Education funding, grants and loans
GSE Regulation (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issues)
National Housing Trust Fund
The HOPE for Homeowners Act of 2008 (foreclosure prevention)

Local Issues:
Inclusionary Zoning ordinances
Rent Control
Energy Efficiency
Building Codes
Land Use
Affordable Housing

About Ryan

Ryan McMaken is a public affairs professional with ten years of experience in lobbying, media relations, event planning, public relations, and economic analysis. Ryan is presently the spokesman and economist at the Colorado Division of Housing.

In 2000, Ryan became the lobbyist for the Colorado Student Association where he wrote amendments, authored legislation, and provided research and testimony for a variety of higher education bills. During the 2003 legislative session, Ryan authored House Bill 1175 which prohibited colleges from using a student's social security number as a student identification number. The bill was signed into law later that year.

As Community Relations Director for the Colorado Division of Housing, Ryan organized the Colorado Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing, bringing together representatives from the banking, housing, real estate, construction, and local government sectors to address housing issues in the state. For the first time since 1988, private sector groups like the Colorado Realtors Association and the Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association met with local government and affordable housing groups to consider housing policy on a statewide level.

Since 2006, Ryan has directed the marketing and public affairs agenda for the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline, the first statewide foreclosure hotline in the nation, and the most successful. Since its inception, Ryan has facilitated coverage of the hotline in USA Today, The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, and countless local television, radio, and print outlets. Ryan has also fostered partnerships between the hotline, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and numerous national lenders such as Wells Fargo and US Bank.

As spokesman for the Division, Ryan has been featured on 9News, KOA Radio 850, La Buena Onda 1150 AM, and local radio in Greeley, Aspen, and Grand Junction.

Ryan has organized numerous call-in "Mortgage Line 9" events with 9News in Denver and with KOAA TV in Colorado springs.

Ryan places numerous articles quarterly with the business media throughout Colorado to publicize quarterly and annual reports on the housing industry in Colorado. Since Ryan joined the staff, Division of Housing staff members are now regularly featured as housing experts in The Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post, The Denver Business Journal, The Northern Colorado Business Report, The Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Greeley Tribune, The Colorado Springs Gazette, The Pueblo Chieftain, and The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Positive press coverage of the Division is up about 1200 percent since 2004.

Ryan directs government relations for the Division, monitoring legislation that affects the Division, and offering amendments to pending legislation when necessary. Most recently, Ryan represented the Division in legislative conflicts over energy efficiency standards, tenant-landlord relations, and regulation of the mortgage industry regarding foreclosures.

Ryan has headed event planning as the Division has recently co-hosted over a dozen town hall meetings and public forums with Colorado state legislators and members of Colorado's Congressional delegation.

Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado at Denver. Ryan has also studied public affairs extensively while at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and at the University of Colorado’s Graduate School of Public Affairs.

Ryan is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Social Sciences Department at Arapahoe Community College where he teaches Introduction to Political Science and American Politics.

My résumé (full post)

Please click on each page for the full view:

The Colorado Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing

Click here for more information on Ryan's work on the Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing.

Portfolio, Pt II

Here are some examples of items like fundraising letters, press releases, op-eds, and reports.

Written work on legislative issues is available upon request, but I'm reluctant to post such communications online.

Here is an op-ed I wrote for the Realtytrac newsletter which is read primarily by real estate investors:

Here is a press release I wrote for our quarterly report on multifamily housing:
Here's is a release for our quarterly foreclosure report that I write (see below for the report itself):

Here's another release for a different vacancy and rent report:
This is a fundraising letter to mortgage companies I wrote for the co-chairs of the Foreclosure Prevention Task Force. The Task Force has raised about $500,000 from the private sector:

This is a portion of one of the quarterly foreclosure reports that I write:

Portfolio, Pt I

I'm not a graphic artist, but I can put together publications when absolutely necessary, as with the publications below. I've written the copy for all of the documents below.

Click on each item for the full view.

This is a brochure:

This is a full page informational ad for a trade publication for people within the factory-built housing industry:

This is a "palm card" that is designed to be handed out or mailed. It is the size of a standard No. 10 business envelope. Many local governments and other organizations send this out to people in foreclosure:
This is a flyer for a highly successful event I organized for 2007's affordable housing week. We had an overflow crowd, and a great panel as you can see:
This is a flyer for one of our foreclosure town hall meetings. During 2008, I've organized about 12 of these in partnerships with various state, federal, and local officials: