MESA COUNTY, Colo. – The redistricting of Colorado is a once in a decade process for congressional seats, but keeping counties together is easier said then done.
The Redistricting Commission staff explain the reasoning behind the new divisions of the proposed state senate map. “To the extent possible, staff kept municipalities that included portions of two counties together or split those municipalities at the counties border,” Julia Jackson, Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission explains, “We considered the public comments the commissions have received and attempted to reserve as many community interests as possible.”
Jackson continues to explain the new state senate map, “Senate District 8 and District16 is where the population gets tricky, so you can see what we did here Senate District 8 takes Delta and Gunnison counties down here and then the rest of Mesa County, the rest of Garfield County and then curves up west Colorado.”
The Redistricting Commission must submit three maps, a congressional, state senate and house. The new proposed congressional map will split District 3 into a southern and western district that has many rural Colorado residents feeling unheard. “We need our group to stay together, we need these counties together,” Cindy Dozier, Former Board Chair of Club 20 said.
Jackson responds to public concerns, “I hear you about Mesa County, we got a lot of testimony this time about trying not to split Delta County which has been split a lot in the past, sometimes it is just where the population lies,” Jackson explains.
Club 20 has proposed a congressional map themselves that aims to please population demands and community interests. “I believe that Club 20, Action 22 and Pro 15 all three of the rural organizations determined that it would be wise to be proactive and to create a map that gave rural Colorado a voice, kept the western slope whole and kept our number one community interest which is water intact,” Dozier said.