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Club 20 has long advocated that communities of interest should remain intact as boundaries are drawn during redistricting efforts. Many congressional district boundary proposals introduced to the public today by the Joint Select Committee on Redistricting do anything but keep communities of interest intact.
Proposed boundary changes were introduced today using maps developed separately by Democratic and Republican committee members. Maps proposed by Republican committee members substantially maintain traditional communities of interest such as the Western Slope and the Eastern Plains. Democratic committee proposals, however, eviscerate these communities of interest.
“We need a common sense approach in the definition of congressional districts. Communities of interest should be preserved and not be victims of partisan politics,” said Club 20 executive director Bonnie Petersen.
“Traditional communities of interest in Colorado, like the Western Slope and the Eastern Plains, are better served by congressional delegates that fully understand the issues in these areas and can give them the attention they deserve. Destroying these communities of interest could deal a devastating blow to the ethnic, cultural and economic characteristics of our most treasured areas as well as to the state’s economy.”
When the Joint Select Committee on Redistricting met in Grand Junction on March 19, the members indicated that this year the redistricting process was going to follow legislative procedure. They outlined a plan to complete the boundary modifications through the legislative process, keeping the issue out of the courts. The vastly different approaches to the district boundary changes could be a blow to that effort.
“This appears to be an attack on rural Colorado,” said Petersen. “Under the proposals outlined today by Senator Rollie Heath on behalf of the Democratic committee members, it is entirely possible that all of Colorado’s congressional representatives could be elected from along the I-25 corridor. That is not acceptable for rural Colorado or for Colorado as a state.”
To view the proposed boundary maps, visit www.colorado .gov/redistricting, then select “Proposed Congressional Maps.”