We have a map!!!

They did it! They actually did it!

The Congressional Redistricting Commission managed to pass a map! And with 5 min to spare! The only way I know to link to a version where you can see the county lines was to post it to facebook and then link to it, so here you go:


If you go to that posting, you will see a couple of zoom ins on the tighter areas.

Congressional mapping in its last lap

Tomorrow evening (Tuesday), the Congressional Redistricting Commission will vote on a map out of about 30 variations on the same theme. They will be using ranked voting which might get them to a winner. A list of the maps which were presented to the Commission in time to be considered are here: List of Maps. The list is not linked to the maps (unfortunately) so you have to hunt for them a bit in the map gallery. I am not super fond of any them, but none of the are absolutely terrible either. As I said, they are mostly variations on the same theme.

Now that we have been through the process I have to say I am not very happy with the way it played out. I think the Commission shot themselves in the foot by carving out some lines in the sand they decided early on they would not cross. One of the big ones was to put CD8 in the northern suburbs of Denver. In some maps it reaches to and includes Greeley and others it stops just short. By doing this they force the population base for CD4 to be either Ft. Collins or Douglas County, neither of which fits CD4 as well as Greeley and the rest of Weld Co. do. They also decided early on that Pueblo had to be in CD3, cutting off yet another possible population source for CD4.

To me the logical place for CD8 was in Douglas County. Last time around, they split DougCo 3-ways and they were not happy about it. This time they might be split, they might not, depending on which map prevails, but either way they have to be at least part of the population base for CD4 because of the decision to put CD8 in largely Weld County, and many DougCo people testified to the Commission that is not where they belong.

There was a lot of talk of building a district with a larger Latinx voice, but that too was largely shoved aside in favor of other interests. One of my proposed maps had a district as high as 40% Latinx, higher than anything proposed by others. But it divided West Denver off to be included with the northern CD8 and they decided Denver was sacrosanct (despite the fact that at least part had to be cut off to balance population.)

I also do not like the way they treated map submissions from the public. They all went to a Map Analytic Committee for review. On the surface this committee was only supposed to check for if the maps complied with the Constitutional requirements, but it ended up being a gate-keeper committee. The Commission only discussed maps the Committee formally presented and they only presented one. There were many maps in there that met the Constitutional requirements that should have been put forth en mass to the Commission. Then the individual Commissioners could look them over and decide if they wanted to bring up any for discussion or formal presentation (making it qualified to be voted on).

In the unlikely event that I am still alive in 10 years, I really hope I get selected for this Commission (I didn’t qualify this time because I changed affiliation with the 5-year period).

Congressional Redistricting: how it ends

Caveat: I have only followed the Congressional Commission, so I have no idea how the Legislative Commission is doing.

I suspect the 3rd staff drawn map that will be revealed on Thursday (Sept. 23rd) will be THE map, and this is why:

If the Commission is unable to pass a map with 8 out of 12 votes, the 3rd Staff Map is then submitted to the Colo. Supreme Court for approval. There seems to be some fundamental divides in the Commission that I don’t know they will be able to get past to get to 8 votes. One biggie is what to do with CD3. They are pretty equally divided over having it be roughly the southern portion of the state from Utah to Kansas, or having it be the traditional configuration of the western most portion from Wyoming to New Mexico.

If they can get consensus on that issue, their other disagreements, largely about how to configure the new CD8, can probably be worked out. They do seem to have consensus that CD8 will be in Denver’s northern suburbs, just minor quibbles about which cities/towns to include and which not to.

The last big problem to solve is CD4 – they don’t want a population center because that would mean coming into the front range, but population-wise, that has to happen. None of the front-range communities feel like they are a good match for a rural/farming district like CD4 any longer. So in the end, someone is not going to be happy, because putting all of the Eastern Plains counties together, they are still only about 60% of a district, so 40% would still have to come from the front range. If the “southern CD3” map were adopted, then even more because fewer eastern counites would be in CD4.

CD’s 1 (Denver), 5 (Colo Springs), 6 (Aurora), and 7 (Jeffco plus) mostly draw themselves with only minor discussion over the suburbs that fill the gaps between them and how far west 7 will go. CD2’s borders are closely tied to CD8’s, solve one and the other is done also, the how far west CD2 goes is closely tied to the fate of CD3.

The next two weeks will be the ones to watch. The 3rd Staff Plan comes out on Thursday, and the Commission has to approve a map (or not) by the following Tuesday (Sept. 28th) for submission to the Supreme Court no later than Oct 1st.

Dick Lamm dead at 85

The former Governor has  died. Breaking news. More will follow I’m sure.