FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2021
Public Comment on Colorado Redistricting
The Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissions Staff are currently taking public comment for consideration in the development of their preliminary plans.
Carlos Perez, chair of the Colorado Independent Legislative Commission and an unaffiliated voter from Colorado Springs, notes the importance of public participation. “Redistricting occurs once every decade. The state has changed over the last ten years and so hearing from the public is an essential part of the process for creating fair maps that reflect those changes. The legislative commission is made up of ordinary voters and we are here to listen. We encourage everyone to let us know how the district lines should be drawn to best represent your community.”
The Colorado Constitution directs the commission staff to prepare preliminary plans for US congressional districts and state house and senate districts, and it requires staff to consider written comments on the creation of those plans, as well as “communities of interest that require representation in one or more specific areas of the state.”
Census delays interrupted the redistricting timeline in the state constitution, but the preliminary plan preparation is now underway. As directed by the redistricting commissions, staff will consider in the preliminary plans comments submitted through the following dates:
Congressional redistricting: June 13, 2021
Legislative redistricting: June 18, 2021
Comments may be submitted online here, and all comments are available for review here.
Staff will present the preliminary plans to their respective commissions June 23 and 28. The commissions will then present the plans at a series of public hearings throughout the state. Both commissions have approved a list of hearing locations and will convene jointly at each location to take testimony both in-person and remotely. While the exact schedule and venues are still being finalized, the public hearings will take place between July 7 and August 30, 2021.
Once Colorado receives census redistricting data, after August 16, 2021, the commissions will begin their consideration of final redistricting plans. Written public comments will remain open and available through the public hearing process and the consideration of final plans. The commissions will also conduct a second round of public hearings, one in each congressional district, after plans have been completed using the final census data.
Jolie Brawner, Vice-Chair of the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission and an unaffiliated voter from Denver, adds: “We are counting on the people of Colorado to be active participants in this process. While the Congressional Commissioners were intentionally selected from all over the state, we will be relying on public comments and testimony at public hearings to create a vivid picture of our Colorado communities. We are here to listen to the voters, hear their input, and learn what makes their corner of Colorado unique. For the first time the redistricting process is being done by citizens from across the state, and not partisan elected representatives. Every one of the congressional commissioners acknowledges the paramount importance of our role, and recognizes what a privilege it is to serve the people of Colorado.”