Mon March 14, 2011

Statewide Redistricting Meetings Wrap Up This Week

A bi-partisan panel charged with drawing up new congressional boundaries wraps up statewide meetings this week. But the challenge of finishing the work by the end of the legislative session may be a tall order.

Congressional maps are changed every ten years based on census data. Colorado’s population didn’t grow enough to create a new district – but Colorado Statesman Publisher Jody Hope Strogoff says four of the seven districts need to be trimmed to even the numbers to about 719,000 each.

“But one of the things that they have to keep in mind is they are supposed to keep communities of interest intact. So that means counties that are alike or different groups that are represented should be kept whole as they say,” Strogoff says.

The process of redistricting has been contentious in the past and was decided in court during the last go around. Both sides hope to avoid that by drawing up a new map before the middle of April to give lawmakers time to finalize the plan before adjourning in May.

Public meetings will be held in Castle Rock tonight, in Boulder Tuesday night and in Grand Junction on Saturday. All meetings start at 6 p.m.