Colorado redistricting resolutions head to the ballot

Colorado's current congressional districts. (Colorado Department of Education)

If you think gerrymandering is extinct, make a date with your computer screen Sept. 19, because the experts have something to tell you.

Congressional seats and boundaries shuffle every 10 years, based on the census, to account for shifts in population. 

The ins and outs of how legislative and congressional districts get drawn are changing next year because voters passed amendments Y and Z two years ago.

The rallying cry for those amendments was to make districts more competitive and end the previous process, where the parties controlling the House and Senate exercised, not surprisingly, partisan control of the mapmaking, shaping districts that favor parties and incumbents, a secretive (and technically illegal) process called gerrymandering. 

Colorado College, the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on the Study of (in)Equality (IRISE) at the University of Denver and the League of Women Voters of Colorado is planning a discourse beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. on Sept. 19.

It's free and open to concerned citizens.

A press release Friday said the symposium would amount to a series of conversations with redistricting experts, government employees, activists and other concerned citizens.

There will be a focus throughout the conversations about how redistricting impacts communities of color, organizers said.

Here's the agenda:

  • 9 to 9:25 a.m. - Democracy, representation and the stakes of redistricting
  • 9:30 to 9:55 a.m. - A brief history of redistricting in Colorado
  • 10 to 11 a.m. - Colorado Today: Amendments Y and Z
  • 11:05 to 11:50 a.m. - Colorado in Context: How mathematics changed the national conversation on redistricting, and what it says about Colorado.
  • 1 to 1:55 p.m. - Counting and Connecting: The U.S. Census, maps, and why data matters
  • 2 to 2:55 p.m. - Communities of Interest: What is a COI and who gets to decide
  • 3 to 4 p.m. - Colorado Tomorrow: Refocusing on how the public can participate in the process, and what challenges are expected.

Click here for updates and to find a link to the event on the day of the program.

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