Monday, March 7, 2011
Keeping congressional lines wrapped around communities of interest is at the top of the list for Brown.
“It’s important to folks to keep their communities together, especially when they have a lot in common,” said Brown. “My constituents are concerned about things such as water issues, agriculture, and tourism that are particular to their lives.”
Already opposing the bill is Democratic House Minority Leader Sal Pace, of Pueblo, who says the bill flies in the face of the work that has already begun on redistricting.
“This legislation undermines the work of the bipartisan redistricting committee, and it undermines the people of Colorado taking the time and trouble to testify before the committee,” said Pace in a prepared statement.
Redistricting is historically a contentious process because the lines that are drawn every 10 years, based on Census data, can swing a district toward one political party or another. The bipartisan redistricting committee formed by leadership of both parties has been seeking input from voters through town-hall style meetings. Pace says HB 1276 is a step backward.
“Republicans are opting to make up the minds of our smaller communities even before Grand Junction, Alamosa and Pueblo have had an opportunity to have their voices heard,” said Pace. “This plan will manipulate the congressional redistricting process so that we’re stuck with narrowly drawn, gerrymandered districts for the next 10 years.
Still, Brown says that ignoring traditional communities of interest would mute the voices of those communities.
“It’s much harder for a person to represent their constituents when their interests are too varied,” said Brown. “It would effectively dilute their voice.”
Via – Colorado News Agency
Posted by Politics Colorado at 11:03 AM