New redistricting commissions must reflect Colorado's diversity
Voces Unidas joined 30 organizations across the state calling on Colorado's Legislative Redistricting Commission Review Panel to uphold the will of voters and ensure the selection of the final six commission members reflects the diversity of the state. As it
stands, the first six commissioners selected for the Independent Legislative Redistricting
Commission include no members of the Latino, African American, Asian, or Native American communities; no individual who lives south of Highway 50; and only one woman.
Below is a copy of our letter.
Judge Ashby, Judge Graham, and Judge Miller:
Coloradans in 2018 set a bold, new direction for how the state draws boundaries for its legislative districts. Indeed, more than 70% of voters supported Amendment Z which created the independent commission to oversee an “inclusive and meaningful legislative redistricting process.”
As you are aware, the Colorado Constitution requires that all Independent Legislative Redistricting Commissioners uphold public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process. To ensure the integrity and public confidence in this work, the Commission itself must reflect the diversity of Colorado. While the voter-approved constitutional amendment includes multiple requirements for Coloradans’ eligibility to serve on the commission, it charges you, the members of the Legislative Redistricting Commission Review Panel, with ensuring the body is reflective of our diverse state:
“In selecting applicants, the panel shall, in addition to considering applicants’ other qualifications:
To the extent possible ensure that the commission reflects Colorado’s racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity.” (Colo. Const. art. V, §44.1 §10 (a) )
As you review and appoint the final six members of the Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission, we urge you to select commissioners that reflect Colorado’s diversity. As of this writing, the group of selected commissioners includes just one woman; no Latinos/as, African Americans, Asians, or Native Americans; and no one who lives south of U.S. Highway 50.
This is once-in-a-decade work, and a once-in-a-lifetime moment of public service. The significance of who you select to serve on this Commission will set the tone not only for the maps that are drawn this year, but for the representation and civic engagement of Coloradans who will shape the next decade. Broadening the diversity of the Commission is critical given the commissioners’ charge to “set district lines by ensuring constitutionally guaranteed voting rights, including the protection of minority group voting” and to review and consider “communities of interest” throughout the state.
In making your final appointments, we urge you to approach this important decision, entrusted to you by the people of Colorado, with the utmost consideration. We respectfully request you select commissioners who represent the racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity of our great state.
All On The Line Colorado
American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado
Centennial State Prosperity
COLOR Action Fund
Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable
Colorado Black Women for Political Action
Colorado Common Cause
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative
Colorado Council of Churches
Colorado Cross Disability Coalition
Colorado Education Association
Colorado Hispanic Bar Association
Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization (CLLARO) Colorado Women’s Bar Association
Communications Workers of America District 7
Community Resource Center
Indivisible Colorado Action Network
Let My People Vote
New Era Colorado
Padres & Jovenes Unidos Action Fund
Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado
Progress Now Colorado
Voces Unidas de las Montañas
Working Families Party