March 16th marked the beginning of a 20 day public comment period for Colorado’s Congressional Redistricting process. (March 20th – April 5th)

The redistricting process is expected to:

  1. add a new Congressional District to Colorado based on increased population, and
  2. re-draw the maps defining the current congressional districts.

This process is implemented by a bi-partisan commission of 12 people and includes a public comment period during which Colorado residents can express their hopes and desires about the results. The objective is to fairly create districts that are balanced, politically diverse, and representative of contiguous geographic areas and communities of interest. District lines are not intended to favor one political party or to support incumbent candidates.

We encourage you to submit your comment to the Commission before the April 5th deadline, and offer the following points as reference or inspiration

Basic Info: 

  • Eagle County is home to over 55,000 people. As a resort community it is a second home community to many, many more. 
  • Eagle County is currently split between two Congressional Districts, CD2 and CD3. 
    • CD2 includes Boulder County to the east and runs west as far as portions of Edwards in Eagle County
    • CD3 includes a mix of mountain, resort, rural, agricultural, and urban communities. It includes Eagle County from Edwards west, and continues west to include all of Northwest and Southwest Colorado, including Pueblo.  Geographically it is a very big area.
Colorado Congressional District Information | CDE

Points to consider when writing your public comment

Most of Colorado’s mountain and resort communities share a broad range of characteristics, challenges, and issues related to workforce, employment, economics, housing, education, and natural resources as noted below: 

Demographics:
  • skewing young but diverse, including many young families, seniors and extended families
  • well-educated
  • high % politically independent; issue-oriented voter base
  • high % Spanish speaking
Economic Considerations:
  • highly impacted by external events such as weather and pandemics
  • driven primarily by tourism related to outdoor recreation
  • high percentage of small businesses; low number of large companies
  • virtual base for many who work out of state
  • high cost of both rent and real estate (made worse by COVID as urban workers have moved to mountains)
  • high % of restaurant, bar, and service jobs
  • COVID impact on real estate and job market
  • second home owners who reside here for long periods of time, who rely on services and infrastructure but pay taxes elsewhere, vote elsewhere, and get counted in the census elsewhere
  • need to attract and retain teachers and other essential workers to places with high cost of living
Workforce considerations
  • transient worker base
  • moderate income of local workforce / high cost of resort communities
  • workforce housing challenges
  • instability of benefits (health +) with seasonal employment of resorts
  • teachers and other critical community workers earn relatively low salaries; need to attract and retain 
Geographic Considerations:
  • mountain communities (vs rural, urban) – different issues and priorities
  • benefits of consolidating similar, proximate mountain resort communities into one district
  • use, modernization, and maintenance of key infrastructure (roads, power, water, internet) 
Natural Resources:
  • key element to our tourism reliant economy
  • shared concerns and challenges of mountain and resort communities:
  • water management
  • draught
  • fire danger and mitigation
  • trail use and overuse
  • protection of open space
  • outdoor recreation 
  • open space management 
  • mountain safety and rescue operations
Healthcare Issues:
  • limited options for care and insurance
  • limited access to certain specialties of medicine (especially mental health) 
  • comparatively high cost insurance and care

The following structure is suggested to make your input as useful as possible for the commission:

  1. Hello! My name is XXXXX and I live in XXXXXX community in Eagle County.  I have lived here for XXXX years.  
  2. My community includes XXXX (characteristics that you want to focus on – demographics, languages, boundaries, interests, challenges, economic drivers)
  3. My hope is that the new congressional maps will reflect XXXXXX community / communities of interest in a fair and representative way. 

Public Comment for Congressional Districts should be submitted by April 5th at:
redistricting.colorado.gov

If you have any questions, please contact Eagle County Dems Secretary, Roseann Casey at secretary@eagledems.org