Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Olive branches

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2011 at 4:00 PM

The colors of compromise: State Democrats new map.
  • The colors of compromise: State Democrats' new map.

The state House Republicans offered up a redistricting map that they call an olive branch.

Today, the Senate Democrats have done likewise. For El Paso County, the Democrats' new map is huge concession. It strikes their original vision for the 5th CD, which moved a large swath of El Paso County — including Fort Carson and Schriever Air Force Base — into the 3rd CD.

Their new map proposes to let the county remain whole.

Today, Democrats announced they will introduce the “Colorado Compromise” map, redrawing Colorado’s congressional district lines. This action comes as legislators take on the constitutionally mandated task of redrawing Colorado’s congressional lines. Redistricting must take place every 10 years following the U.S. Census.

At the beginning of this legislative session, legislators formed an historic bipartisan redistricting committee. As originally conceived, the bipartisan committee was to work together to take input from people across the state and use that input to create a map that all sides could agree on. For the past 30 years, Colorado congressional maps have been settled in court, a costly and contentious outcome that legislators hope to avoid.

Since the committee completed its work on Friday, April 22, the Democrats and Republicans have each introduced their own maps, but neither map had consensus amongst the committee members. The “Colorado Compromise” map Democrats will introduce today has its origins in a bipartisan negotiating effort that incorporates the public testimony the committee received and reflects input gathered since the first introduction of redistricting maps on April 15.

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