Attachments and public comments submitted by email can be viewed here.
Filter or Sort Public Comments
Submittted: March 18, 2021
Pueblo West is not part of the Western Slope. Our community is growing rapidly, with the need for updating our schools that are need of repair. Our schools are excellent, even though we are the lowest funded district (70) in Colorado. Pueblo West has several needs, such as paved roads. We are becoming a younger community with the continued growth. Our young people desperately need a recreation center with advantages for learning, such as swiming, basketball, etc.
Submittted: March 17, 2021
My name is Roseann and I live in the Town of Eagle, in Eagle County. I am a 3rd generation Denver native, and have lived on and off in Eagle County for 33 years. As you know, Eagle County is currently split between two Congressional Districts, CD2 and CD3. Vail, Avon, Beaver Creek and part of Edwards. Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum, and beyond are CD3. Unfortunately, this political division splits in half what is commonly considered the "Vail Valley". Most residents' livelihood across the Vail Valley is inextricably tied together. Most people's work and social life are tied to Vail, Avon, and/or Beaver Creek. There is a collective Eagle County school district. We share shopping, restaurants, and other basic resources and services. We are served collectively by one primary local newspaper (The Vail Daily). The political disconnect between CD2 and CD3 is confusing to many, and not conducive to efficiency in dealing with representational issues across this common region. CD3 includes a mix of mountain, resort, rural, agricultural, and urban communities, many of which do not share common characteristics, challenges, or interests. Eagle County is home to over 55,000 people, but as a resort community, it is a second home to many many more. Most of Colorado’s mountain and resort communities share this reality, as well as a broad range of characteristics, challenges, and issues related to workforce, employment, economics, housing, education, and natural resources as noted below: Demographics: Mountain and resort communities rely significantly on tourism to drive our economy and to employ a somewhat transient workforce that skews toward younger adults and growing families, but includes many seniors and multi-generational long-term local families. Colorado’s mountain resort communities have a high percentage of independent voters who focus on issues over party affiliation. Economic Vulnerabilities: External factors such as extreme weather (snowfall, draught, fires, pandemic, etc.) have an outsize effect on mountain and resort communities and the ability of local businesses to operate and to employ local staff. The challenges to our towns and businesses are distinct from both the front range and more rural environments; the short-term problem-solving and long-range planning needed to deal with these economic realities are similar across many mountain and resort communities. Most of these communities collaborate across both public and private levels already. This collaboration can and should be strengthened. Natural Resources: Mountain and resort communities are 1) more reliant on and 2) more likely to be actively involved in the sustainable management of Colorado’s treasured natural resources, including energy, water, natural parks, open space, hiking trails, etc. Communities on the Western Slope are particularly tethered together in the need to effectively manage water resources and to mitigate and address increasing fire danger. Basic living expenses: Eagle County, like many resort communities, is an expensive place to live. Real estate values are among the highest in the state and the region, and local communities attract second home owners of significant economic means. While tourism and real estate development drive the economy, the bulk of our population rely on more modest incomes. A balance of services and opportunities across economic demographics is needed to sustain healthy community life. Many locals struggle to find affordable housing (whether renting or buying), and to thrive in an economy that caters to wealthy visitors and second-home owners. Most mountain resort communities must effectively balance the similar needs of moderate-income local communities with tourism and quality of life aspects that drive the local economy. Infrastructure and Public Utilities: With significant levels of second-home ownership, many mountain resort communities must capably fund and manage local infrastructure that is used by a far larger population than those who live there and pay taxes. This comes as no surprise, but is somewhat unique to resort communities and defines them as communities of shared challenges and interests relative to infrastructure, utilities, and basic public services. Healthcare: Eagle County boasts some of the highest costs for health insurance and healthcare in the country. We are also fortunate to have access to top-rate medical facilities and extraordinary orthopedic care serving both local and destination travelers. Unfortunately, due to the cost of living and other unique economic realities described above, we have struggled to attract a balance of the health care professionals needed to serve the basic community needs, especially in mental health care. This reality, shared by many mountain and resort communities, can and should be addressed collectively in order to find durable and sustainable solutions. Essential Workforce: As noted above, Eagle County and most mountain resort communities need a broad range of essential workers to run resort operations as well as the basic staples of community life - grocery stores, restaurants and bars, bakeries and coffee shops, retail stores, barbers and hair salons, police and fire services, city and town staff, etc. Most of Colorado’s resort communities share similar realities in sustaining diverse local workforces in environments with a high cost of living and the unique economic vulnerabilities. Education: Eagle County, like most mountain resort communities, is populated by many young families with children. We need quality schools and great teachers. The transient nature of resort communities, compounded by the relatively low salaries of teachers and school administrators and the high cost of living pose unique challenges and opportunities. My hope in sending this public comment is that the redistricting process will result in a map that represents Eagle County as a whole, and better connects and represents Colorado’s mountain resort communities collectively, acknowledging that they share many of the same characteristics, challenges and opportunities. I believe this revision would benefit Colorado as a whole. Thanks for the work you are doing on behalf of the State of Colorado.
Submittted: March 16, 2021
I would like to advocate for keeping all mountainous areas within the same counties rather than splitting us up as we are now. I am rural Jeffco, but most of Jeffco is Lakewood and the surrounding suburbs. As the front range gets divied up among the suburbs around us, the needs of the suburbs become more important than the needs of the front range. We get lost in the shuffle. Who knows, put enough of us in the mountains together and we might even get broadband! But those who have broadband aren't going to fight for us, they have it. We need the kind of united power that says "HEY COLORADO - THE MOUNTAINS MATTER!" And if we continue to split up the mountains so we never have more than 1/3 of any county, we can't get there. Please help us. Thanks.
Submittted: March 16, 2021
My name is: Lizzy Owens My Community is: I have lived in Eagle since December 2018. My two children attend a local elementary school, we are non-Hispanic whites, and speak English as our primary language. I am married to an immigrant who is in the process of hearing back on his citizenship application. My husband and I both work full-time, and I work for our local parks & rec department, a special government district. What do you want to be reflected in the map? My hope is that our community is represented fairly and accurately. We live in a mountain town which relies on ski resorts for its economy. We have much more in common with CO-2 than we do with the further western sections of our district. Our community is 40% Hispanic and that should be reflected in our maps. I don't want to see little squiggly lines to make up our district, and I sincerely hope that our town and our community will be accurately and fairly represented with like communities.
Heidi Ganahl, Kent Thiry, and Joe Zimlich
Submittted: March 15, 2021
Dear Commissioners: As co-chairs of the Amendment Y&Z campaigns, we urge you to work together in the best interests of our state and to honor the deadlines included in those voter-approved measures. While the release of final census data needed to draw boundaries for Colorado's congressional districts has been delayed, it is our belief that the amendments provide the Commission latitude with the process and sufficient data exist for the drafting and public discussion of "preliminary plans" that can be adjusted once final data are available. To that end, we would be happy to make the bipartisan team of attorneys who drafted these measures available to the Commission to answer your questions about the reasoning behind giving the Commission flexibility to change a number dates when unforeseen circumstances arise. To delay the drafting of preliminary plans risks, at worst, undermining confidence in our new redistricting process and, at best, limiting or rushing public engagement in a process that was supposed to strengthen the voices of our fellow citizens. Coloradans have a long history of working together to overcome obstacles for the betterment of our state, and we thank you for your willingness to serve as a member of the new Congressional Redistricting Commission to continue that tradition. Sincerely, Heidi Ganahl, Kent Thiry, and Joe Zimlich
Submittted: March 12, 2021
A reasonable set of criteria were developed for the Block Boundary Suggestion Project, when the US Bureau of the Census first started asking for public feedback on their boundaries = maybe as far back as 1980, but I'm not sure about that. They included natural features, such as streams, as well as community characteristics. Might be worth looking into, if you haven't already. Elizabeth Garner, the State Demographer, might have some info on that.