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Jason Reeds

Commission: congressional

Zip: 80530

Submittted: April 18, 2021

Comment:

Hello. My name is Jason Reeds and I am a resident of Frederick. Frederick is a town of about 12,000 in southwest Weld county. While small, the town has been growing rapidly in recent decades, creating an increasing need for new infrastructure, businesses, and institutions. People here are hardworking, down to earth, and family-oriented. Though it is part of Weld, Frederick is more closely tied to the northern suburbs of Denver than to some of the bigger cities in Weld like Greeley. I, as do many in Frederick, work in Denver and commute there most days (many people also work in Broomfield and some also work in Boulder and Longmont). Because we live in a small town, a lot of our daily life is connected to other neighboring suburbs. We do a lot of our shopping in Thorton and Northglenn. Our kids also play on sports teams in Broomfield and my wife and I are friends with other families there. This is fairly typical for people in Frederick. I believe it would make sense for out little town to be grouped with other northern suburbs of Denver. Currently we are in district 4, which is a mostly rural district that is not a good fit for us. I think it would be more appropriate for our town to be part of district 2, 6, or 7, which are more suburban like Frederick.

Erick Miller

Commission: congressional

Zip: 81201

Submittted: April 17, 2021

Comment:

My name is Erick Miller, and I live in Salida, CO (Chaffee County). I have lived in this community for over 22 years. I have no formal political party affiliations, and I could best be described as an independent that considers the geographic location and environment where I live to be my greatest interest and concern. Since I was 18, I have voted religiously at every opportunity (ballot measures, referendums and elections). In most instances, I had felt that my vote, my political voice, was being heard. However, my political voice and most other political voices here in Chaffee County, are not being heard. We are a part of the imbalanced Congressional District 5 in the State of Colorado (see attached District 5 Map). In Chaffee County during the most recent 11/20/20 General Election, of the 13,862 ballots cast 7,160 or 52.2% (a majority) were cast for the Biden/Harris ticket. In El Paso County at that same time, of the 383,204 ballots cast 202,828 or 53.5% (another majority) were cast for the Trump/Pence ticket. Still, that was a national general election, so, all the votes had counted. This is NOT how the US congressional representative District 5 process works (this district has a combined population of 833,031). A simple voting majority carries-the-day. District 5 is composed solely of five counties: El Paso (population 720,403 or 86.5%), Fremont (population 47,839 or 5.7%), Teller (population 25,588 or 3.1%), Chaffee (population 20,356 or 2.4%) and Park (population 18,845 or 2.3%). Our votes and political voices, are not being heard in District 5 as it is currently defined and composed. For example, during the same 2020 election Chaffee County had cast 6,487 ballots or 48.4% (a plurality) for Jillian Freeland, a Democrat, which was greater than the ballots cast for Doug Lamborn, a Republican. However, in El Paso County, a total of 210,639 or 56.8% of the votes were cast for Doug Lamborn, while in Fremont County 17,283 or 68.9% of the votes were also cast for Lamborn. The Republican Party has wholly-controlled District 5 since 2006, largely as a consequence of how the district is defined, as it snakes its way down to and up the Arkansas River. What is the Number One industry in Chaffee County? TOURISM!!! The primacy of that activity and its related revenue is best exemplified by the retail and license taxes collected by the state, the municipalities and the businesses located and operating in Chaffee County. The importance of our local geography and environment cannot be overstated. Enhancing and preserving our views, our land, our water, and all of the related wildlife means that we can afford the luxury of living in Chaffee County. Tourism is our economic and spiritual life-blood! So, what are the primary industries of the other heavily-populated District 5 members? That’s easy, the Defense and Corrections Industries, as well as other high-population derived healthcare and retail industries. Admittedly, Chaffee County could be described politically as a somewhat balanced community, leaning just a bit left toward more liberal interests. Importantly, however, here we all share a profound and abiding love for the environment and ALL of the community’s indigenous members - human, animal and plant. Our values and voices in Chaffee County are not being expressed or heard as a member of US Congressional District 5. Please, I would respectfully ask that the redistricting process take the foregoing concerns into consideration – thank you!

Joy Overbeck

Commission: both

Zip: 80134

Submittted: April 17, 2021

Comment:

I am alarmed and disappointed that this Commission has demoted Mr. Moore from his position as chair because of his views on the 2020 election fairness and integrity issues. Nobody who respects our Constitution would vote to punish a man who was just exercising his First Amendment rights! His is not a radical view - in many polls over 50% of Americans agree with Mr. Moore! Even if it was a radical view, that's what the First Amendment is FOR! Is this covert racism because Mr. Moore is an African-American? That's what it definitely looks like if you "CANCEL" him from this Comission. Watch yourselves. If you refuse to let fairness and free speech rule you are not worthy of serving on this important Commission and everyone will question your legitimacy with good reason. Joy Overbeck, Parker

Joy Overbeck

Commission: both

Zip: 80134

Submittted: April 17, 2021

Comment:

I am alarmed and disappointed that this committee has demoted Mr. Moore from his position as committee chair because of his views on the 2020 election fairness and integrity issues. What is going on here that even "Republicans" would vote to punish a man who was just exercising his First Amendment rights? His is not a radical view - in many polls over 50% of Americans agree with Mr. Moore! Even if it was a radical view, that's what the First Amendment is FOR! Is this covert racism because Mr. Moore is an African-American? That's what it definitely looks like if you "CANCEL" him from this Committee. Watch yourselves. If you refuse to let fairness and free speech rule you are not worthy of serving on this Committee and everyone will question your legitimacy with good reason. Joy Overbeck, Parker

Chandra Wilkins

Commission: congressional

Zip: 80917

Submittted: April 15, 2021

Comment:

I really enjoy listening to the thoughtful comments and questions of the commissioners, because I often find myself asking the same questions. I am also thankful that our biggest active voting block, the Unaffiliated voters, are represented by Madam Chair Hare. I believe her to be succinct, thoughtful, and a good leader. I am enjoying the process and am thankful for all of your hard work in setting a precedence for the coming years.

Alvin Rivera

Commission: congressional

Zip: 81005

Submittted: April 15, 2021

Comment:

In hopes of complying with your guidelines, initially, the record must clearly show that CD-3 is in serious need of revisiting in order to bring a fairer district to CD-3. So, these are my proposed “shared communities of interests,” starting with the geography by … : 1) Ethnicity in Colorado; 2) water resources; 3) schools: distribution of educational and institutional resources: 4)a separate category of sharing broadband communication networks; 5) resources distribution of shared economics of the state within this district; 6) transportation resources relative to the district in the context of the State of Colorado, and finally, 7) rural communities. GEOGRAPHY: It is my intention to address each of the numbers1-7 above. However, let’s get the geography clear at the outset. The state of Colorado should be divided almost in half. Meaning, a line should be drawn across the entire state (just below) south of Colorado Springs, CO. This picture is essential to further understand the commonality of the “communities of interest.” Generally, this area is often referred to as the Southern Colorado River Basins (SCRB). These districts include: the Rio Grande , Conejos (San Luis) and Arkansas River Valleys, Pueblo, and the northern areas from Pueblo north to the southern El Paso County line. As I recall, these populations exceed 724,000. Keep in mind this line runs entirely across the state and should meet the requirements of the population distribution in these Congressional Districts. 1) Ethnicity: There is ample evidence that the Hispanic population (now referred to as “Latinx”) has been here in this region of Colorado for generations, dating back to the 1800s. They have shared cultural values, including farming and water usage over that time period. Moreover, educationally, Latinx students in this community of interest enjoy the benefit of being from “Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI)” (24% or greater student populations) including Ft. Lewis College (Durango), Pueblo Community College, the University of Southern Colorado (Pueblo) , Adams State University (Alamosa) and possibly others in this proposed district. Indeed, for more than the last decade, Ft. Lewis College has been recognized as a Native American serving non-tribal college by the U.S. Department of Education. When I worked in Washington, D. C, I provided Congressional testimony in 1979 to both Houses on behalf of the Hispanic Higher Education Coalition (HHEC)) to create the beginnings of HSI. 2) Water Resources: It is fair to say with some authority that the SCRB have shared water resources for generations through the system of acequias, irrigation, dating back as far as the Old Santa Fe Trail. These groups, mostly indigenous communities, immediately impacted thousands, if not millions, of people over the generations who benefited from the water resources. The truth is that this water resource has been the driving force for state and federal governments. The management of water issues in this locale has had a significant impact on all water related issues, including agriculture, ranching, mining and tourism. It is entirely fair to consider this water jurisdiction as a “community of interest.” In fact, to do otherwise, is unwise given the history of this area. 3) Schools: As an educator from public schools through universities and my wife a middle school teacher of 26 years, we are very mindful how our educational community benefits as a community of interest. Institutions of higher learning in this community of interest are the Pueblo Community College (PCC) which serves several counties including Fremont, Archuleta, Dolores, Plata, and possibly others; Colorado State University-Pueblo, Adams State University (Alamosa) and Fort Lewis College in Durango. These higher education campuses serve many, if not most, of the citizens in their jurisdictions. Moreover, PCC, CSU-Pueblo and ASU are all federally designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). Too, El Paso County should be included, as well, because it has partnerships with the other two- and four-year colleges that now include nursing programs. Further, one cannot dismiss the urban and suburban areas of southern El Paso County schools. The school districts share common concerns and challenges regarding the large number of low-income families, minorities and a tax-base insufficient for school funding. It is fair to say, these are definitely “communities with shared deprivation of interests as well.” 4) Communication Networks: A separate category is the sharing of broadband communication networks. The future communication networks will require broadband networks. At this writing, this community of interest has 20% less access for the SCRB, vs. non SCRB populations. Moreover, the fact that these mountain and rural area populations have less access to broadband is very disappointing. Further, it is evident that newspaper sources, such as, the Pueblo Chieftain, the Thrifty Nickel, and the Canon City Record are good media sources for the SCRB populations. 5) Shared “economics” in SCRB: It is unfortunate that the SCRB includes a majority of counties in the bottom income and benefits level in 2019. According to the Colorado Department of Education for 2019-2020 a large number of families live in poverty. This is not a hopeful scenario for CD-3. However, a redistricted CD-3 or a new independent CD could be a hopeful optimistic district to bring greater equity to the state of Colorado. Also, if this were to occur, it would improve statewide planning and, potentially, provide a better opportunity for regional planning resulting in a much stronger position to improve the economy and reduce the impact of disadvantaged locales. 6) Transportation: At this writing, there is no east-west interstate highway in southern Colorado. As a result, there has been a long history of neglecting economic development and growth in the current CD-3. There is no doubt that such a highway system would bring potentially greater urban development in rural communities. Further, in the southern part of the proposed CD-3, if resources could be made available, a major airport would be developed to achieve greater access, training for expanding the needed number of airplane pilots and bring needed employment to this part of the CD-3. Additionally, there is a need to improve the railroad system that already goes through much of CD-3, which would create a financial investment to benefit the district and bring economic development to the district almost immediately. 7) Rural Communities: Much of Colorado is “rural”, with the exception of a handful of major unban cities. The communities of interest could benefit greatly by these suggestions above. Since Pueblo is the biggest city with over 100,000 residential populations included in the proposed redistricting, this could be an ideal time to use Pueblo as a hub for the surrounding “communities of interests” as proposed by the redistricting of this area. The future of southern Colorado could benefit greatly from these proposed “communities of interest” in changing Congressional boundaries. Moreover, I hope the policy-decision-makers weighing in on the redistricting decisions are listening. The collective well-being of southern Colorado hangs in the balance. Thank you. Peace, Alvin Rivera , CD-3

Sharleen Farmer

Commission: legislative

Zip: 81120

Submittted: April 14, 2021

Comment:

Thank you, Legislative Redistricting Commission staff, for your hard work on the 2021 redistricting project. We appreciate the time and consideration you are putting into this subject. Conejos County is a rural county located in the southwest corner of the San Luis Valley. Conejos was first settled in 1856 and became one of the first counties in the Colorado territory. Many of our residents have familial ties back to these early settlers and the Native American tribes that predate the official settlement of the area. Like many rural areas in Colorado, Conejos has seen its share of success and decline throughout the years. Unfortunately, the last several years have been a struggle for many county residents. Currently 8,200 people live in Conejos County. The county covers 1,291 square miles. The county is comprised of several small towns and communities, each with a population of less than 1000 residents. Poverty is a big issue in Conejos affecting approximately 20% of the population. Economically the county is primarily a farming and ranching community. We also have local restaurants, churches, beauty salons, grocery stores, maintenance shops, auto and farm equipment repair shops, lumber yards, hardware stores, liquor stores, gas stations, a nursing home, hospital, dental office, veterinary clinic, feed store, and several discount stores. Most county residents get what they can from local stores, but the bulk of shopping takes place in Alamosa (the largest town in the valley). For specialty items and for specialty healthcare, residents are forced to travel outside of the county and for some things, outside of the valley to major cities such as Pueblo. While some of the county residents are able to secure employment in the county at the various businesses and farms, many are required to seek employment in Alamosa County. Conejos County has three school districts that educate the county’s 1,567 children. The schools in the county serve as a community hub bringing residents together for athletic events, school plays, etc.… Attracting and retaining high quality educators and providing an excellent education to all county students is a prime focus for area residents. Unfortunately, low salaries hinder the recruitment and retention of educators and lack of financial resources hinder the opportunities available for students. There are many local churches representing several denominations in Conejos County. In fact, the oldest church in Colorado is the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish located in the town of Conejos. Church activities bring many county residents together but have also been a source of discord over the years between the Catholic and Mormon communities. Protecting our natural resources is of prime focus for Conejos County residents; not only ensuring that we have clean water and air, but also ensuring that our water rights are protected and preserved. Our farming and ranching communities are dependent on the water resources of the valley’s rivers and aquifer. Conejos County is an incredible place to live with a long and rich history. Our hope is that the preliminary map that will be developed by your commission will reflect our community aspirations to protect farming and ranching, protect our water resources, improve educational opportunities, foster higher education and technical training, and promote economic development. Thank you for considering our written comment and drawing up a map that is fair and representative of Conejos County citizens.

Sharleen Farmer

Commission: congressional

Zip: 81120

Submittted: April 14, 2021

Comment:

Thank you, Congressional Commission staff, for your hard work on the 2021 redistricting project. We appreciate the time and consideration you are putting into this subject. Conejos County is a rural county located in the southwest corner of the San Luis Valley. Conejos was first settled in 1856 and became one of the first counties in the Colorado territory. Many of our residents have familial ties back to these early settlers and the Native American tribes that predate the official settlement of the area. Like many rural areas in Colorado, Conejos has seen its share of success and decline throughout the years. Unfortunately, the last several years have been a struggle for many county residents. Currently 8,200 people live in Conejos County. The county covers 1,291 square miles. The county is comprised of several small towns and communities, each with a population of less than 1000 residents. Poverty is a big issue in Conejos affecting approximately 20% of the population. Economically the county is primarily a farming and ranching community. We also have local restaurants, churches, beauty salons, grocery stores, maintenance shops, auto and farm equipment repair shops, lumber yards, hardware stores, liquor stores, gas stations, a nursing home, hospital, dental office, veterinary clinic, feed store, and several discount stores. Most county residents get what they can from local stores, but the bulk of shopping takes place in Alamosa (the largest town in the valley). For specialty items and for specialty healthcare, residents are forced to travel outside of the county and for some things, outside of the valley to major cities such as Pueblo. While some of the county residents are able to secure employment in the county at the various businesses and farms, many are required to seek employment in Alamosa County. Conejos County has three school districts that educate the county’s 1,567 children. The schools in the county serve as a community hub bringing residents together for athletic events, school plays, etc.… Attracting and retaining high quality educators and providing an excellent education to all county students is a prime focus for area residents. Unfortunately, low salaries hinder the recruitment and retention of educators and lack of financial resources hinder the opportunities available for students. There are many local churches representing several denominations in Conejos County. In fact, the oldest church in Colorado is the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish located in the town of Conejos. Church activities bring many county residents together but have also been a source of discord over the years between the Catholic and Mormon communities. Protecting our natural resources is of prime focus for Conejos County residents; not only ensuring that we have clean water and air, but also ensuring that our water rights are protected and preserved. Our farming and ranching communities are dependent on the water resources of the valley’s rivers and aquifer. Conejos County is an incredible place to live with a long and rich history. Our hope is that the preliminary map that will be developed by your commission will reflect our community aspirations to protect farming and ranching, protect our water resources, improve educational opportunities, foster higher education and technical training, and promote economic development. Thank you for considering our written comment and drawing up a map that is fair and representative of Conejos County citizens.

Magenta Freeman

Commission: congressional

Zip: 80110

Submittted: April 13, 2021

Comment:

My biggest concern is that communities with people of color have the opportunity to have an equitable voice in Congress regarding their unique concerns. It should be clear by this point, after 2020, that the majority culture has a hugely disproportionate amount of access and influence in our country politically. Likewise, people of color receive disproportionate impact negatively from government policies and gaps, as the pandemic exposed. This imbalance must be addressed in order for significant positive change to occur in our society.

Patricia Farmer

Commission: congressional

Zip: 80447

Submittted: April 13, 2021

Comment:

To the Colorado Redistricting Commission My thanks to the Commission and staff for accepting public comments. My name is Patricia Farmer and I live in the town of Grand Lake, Colorado. We are in the second Congressional district. I am happy with our current district. It is a good balance between urban and rural voters, and since Grand County is all rural, we need that balance. Please leave the 2nd Congressional District as it is now. Thank you for your time and attention

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