Denver Council Redistricts Following 2010 U.S. Census
At least once every 10 years, the Denver City Council must redraw its district boundaries, based on the latest U.S. Census data. The Denver Charter says the City is to be divided into eleven Council districts; Denver’s population must be as evenly divided among the eleven districts as possible to honor the principle of “one person-one vote”; and Charter further directs that districts must:
o be as compact as possible;
o contain contiguous land area;
o contain whole election precincts; and
o have boundaries established by ordinance.
In order to comply with the Charter, Denver City Council must adopt an ordinance establishing new council district boundaries by the end of April, 2012. The tentative timeline for the process may be modified in part, but a new map must be adopted by the end of April 2012. The new map will be effective for purposes of the 2015 municipal election.
PLEASE NOTE: The new ordinance will not change the current boundaries immediately. Until mid-July of 2015, following the municipal election in May, your council district and your representative will remain the same, even if under the new ordinance your home may be in a different district. Only for potential Council candidates for the 2015 election will the new boundaries be important. That’s because candidates for council district offices must reside within the district in which they want to run for at least one year prior to the election.
On Sept. 26, 2011, Council adopted Resolution 11-0661 stating its principles and procedures for the redistricting process. While the Charter establishes the criteria Council must meet in re-districting, the Resolution states the policies Council wants to respect in the process. It will probably not be possible to comply with the laws and meet all of the stated policies.
2010 Census Findings
A map of the current districts shows the total population in 2000 and in 2010. Denver’s population growth:
o 2000 population = 554,636
o 2010 population = 600,158
With a total population of 600,158, the target population per council district (total population divided by 11) grew from 50,421 to 54,560. However, the population growth was not evenly spread across the city. By far the most growth was in Council District 11 in far Northeast Denver, which grew by 34,484 people since 2000. In contrast, Council District 1, in the Northwest, lost 4,468 people. This imbalance requires significant shifts in district boundaries, which creates substantial challenges for the Council. Council is currently working through how the district boundary lines will be redrawn for the 2015 election and beyond.
Council Redistricting Committee
Last summer, Council President Nevitt created the Redistricting Committee, which meets on the 2nd Monday of each month at 3:30. This is a Committee of the Whole, so all Council members are voting members of the committee.
Council has held several public meetings to gather comments and views from the public on draft plans [Map A; Map B; Map C; Map D; Map E; Map F]. Check this website periodically for the schedule and locations of these meetings, or contact your district Council member.