What is redistricting?
Redistricting is a process that legislative bodies undertake every ten years after the release of the decennial US Census. The purpose of redistricting is to ensure every individual’s vote counts in accordance to the Voting Rights Act by evenly adjusting district boundaries based on population and the number of districts without diluting minority voices.
In Denver the goal of redistricting is to create eleven districts that are as evenly-populated and as geographically compact and reasonable as possible to uphold the one-person-one-vote standard in the US Constitution.
Sec. 3.1.2 of the Charter provides guidance for redistricting. The Charter requires Denver to have eleven districts; that districts to be as compact as possible; that districts contain contiguous territory; that districts contain as equal a population as practical based on the most recent US census data; that districts consist of whole voting precincts; and that district boundaries be changed at least once every ten years.
Why is it important?
Redistricting ultimately shapes the political landscape in Denver, and is an important process to make sure the People have the opportunity to choose who represents them. Denver has changed over the past 10 years with an increase in Denverites, new buildings, and amenities. Our council boundaries need to be altered to reflect these changes and how they are represented at the municipal-level. These new boundaries will remain in effect for 10 years, determining representation on important issues until 2035.
How is it done?
Denver City Council is conducting a mapping drive throughout the summer and fall to understand how community defines itself through Representable.org. Representable.org is an anti-gerrymandering project based out of Princeton University. Communities will have the opportunity to draw maps online defining their boundaries, and answer a series of short questions. City Council staff will analyze these maps and the short-answered responses to draw preliminary council boundaries based on community feedback.
City Council also creates a resolution outlining procedure and criteria for maps and the redistricting process. This resolution provides guard-rails for City Council as they begin drawing maps redefining their city council district boundaries. Historically, these resolutions have included requirements to adhere to the Voting Rights Act, to respect the concept of ‘one person, one vote;’ as well as legal requirements of compactness, and contiguousness.
City Council uses data from the 2020 census, along with the data acquired through the Define Your Denver mapping drive, and the guidelines stipulated in the resolution outlining procedure and criteria to draw preliminary maps. City Council will then host a series of public meetings for feedback on these maps, and make adjustment to the maps based on this feedback. City Council will then vote on an ordinance on the final map in the spring of 2022, after two public hearings.
What is a community of interest?
Our state constitution defines a community of interest as, “any group” that “shares one or more substantial interests that may be the subject of federal legislative action."
We want to know how you define your community. Is your community a shared language? Culture? Faith? Or is it simply somewhere you love. We want to learn about your neighborhood, community, and important spaces to inform maps that help communities stay together
How can I get involved?
Denver City Council’s goal is to make redistricting an inclusive, transparent, accessible, and meaningful process. There are a number of ways you and your community can get involved:
Draw Your Community on Representable
Denver City Council is collaborating with Princeton University’s Representable Project to empower community to define itself. Denver City Council is hosting a mapping drive on representable where you and your neighbors can tell us how you define your community.
Draw Your Own Council District Map
Once the Census data has been released Denver City Council will be utilizing Maptitude Redistricting Software to draw its council districts. Denver City Council is encouraging members of the public to submit their own council district maps through Maptitude.
Submit Public Comment on Proposed Maps
Visit our website to see proposed maps with new council district boundaries, and let us know your thoughts.
Attend a Public Meeting
Visit our Events page to learn more about public meetings we are hosting prior to the census data release, after the census data release, and once preliminary maps have been drawn.
These events are an opportunity for you to let your councilmembers know how you define your community, where you think lines should be drawn, and how you feel about your neighborhood.
Host a Community Meeting
Do you want to host a community meeting to create a community on Representable or draw a map on Maptitude? Follow this link for our digital Meeting in a Box which will guide you through a series of questions and provide a tutorial on how to use the software
Request a demonstration
Let us know if you would like a demonstration on how to use Representable or Maptitude and a member of our staff will be available to answer questions for your next community
How Can I Learn More?
Tune into our redistricting meetings, and check our website for up-to-date information on our meeting schedule and agendas.