Terrance Carroll: The nation is watching Colorado
While ordinarily, the beginning of May would mark the end of the legislative session, here we are at the end of May with lawmakers still busy at work. Lawmakers are still at work, and so are we.
Here’s what you might have missed under the Gold Dome this month:
The initial (delayed) results from the census were released earlier this month, and Coloradans got big news: we’re getting another seat in Congress. Not only is this significant for Coloradans’ representation and power in DC — more seats means more influence on the all-important committees in Congress — but it also means that Colorado will have a major opportunity to show how we can draw Congressional maps without the influence of politicians and political parties.
Colorado uses independent redistricting commissions to draw maps for our legislative map — a method that removes self-interested politicians from the mapmaking process. This year will be our first time using the commission to draw maps, and we have the opportunity to be a national leader in demonstrating how it can be done. Check out the op-ed I wrote for the Denver Post about Colorado’s opportunity.
Unite Colorado exists for a simple reason: create a more representative and functional government. The reforms we support — like ranked choice voting — help to accomplish those goals by creating new incentives for our elected officials while putting voters first.
In New York City, ranked choice voting is having one of its biggest outings to date. Over 8.9 million people will use ranked choice voting next month in the city’s mayoral primary election, and the understanding that voters will use ranked choice voting for their elections is changing how candidates are running. Candidates are running more civil candidates, appearing on stage with each other in the hopes of being voters second or third choice. They’re running their campaigns on the issues, knowing that their specific policies will be the difference between being someone’s second and third choice. New York City should show Coloradans: ranked choice voting can help municipalities run better, cheaper elections.
When Coloradans established independent redistricting commissions they made their opinion clear: they don’t want politicians choosing their voters. Yet Amendments Y and Z, which established independent redistricting commissions, only did so for state and federal congressional districts. County districts were still left to politicians to decide.
Thankfully, with the passage of HB21-1047, Coloradans will now be guaranteed fair maps at the county level as well. On our blog, we write about how HB1047 ensures that even county commissioners won’t be able to gerrymander, ensuring fair maps for all Coloradans, at all levels of government.