(The following appeared in the Saturday July 23, 2011 Longmont Times-Call)
The recent redistricting of state House districts was good news for Longmont residents. After the last census, HD11 was gerrymandered to snake down the Diagonal Highway to include parts of Boulder. This gave the Democratic Party an advantage of 37 percent to 26 percent over Republican-registered voters. This was no mistake and served the last two representatives well, but not their constituents.
Under the new plan, the two major parties will have a nearly identical percentage of registered voters, 32.60 percent Republican to 32.17 percent Democrat, the rest being unaffiliated.
This makes the new HD11 more competitive and fair. But this displeases those who benefited from the previous scheme.
They wanted Longmont’s House votes to remain diluted by communities to the south. This, of course, meant Boulder and the huge numbers of Democrats voting there. If many of us wanted to be like Boulder and vote like Boulder, we would have moved to Boulder.
The other argument was that Longmont shouldn’t be just one district with just one House vote. That was never possible, as the population of Longmont exceeded the number required to contain it within one district.
Longmont will continue to have two state House representatives. About seven precincts, around the downtown area, will be in HD12. That district does go south and has ridiculously skewed numbers giving Democrats a 20 percent advantage. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that HD12’s representative, Democrat Matt Jones, sits on the redistricting commission.
The proposed redistricting puts most of Longmont in one district, still gives Longmont two House districts, and is competitive and fair. Those saying otherwise are being disingenuous and self-serving. Please consider writing the commission and showing support for what they recently approved.