Time:11:02 AM to 02:42 PM
Place:LSB B
This Meeting was called to order by
Mario Carrera
This Report was prepared by
Jessika Shipley
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
Changing Demographics in Colorado
Legal Criteria for Drawing Districts
Preparations Made for the Redistricting Process
Process for Reprecincting
Preparations Made for the Redistricting Process
Discussion of Dividing States into Regions
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Note: This meeting summary is not an official record of the commission or of the meeting. It is not intended to serve as a transcript or minutes of the commission meeting. The audio recording of the meeting is the official record of the meeting. This summary may be used as a guide to the audio recording. To access the audio recording of a commission meeting, visit the Colorado Joint Legislative Library located in the State Capitol, Room 048 (basement/ground floor level). You will need to note the date, time, and location of the meeting to access the audio recording. Copies of the audio recordings may be obtained at the library if you bring with you blank, recordable compact discs or a flash drive. Librarians are on site and available to assist you with accessing an audio recording.

11:03 AM -- Changing Demographics in Colorado

Commissioner Carrera welcomed everyone and made a suggestion that the commission adopt House rules of procedure. There was no objection from the commission.

11:05 AM

Elizabeth Garner, State Demographer, discussed the functions of the State Demography Office, which is the state agency responsible for population data needed by other state agencies and local governments. Information from the State Demography Office is public and available on the website. She provided information about population growth in Colorado between 2000 and 2010. The commission requested the information in written form and Ms. Garner agreed to bring copies later in the afternoon (Attachment A). She continued to discuss county and

municipal population changes over the past decade. She broke down the population changes according to a number of categories, including race, ethnicity, and age. She focused particularly on Hispanic population changes. She responded to questions from the commission about Hispanic population change over the past decade.

Attachment A.pdf

11:18 AM

Ms. Garner continued speaking about Hispanic population change in the top five counties in the state. She then shifted to a discussion of population forecasts from 2010 through 2040. She spoke about demographic trends being watched by demographers. These include the relationship between jobs, people, and community services; aging of the Baby Boomer generation; the formation of households; income distribution; increasing racial and ethnic diversity; and changes in the occupational mix. An understanding of population change is generally tied to an understanding of both economic and demographic change. Ms. Garner discussed the state's population of approximately 5.03 million by sub-state area. In response to a question from Commissioner Witwer, Ms. Garner talked about methods for defining communities of interest, such as the Western Slope, the Eastern Plains, and the Central Mountains. She indicated that there are a number of different methods for such definition, such as geographic barriers, economy, and historical groupings. She discussed various components of population change such as migration and natural increase. Most individuals migrate to Colorado from California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. That has not changed appreciably since 1980.

11:28 AM

In response to questions, Ms. Garner spoke about the demographic makeup of Elbert County. The discussion expanded to include Teller, Jackson, and Grand counties. The commission discussed communities of interest, including marital status, family types, household types, and economic drivers. Ms. Garner responded to questions about the evolution of Broomfield County. She spoke next about Baby Boomers and how they affect population change in Colorado. Between 2000 and 2010, Colorado's population of individuals aged 55-64 increased by an annual average of 6.1 percent, compared with an annual total population change of approximately 1.7 percent.
11:38 AM

The presentation continued to focus on regional differences in the percent of the population that is over the age of 65. Colorado has never before had a large population of older people. In 2009, the spending of people over the age of 65 supported approximately 118,000 jobs. That population is forecasted to support approximately 346,000 jobs by 2030. Demographers question whether retirees will stay in Colorado or migrate to other locations as they age. Ms. Garner spoke about some public policy issues related to aging. These include civic engagement and the tendency to vote in a block; sales tax expenditures; availability of public transportation; access to health care services and supports; and the demands of individuals over the age of 65 versus those of individuals under the age of 65.

11:47 AM

Ms. Garner reported that Colorado is expected to see declining median household incomes due to factors such as age distributions; a decline in the average household size; the race and ethnicity of householders; growing poverty and income inequality; and youth unemployment. The number, types, and location of jobs created greatly influences the characteristics of population and service demands. The aging of Baby Boomers impacts concepts of aging and retirement. Racial and ethnic diversity are on the rise.

11:54 AM -- Legal Criteria for Drawing Districts

Mr. Barry provided a general overview of reapportionment and redistricting (Attachment B). "Redistricting" refers to drawing geographical lines, whereas "reapportionment" is the redistribution of representation in a legislative body. He explained that the commission redistricts, despite being called a reapportionment commission. He talked about other relevant terms, including "ideal district size," "deviation," and "overall range of deviation." "Ideal district size" is the total population divided by the number of districts. "Deviation" is the difference in population from that ideal district size. "Overall range of deviation" is the difference in population from the largest to the smallest district as either an absolute or a percentage.

Attachment B.pdf

12:00 PM

The commission recessed for lunch.

12:28 PM

The meeting came back to order. Mr. Barry continued his overview of redistricting with a discussion of the legal historical background related to reapportionment and redistricting. He spoke specifically about the cases of Baker v. Carr, 396 U.S. 186 (1962) and Lucas v. Forty-fourth General Assembly, 377 U.S. 713 (1964). In the case of Reynolds v. Sims, the court found that the overriding objective must be substantial equality of population among the various districts. The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

12:38 PM

Mr. Barry discussed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and gerrymandering, and explained the concepts of stacking, packing, and fracturing. Mr. Barry explained that the only federal law the committee needs to be concerned about is equalizing population among the districts. The Colorado Constitution requires that districts must be drawn with no more than a five percent deviation between the most populous and the least populous district in each house. Further it requires that, except when necessary to meet the equal population requirements, no part of a county may be added to all or part of another county. Mr. Barry discussed previous redistricting involving Larimer, Weld, Morgan, El Paso, Elbert, Teller, and Lincoln counties. He spoke at length about court decisions related to splitting counties during the redistricting process.

12:48 PM

In response to questions from the committee, Mr. Barry discussed the process for defending the commission's decisions about drawing districts. Commissioner Nicolais commented on his preference for making the redistricting process as mathematical as possible.

12:59 PM

The commission discussed direction provided by the Colorado Supreme Court with regard to a starting point for redistricting. Commissioner Witwer read from Justice Hobbes' opinion in the case on In re Reapportionment of the Colorado General Assembly, 45 P.3d 1237 (Colo. 2002). He asked for Mr. Barry's opinion of how that direction from the court should be interpreted. Mr. Barry commented at length about his opinion that counties and districts be kept whole as much as possible, although smaller counties may need to be split. He indicated that the five percent deviation requirement in the Constitution was put in place to avoid gerrymandering, rather than to deal with county splits. Commissioner Salazar asked if rural counties are more likely to be split than larger urban areas.

01:09 PM

The committee continued to discuss the population of rural counties. Commissioner Witwer expressed his opinion that the Colorado Supreme Court has provided very clear direction, in order and priority, for drawing district maps. Representative Jones commented that redistricting is too complicated to be done strictly according to the court's direction. Commissioner Nicolais requested information about the population of each House and Senate district and what percentage each county represents. Mr. Barry indicated that the same result can be accomplished using the mapping software that will be provided to the commission. Commissioner Atencio read from Justice Bender's dissent in In re Reapportionment of the Colorado General Assembly. She talked about the constitutional criteria the commission is required to consider, which is different than the criteria required in Justice Hobbes' decision.

01:23 PM

The commission continued to discuss the most appropriate starting point for drawing maps, and the merits of beginning the drawing of districts based on the rural counties. Mr. Barry returned to providing an overview of constitutional requirements pertaining to drawing districts. Senator Carroll asked for a list of cities that comprise an entire House or Senate district and cities that span more than one county. The committee continued to ask for more information about current boundaries and population.

01:36 PM

Mr. Barry explained the following traditional principles of redistricting:

01:40 PM -- Process for Reprecincting

Jack Arrowsmith, Douglas County Clerk and Recorder, discussed the process that will be followed by counties in order to redraw precincts, based on the commission's plan. He talked about the time line available for making changes. Counties could have eight or 19 working days to accomplish the work, depending on the date of the caucuses. He discussed the various IT processes that will be required by counties based on the data sets provided to them by the Secretary of State's Office. Mr. Arrowsmith indicated that clerks and recorders would like to correct mistakes made during prior precincting processes. He commented about the circumstance of new special districts that lie on top of existing precincts.

01:48 PM

Mr. Arrowsmith continued his presentation and talked about the practical realities of redistricting from the perspective of county clerk and recorders. He asked the commission to finish ahead of schedule in order to give clerk and recorders time to make necessary changes. Further, he asked the commission to consider existing precinct boundaries wherever possible. Finally, he asked the commission to use a light touch when making changes. Mr. Arrowsmith responded to questions from the committee about changes to precincts. Representative Jones asked for further information about redistricting time lines. Commissioner Nicolais asked for information about growth in Douglas County in the last decade. Mr. Arrowsmith commented that, to a certain extent, enough logical geographic boundaries exist to allow precincts to be easily drawn.

01:59 PM -- Preparations Made for the Redistricting Process

The committee took a brief recess.

02:08 PM

The committee returned to order. Mr. Barry discussed various issues associated with the commission's upcoming activities, including the software that will be used to draw district boundaries and the costs associated with the commission's activities. Commissioners received copies of the fiscal note for the bill passed by the General Assembly in 2010 that implements the redistricting and reapportionment processes (Attachment C). Mr. Barry discussed staffing for the commission and where the commission staff will be housed. He then discussed the various data files received by commission staff, and the reports that commissioners will receive as they conduct their activities. Commissioners received examples of such reports (Attachment D). Mr. Barry provided background on these reports, including a description of the data in the ethnic summary.

Attachment C.pdf Attachment D.pdf

02:19 PM

Mr. Barry continued to brief the committee on the classifications found in the ethnic summary. He responded to questions regarding the thought process behind the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) ordering of ethnic categories, and the potential under-representation of certain demographics by the DOJ classifications. Mr. Barry briefed the committee on the reports showing district compactness and political party registration. He then explained the report entitled "Political Summary."

02:31 PM

Mr. Barry responded to questions regarding the information that will be included in the Political Summary reports, and the reasons that the commission is provided data on political affiliation. Discussion ensued regarding redistricting software training for the commission members, and parking arrangements for the members.

02:37 PM -- Discussion of Dividing States into Regions

Commissioner Salazar discussed his preference for dividing the state into six regions for the reapportionment process, and where to start drawing districts. The commission discussed its agenda for the next meeting.

02:42 PM

The commission adjourned.