Mar 16, 2022 - News

Denver City Council narrows down redistricting maps to two

Illustration of the Denver City and County Building with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The next decade of Denver politics has come down to two maps.

The big picture: The updated maps are meant to reflect population size changes in council districts based on the latest U.S. Census figures, which show 716,000 Denver residents as of 2020, a jump from about 600,000 in 2010.

What's happening: A Denver City Council committee on Monday moved forward Maps D and E.

  • Some of the most significant differences between the two drafts lie in how downtown is divided and where the North and South Park Hill neighborhoods land.

Details: Both maps increase the number of minority-majority districts to four — in districts 2, 3, 8 and 11.

  • Although most districts won't see a big change in the percentage of white constituents based on either map, District 7 — currently represented by council member Jolon Clark — would experience a noticeable uptick, jumping to 62% from around half.

Map D appears to be the frontrunner, with at least seven members in support.

  • This map moves much of Union Station from District 9 — council member Candi CdeBaca's territory — into District 10, led by current council member Chris Hinds.
  • CdeBaca's district would gain North and South Park Hill from District 8, where term-limited Chris Herndon is the councilman.
  • It also would shuffle several other neighborhoods, including Cherry Creek and Country Club into District 8 and East Colfax into council member Amanda Sawyer's District 5.

Map E appears to have the backing of at least five council members — and that number may grow.

  • This map similarly shifts Denver's East Colfax neighborhood into District 8 and keeps Union Station in District 9.
  • The North and South Park Hill neighborhoods would move to Sandoval's district instead of CdeBaca's.
  • Further amendments may be introduced later this month that could bring more council members on board.

What they're saying: "We believe that neither of these maps truly address our needs or the needs of communities at risk of displacement," Brendan Greene, co-founder of the East Colfax Community Collective, tells Axios Denver.

  • The East Colfax neighborhood’s diverse population faces displacement risks, and advocates, including Greene, have been fighting to have the community moved into District 8 to join Northeast Park Hill and parts of Montbello.

What's next: A public hearing on each map is scheduled for March 29, before the council's final vote.

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