Public Involvement

Participating in Redistricting Committee Meetings

All working meetings of the Redistricting Committee are open meetings which the public may attend in person or virtually. The dates for these meetings can be found on the main redistricting page.

Public Comment

El Paso County residents may submit comments about the redistricting process at Redistricting Committee Meetings, by phone during the meetings, or via the digital comment form below at any time. All comments submitted are public and will be posted on this page for residents to view.

NOTE: The public comment submission period is now closed. Thank you for your participation in this process.

  • Katherine Czukas | May 09

    Redistricting Commissioners and Supporting Staff :

    Per my verbal comments yesterday at the 5/8 meeting, please ensure that electronic documents associated with the 5/8/23 Redistricting Commission’s Agenda items 4,5,6,7 (presented by staff) are available to the public in a timely manner.

    If staff and the Commissioners are going to choose use AgendaSuite (such as what was used for Agenda items 2 and 3) and available for download at the agenda for the meeting ( then I request that you take advantage of AgendaSuite’s Department feature to create a department called something like “2023 Redistricting” so that the public can easily search for documents a few days/weeks later using the filtering criteria available at the URL on that site Instructions for how to find these documents post-meeting should be posted on the Redistricting Website if possible.

    If staff and Commissioners are going to use for posting documents for each redistricting commission meeting, please create a way for the public to easily associate each electronic document with each speaker.

    I’d also like to request that the Minutes of the 5/8 meeting (per the adoption of item #2 on the agenda) be available via either of these methods mentioned above or by some other method that the Commission sees fit and that is communicated on the redistricting website.

    Thank you for taking the time to ensure that the public can process the depth of information presented during the meeting.

  • Kevin Curry | May 14

    I do not have a proposed map at this time. My comment is that I believe the District 2 meeting should either be moved to Falcon, or that a second meeting be held near there. Rationale: The location near Cimmaron Hills will be convenient for the urban residents of the District, but extremely inconvenient for rural residents in Falcon, Peyton, and other areas. As a result, the inputs at the meeting will likely be skewed toward urban perspectives when the vast majority of the District land area is rural. Moving the meeting (or having a second one) to the Falcon area would be more District-central and would likely increase the odds of getting a better balance of urban and rural perspectives.

  • Zuri Horowitz | May 14

    Can you share the shapefile which contains the 2022 Precinct Definitions and the 2020 Population of each precinct (e.g. people aged 0-100)?

    Thank you for your help.

  • Katherine Czukas | June 02

    El Paso Redistricting Commissioners and Staff:

    My name is Katherine Czukas. Thank you for the opportunity to submit a proposal for redefining the County Commissioner District boundaries. I appreciate your consideration of this proposal. In this submission, I am representing myself as a 13 year resident of the City of Colorado Springs, currently residing in El Paso County Commissioner District 3.

    I am submitting this via the website’s comment feature and will also submit it as an attachment as a 4 page memo. There are additional attachments submitted as Appendices.

    Rationale for Proposal

    The district boundaries I am proposing satisfy the criteria briefed on by County Attorney Hodges during the 5/8/23 meeting called Legal Parameters for Commissioner Redistricting. ( These criteria include:
    1) Districts with no more than five percent deviation between most and least populous district (using 2020 Census)
    2) Preserving whole communities of interest
    3) Minimizing the number of divisions of a city or town
    4) Thereafter, maximize the number of politically competitive districts to the extent reasonably possible

    In addition, this submission follows the Precinct Boundaries recommendation from slide 21 of County Clerk and Recorder Schleiker’s briefing on 5/8/23 called El Paso County Redistricting Presentation ( ) to “move full pre-existing precincts only for redistricting.”

    Specifically, this proposal:
    A) Does not split the Town of Monument (or other municipalities in county with populations smaller than Colorado Springs)
    B) Does not split the Patty Jewett neighborhood in the City of Colorado Springs
    C) Ensures the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 52 U.S.C. sec, 10301’s intention to ensure that “members of a class of protected citizens do not have less opportunity than others to participate in the political process”, by uniting into the same district the precincts in the City of Colorado Springs which have high non-white populations

    Description of Proposed District Boundaries

    My recommended way for redistricting commissioners, staff, and residents to view my proposed map of district boundaries is to visit this FREE software link and use the zoom in/ zoom out features.

    I submit, as Appendix 1, the shapefile for staff to make use of in their GIS software. I also provide a static map image in my attached statement and as Appendix 2. In addition, I list out how every pre-existing El Paso County precinct will be assigned to the proposed districts in Appendix 3 (in spreadsheet format).

    Below I provide a District Number, a Brief Descriptor, and the Population per the 2020 US Census
    District 3
    Wildland/Urban Interface part of the county west of I-25. Includes USAFA, the Rampart Range, Pikes Peak, and Cheyenne Mountain. Extends east of I-25 to as far east as Union Blvd, to include the UCCS, Patty Jewett, and many downtown neighborhoods.
    Tri-Lakes (Monument, Palmer Lake, Woodmoor), the unincorporated area directly north of USAFA (precincts 303, 304), and Academy District 20 boundaries when Academy District 20 is east of I-25 and not in Black Forest. When east of I-25, the district extends from County Line Road in the north to Pulpit Rock/Vickers Dr. in the south.
    2020 Population: 147,425

    District 5
    City of Colorado Springs with Union Blvd. as western boundary and Powers Blvd. as the eastern boundary. District is north of Milton Proby Blvd. and south of Vickers Dr. While mainly east of I-25, it extends into a few precincts west of I-25 in the Stratton Meadows neighborhood south of downtown in the City of Colorado Springs
    Population: 145,259
    District 2
    Black Forest, the NE part of El Paso County, and the NE part of City of Colorado Springs that is north of Constitution Ave, east of Academy Blvd when south of Austin Bluffs Blvd., and east of the unincorporated ‘Old Farm’ area when north of Austin Bluffs Blvd.
    District 4
    Fort Carson, residential neighborhoods to the north of Fort Carson which are not in the Stratton Meadows neighborhood, Fountain, Widefield, Security, the Airport, Cimarron Hills, SE El Paso County (E of Marksheffel Rd., and S of Hwy 94), and Central East El Paso County (Precincts 522, 527, 560)
    Population: 143,730

    I’m hoping these brief descriptors help the redistricting commissioners and staff to see that my proposal does not make many changes from the current county commissioner districts boundaries. My intention was to change boundaries to adhere to the requirements of CO Code § 30-10-306.3 (2022).

    The 2020 Census population numbers show that there is less than 5 percent deviation in population between any district. In addition, this proposal has created District 1 and District 3 with slightly higher populations than the other districts to reflect a verbal comment made at the 5/8/23 redistricting commission meeting.

    When there is not “smoothness” in a visual boundary in my proposal, it is often due to the pre-existing precinct definitions. Examples of this include Precinct 256 near Shoup Road and Hwy 83 or Precinct 615 near S. Academy Blvd and Hwy 85/87.

    Additional Considerations

    As redistricting commissioners and staff continue with plan evaluation, I want to point out two criteria which remain to be evaluated for this proposal, as I didn’t find sufficient guidance for me to complete this on the redistricting website ( as of 5/31/23. I also add an additional consideration.

    Politically Competitive Districts
    I could not find the staff’s methodology for maximizing the number of politically competitive districts (the formulas and election dates are not clearly specified in the Commissioner Redistricting Political Competitiveness presentation from 5/8/23 The free software used to show this map creates a Partisan Lean metric (available via the Statistics button), and for my proposal it concludes: “Three districts lean Republican, none lean Democratic, and two fall in the 45–55% competitive range.” Additional details about this Partisan Lean metric would be available via the help functionality of the software.

    Sensitivity to Voters Switched
    While it is not part of the Colorado statute, nor reflected in the written archived materials from the 5/8/23 Redistricting Commission meeting, the redistricting website suggests an additional criteria for Plan Development: “Recommended sensitivity to voters switched between election cycles.”

    This analysis was difficult for me to complete on my own, as I’m not sure there is publicly available data to measure and exclude voter movement between districts due to their own volition (e.g., a voter registered at a specific El Paso County address in October 2020 who moves and registers at a different El Paso County address in May 2023). I believe this would be important to know to determine the number of registered voters “switched” when evaluating any proposal. Though, the sensitivity analysis could also be interpreted to be more narrow, and to only be “voters who voted in their prior El Paso County Commissioner race.”

    Using publicly available data, I calculated that only 31 of the 325 precincts (less than 10%) would change election cycles in my proposal. If requested, I’m happy to submit this analysis on election cycle changes of precincts, if it is relevant to the redistricting commissions ‘sensitivity to voters switched’ analysis.

    Durability for the next Census
    While not a criteria, I believe my proposal easily allows for adaptation and growth in 2031 when the 2030 census data will be available for County Commissioner District redistricting. This proposal allows for CC1, CC3, and CC5’s eastern boundaries to move further east to reduce any inter-district population deviation as additional population centers emerge in the county around Marksheffel Road. For example, CC1 could extend east to the easternmost school district boundaries of Lewis-Palmer District 38 and/or Academy District 20, while still preserving the community of interest of school districts.


    I again appreciate the ability to participate in this process and explain my proposal that meets all criteria to the Redistricting Commissioners and Staff in writing. If there are additional questions or information you require from me, please reach out at the contact information I provided.


    Katherine Czukas



  • Katherine Czukas | June 02

    Redistricting Commissioners and Staff –

    Consider this to be Appendix 1 to my prior submission. My desire was to share a shapefile in a zip format. This shapefile would be valuable to staff to use with GIS software.
    However, it appears this comments form will not accept this type of attachment. Please email me to to let me know what will be the best process to submit a shapefile. Alternatively, staff is welcome to export the shapefile directly from the free software link I made reference to in my submission.

    Thank you,

    Katherine Czukas

    Note: We were able to upload Katherine’s zip file for public use


  • Katherine Czukas | June 02

    Redistricting Commission and Staff:

    Please consider this to be my submission of Appendix 2.

    Screen shot of
    Note: Dark Blue lines are municipal boundaries, light red lines are precincts, as available in the software. Population is from the software’s reporting of the official 2020 US Census.

    Thank you,
    Katherine Czukas



  • Katherine Czukas | June 02

    Redistricting Commission and Staff:

    Consider this to be my submission of Appendix 3. My intention was to deliver a 2 column spreadsheet like file in a .xlsx or .csv format. In lieu of that, I am submitting a pdf file of a table of precinct assignments to my proposed districts. If you would prefer a different format, please reach out to me with the method to submit it.

    Thank you,
    Katherine Czukas



  • Carlos Perez | June 05

    This comment is for people using Dave’s Redistricting App for creating and analyzing maps.

    I have been working with the site developers to ensure that the correct 2020 precinct boundaries are loaded.

    Here is what needs to be done to use the correct data:

    1) Under Map Settings, Select Precincts [1 Update] and pick “2022 El Paso County Precincts (Updated)”
    2) Under Data Selector, select Census, pick “Total Pop (Adj) 2020.” This has the incarcerated population relocation provided by the non-partisan legislative staff and is in the redistricting statute.

    A note concerning the 2022 precincts and the 2020 census data. DRA uses census blocks for population, not precincts. Note that census blocks do not always nest cleanly in precincts. I needed to to use GIS tools to create an intersection overlay and then remap the 2020 census blocks. There are a few precincts that don’t map because of explosive population growth in El Paso County and residential parcel adjustments per § 2-2-507(2.5)(a), C.R.S. (2021).

    The variances are:

    1) Non-contiguous precincts: 90 (2), 215 (2), 227 (5), 228 (2), 229 (3), 655 (2)
    2) Precincts (known) that didn’t map cleanly: 420, 424

    The block assignment file for the 2022 precincts can be found under my GitHub account:

  • Zurit Horowitz | June 07

    A written version of my April 18th, 2023 comments when El Paso County Commissioners were deciding whether to appoint themselves as the redistricting commission: Based on the past 90 days of County Commissioner Meeting agendas, there has only been one meeting where you’ve addressed redistricting, a closed door executive session with a lawyer on January 26th, 2023 that was supposed to be a consultation for legal advice.

    Yet you’re voting on a fully formed Resolution today. This resolution appoints yourselves as the redistricting commission instead of an independent redistricting commission or even creating an advisory committee and asks the county staff to use the current gerrymandered county commissioner boundaries. The boundaries that were redistricted in 2017 after Democratic candidate Electra Johnson received 46.87% of the vote in District 3 compared to the District 3 candidate & current county commissioner Stan VanderWerf 53.13% of the vote in 2016.

    When did you staff write this resolution? I’m asking because it seems that when I emailed you on February 28th, 2023 to give public input on the way redistricting would be structured, this resolution was already completed. Meaning there was no point in time where the public had any input in the crafting of this important piece of policy.

    Why would the county benefit from County Commissioners drawing their own lines?
    As you know Amendments Y & Z passed in 2018 to ensure “fair redistricting of congressional districts, state house of representative districts, and state senate districts,” using independent commissions, HB21-1047 was then passed because County Commissioners were left out of those bills and counties like our own have a 50+ year history of gerrymandering, meaning no Democrat has been elected onto this board since 1970/1971.

    I have heard you opine in a previous session about being unfairly unrepresented in Denver so it’s curious that you’ve chosen not to have an independent redistricting commission and have instead chosen yourselves to make up the commission. Your process for crafting this resolution goes against the spirit of HB21-1047 and highlights the immense conflict of interest that comes from politicians choosing their voters.

    Weld county is already being sued because of their botched redistricting, it seems like based on your conduct, there are reasons to evaluate this board as well. Which will cost the County money that a volunteer independent redistricting commission made up of ⅓ Republicans, ⅓ Independents, ⅓ Democrats would avoid.

  • Carlos Perez | June 09

    For the county staff, thank you for making available Esri Redistricting Online.

    Please enable the Import feature and the New Plan feature in the File tab. This will allow users to create plans from scratch without using the predefined templates and to import block assignment files from third-party tools such as Dave’s Redistricting App.

  • Katherine Czukas | June 09

    Redistricting Commission and Staff:
    Thank you for providing the public access to a professional version of a GIS software tool. In your verbal comments on June 12th and in your links, can you please provide an example of a very common “use case” for the public. Since many of us are not GIS professionals, we are creating maps in other formats and using a common file interchange system called a “shapefile” to allow for easy import/export of files. You can see an example of a shapefile in an appendix to an earlier submission.

    Once I created a log-in and reviewed the tutorials to the ESRI Redistricting Tool, I do not see how I can import a “shapefile” into the version of the software that El Paso County has made available to me. I do see that that functionality for this “use case” is available in the software via a search on its materials I do see that Arizona enabled a Import feature and provided instruction on it for the recent redistricting process. You can see mention of this in their independent redistricting commission tutorial video at 0:37

    I’d like to request that El Paso County Redistricting Commission and Staff enable the “import” button on the El Paso County version of the software or alternatively provide verbal and video based instruction on how to import a shapefile. This could be a part of agenda item #3 on the June 12th meeting, for example, to allow for sufficient time for the public to learn about enabling this use case.

    I welcome learning more about how the redistricting commission and staff are supporting the public in the submission of maps via the software you are providing.

    Katherine Czukas

  • Jackie Burhans | June 12

    Please re-connect the West and East sides of the Town of Monument. It made ZERO sense to split them up. Keep all of Tri-Lakes is ONE district.

    District setting should NOT be an exercise in politicians picking their own voters; it should be the other way around. What Holly Williams said was OUTRAGEOUS and should be repudiated:
    “…one of the criteria I have liked from the beginning was minimizing the ability for someone to vote me out of office every four years… although I’m term limited
    now, so…” – Holly Williams

    If commissioners do their jobs, the people will vote them back into office, if not, they should have every opportunity to vote them out.

  • Gilbert Armendariz | June 12

    I submit my public comment today to speak out on behalf of my family, who are Monument voters, as well as my daughter who lives in Southeast COS. I was especially compelled to comment today knowing that the Board has chosen to prioritize the comments of District 1 voters. I wish to note for the public record that this is contradictory to the spirit of public hearings being inclusive of all.

    As a Monument voter, I urge the Board to adopt a new map that ensures Monument is in ONE district, not two. The law clearly states that a city shouldn’t be divided without a “preponderance of evidence” which indicates such a need. There is no such evidence at this time. Monument is also clearly a community of interest. As the Board is likely aware, the law states communities of interest should be preserved in one district.

    The recent Supreme Court ruling has indicated voting maps that create “islands” of voters is illegal and this redistricting committee must avoid such decisions to prevent wasting taxpayer money in adopting a new map that will be subject to ligation under the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Any effort to preserve conservative power in El Paso County elected offices via gerrymandering is appalling.

    I also wish to note that I am glad to hear the Board has chosen to extend the time to turn in maps until after the District 5 hearing. The original plan to host the public hearing for the district with the most minority precincts last, and at 9 a.m., is a form of disenfranchisement. As the Board is likely aware, just last week, the Supreme Court issued a ruling under the 1965 Voting Rights Act that gives minority voters a fighting chance to get fair representation. I love my daughter and democracy. I taught her that a democracy is healthiest when everyone participates.

  • Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta | June 12

    Thank you, Katherine Czukas, for your map submission. I am glad to add my support via my comments. Otherwise, my comments are submitted to advocate for my Southeast neighborhood as a community of interest. Let me be clear that this is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is an issue of justice, integrity and democracy. The new county commission district map must end the division of Southeast among three districts. This disenfranchisement has negatively impacted our community for a number of years. As the BOCC is likely aware, we are a more than 40 percent minority area and we painfully have some of the lowest voter turnout in town. So, I call on the BOCC to end the gerrymandering of Southeast Colorado Springs in the new district map you insisted on having the responsibility of drawing. One of the most disturbing effects of Southeast being gerrymandered is that my community of color is forced to pay taxes into the county’s development schemes without having a fair shot at getting representation on the Board. The BOCC must end this injustice now. The BOCC should also know that voters can see right through the excuses that its members won’t be up for re-election themselves. Any effort to preserve conservative power in El Paso County elected offices via gerrymandering is appalling & illegal.

    I am also compelled to include this burning question in my comments: Why is it that my County District 5 public hearing, an opportunity for the district with the most minority precincts to engage, is the ONLY ONE scheduled at 9 a.m. on a weekday? As a largely working class community, this is a form of disenfranchisement in the redistricting process.

    Nevertheless we persist. In Southeast last month, we proudly held a Community Ballot Block Party to encourage a higher turnout in the ultimately successful municipal runoff election. This Board will be culpable in continuing a significant injustice against Southeast if it adopts a map that continues to dilute the vote of our community of interest. As the Board is likely aware, just last week, the Supreme Court issued a ruling under the 1965 Voting Rights Act that gives minority voters a fighting chance to get fair representation. We ask that you not waste our taxpayer money by choosing a map that will fail once it gets litigated.

    Overall, I submit these comments to remind the BOCC can do the right thing during this process. It is possible to choose a map that follows the law as well as your own suggestions and is fairly drawn to be competitive, compact & contiguous and meet population deviation requirements.

    We the people of Southeast call for the end to our disenfranchisement as a community of color. Respect. Our. Votes!

  • Mary Miller | June 12

    For over 50 years El Paso County has been intentionally gerrymandered to ensure that only republicans win seats on the Commission. And I am concerned that the existing set of commissioners want to ensure rule by the minority continues for another 50 years. The current map intentionally divides up communities of interest such as the town of Monument and my neighborhood, Patty Jewett. People in Monument have very different concerns about their community, such as fire mitigation and safety, than those of us who live in Patty Jewett. It was obviously intentional to separate out the western part of my neighborhood in order to dilute our votes. The state law indicates communities of interest should be kept together and I hope the Commissioners will take seriously the various communities of interest in our county when redrawing the maps. It undermines our democracy when the districts don’t reflect the communities they should be representing. The districts should also be competitive. The voters should get to pick their commissioner, the commissioners should not get to continue to pick their voters.

    Please reunite the city of Monument into District 1, Patty Jewett into District 3 and all of SE El Paso County into District 5. The redistricting map submitted by Katie Czukas is an excellent map that aligns communities of interest in a much fairer distribution than currently exists. Thank you.

  • Tam Walsky | June 14

    My name is Tam Walsky. I have been a resident of El Paso County since the mid 1950’s and a voter in El Paso County since the early 1970’s. In the fifty (50) plus years I have voted in El Paso County a Democrat has never been elected as a County Commissioner. In the fifty (50) plus years I have voted in El Paso County gerrymandering has effectively diluted my vote.

    Non-Sensibly my historic, near downtown neighborhood and similar surrounding neighborhoods have been carved up and lumped in with areas up to 20 miles away. This is called gerrymandering. Ironically as a senior citizen I was unable to travel these 20 miles to tonight’s meeting even though it is taking place near the northern border of the district I live in.

    Rather than allowing the voters in my neighborhood to join together with other nearby historic neighborhoods such as Patty Jewett, the Westside and the Broadmoor our voices and votes have been diluted for far too long by gerrymandering. These Historic neighborhoods share similar concerns and often face similar problems distinct to historic homes, trees, landscaping, streets and character and are a Community of Interest. More importantly, this gerrymandering assigns this Community’s Democratic voters to multiple districts effectively diluting their votes and ensuring that only Republican candidates are elected.

    Data supports the creation of politically competitive districts and my neighbors and I should have the opportunity to vote in competitive districts rather than in districts drawn to favor one political party over the other. Things are changing in El Paso County and the great State of Colorado. In the past our citizens could do little to prevent this voter suppression. But, now House Bill 21 10 47 has been passed and signed into law. Tonight I take note that no Democrats sit on this Redistricting Committee which is not an independent commission. Tonight I am asking the self-appointed members of this Redistricting Committee to make a promise to the citizens of El Paso County. I am asking you to promise that the members of this committee will personally pay all legal costs and attorneys fees that are likely to result if your decisions are challenged in court because you fail to act in good faith and to follow the law by complying with HB 21 10 47. If you truly believe that you are acting in a fair, non political and unbiased manner then you should have no problem making this promise. If however you are merely going through the motions of checking the boxes on your way to once again gerrymandering which I suspect based on the continued carving up of my neighborhood and the separation of it from contiguous like neighborhoods then why should the citizens of El Paso County be stuck having their hard earned taxpayer dollars wasted defending politically motivated shenanigans? As my father, a forty plus year resident of El Paso County, used to say “It’s time to put your money where your mouth is.”

    On a final note, at the June 12th meeting Commissioner Carrie Geitner sarcastically gave those in attendance a little lecture about skepticism versus cynicism. Apparently it is beyond her grasp that the self-serving political contortions of the County Commissioners in exclusively appointing themselves to the Redistricting Commission while completely excluding the over 50% of NON-Republican voters from representation can only be met with cynicism. This obvious Republican Party power grab is a disservice to the citizens of El Paso County. You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.

  • Zurit Horowitz | June 14

    June 12th, 2023 Redistricting Meeting Comments:
    An important point moving precincts and super/starved voters are not referred to in Amendments Y & Z or HB21-1047. I do not care if I can vote in an election if it’s more likely that the person being elected will align with my priorities.

    I was born in Colorado Springs, went to Cheyenne Mountain High School and Colorado College. I live in Old Colorado City in the walkable historic part of town, on the Colorado Ave Corridor…we have a lot in common with Manitou, Downtown, The Old North End, and Patty Jewett. We have nothing in common with Monument, the only time I’m here is driving through or stopping at the bustang stop, we don’t have much in common with South East Colorado Springs which is sadly not walkable at all and is overrun with concrete and pavement. Even with these obstacles, South East Colorado Springs has a strong culture and large minority population all its own and it’s unfair that it’s gerrymandered between Districts 5, 2, & 4. None of the maps presented today address these concerns. Katherine Czukas map does address these concerns:

    One of the important points of House Bill 21-1047 is that districts are “drawn to ensure representation for the various communities of interest and to maximize the number of competitive districts.” There should be two competitive districts in El Paso County with minimal changes to the map (though uniting the eastern plains would make a lot more sense than the way they’re divided right now). Districts 3&5 would be representative of communities of interest and maximize competitive districts if monument was reunited into District 1, Patty Jewett was reunited in District 3, and all of Southeast Colorado Springs was united in District 5, which is shown in Katie Czukas’s maps in public comment. If you use metrics like Polis’s performance in the last election where republicans ran an extremely weak candidate (I can’t even remember their name) for competitiveness instead of county level races you will be misrepresenting the competitiveness of the districts. Even though you appointed yourselves the redistricting commission and the last time you redistricted in 2017 you gerrymandered District 3 to make it less competitive, I hope this time around you will follow HB21-1047 and do right by El Paso County and our communities.

    Additional Concerns:
    Somehow all five of the maps met the El Paso County Clerk & Recorders standards for the Voting Rights Act and Communities of Interest and Compactness, even though only one map united Monument, I do not recall any uniting Patty Jewett, they do not unite the Eastern plains and most egregiously none united South East Colorado Springs.

    My questions are:
    What were the standards they used to assess whether a map meets the standards of the Voting Rights Act?
    What were the standards they put in place to to assess whether the maps met the standard of Communities of Interest and Compactness?

    Additionally, I was reminded of the overt political motivations of the Redistricting Commission, when Commissioner Carrie Geitner lied about what was said during public comment by concerned citizens, accusing members of the public of somehow denigrating the military. The two times the military was referenced by citizens was in a comment requesting that Fort Carson remain in District 4 as it is currently and in a question addressed to me, asking whether I thought Fort Carson should remain in District 4, which I replied “Yes it should” and agreed with the current districting and commissioners and yet my comments were slanderously misconstrued by Commissioner Geitner.

    (I would also add that there are apartments in District 3 which service members live in and many retired military families live in District 4, it is more closely an issue for those members of the public who live in those areas to comment on. Because the member of the public most knowledgeable and personally vested in the issue advocated for Fort Carson remaining in District 4, I agreed with her).

  • Shepard Emry | June 15

    I do not have a specific proposal map. However, I want to insist that a critical aspect for re-districting should be insuring that neighborhoods that consist of working class folks, latinos, and black folks be considered communities of interest. In the current map, this part of the county is divided between District 2, 4, and 5, which effectively dilutes the community’s interests. The areas roughly south of Constitution, west of Powers, and north of I-25 should be considered a community of interest and be included all in the same district. I also believe that just as Monument is considered a community of interest as well as Black Forest, that Manitou and Old Colorado Springs be given an equal level of respect and likewise be included in the same district.

    Monument, Black Forest, Manitou and Old Colorado City, and Southeast Colorado Springs all deserve an equal level of respect where shared interests can have fair representation on the Board of County Commissioners.

  • John Mikos | June 15

    My comments are related to the presentation provided by the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder at the public meetings on June 12, 2023. I have two concerns:

    Concern #1 – In the presentation, the only Communities of Interest (outside of towns and municipalities) that are included for analysis are the I-25 corridor, Fort Carson, and El Paso County Eastern plains. These defined communities all lie outside of the city of Colorado Springs. Limiting the consideration in this way, does not give appropriate considerations to unique and well defined neighborhoods within the city of Colorado Springs.

    Recommendation # 1 – That the Commission also include areas of the city that have unique demographic or urban neighborhood characteristics that warrant inclusion as a defined Communities of Interest. The Commission has already received public testimony and/or public comment on two such areas;

    1) The Southeast Colorado Springs community (multiple contiguous precincts that are all currently divided amongst at least three County Commission districts).

    2) The Patty Jewett neighborhood (for Patty Jewett this would include at a minimum precincts 171, 172, 173 and arguably some adjacent precincts as well)

    Concern # 2 – In the presentation, the baseline measure of political competitiveness are four statewide / national races (2020 Presidential and three 2022 statewide races) and only one local race (2022 County Sheriff). Statewide races may have different dynamics and voting patterns than local races. County Commission offices are local races. Therefore, the baseline comparisons for competitive analysis should include more local races.

    Recommendation # 2 – That the Commission use 2022 El Paso County office elections as the baseline for comparison. Comparators would include the 2022 County Treasurer, County Assessor, and County Clerk & Recorder races.

  • Carlos Perez | June 15

    The redistricting commission has requested that the results of selected county-wide elections be used for assessing the competitiveness of the proposed plans. The Clerk and Recorder needs to post a link to the 2022 General Election Statement of Votes Cast by county precinct in machine-readable XLSX or CSV format. There is a PDF report on the website but it unsuitable for use in spreadsheets or other computer tools.

  • Gilberto Armendariz | June 16

    After attending the presentation of proposals in Monument, it was a question on my mind: where were all the unaffiliated voters in these calculations. From my perspective, this makes all the proposed maps skewed and not representative of the total voting population in El Paso County. Looking at the ESRI site, digging past the initial layers, the system indicated 2/3 of the districts were indicated as a “partisan” voting district. Weren’t these redistricting efforts brought about to ensure balanced representation in the County? I do not see that happening at this point. To avoid problems in the immediate future, cannot an independent third party be brought in to design the voting maps? The current efforts fall very short of providing any type of balanced voter representation as executed by the County government.

  • Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta | June 19

    On June 12, 2023, El Paso County staff invited the dozens of voters who shared public comment identifying Southeast Colorado Springs as a community of interest to provide precinct data to define its boundaries.

    We believe the best definition of Southeast Colorado Springs, and one that will best comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is a map which includes “all contiguous precincts in southeast Colorado Springs with a minority population of 45% or greater,” using census data and existing precincts for the definition.

    This would include the following precincts (please see attached PDF for more data):


  • Owen Cramer | June 20

    I have lived on the southwest corner of Uintah and Prospect in Colorado Springs for 56 years, currently in precinct 176, in District 3 but looking at my neighbors across Prospect who live in District 5. I’m on the board of the Middle Shooks Run Neighborhood which, as a whole, is (like the Patty Jewett Neighborhood) divided between these districts. We are a distinctive neighborhood with treelined, walkable streets and historic housing stock more modest than the Old North End. I do not have a map, but I am convinced that a better balance between Districts 3 and 5 could be achieved. And I know that the community of interest around wildfire mitigation that justified the extension of District 3 north to the county line is weak.

    One additional observation: the recent Supreme Court decision rejecting Alabama electoral maps that failed to fairly represent racial minority voters who had historically been discriminated against should encourage deeper thought about the way the Southeast quadrant of Colorado Springs is represented.

  • Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta | June 22

    Please note the following correction regarding my public comment listed here & dated June 19, 2023 — which inadvertently included a copy/paste error that did not include the full list of precincts in written form, though the attachment (also included here) listed this data correctly:

    We believe the best definition of Southeast Colorado Springs, and one that will best comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is a map which includes “all contiguous precincts in southeast Colorado Springs with a minority population of 45% or greater,” using census data and existing precincts for the definition.

    This would include the following precincts (please see attached PDF for more data):





























    The additional following comments are submitted in response to the maps presented at the June 21, 2023 hearing:

    With regard to adhering to legal requirements, as well as the repeated public input that the Southeast Colorado Springs community of color is a community of interest which should no longer be divided among three districts, “Proposed Map 3” and the “Czukas Map” appear to be the closest to acceptable. However, it must be noted that the Commission would commit a grave error if it were to divide the historically majority minority community of Hillside, Precinct 185, from the rest of our community as “Proposed Map 3” does in its most recently presented form.

    Furthermore, we the Southeast community maintain our stance that the commissioners’ statements about our District 5 meeting being the ONLY ONE at 9 a.m. on a weekday, allegedly to accommodate shift workers, is an utterly offensive attempt to dismiss our concerns that this disenfranchises our community because most of us are working at that time. There are few working class people who could dedicate at least three hours of a Monday morning (based on how long these meetings have been going) without using precious paid time off hours to do so. We also don’t know any healthcare workers, bartenders or cleaning crews, examples of the shift workers the commissioners are so “concerned” about, who would — or could — make a 9 a.m. meeting after working overnights. We see right through the commissioners’ hollow excuses regarding this matter, and we do not accept them. The chasm between the alleged intent of this decision and its actual impact, which is showing our community of color that commissioners have deliberately made it hard for us to participate in this process, is as big as the Grand Canyon.

    Does this County Commission Board actually understand the difference between INTENT and IMPACT? It’s important the people drawing a map that will IMPACT electoral outcomes for years to come are able to competently comprehend this concept. We will continue to question & scrutinize your INTENT as well.


  • Rebecca Theobald | June 26

    In order to support members of the public in using the Esri redistricting tool provided by the El Paso County Redistricting Commission, the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and the Geographic Information Systems Lab at Colorado College will be hosting two open houses where community members may explore the online mapping tool. GIS educators will be on hand to answer any questions people might have regarding navigation or access. Computers will be available, but if people would like to bring their own laptops, there will be internet access as well. Please visit the GeoCivics website for additional information (

    University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Columbine Hall 329, Wednesday, July 5th, 4 to 7 pm
    Colorado College, Tutt Library, Room 130, Wednesday, July 12th, 4 to 7 pm

    Please contact Rebecca Theobald at if you have any questions.

  • Kevin Curry | June 27

    At the Redistricting Commission meeting in District 2 on 21 Jun, I suggested that Falcon should be explicitly considered as a community of interest. I was invited to create a map defining what areas should be considered. The attached map has a description that will resonate with those of us who call Falcon home. The file includes a visual map, a street level description of the boundaries, a list of included voting precincts, and an explanation of why the area is defined the way it is.

    Attachment: Falcon-Community-of-Interest.pdf

  • Christian Seale | July 1

    Dear Local Commission,

    As a concerned citizen of District 2, I am writing to ask that you unite Southeast Colorado Springs into a single district.

    The current districts divide Southeast Colorado Springs into districts 5, 4, 2, and partially into 3, segregating that community from their neighbors and allies who share common interests and values. This weakens their voice and representation in the local government.

    The current districts violate the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits redistricting plans that discriminate against racial or ethnic minorities. District 2 includes several precincts with high concentrations of minority voters, such as 194, 620, 190, 627, and 193, which is a very different demographic make up compared to the largely white, rural areas included further East and North. This would reduce the ability of minority voters to elect candidates of their choice and influence policy decisions that affect their lives.

    Finally, I am appalled by the lack of public accountability in the redistricting process. By appointing themselves as the Redistricting Commission, our county commissioners have created a personal and professional conflict of interest between their responsibilities to the public that elected them and their own political interests. Even if done in the pure best interest of the public, the commissioners have stained their own credibility by accepting the powers granted to The Redistricting Commission.

    Therefore, I urge you to approve a new redistricting that respects the integrity and diversity of our communities, and complies with the Voting Rights Act. Please do not let political self interest undermine the rights and interests of thousands of Colorado citizens. Thank you so much for you time and consideration.

    Christian Seale

  • Bethany Winder | July 4

    Dear Redistricting Commissioners,
    I am a 12 yr resident of CC3, Rockrimmon specifically, and have raised my kids here. They have attended Air Academy and we have many friends and neighbors that live there and in Mountain Shadows just up the street. It has come to my attention that the communities north of Rockrimmon, the USAFB and Mountain Shadows are being considered for redistricting across I 25 where we seldom go. Neither I, nor my children, have connections there. We tend to keep our business to the Westside out of convenience and preference. I do not consider myself part of Monument, Flying Horse or Palmer Lake but instead the USAFB, Garden of the Gods, Manitou, and the towns along Ute pass. I am interested in school activities with my kids, bike paths, hiking, conservation and community, not gated communities with large plots of land and huge multi million dollar homes. It makes more sense to keep the USAFB part of our Westside community.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Katherine Czukas | July 5

    To the Staff members posting documents and video links on the redistricting website:

    Thank you for enabling residents of El Paso County to participate in the process asynchronously via materials on
    I was attempting to understand the June 21st discussion and I had a few observations I wanted to share about website materials. I request you try to address these matters before the next meeting’s documentation process to enable others to participate fully.

    1. Verbally in the meeting there were substantive typos mentioned regarding the Archived Materials document called “June 21 Clerk and Recorder Redistricting” which is a link next to the June 21st meeting and takes people to
    While I’m not sure if I heard the details correctly in the video feed, I believe this was about typos on slide 20 and 42. In fact it seemed there was confusion verbally during this agenda item, which led to a lengthy, and hard to follow, discussion about information presented on slides 42 and 27.

    Going forward, I suggest a revised document correcting typos be posted AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after the typos are mentioned that need to be corrected so that asynchronous readers are not confused by data that was resolved verbally in the meeting session.

    If revising a powerpoint document live-time during a Redistricting Commissioner meeting is a challenge for the processes established, I have a few suggestions:
    A – A memo of “typos” / “errata” could be circulated as an appendix to the informal minutes document of any redistricting commission meeting;
    B – If there is a public comment on the website about needing a document without typos, it should be addressed as soon as feasible (such as when there is written public comment to provide data or update ESRI tool functionality);
    C – There could be brief Redistricting Commission “process session” / error correction working session” to simply gavel in, have Mr. Parsell verbally say he is posting typo-corrected or other requested documents to the publicly available website, and gavel out. This could occur just after meetings on the regular Tuesdays when the El Paso County Board of Commissioners is already together in the same room. This short session would allow the public to have corrected typos or desired materials quickly shared without needing to wait many days until the next Redistricting Commission meeting.
    These are just suggestions, but my main point is that there should be ways to correct “typos” and circulate materials requested quicker than the current process of only showing electronic documents once the next meeting starts.

    2. The June 21st’s Archive Video link on the redistricting website is an INCOMPLETE recording. The link
    stops at the 2:10 mark before agenda item 5, public comment, started. I was fortunate to search around the calendar feature on the El Paso County website and find another complete video of the June 21st meeting and informal minutes at
    Perhaps the Redistricting website can reference both indexed video and informal minutes as well as Archive Video as all are valuable to the public?

    Thank you in advance for your ability to look into these issues so that information is fairly available.

    Katherine Czukas

  • Katherine Czukas | July 5

    To Mr. Karl Nordstrom and other staff responsible for the ESRI Redistricting Tool:

    I want to thank the ESRI-skilled members of staff for taking the time to plan and share instructional information about the tool during the Redistricting Commission meetings. I wanted to use this written comment to ask a few questions about the tool’s use – both in general and with respect to the map referred to as Czukas map in the Archived Materials of the June 21st meeting. Please excuse my naivety in language about the ESRI tool, as I am not someone who has formal training in GIS software or ESRI tools as you as staff do.

    In general:
    1 – Could you share what measure of compactness staff is using to evaluate any map to make conclusions like on slide 34 of June 21 Clerk and Recorder Redistricting document that “Commissioner District 1 Communities of Interest” is sufficiently compact? I notice that there are many definitions in the ESRI tool and your guidance is appreciated.
    2 – I’m wondering if the Share-Manage Groups feature could be enabled? The use case I envision is that if I wanted to show a map to my friend so we could discuss ideas, this feature of “Manage Groups” and “Share Plan” could be valuable. I personally wanted to do this in the past few days, but was unable to do so. Alas, the Export-Image feature created a small county image with VERY LARGE White District labels blocking any map details, and that was dis-satisfactory for sharing with my friend who also has access to the ESRI Redistricting tool. If there are other ways to address this use case, I’m open to hearing about them the next time your team provides a demo.

    With respect to Czukas map ESRI file:
    3 – Is there anyway that I (as the person who submitted the information for Czukas map) could be able to File Open Plan the map shared in the June 21 meeting in the county’s ESRI tool?
    The use case is that I could imagine that I may want to submit additional maps in the future. I verbally heard in the recording to the June 21st meeting that when I submit via public comments a shapefile created in a different software, it doesn’t easily import to ESRI because of zero population precincts which exist in El Paso County like precincts 747 or 002. Going forward as I create new maps, I’m happy to “File Save As” off of the Czukas map. But, I don’t seem to have the ability to find it in the folders available to me in the Plan Open window in the ESRI tool. I am asking this to be enabled in the spirit of saving staff time, as I feel comfortable File Open Plan and doing File Save As of existing maps, and then a File Submit (along with written comments saying that I’m doing so).

    Thank you again for your assistance in being able to share redistricting proposals in an efficient way with all who use the ESRI redistricting tool.

    Katherine Czukas

  • Katherine Czukas | July 5

    Redistricting Commissioners and Staff:

    After listening to the archive video of the June 21st meeting and reading the materials I had a few requests that I believe would make the digestion of information easier for members of the public who cannot attend in person and do so asynchronously. I also had a few comments to clarify the verbal and written presentation of Czukas map that occurred at the June 21st meeting.

    Per the verbal presentation in Agenda Item 3 on June 21st, Mr. Karl Nordstrom clarified how to interpret data shared in Agenda Item 2 by Mr. Steve Schleiker. Since we have two different people verbally giving data interpretation that seems to be opposing, and at far different times in a long meeting, perhaps some written clarification is necessary for those who don’t listen to the entire meeting or who process information differently?

    As Mr. Nordstrom discussed at about 1:28:00 of the meeting there is no “loss” for a party on the political competitive slides like slide 14 of “June 21 Clerk and Recorder Redistricting” which is a link next to the June 21st meeting
    As Mr. Nordstrom said, this data is interpreted EITHER as a gain for party X or a gain for party Y.

    Having a written definition of Deviation and Deviation from current would also potentially allow for staff presenters to not publicly reveal their political opinions when presenting. An example of this is when Mr. Schleiker (at around 29:00 of the recording) said “We lost” when describing a number in a table. I can imagine hearing words like “we lost” in a formal setting of a meeting could “perk up” the ears of Commissioners or members of the public or make them feel that the map being shared is something Mr. Schleiker doesn’t approve of, because he’s saying he’s part of some group that “lost” on that particular map.

    It would seem to me that putting in writing how to understand a column heading/data point would be important to do. Specifically, I’d like to request that a written definition of “Deviation” and “Deviation from current” be available in a terminology list/glossary that is available in Archived Materials or elsewhere on the Redistricting website whenever the terminology is used in a presentation or mentioned by a presenter.

    In addition, on slides like slide 9 and 11 about Total Variance, perhaps a definition of total variance would be useful. For example, variance has different meanings to financial analysts who evaluate budgets than it does to statisticians. I’d like to request that “Total variance” have a written definition and be available in a terminology list/glossary that is available in Archived Materials or elsewhere on the Redistricting website whenever the terminology is used in a presentation or mentioned by a presenter.

    In terms of this Deviation, Deviation from Current, and Variance data, I’d like to know when there will be an agenda item focused on interpretation and comparison of these metrics. I am curious to know how the Redistricting Commission plans to interpret Deviation and Deviation from Current when making decisions regarding the number of politically competitive districts criteria? I am curious to know if the Redistricting Commission has a desire to minimize variance of total population or minimize the variation of voting age population, or maximize variance of either when it comes to the criteria around complying with the Voting Rights Act?

    As a far more minor point, I would appreciate the written summaries of Communities of Interest for Districts, such as on slide 12, have more precision about what information is a “landmark” (e.g., a useful reference point or a frequently visited location) vs. a “ whole Community of Interest.” For example, on slide 12 about Commissioner District 2 Communities of Interest it lists out “Corral Bluffs and RAM Off-Road Park” and I’m not sure these nonprofit and for profit business are Communities of Interest as reflected in the Criteria for Plan Development rather than just landmarks in unincorporated parts of the county. The same may be true of other points shared on these slides related to Communities of Interest in this document. Having 2 different bullet points on slides like this may make this clearer to a reader – A, B, C are Landmarks in the proposed district and X,Y, Z are Communities of Interest united in the proposed district. Or perhaps even 3 bullet points by splitting up Communities of Interest between defined municipalities (or political subdivision) and other Communities of Interest expressed in commission meetings. Again, being specific with examples, It would seem to me that “Falcon” is a Community of Interest, “Manitou Springs” is a political subdivision, and “Ram Off-Road Park” is neither.

    With regards to the verbal and written analysis of what is referred to as Czukas map on June 21st, I had a few comments.

    1 – I want to express my sincere gratitude for the staff taking time to evaluate the proposal I submitted. I found the details on slides 71-81 of “June 21 Clerk and Recorder Redistricting” to be interesting. Per my earlier comments above, I’m not clear how to interpret data on 71-81 relative to the same facts about other maps. Once I read definitions of Deviation and Variance, I am happy to provide a written comment about my interpretation, or potentially submit a different proposal for consideration before the public map submission deadline.
    2 – In listening to the recording of the June 21 meeting, I did notice that Mr. Schleiker verbally said something about “active voters moved” when he presented other data shared on slide 71 about Czukas map. However, I don’t know what number he is referring to as I don’t see any reporting of Active Voters on that slide or the next ones.
    3 – I wanted to point out that the Czukas map analysis shared to date is not as complete as that for Maps A-E or 1-3 presented by Mr. Schleiker. As I compare slides 71-81 to the details shared for Maps 1-3 in the same presentation, I am wondering if the staff analyzed Czukas map for compactness, precinct moves, or communities of interest and whether that data is available to be shared with the Redistricting Commissioners should they desire it?
    4 – Alas, I didn’t hear any verbal comments from the commissioners about next steps with this Czukas map, so I’m not sure if it is being removed from consideration or not. An update on that would be helpful to know as the Commissioner recap their process in upcoming meetings.

    Thank you for reading my comments about clarity and consistency in the evaluation of proposals created by staff (as directed by the Redistricting Commissioners) and by members of the public for district boundaries. You are welcome to reach out to me if you need any clarification about this written comment.

    Katherine Czukas

  • Katherine Czukas | July 5

    Redistricting Commission Staff:

    I’d like to request that at an upcoming meeting there is discussion of how Redistricting Commission meetings will be scheduled and run on/after July 18th. Given the current format for the agenda of Redistricting Commission meetings, it appears that the last item of every meeting is “Redistricting Commission members provide consensus direction to staff.” And thereafter, there is no sharing of what staff does with the “direction to staff” until the next meeting starts.
    Currently I do not see any Redistricting Commission meetings scheduled after July 18th, but I do see a deadline of July 24th for public to submit palns. I am curious how the public could react to and can submit plans based upon what staff does with the “direction to staff” content shared on July 17th? What if that next Commissioner meeting sharing out July 17th “direction to staff” data is after July 24th?
    Per comments made in early May, the public expressed a desire to schedule and publish meetings for the Redistricting Commission at least 2 weeks in advance. Please publish when meeting will occur on/after July 18th up through the proposed end of the process on August 15th.

    Katherine Czukas

  • Candi Boyer | July 7

    Thank you for your continued work on this monumental task. I have attended 2 of the meetings open to the public. I appreciate the public input however, at this point all I hear about is Southeast Colorado Springs being kept as a whole. While I see and understand the rationale, my question at this point is, at what cost are we willing to go to achieve that goal? I live in the extreme northeast precinct of District 5. My precinct (151) keeps getting bounced back and forth, I feel like a ping pong ball. I live on the west side of Powers and Stetson Hills, my school district is 11 and I live within the boundaries of the city. It does not make sense to shift my precinct into District 2, because of the school district boundaries and city limits. If my precinct has to be moved out of District 5, then I would recommend that it be moved into District 1, as that aligns more with our neighborhood. Thank you for your consideration.

    Candi Boyer

  • Lois Landgraf | July 7

    I have a map I would like to submit.

    Districts 3 and 5 are over populated, Districts 1,2, and 4 underpopulated to allow for growth.

  • Tony Exum | July 7

    I want to thank the Commissioners for being receptive to the suggestion I and other members of the public put forward at the redistricting meeting the other night: for preserving southeast Colorado Springs as one community of interest which should not be divided into different districts.

    In order to help clarify this suggestion, I and others have compiled a list of the 30 precincts which we believe constitutes what is southeast Colorado Springs, so you can keep these 30 precincts together in one district.

    Those precincts are: 137, 169, 180, 182, 184, 185, 187, 190, 193, 194, 199, 601, 605, 609, 610, 611, 612, 614, 615, 616, 619, 620, 621, 622, 623, 624, 625, 626, 627, and 901.

    Whether these precincts, bundled together, are in district 4 or district 5, I leave for the commissioners to decide. But I believe, and others agree with me, that these specific precincts, which make up southeast Colorado Springs, should be kept together in whichever district works best for the maps.

    Again, thank you for your time and consideration on this issue.

  • Deborah Sheinman | July 9

    To Whom It May Concern:
    I am a long-time resident, voter, and constituent of County Commission District #3 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I am writing to you today to urge all of you involved in redistricting to ensure the boundaries of District 3 remain intact with little to no change. We need County Commission District 3 to remain competitive for all voters and not be gerrymandered for special interests.
    Thank you,
    Deborah Sheinman

  • Randy Garcia | July 9

    Recommend keeping Black Forest together as a community. That would include Vollmer Road, Black Forest Road, Burgess Road, etc. This would be helpful as we continue to advocate for the Black Forest planning and development to maintain the Black Forest Preservation Plan.

  • Amy Paschal | July 9

    For the written record, I am posting my comments from the April 18, 2023 County Commissioners meeting regarding the resolution to appoint the existing county commissioners as the redistricting committee to draw their own district lines.

    Good Morning, commissioners. My name is Amy Paschal. Thank you for allowing this opportunity to comment.
    I am here today to speak out against resolution 23 for the simple reason that I believe it’s unethical for elected officials to draw their own districts.
    HOUSE BILL 1047 passed and signed into law in 2021 says:
    “In order for our democratic republic to truly represent the voices of the people, districts must be drawn such that the people have an opportunity to elect representatives who are reflective of and responsive and accountable to their constituents;
    The people are best served when districts are not drawn to benefit particular parties or incumbents, but are instead drawn to ensure representation for the various communities of interest and to maximize the number of competitive districts “
    This is the spirit of HB 21-1047.
    I realize that after intensive lobbying, that bill was unfortunately changed to recommend an advisory committee reflective of the voting population rather than requiring one.
    However, in 2018, over 70% of El Paso County voters voted YES on amendments Y and Z which established independent redistricting commissions for Congressional and state legislative districts.
    It’s clear that El Paso county voters are in favor of independent redistricting commissions rather than having elected officials draw their own districts.
    It’s also clear that El Paso County voters are in favor of having the members of such a redistricting commission appropriately reflect the political affiliations of the voters in our county rather than being 100% from one political party that makes up less than a third of registered voters in our county. Less than a third. (31.34% , as of 4/17 per the county elections department).
    I implore you to do as recommended by HB21-1047 and create a multi-partisan advisory committee NOT containing officials who will be elected from the drawn districts but rather appropriately reflecting the political affiliations of the voters of El Paso County.
    El Paso county voters have spoken. They do not want the fox watching the hen house. I challenge you to have the courage to let the people choose their county commissioners from fairly-drawn districts.

    Additional comment: In the April 18, 2023 meeting, the commissioners said it would be too time-consuming for them manage an independent redistricting committee.
    I would like to point out that the precincts in El Paso County were updated based on the 2020 census by the end of February 2022, in preparation for the early March 2022 caucuses. At the time of this meeting, it was over 13 months since the precincts were redrawn. As far as I am aware, there was nothing stopping the county commissioner redistricting process from start earlier.

  • Amy Paschal | July 10

    Submitting my comments from the 6-12-2023 redistricting meeting in Monument.

    Fair representation is the foundation of democracy. I’m here today to make the plea that this redistricting process result in fair representation. The board of county commissioners has been 100% Republican for 50 years. That is not fair representation.

    What would fair representation look like? As of June 5th, 2023 voters of El Paso County are 18% Democratic, 31% Republican and 49% unaffiliated by their voter registration affiliation. They are not 100% Republican or even half Republican. As was pointed out in an earlier redistricting meeting, with nearly half of registered voters unaffiliated, it’s challenging to determine where true affiliations lie, and of course, it can depend on the race and the candidates.

    However, I think recent elections with county-wide results are a good place to look for guidance. In the 2022 election, Democratic candidates earned an average of 39% of the vote in county-wide offices where there was a contest and an average of 43% of the vote in state-wide offices.
    Recently, Tom Cronin and Bob Loevy wrote an op-ed in the Gazette calling for 3 Democratic districts. While I’m not sure the math supports 3 districts while complying with roughly equal population, contiguousness, compactness, and communities of interest, 2 Democratic-majority (or at least competitive) districts IS entirely doable. And by competitive, I mean down no more than 2 percentage points for Democrats. I’m not asking for districts gerrymandered as safe Democratic districts (meaning up 5 or more percentage points). I’m asking for fairness and proportionate representation.

    I would also like to reiterate that this 100% Republican board has chosen to appoint themselves the committee to draw their own districts. I find this, at the very least, to have the appearance of impropriety. I know it would take a lot of work and time to manage a separate redistricting committee. Probably more work than it would take to do it yourselves. I get that. However, the precincts based on the 2020 census have been drawn since February of 2022. That’s well over a year ago. You’ve had plenty of time.

  • Amy Paschal | July 10

    Submitting my comments from the 6-21-23 County Commissioner Redistricting Meeting for the written record:

    I’m here today to talk to you about communities of interest.
    As several have mentioned throughout these redistricting meetings, there are many communities of interest, all with a legitimate argument for their shared interest. So many, in fact, that no district map could take them all into consideration.
    However, while they all may have a legitimate shared interest, not all of them are of equal priority. I would submit that communities required to be in the same district by the voting rights act of 1965 and Colorado 21-HB1047 should be of the highest priority.
    Southeast Colorado Springs is one such community. This is a majority minority area but is currently broken up into 4 different districts. This is called “cracking” in gerrymandering parlance.
    Not only is the current district map cracked, so were every single one of the 5 maps presented at the last (6-13-23) redistricting meeting. Further, instructions to staff to include a map acknowledging this community of interest were only given after loud protests at the last meeting. Which is really disappointing.
    As I have said, I believe this practice is illegal and since you seem not to be aware, I thought I’d bring it to your attention.
    A definition of Southeast Colorado Springs by precincts has been submitted to the redistricting website (Thank you to Jacqueline Armendariz-Unzueta and John Jarrell for doing that). This list includes color-coded minority percentages for your ease of use. In addition, a map keeping these precincts together in district 5 was submitted by Katie Czukas on June 2nd.
    I believe you have everything you need to make a compliant map. I look forward to seeing it.
    Thank you.

  • Katherine Czukas | July 10

    This is the text of my verbal comments shared on Thursday, July 6, 2023.

    My name is Katherine Czukas and I am a District 3 resident living in the Rockrimmon area of Northwest Colorado Springs. Thank you for reading my written comments. I am not planning on covering those now, but if you have questions about them, I am happy to answer.

    I live in the Academy District 20 school district.

    Two District 20 schools are on the US Air Force Academy, and they are part of the same feeder strand as the D20 schools in Rockrimmon. What is being forgotten by redistricting commissioners when discussing the 6,000 people living on USAFA, or thousands in nearby neighbors, is the children.

    You see I’m an Air Academy High School parent, as are many of my neighbors. There are generations of Air Academy families in the Rockrimmon area. Our kids have the longest bus rides because they pass through the south gate every day.

    But we expect it. Rockrimmon parents and children are busy enough during our school days, and we don’t spend time up in Monument or Palmer Lake for activities, community events or shopping. We’d prefer if our teen drivers don’t drive I-25 for long distances. The half mile daily drive between the Woodmen and Academy exits is enough.

    Air Academy parents get certified with these DBIDS cards, giving us permission to be on base at all hours to pickup our kids up from theater rehearsal or athletic games. Fun fact, Mesa Ridge where we are tonight is one of Air Academy’s biggest rivals. Anyone here attend the recent boys basketball 5A state championship?

    The staff at Douglass Valley Elementary and Air Academy High School do a fantastic job of creating community for its military families. As does Eagleview Middle School by Ute Valley Park which tweens come off base to attend.

    Air Academy High School was voted as Best of the Springs this year. Eagleview Middle School got the same honor the year before. And while we wish it was different, the majority of people who live in Briargate or the Northgate area are NOT part of the Air Academy community. They have a different neighborhood public high school they support (which are also Air Academy rivals).

    Please ensure that Precinct 200 is with the adjacent precincts of 201 – 208. The Geitner map shown today (Map 6) doesn’t even unite all of Rockrimmon, because it splits up precincts 201-208.

    When you think of Peregrine and Rockrimmon, these neighborhoods are inseparable from Mountain Shadows and Pinecliff (geographically described as the area west of I-25 and north of Garden of the Gods Road). Though to different degrees, all 2012 residents in these neighborhoods suffered years of trauma associated with the Waldo Canyon Fire. Our community has a love / hate relationship with the quarry up at the end of Allegheny Drive (which is large enough to span Precincts 101 and 301). We know that quarry stopped further disaster that Tuesday evening. Over the past decade, it is our northwest side community of residents (not people in Monument) who volunteered to rebuild trails and trail markers through the redefined Blodgett Open Space (which has parking lots in Precinct 201 but continues up higher into Precincts 101 and 301).

    Some Rockrimmon precincts also have UCCS student apartments in them. So if universities are a COI, then this may need to be considered to unite these populations together. I realize it is summer, so these students may not be around to participate right now and give input. The off-campus private UCCS student housing in Rockrimmon is near the intersection of S. Rockrimmon and Pro Rodeo.

    Thank you.

  • Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta | July 10

    The following is the text of my public comments made at the July 6, 2023 redistricting public hearing entered for the written record:

    My name is Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta. I am a District 5 voter. I wish to first address the mischaracterization that commissioner Gonzalez made during the D2 public hearing in stating that members of the public calling to unite Southeast COS are saying commissioners aren’t listening.

    It’s pretty clear you’re being forced to listen by the state law that governs this process. You can’t fault us for being concerned about our community of interest and ultimately what action this board may take because talk is cheap.

    It’s quite sad that some people have made comments showing they don’t understand the basic concept that diluting the vote of a community of color is illegal under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I must say it’s also been quite frustrating during this process to hear several white ppl who don’t even live in Southeast scratching their chins saying, “Gee, we don’t know a definition of that community,” when it’s literally been provided to this board several times over in public comment.

    So, once again I am here to express that We the People are asking this board to unite Southeast as the community of interest that it is in our new map.

    I also hope this board understands that there can be a huge difference between intent and impact. I posted public comment in regard to this especially because the only public hearing scheduled during the workday is District 5, which contains much of our majority minority precincts. You may have allegedly intended to provide another choice in time for a public hearing, but the actual impact is showing our largely working class district that our participation in these hearings is not welcome.

    Otherwise, to make the point clear once again:
    You are being called upon to end the gerrymandering of Southeast. Respect. Our. Votes. Thank you.

  • Kent Borges | July 10

    My name is Kent Borges. As a resident of Colorado Springs since 1988 and now a retired attorney currently living on the Westside in County Commissioner District 3, I have witnessed massive growth and demographic changes here in El Paso County. Our Colorado General Assembly delegation is now comprised of 8 Republicans and 4 Democrats. Over the past several years, voters in Colorado Springs have expressed their desire for more progressive leadership in our city not only reflected by the current composition of City Council, but also in the recent Mayoral election.

    One thing that has remained constant, however, is the ongoing Republican stranglehold on our Board of County Commissioners. The last Democratic County Commissioner elected here in El Paso County was back in the 1970’s when I was in law school. The only explanation for this continuing state of affairs is the lack of fair, impartial, and truly representative redistricting.

    As you are aware, Colorado voters approved Amendments Y and Z in 2018 establishing rules for congressional and legislative redistricting by an independent redistricting commission. In 2021, the Colorado General Assembly attempted to address the problem of gerrymandering at the county level by enacting HB 21-1047. While an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission had been mandated for congressional and legislative elections in our state, due to the lobbying by El Paso County, among others, such a commission was not required for county redistricting under HB 21-1047 as passed.

    While I was hardly surprised, I was disappointed when the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners chose to appoint itself as the Redistricting Commission, which C.R.S. 30-10-306 currently permits. I was even more disappointed, though again not surprised, when the BOCC acting as the Redistricting Commission declined to appoint a nonpartisan advisory committee to assist it in the redistricting process.

    Since the BOCC acting as the Redistricting Commission has chosen to go it alone, all be it with the assistance of nonpartisan County staff, it will be subject to even greater levels of public scrutiny of both the redistricting process itself and the final resulting redistricting plan. The fact that a number of the current County Commissioners may not be seeking reelection is of no consequence if the end result of the current redistricting process is to assure that the Board of County Commissioners here in El Paso County continues to remain exclusively in Republican hands.

    In addition, County Commissioner District 3 where I reside is currently a competitive district, comprised primarily of areas of the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. I am deeply concerned that the inclusion of Monument and the United States Air Force Academy in District 3 as several maps propose would significantly diminish that competitiveness. Furthermore, Monument and the Air Force Academy do not share the urban characteristics of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, nor the public policy concerns of their respective residents.

    It is my sincere hope that the current process will result in the final approval of a fair, impartial, and representative redistricting plan complying with the statutory requirements of C.R.S. 30-10-306 as well as the Redistricting Commission’s stated criteria. I strongly encourage the BOCC acting as the Redistricting Committee to redistrict El Paso County in this manner. A failure to do so will likely lead to a judicial challenge and/or recourse to the Colorado General Assembly to amend C.R.S. 30-10-306 and mandate independent, nonpartisan redistricting commissions for counties in our state.

    Thank you for your consideration in this regard.

  • Judith Rice-Jones | July 10

    Thanks for opportunity to participate. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to submit comments online even though I sent in my phone number which worked for the first meeting. Am a 40 plus year resident, home-owner who has lived on the CC campus, in the Old North End, and currently in Bonnyville, all in current District 3.. Am an organizing member of the Historic Neighborhood Partnership, coordinating the history and distinctive character of our earliest historic neighborhoods. Concerns begin with disappointment that you chose not to follow the impressive process which enabled so many to participate that we recently saw for federal and house districts which encouraged a large number of citizens to participate, understand, and feel a part of the process. It’s very important that voters have choices and such a process encouraged civic engagement.
    My two greatest concerns are splitting Patty Jewett, a neighborhood two blocks away from our home and sharing many of the same values of all of our historic downtown neighborhoods. Still cannot understand how Patty Jewett could have been pulled out to be linked with Monument which is a suburban and rural neighborhood. Also as one who attended almost all the RISE meetings in SE Colorado Springs, an important part of our city with a demonstrated 16 year shorter life span, an 8 degree hotter neighborhood due lesser tree canopy than the rest of the city, and a food desert that once again had seen it’s only large grocery store close, perhaps temporarily perhaps forever. They deserve to be united in the same district.
    Please encourage citizen participation and CONFIDENCE in the process by paying attention to the many informed comments that have been offered at the meetings to date. Take advantage of option of working with UCCS GeoCivics program which offers a context and tools to help voters better understand options and process. Please make us proud by ensuring competitive districts which share key characteristics.

  • Zuri Horowitz | July 10

    My name’s Zuri Horowitz and I’m a District 3 resident, I graduated from Cheyenne Mountain High School and was born in Colorado Springs.

    I found it a bit humorous that Commissioner Vanderwerf, the commissioner who nearly lost District 3 in 2016 and then gerrymandered District 3 in 2017 chose to lecture about gerrymandering during the last meeting. That lack of self awareness highlights how necessary HB 21-1047 is to guide the creation of the final map. Currently, there are three maps which are on the right track, Katie Czuka’s map, and to a lesser extent Commissioner Williams and Commissioner Gonzalez’s maps which put all of the Tri-Lakes in District 1 and largely unite Southeast Colorado Springs, resulting in two politically competitive districts in El Paso County.

    The two new maps from Geitner/Bremer and Vanderwerf, put Monument in District 3, which has very little in common with historic walkable District 3. More importantly, putting Monument in District 3 reduces the competitiveness of District 3. Per the law, ‘“competitiveness” means having a reasonable potential for the party affiliation of the district’s county commissioner to change at least once between federal decennial censuses.’ Based on that metric, District 3’s current configuration isn’t competitive, as the district has not changed hands in ten years (with some help from commissioners on the current redistricting commission who moved parts of the tri-lakes into District 3 in 2017). Please put special focus on the three viable maps from Czukas, Gonzalez, and Williams and make sure that the final maps adhere to the law resulting in a District 3 which is more competitive than the current map, a fully united southeast Colorado Springs, and two politically competitive districts in El Paso County.

    Another note: One issue that confused me: It appears that Commissioner Geitner coordinated with Commissioner Bremer to cocreate a map in private during the July 6th meeting. Per their resolution, the commissioners were supposed to only communicate about redistricting in public within official redistricting meetings. Please let me know if I’m misinterpreting.

    There was no response from the county commissioners regarding the private communication between Commissioner Bremer and Commissioner Geitner to create a map.

    The commissioners did not take the vast majority of citizen’s comments into account when giving direction to staff and appeared to favor Map 8 which dilutes the political competitiveness of District 3 to being completely unwinnable, gerrymandering District 3 for the second time in less than ten years and contradicting the law.

  • George Horen | July 11

    Hello, my name is George Joseph Horen. I’m a member of the working poor and I’ve spent most of my adult life moving every 1 to 2 years chasing the lowest rents. This has ensured that I’ve lived almost exclusively in Southeast Colorado springs. As a politically active individual I talk to my neighbors wherever I go, and we tend to have the same kind of political discussions.

    Recently I came across the break I needed to buy a house, and I ended up in stratmoor valley. Stratmoor valley is full of hard-working members of the working poor who got that lucky break they needed to become homeowners. I love my new neighbors as they are the same kind of people who have spent my adult life living amongst. So I was surprised to discover that I’m now in district 4, and that my vote is pooled with the interests of security, widefield and fountain. I don’t understand why we are part of their voting district when the only time most of us interact with Fountain is when we pay sales tax in that shopping center they annexed. The rest of the time we are working, shopping and living in Colorado springs. Why aren’t we part of Colorado springs?

    I like the Williams map except I would like my precinct 615 to be moved to district 5 so that all of Southeast Colorado Springs can be united.

  • Amy Paschal | July 11

    I would like to suggest that the redistricting committee consider going over the redistricting goals at the beginning of each meeting.
    There were several public comments at the July 10th meeting which reflected a lack of understanding of the concept of “political competitiveness”. Several folks seemed to think that crafting districts which are politically competitive is a form a gerrymandering, when in fact, political competitiveness is a *stated criteria* for redistricting by the the El Paso County Commissioner Redistricting Committee, state law HB21-1047 and the Voting Rights Act.
    Politically competitive means multiple political parties have a chance of winning. It does NOT mean making a sure-win district for anyone.
    I would also like to request that the Chair running the meeting NOT allow public commenters to name-call other commenters. Those advocating for political competitiveness were called hypocrites by at least 2 commenters. Neither of those commenters were not admonished for their behavior.
    In fact, while some in the audience gasped or chuckled at the first such name-calling, those audiences members were admonished for “heckling” but the person doing the name-calling was admonished.
    This was neither civil nor even-handed. I would expect these hearings to be held to a higher standard.

  • Cullom Radvillas | July 12

    My name is Cully Radvillas. My wife, my 5 year old son (who will be a 1st grader at Bristol Elementary) and I live at 516 W Pikes Peak Ave, just west of I25 on the Westside. I’m a volunteer on multiple non-profit boards where I strive to make our region a better place. I commented at the 7/10/2023 District 3 meeting and my comments were not substantively addressed by the redistricting commission.

    I love my near westside neighborhood, it’s about as urban as we can get in Colorado Springs, this location allows my family to walk or bike to all the great amenities in District 3, which is the reason we bought where we did. We can ride our bikes to Ivywild or Manitou, or walk to the restaurants downtown or along Colorado Ave on the Near Westside near our house.

    The Suburban/Rural communities of the Monument/tri-Lake area share very little with my westside community or the rest of district 3 for that matter. And While technically contiguous, the monument area is effectively disconnected from the rest of the westside by a 7+ mile gap created by Blodgett Peak Open Space and the AirForce academy only accessible by I25 or Rampart Range Rd (which nobody is actually going to use to get to monument from any part of district 3)

    The proposed map 8 (Bremer/Geitner Direction) is an insult to my community. While I would love for I25 not to be a geographic barrier it most certainly is, and my neighborhood’s inclusion (precinct 119) in the Westside (my community of interest) for the purpose of County Commissioner districts is disregarded. Commissioner VanderWerf stated in the July 10th meeting that (I’m paraphrasing) “District 3 residents are very involved”. Apparently the commissioners don’t value this district’s involvement which is why this proposed map would make district 3 approximately 8% less competitive than it currently is.

    How the districts are drawn today does not allow my community to be represented by politicians that hold my values, and in proposed map 8 I would be removed from my community entirely.

    Today we do not have any competitive districts, as evidenced by 40 years of only one party being represented on the board of commissioners.

    District 3 needs to be competitive and can not be made less competitive than it is now.

    We live in a diverse county, which is made evident by the variety of local and state lawmakers representing El Paso County Residents. Our elected county officials must be representative of the communities they serve as well, which is why District 3 needs to be at least as competitive as it is now and the commissioners need to adhere to HB21-1047 ”…maximizing the number of competitive districts” in El Paso county.

    Our urban core, the parts of our city developed prior to the 1920’s are a community of interest. We are unique to the rest of our city in our urban, built environment. That shouldn’t be diluted by splitting downtown from the rest of district 3. let alone splitting my neighborhood, and the neighborhood where my son goes to school (precincts 119 & 112), part of the only neighborhood officially known as “The Westside” in city documents out of district 3 for the board’s benefit.

  • Katherine Czukas | July 12

    Redistricting Commission Staff:

    As I mentioned verbally to multiple members of the PIO office in the back of the meeting on July 10th, I noticed serious TYPOs in links provided which need to be corrected when it comes to Map 7. I would urge the staff to correct this as soon as possible and not wait until the next meeting to make consistent information publicly available.

    Here is the discrepancy as I observe it:

    The static map 7 which is available here
    and was on an easel at Cheyenne Mountain high school

    DOES NOT match the interactive map 7 available here:

    The interactive map also does not match information in the July 10 powerpoint on page 21 here

    The easiest way to see that the interactive map not matching the other two sources is to toggle off the “Precinct Moves” layer on the interactive map and look at precincts in the northern most part of Colorado Springs along I-25 (like Precincts 210, 315).

    Residents absorb information in different ways, and it’s disheartening to see that software tools and reported analysis are not aligned for Map 7. It will also make any public comments you are receiving on Monday about Map 7 hard to decipher because someone may be looking at incorrect information.

    Please correct this, as well as other TYPOs the commissioners identified as soon as possible and ideally prior to the effort the staff is undertaking to prepare printed materials on 16 maps for the July 17th meeting.

    Thank you.

  • Carlos Perez | July 12

    Chairwoman Bremer and Members of the Redistricting Commission:

    It is my privilege to submit a proposed redistricting plan to the commission for your consideration.This proposal is submitted in two formats but otherwise identical copies:

    Esri Redistricting Tool:

    Search for plan “cperez-proposal-20230712”

    Dave’s Redistricting App (DRA):

    Please find the background data and rationale of the plan proposal in the attached PDF entitled “Carlos Perez EPC Redistricting Plan Proposal-20230712.pdf”.

    Thank you for your time and service to the citizens of El Paso County.

    Carlos Perez
    Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Attachment: Carlos Perez EPC Redistricting Plan Proposal-20230712.pdf

  • Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta | July 12

    The following is the text of my public comments made at the July 10, 2023 redistricting public hearing entered for the written record:

    My name is Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta aka Jax. I am a District 5 voter. Today I wish to amplify the voices of my District 3 neighbors, as they state the truth that El Paso County should have two politically competitive districts in its new map. The fact there’s been only one party with a super majority on the County Commission longer than I’ve been alive speaks for itself.

    I also hold the deepest gratitude for the multitudes of my neighbors calling for the Board to unite Southeast in our new map to adhere to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 & refrain from wasting our taxpayer money on litigation that would be easily avoided by following the law. Actions such as uniting the Tri-Lakes area, as well as Southeast Colorado Springs, will very likely result in two politically competitive districts. As a resident up until 2019, I can absolutely attest to the fact that the Town of Monument belongs united in District 1. I also believe that the Katherine Czukas map continues to best meet the requirements of the laws that govern this process.

    Otherwise, it greatly disappoints me to have to name the following yet again: This Board needs to do better at understanding intent versus impact.

    Commissioner Bremer: You may have intended to extend some sort of goodwill at the last redistricting hearing when you made comments directly in response to the testimony of local voting rights icon, Ms. June Waller.

    Sadly, the impact was instead a truly cringeworthy moment when we all witnessed the audacity of a privileged white woman essentially dismissing the sentiments of a black woman because you disagree with them. You CANNOT – & SHOULD NOT – tell someone how to feel or think when you have no idea about their lived experience.

    Therefore, I am also here today to say that as a Chicana who lives in D5 I don’t feel represented by you either. I could name numerous examples of why, but the top one that comes to mind right now is your willingness to diminish the very relevant comments of an iconic black woman in our community. You may hold the D5 commission seat, but you do not “represent” me. Under the literal definition of “representation,” I am certain you aren’t “speaking or acting on behalf” of me and my community of color in Southeast Colorado Springs.

    In closing, I would also like to thank the County staff for their responsiveness and adding the feature of a public comment submission confirmation email at my suggestion. As more of my neighbors have become interested in this process, I respectfully suggest the inclusion of the Google Drive folder being referred to many times over, as a stand alone button on the redistricting website landing page to better facilitate public tracking of the developing maps over time.

    Finally, I wish to express once again: Our new map must completely end the gerrymandering of Southeast Colorado Springs. Respect. Our. Votes. Thank you.

  • Amy Paschal | July 13

    I apologize for the typos in my previous submission.
    The second paragraph should read:
    I would also like to request that the Chair running the meeting NOT allow public commenters to name-call other commenters. Those advocating for political competitiveness were called hypocrites by at least 2 commenters. *Neither* of those commenters were admonished for their behavior.
    In fact, while some in the audience gasped or chuckled at the first such name-calling, those audiences members were admonished for “heckling” but the person doing the name-calling was *NOT* admonished.
    This was neither civil nor even-handed. I would expect these hearings to be held to a higher standard

  • Katherine Czukas | July 15

    This is a written version of the verbal comments I made on July 10th.

    My name is Katherine Czukas and I am a District 3 resident living in Rockrimmon area of Northwest Colorado Springs, west side of I-25. Thank you for reading my written comments. I am not planning on covering those now, but if you have questions about any comments I’ve written in the past few weeks. I am happy to answer.

    First a process point. I suggest the redistricting commission will need to modify its agenda for July 17th. The last item is typically “direction to staff”. However, as announced today, the redistricting commission is not planning to meet to hear about what staff has done with that direction until July 27th (or later). You’re asking the public to submit maps by July 24th, so the public will be submitting maps WITHOUT the benefit of hearing what staff has done with that direction.

    As you’re learning about my area over these past few months through my comments, Rockrimmon includes unincorporated El Paso County lands near W. Woodmen corridor. This is why a County Commissioner District matters to Rockrimmon.

    I’m not a Trilakes person. As a business professional and a mom of school aged children, I don’t have time or inclination to be north in Palmer Lake, Monument or Woodmoor. We choose to have our lives down in this part of the county, in the city. In a neighborhood where there are more mountain bikes than dogs. Bikes that are ridden up and down the west side.

    My main comment this evening is focused on observations about CC3 and the prior political races which are being used to evaluate competitiveness. I’ve taken a long read through the tables in all of the powerpoints shared in these meetings.

    I’m hoping the redistricting commissioners are seeing what I’m seeing. CC3 is very different than CC1. The West Side is very different from the north of the county in voting.

    The winning candidates in the statewide races and the clerk and recorder’s race are very different between CC3 and CC1, between west and north.

    In the current CC1, Republicans won those benchmark races by 20-30% points.
    In the current CC3, it’s +6 for Senator Bennett and +12 for Governor Polis. It is different.

    I encourage you to think about defining CC3 so that it is highly competitive for a County Commissioner seat.

    As commissioners, you’ll have to share your definition about competitiveness soon. I’ll be listening as I can, and reading the minutes when I can locate them on the website. Minutes are very hard to find.

    “Deviation from Current” may be a part of that competitiveness definition. To me, if CC3 shows a Deviation from Current that favors Republican, that sounds to me like the map’s author is gerrymandering to make a CC3 less competitive.

    Map 6 – the Geitner map – makes CC3 less competitive.

    Map 7 – makes CC3 less competitive.

    Map 8 – makes CC3 less competitive.

    As many redistricting commissioners have mentioned, and I’ve experienced, proposals for maps are challenging. If you’re curious about a proposal that makes CC3 more competitive, rather than less competitive, there are ones which have been available to you since June.

  • Katherine Czukas | July 15

    Redistricting Commission Staff:

    Today I noticed that the he July 6 Clerk and Recorder Redistricting Presentation disappeared from this Google Drive link below where Archive Materials are being stored for public review. It was available at an earlier time. As a reminder, this was the presentation made at Mesa Ridge High School that the public was asked to view electronically via a QR code, and no hard copies were made available at the start of the meeting.

    Could it please be returned to the drive as soon as possible?

    Here is the link to the July 6th folder of the Google Drive

    Thank you,
    Katherine Czukas

  • Zurit Horowitz | July 17

    Hi I’m Zuri Horowitz, District 3 resident and people centered planning advocate.

    This is not a “bipartisan process” there are 5 votes, all of them are Republican. Being polite and ignoring what people are saying is not a fair process. Discourse requires taking in what other people are saying. For example, bipartisan would be when 38 Democrats and 16 Republicans voted for HB 21-1047, the law which was put in place to protect redistricting at the county level from gerrymandering, which was modified due to lobbying by Republican Commissioner Vanderwerf (

    It became clear at the end of the last meeting that you’re leaning towards map 8. This map ignores the vast majority of comments made by residents regarding the distinct features of district 3 who gave very clear arguments that Monument does not share those characteristics.

    District 3 has unique needs and challenges. It is historic, walkable, and urban. With District 3’s history of a vast tram network it is uniquely positioned to have better transit and support greater density than other districts. What resources will this part of the city need in order to thrive? Will we change zoning? Will we allow greater density? Or request expanded transit? We need representation on the BOCC which we have not and do not have. These concerns are unique to District 3 and residents’ concerns will be watered down by forcing Monument into this district. It will also water down the needs of Monument residents.

    I-25 is not a distinct emergency RETAC border (
    Monument does not have a common urban wildlife interface with District 3.
    It is segmented away from district 3 by Blodgett Open Space and the air force academy.
    Monument’s Fire Protection District extends deep into District 1, which would be further split if Monument was gerrymandered into District 3 ( Scroll to the bottom of the page for the map).

    El Paso County Wildland Fire Management covers all of El Paso County so there’s no concern that they wouldn’t cover Monument during a wildfire.

    A common wildlife interface is a ruse to put Monument in district 3 in order to disempower the residents in District 3.

    If you choose to put Monument in District 3 it will be the SECOND time the Board of County Commissioners has gerrymandered District 3 in SIX Years. Look at Czukas’s map, and to lesser extent Perez, Williams, and Gonzalez maps.

    Unite all of Southeast Colorado Springs, Keep district 3 competitive, and have two competitive districts. Redistricting can be done fairly, there are four maps that are a great starting point.

    Of note there were residents from Southeast COS from multiple districts which speaks to the fractured nature of SE COS.

  • Amy Paschal | July 17

    I would like to reiterate the request made by Katie Czukas in today’s redistricting meeting.

    Seeing the competitiveness numbers as full percentages rather than the deviation from the current districts would be helpful. Most of us don’t have the current competitiveness numbers for the current districts in our heads.
    So for instance, for a given competitiveness measure, show Dems 48% Repub 52% rather than Dems +2 Repubs -1 or whatever the numbers may be.
    Thank you.

  • Chauncy Johnson | July 18

    Hello Commissioners, I’m a proud resident of district 5.

    My concern is with the youth of the South East. I would like to point out that the average age in El Paso county is 35 yrs old, and the South East is continuing to grow with young people. If you choose to keep the South East divided you will be disenfranchising many young people that already believe their voices don’t count. Did you have true representation in your 20’s? Don’t let us believe what we already do, don’t add to the disillusionment of a whole generationt. Prove us wrong, all we are asking for is a shot at the ballot box! I ask that you please consider the Czukas map to ensure community representation is there for everyone!

    Thank you for your time and please give us a voice.

    -Chauncy Johnson”

  • Lois Landgraf | July 18

    My revised map is on dave’s redistricting site at This map keeps most of district 49 in CCD2, and it splits the precincts on the South East Colorado Springs list between CCD 3 and 4. It keeps Ft. Carson with Fountain and the Air Force Academy with CCD 1. Black Forest is together as is Monument and Palmer Lake. Falcon is also together. It makes CCD 3 very competitive. Thank you.

  • Amy Paschal | July 20

    As we are soon to enter the phase in the redistricting process of narrowing down maps, ultimately to 1, I would like to make a suggestion in the interest of transparency and clear communication.
    As has been said many times, there are many communities of interest and no redistricting map can accommodate them all.
    I think ultimately, the selection of maps will come down to which communities of interest are given priority.
    As such, I would like to call for the redistricting committee to publish, in writing, the communities of interest being used in the selection process PRIORITIZED IN ORDER or at least in tiers.
    And as I have said in previous comments, I recommend that communities of interest REQUIRING CONSIDERATION by the Voting Rights Act be given top priority.

  • June Waller | July 24

    I am proposing this map on behalf of myself and Gloria Martinez. After conversations with members of our communities, we believe this map constitutes a black-latino coalition map that addresses your criteria and the needs of our communities. This is the first proposed map that unites all of Harrison School District 2. It also unites all of the precincts that constitute “Southeast Colorado Springs” as defined by Tony Exum and Jacqueline Armendariz. After conducting a poll within my network, I found the top issue concerning residents of El Paso County is competitiveness, and so this map includes two highly-competitive districts (CCs 3 & 5) that will undoubtedly lead to seats flipping back and forth in the coming decades. Competitition over these seats will lead to better governance and a better El Paso County. Special care was given to respect all of the communities of interest outlined by residents in public comment, including Fort Carson-Fountain. Thank you for your consideration, we know that you will do what’s right.

  • Lynn Goodwin | July 24

    I have been following this redistricting process and I support the plan to create 2 competitive districts to reflect the Democrat and unaffiliated populations. I reside in District 3 and it seems that Monument has more in common with Northern El Paso County than the current D3 because the communities are homogenous in nature. Neighborhoods are similar in that they are composed of newer, more expensive single family homes, have a really small population of singles, elders, and people of color. And these communities shop and recreate in the northern county and many commute to Denver and or work for the AFA and they will be contending with land development for years. They do not share the same concerns and interests as the current District 3 as it is a more eclectic population. composed lower cost historic homes and apts that house singles and elderly and low income folks. And on the other end of the scale are the new larger, expensive places and we share all dated infrastructure and concerns about wild fire egress. We have the concerns attendant with the tourist hub that runs through the middle and we have a homeless concern that is non existent in Monument. Monument is a self contained community, it is newly built, peopled mostly by the white middle class and their concerns are very different from the existing District 3. Monument would be a better fit in District 1.

  • Michael Maday | July 24

    We have lived in the current County Commissioner District 3 since 1985. Over that time El Paso County Commissioners have gerrymandered the District 3 boundaries at least a half dozen times, to make sure core neighborhoods that make up District 3 are not represented on the El Paso County Board of Commissioners and that the District is not competitive. Most recent gerrymandering efforts have been to systematically add precincts from north and east of the Air Force Academy to District 3 to reduce competitiveness.

    These gerrymandering efforts have violated standards set by new Colorado redistricting laws in two ways. First, the most recent gerrymanders of the district were blatantly done to make the district uncompetitive. This was not a violation of the law when County Commissioners gerrymandered the district this way a few years ago, but another such gerrymander will clearly violate new and current redistricting law regarding district competitiveness. Second, it puts two very different communities of interest in the district. Putting the Monument, Palmer Lake and adjacent precincts out of the current District 1 cuts right through the middle of the expanding and developing neighborhoods north and east of the Air Force Academy and along the Palmer Divide, areas that extend from the I-25 corridor into Black Forest of which Monument and Palmer Lake are clearly a part. This violates the law by cutting right through an important community of interest.

    The core communities of District 3 include our neighborhood of Pleasant Valley, along with other densely populated urban neighborhoods like Manitou Springs, the Westside, Colorado College, Downtown Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Canyon and the Broadmoor area. A district map that puts these core communities of District 3 into a gerrymandered district with Monument and Palmer Lake combines an urban core with rural and small-town precincts that have virtually no interests in common. This clearly violates current law regarding communities of interest.

    I hope the Commission adopts the Czukas map, or a similar map, that incorporates the principles of unifying Southeast Colorado Springs and creating at least some competitive districts by ensuring that District 3 is competitive and not gerrymandered.

  • Tim Dolan | July 24

    I have been following this redistricting process and I support the plan to create 2 competitive districts – in the SE and the Westside to reflect the political affiliations and economic interests of those areas. I reside in CC District 3. There are several points I’d like to make regarding the current and future makeup. Monument is a self contained community, it is more recently developed, populated mostly by the white middle class and their concerns are very different from the existing District 3. Monument would be a better fit in District 1 for the following reasons:
    1. Monument has more in common with Palmer lake and Northern El Paso County than the West-side which makes up the core of current D3
    2. Those communities are similar in that they are composed of newer, more expensive single family homes, have a really small population of singles, elders, and people of color. Those communities are more homogenous in nature than the bulk of CC3.
    3. These communities shop and recreate in the northern county and many commute to Denver or Castle Rock or work for the AFA.
    4.They will be contending with land development for years contrary to the mostly built-out nature of CC3
    5. They do not share the same concerns and interests as CC3 residents, as they are a more diverse group. The Westside properties are composed of historic homes and newer apartments that house singles and elderly and low income folks.
    6. We have different concerns about wild fire egress and different local response teams
    7. We have the concerns attendant with the tourist hub that runs through the middle and we have a homeless concern that is non existent in Monument.
    Thanks for your time and consideration.


  • Judith Daley | July 24

    My name is Judith Daley and I have been a resident of the
    Old Colorado City community for almost forty years.
    First, I would like to express my dismay that the El Paso County Board of
    County Commissioners is not relying on an independent commission to
    manage this redistricting. That move would have removed any hint of
    partisanship from the process.
    I would encourage the current commission in their self-appointed role as
    managers of the redistricting to carefully follow the guidelines in voter
    approved Amendments Y and Z which require that County Commission
    Districts be as competitive as possible and are organized around
    communities of interest.
    El Paso CC3 is an urban district with all that entails – the benefits and
    problems — the walkability of most of the neighborhoods, the
    accessibility to public transportation, the presence of the historic areas in
    Manitou Springs, the Old North End and Old Colorado City. We are home
    to many of museums and cultural sites, great restaurants and
    shops, beautiful parks.
    On the downside, we share uniquely urban issues like aging
    infrastructure, a large homeless population and the pressure of the tourist
    influx in summertime.

    If additional areas need to be brought into CC District 3, they need to be
    urban neighborhoods. I would encourage the Commission to look for
    adjacent urban areas to include in CC 3 rather than incorporating a
    suburban community like Monument.

  • Katherine Czukas | July 24

    Redistricting Commissioners:

    I have not yet had the ability to address the redistricting commission’s comments or questions about the map I submitted on June 2nd. I wanted to provide in writing some details which reflect topics raised during the redistricting commissioners’ discussion of agenda items 5 and 6 on July 17th. You are welcome to ask me about these specific comments the next time I attend a meeting in person. But in the meantime, thank you for reading this.

    Approximately 30,000 residents (and 13 precincts) in the current CC2 district are west of Powers Blvd. CC2 currently crosses the Powers corridor and currently requires its elected Commissioner to represent residents in urban and rural settings, in incorporated and unincorporated areas. This fact is something I took into account when creating a boundary for CC2 in my proposal. Back in May 2023, there was no verbal discussion that County Commissioner District boundaries should not cross Powers Blvd being a ‘criteria’ that redistricting commissioners might use in their judgment about maps.

    Please note the following 3 population facts according to the 2020 Census (adjusted) and pulled from my investigation of the data in the ESRI redistricting tool provided to the public at

    A – Approximately 117,000 residents live east of Powers and north of Hwy 94 in an area which could be defined as the Falcon School District 49 or east of it (when north of Hwy 94). So this effectively Northeast quadrant of El Paso County has INSUFFICIENT population to have its own County Commissioner District.

    B – Approximately 94,000 residents live in the 30 precincts of Southeast Colorado Springs (SE COS) that State Senator Tony Exum and others identified in July 6th public comments.

    C – Approximately 110,000 residents live south of SE COS. This would be the area east of Hwy 115 and south of Hwy 94 including Ft. Carson, Fountain, Security, Widefield. It includes the entire school district Widefield School District 3 (SD3) which includes and is east of the Colorado Springs Airport. This area includes municipalities and unincorporated areas. It could be defined as a Southeast quadrant or a Southern half of El Paso County. It also has INSUFFICIENT population to have its own County Commissioner District.

    Based upon these population facts, these 3 geographic concentrations of A, B, and C cannot be combined in their entirety to create one County Commissioner District. Any combination would exceed the 146,000 desired population for each district. A+B or B+C is just too big. You’re welcome to have the redistricting commission staff verify these population facts and address questions you may have about this.

    In my opinion, based upon this math, there will have to be compromise in the areas of the Powers Blvd. corridor north of the Airport to create a district which comprises concentration A or concentration C. Or, alternatively a compromise could be made in the area west of Hwy 115 to create a district which comprises concentration C. The map referred to as Czukas map tried to do a compromise to define districts for concentrations A and C by making a compromise in the Powers Blvd. corridor. Let me try to explain my logic below.

    To create a district that comprises population concentration C, the Czukas map proposal takes 4 precincts in Falcon School District 49 (SD49) which are in unincorporated Cimarron Hills (413, 414, 415, 418) and put them with the Airport and Peterson Space Force base (a SD3 precinct) and with the rest of the SD3 precincts. My rationale for these 4 precincts was that this already built-out unincorporated area that “gels together”, is understood by all County Commissioners to be an unincorporated “island” inside a city, and could have interests represented by any County Commission district that also has a great deal of unincorporated area. So the boundaries of CC4 in the Czukas proposal brought 4 precincts from SD49 in the unincorporated Cimarron Hills and some adjacent more-industrial concentrated unincorporated area precincts due north of the Airport, into a district with the SE quadrant/Southern Half to ensure it was close to the goal population.

    As anyone who has interacted with me personally outside of redistricting meetings knows, I care deeply about public schools. Unifying the entirety of a large school district of Academy School District 20 (SD20) into one County Commissioner District, and unifying the entirety of a large SD49 into a different County Commissioner District was something I considered. But doing both had too many odd implications for parts of the county that were cut off based upon this. I did not try to unify in its entirety the Colorado Springs School District 11 (SD11), because the SD11 population is too large. Ultimately, I didn’t think it was fair to optimize for unifying SD49-only over unifying SD20-only, or vice versa. So I compromised and thought about logical ways to separate (rather than unify) these three large school districts in the county.

    In SD20, I separated the Air Academy High School feeder strand (AKA the West Side by people who live and work in the school district, and includes USAFA) from the rest. I separated out the Black Forest neighborhoods of SD20 from the rest. As I have already shared in public comment about my personal experience, Mountain Shadows/Pinecliff/Peregrine/Rockrimmon are still communities with residents experiencing trauma from the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire and years of rebuilding. It is these northwest Colorado Springs residents who volunteer to maintain the open spaces/forest in precinct 301 which have trailheads in the city of Colorado Springs. It’s a part of our community’s rebuilding. While I don’t interact daily with people in Black Forest, I can imagine they feel the same about rebuilding their community after their 2013 fire. Commissioner Geitner stated on July 17th that she feels that uniting a Black Forest community is more important than school district boundaries. So it seems she is aligned with me in this division of SD20 across three proposed County Commissioner districts of “the West Side” in CC3, “Black Forest” in CC2, and all the rest in CC1.

    In SD49, based upon my understanding, it is managed and administered by zones. I personally appreciate the SD49 administrative leadership’s ability to be agile with their zone definitions as more residences are built and families choose to enroll in their nearby SD49 public schools. However, I didn’t want a County Commission map to be reliant on SD49 zone definitions. I felt that the frequently updated zone boundary changes would not be something stable enough to anchor a County Commissioner district boundary until the updated population data is made available. This is why I selected 4 precincts in Cimarron Hills to be in CC4 rather than a larger 2020 or 2023 zone definition for the portion of SD49 to be included in CC4.

    For SD11, I focused on defining boundaries based upon streets which are unsafe for 6 year olds to cross on their own. So the boundaries of districts which include SD11 reflect large Northish-Southish running streets like Union, Academy, Austin Bluffs, Rangewood. As commissioners personally know when they drive these areas, these are roads that a 6, 16, or 66 year old would have difficulty crossing within one cycle of a traffic light.

    Finally, back in May, there was a desire for the redistricting commissioners and election department professionals who are on the redistricting staff to a) minimize the number of voter moves and b) to only move whole precincts in any proposal. These are not a legal criteria, but they are in writing on the redistricting website and in PowerPoint presentations. As I understand the verbal comments made by staff, these desires are to accommodate the Election department’s preparations for a September 2023 update to the Colorado SCORE voter registration database prior to the November 2023 election, and the desire to not re-precinct prior to any January 2024 caucus preparations by major political parties.

    I read these intentions and tried to accommodate in my proposal, as my written comments on June 2 reflect. In the proposal I made, I was conscientious of not making too many precinct moves in CC2 west of Powers, so there are 6 precincts north of Constitution and west of Powers that remain in my proposed CC2. Due to a need to balance populations and because my proposal already included a few precincts west of Powers in CC2, I added 6 additional precincts into CC2 west of Powers (around North Carefree/Austin Bluffs). So ultimately, the Czukas map has 12 precincts for CC2 which are west of Powers Blvd. (vs. the 13 precincts in the current CC2). You’re welcome to ask the redistricting staff to verify my counts of these precincts.

    Thank you again for reading my comments about the logic for this June 2 proposal. Again, I wrote this comment in the context of the verbal comments redistricting commissioners and staff have been sharing since June 12th, but particularly on July 17th. I hope I have addressed outstanding questions. However, if there is something I’ve omitted, please feel free to ask me questions.

    Thank you.

  • Katherine Czukas | July 24

    Redistricting Commissioners and Staff:

    I am submitting a map via the ESRI redistricting tool. It is available as “Czukas Variation July 24” via log in at

    It is also viewable here

    I’ve written text in the submission of the ESRI redistricting tool about the proposal.

    This proposal passes the integrity checks in the ESRI redistricting tool.
    It does not separate any municipalities with the exception of Colorado Springs.
    It does not separate the 30 precincts of SE Colorado Springs.
    It does not separate any school district in the city of Colorado Springs with the exception of SD20 and SD11. This means that SD2 is unified into 1 school district. It also unifies SD49, SD8 and SD3 so that none of them are split between two CC districts. If there was a precinct that split between two city of Colorado Springs school districts, I used judgement and the public comments to make a choice.
    It does not separate the Trilakes area of Palmer Lake, Monument and Woodmoor into different districts.
    It does not separate the Patty Jewett neighborhood in to different districts.

    If there are any minor errors I made in attempting to do the statements above, staff is welcome to reach out to me about minor corrections. The Commission is welcome to suggest amendments to this proposal as well.

    I welcome reading the staff’s analysis of this proposal on the Google Drive portion of the public website as soon as it is available.

  • Tam Walsky | July 26

    These were my comments at the July 10, 2023 District 3 meeting at Cheyenne Mountain High School:

    My name is Tam Walsky. I have lived in El Paso County since the early 1950’s. I have voted in El Paso County since 1970. I have lived in District 3 for over 50 years.

    I was unable to attend in person the meeting this commission held at Lewis Palmer High School because the weather was bad and Monument is 20 miles from my home. Well actually 19.9 MILES to be exact. Yet, you are considering adding Monument to my district which would negatively impact that district’s political competitiveness. That is a heck of an idea: Then during the next County election you could put all of the ballot return boxes for the West Side, Downtown and Broadmoor area voters in Monument and make us drive 20 miles to vote. Before you become too indignant about this suggestion, a predominately Republican county in Texas did just that in the last presidential election.

    By telephone, at the meeting held at Lewis Palmer High School I asked you to make a commitment to the citizens of El Paso County that if this Commission’s decisions on redistricting are overturned in Court that YOU individually would pay all of the attorney and legal fees.

    So tonight, I ask again, and by the way it is a simple YES or NO question, are the members of this self-appointed Commission, this Commision that does not include even one Democrat as a member, truly confident that your redistricting decisions will be fair and unbiased, free from political influence, and fully in compliance with State and Federal Statutes? Are you confident enough that you are willing to reimburse the Taxpayers of El Paso County if your decisions are found to be politically motivated, not in compliance with the law and are overturned in court? I await your YES or NO answers. Would you like me to call on you individually? Please note that none of the Commissioners responded.

    After Meeting Notes:
    None of the Commissioners were willing to look me in the eye or answer my questions. One can only assume that they have absolutely no problem sticking the taxpayers of El Paso County with the bill if the gerrymandered maps they endorse are challenged in court.

    It was obvious that the Commissioners were completely uninterested in any of the citizen comments that requested district boundaries be drawn in a fair and legal manner. When those citizens spoke the commissioners looked away, seemed preoccupied with their computers and displayed a generally unengaged attitude. When citizens who agreed with gerrymandered boundaries spoke the commissioners smiled, nodded and leaned forward. So much for a fair and impartial process.

  • Berta Walsky | July 26

    At almost 96 years old, age may not have brought wisdom but it certainly hasn’t made me blind, I can’t understand how if only one sector is represented an unbiased opinion can be reached.

    Having lived in El Paso County for almost 70 years, this is most disturbing.

    As a District 3 resident, I don’t know of any connection I have to Monument, I don’t even know anyone up there. And I’m too old to go that far now.

  • Katherine Czukas | July 27

    Redistricting Commissioners and Staff:

    I am planning on attending the July 27th meeting to make a comment in person. Could these slides be projected when I share my comments?

    Thank you.

    Attachment: KMC-Comments-July-27.pdf

  • Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta | July 27

    This is a written submission of my public comment made at July 17, 2023 redistricting public hearing:

    My name is Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta, aka Jax, and I am a District 5 voter. I am one of the 24 percent of Latine & multiracial people who live in El Paso County and I am proud to point out that today my shirt says “The Future is Latina.” The future is Indigenous. The future is Black. The future is Asian. The future is Queer. It is beautifully multicultural. It is full of intersectional identities and it is full of hope. That’s why, ultimately, the map drawing process we’re discussing today is so important to us in District 5 because it’s supposed to be in the interest of a future that honors our democracy. We DESERVE a voting map that is fair & competitive for ALL of us in El Paso County.

    Sadly, there’s been several red flags from the start of this process. Regardless of political affiliation, no one can deny that one party holding all County Commission power for more than 50 years is problematic. So when this all Republican Commission chose to appoint itself to redraw the map, that was a red flag that could’ve been easily avoided by appointing a board that actually honors representation, such as including unaffiliated voters. In fact, more than 230,000 people are unaffiliated in El Paso County, which makes them the largest group of registered voters here. Then, this Board chose to begin these mandated public hearings uncomfortably close to the deadline codified by law. We also noted this Board chose to schedule today’s hearing, the only one out of five, at a time when many of us in this part of District 5 – our Southeast working class community of color – are on the clock. I am one of several people here today who sacrificed PTO hours to stand before you because we know how important this moment is for our community.

    So, like I said before, you can’t blame us for thinking your talk is cheap. These dynamics lead us to wonder whether the final map will actually follow the law by being fair & competitive, or whether this process has simply been more distasteful political theater. So, with this, the refrain heard from many of us throughout this entire process also bears repeating: ALL of Southeast Colorado Springs must be united in our new voting map as a community of interest. This means ALL 30 of the 45 percent or more majority minority precincts we’ve identified and submitted to this Commission must no longer be spread among three districts.

    However, uniting Southeast MUST NOT be used as an excuse to neglect competitiveness elsewhere. We’re also concerned to note that there are other submitted maps that more suitably follow the commission’s mandated criteria, such as the Czukas map, than the ones the Board most recently chose to discuss. This Board must do better than that, especially when it’s arguable you have a duty to pick a map that maximizes political competitiveness, as long as no other standard is violated. Competitive maps get more people out to vote and that’s something we should all want for the future!

    Once again, this is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is about following the law and honoring democracy with our new voting map – free from the influence of partisan politics. So, please enjoy the rest of your day in our beloved Southeast Colorado Springs and respect our votes.

  • Katherine Czukas | July 27

    Redistricting Commission Staff:

    Per the Redistricting Map Proposal Evaluation (Current Proposals as of 7/26; WORKING DOCUMENT), I wanted to point out one typo. I know your staff is still working on this document that was printed on 7/27 during the break in the meeting. .

    Please correct the information on the top of page 4 called “Con” for the Czukas V1 map. As reflected on slides 23 of the July 27 Clerk and Recorder Redistricting presentation, the Czukas v1 map DOES allow for growth in Districts 2 and 4. Each are underpopulated by at least 2000 residents. Please do not mark this as a CON.

    Thank you.

  • Carlos Perez | July 28

    Chairwoman Bremer and Members of the Redistricting Commission:

    Please find the amended plan proposal in the attached PDF entitled “Amended Carlos’ EPC Redistricting Plan Proposal.pdf” that addresses concerns using Marksheffel Rd as a district boundary.

    As stated in my public comments at the 7/27 hearing, and in light of rapid population growth and the Banning-Lewis Ranch Annexation Amendment of 2018 that BLR is no longer an “island” but a connected part of Colorado Springs, please reconsider your decision to disallow using Powers Blvd as an eastern boundary for some of the districts.

    Thank you for your time and service to the citizens of El Paso County.

    Carlos Perez
    Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Attachment: Amended-Carlos-EPC-Redistricting-Plan-Proposal.pdf

  • Naomi López | July 31

    Dear Hon. Members of the Redistricting Commission,

    I am submitting the attached letter on behalf of a coalition of local and regional organizations. We hope to draw the Commission’s attention to our concerns with satisfying the federal Voting Rights Act. Thank you for the opportunity to comment and for your attention to this matter.

    Naomi López on behalf of:

    Deborah Richardson (Executive Director, ACLU of Colorado)
    Shelly Roehrs (Spokesperson, LWV of the Pikes Peak Region)
    Jackie Jaramillo (Chair, Latina Equity Foundation)
    Chuck Montoya (Chair, Colorado Latinos Vote)
    Mike Williams (Executive Director, Citizens Project)
    Portia Prescott (President, Rocky Mountain NAACP CO-MT-WY State Conference)
    Angela Stevens (President, NAACP Colorado Springs)

    Attachment: El-Paso-Letter-7.31.23.pdf

  • Richard Ware | August 2

    I strongly urge the Commission to adopt the latest redistricting plan submitted either by Ms. Katherine Czukas or Mr. Carlos Perez. Each is a good plan, and corrects several defects of the county districts as presently drawn, particularly the partition of the Southeast Colorado Springs community of interest between several county districts.

  • Jody Richie | August 2

    I do not have a map to submit. However, I do have a question. Pertaining to the 30 precincts that Senator Tony Exum requested to be put together in the same district, when did that become a “rule”?

  • Jody Richie | August 2

    Now that you’ve reopened ESRI, will citizens be able to revise their maps??

  • Katherine Czukas | August 3

    This is the written version of my verbal comments made on 8/2/23

    My name is Katherine Czukas. I live in District 3 in NW Colorado Springs.

    My comments today are about discussion I hope to hear in Agenda Item #5 and #6.

    As part of those Agenda Items I know you will be filling out Commission Direction Forms like this (holds up Comm Geitner Direction.pdf) I like how they are made available with photocopies immediately for all of us. Please continue to use forms rather than just VERBAL instruction. This way we can review and make written comments prior to Friday morning’s meeting.

    I’d ask you to be precise and use the title of the maps in the Interactive Link on the Google Drive. Last meeting the abbreviation “Geit/Brem” was used and it would have been easier to say “Map 8” , or as we heard today Commissioner Geitner didn’t mean map 8. And maybe she meant Map 9. Alas, you can see the confusion.
    Perhaps she could just resubmit this form with adding precincts 180 and 190 to it to modify Map 9?

    I will get to my comments about 3 of the final maps in a second, and I have them printed out if redistricting commissioners would like to see them to make use of in Agenda item #6

    Also as a reminder per what Attorney Hodges said last meeting. As commissioners, can go back to any other maps and make edits to them. So a map like Map 3 or Map D or Perez map could be edited by any of you using this form.

    The public comments since the last meeting on the redistricting website are extremely valuable to read. Given the sunshine laws for the redistricting commission, I’d like to hear discussion about the 7/31/22 letter submitted by Naomi Lopez. I hear that Commissioner Gonzalez feelings were hurt when he read it. But it is worth a thorough read, it has very solid analysis using data available in September 2020. Of course in November 2021, our county re-precincted, but the analysis is still valid because it’s the same count of the residents that we’re all using.

    I especially appreciate the last sentence of the Conclusion. There are various options meet the VRA. You should ask staff about this, but to me, the illustration they provided similar to the Perez map.

    Now for my comments on specific maps. I have these sheets of paper by map that i’m happy to give the commissioners.

    I have 2 precinct moves for final Map 4 (table showing moving 445 from CC2 to CC1 to unite ASD20, and 219 from CC2 to CC1 to unite ASD20)

    I have 1 precinct move for final Map 3 (table showing moving 445 from CC2 to CC1 because there are no ASD20 precincts in CC2 other than 445)
    I have 5 precinct moves for final Map 2 – to unite the Harrison School District into CC5 as I believe the Waller/Martinez proposal was asking to do. (table showing move precincts 603, 604, 606, 613, 602 from CC4 to CC5). Please note I had to write this as I walked into the room (so I didn’t have time to add in the populations)

    And for Final Map 1, which I realize is changing, I have at least 4 precinct moves for this particularly about bringing precincts 112 and 119 in Old Colorado City back to CC3 as I believe everyone discussed about this map prior to last meeting, but again, the instructions were for Map 8. . So I’ve done things which bring 112 and 119 into CC3, but then became like the children’s book… “If you give a mouse a cookie… “ Alas, I don’t have an easy answer, but I have a whole sheet of moves, and these still don’t unite the additional 5 precincts of SE COS into the map. (table showing moving 112 from CC5 to CC3, 119 from CC5 to CC3, 445 from CC2 to CC1 (may have been done by staff just prior to meeting, 253 from CC1 to CC2, 302/303/304/313/315/319 from CC3 to CC1, 200 from CC1 to CC3, 457 from CC1 to CC2, 440 from CC1 to CC2)

    I realize my time may be cut off, so I can just hand these pieces of paper to someone for copies to be made and the commissioners to read.

  • Katherine Czukas | August 3

    Redistricting Commission:

    Once again, I’d ask you to make adjustments to the Agenda on Friday August 4th to accommodate the ability for staff and the public to ask yes/no questions about motions that the commissioners are making in the spirit of clarifying.

    In the Meeting on August 2nd, we all saw the value of being able to process the paper form from Commissioner Vanderwerf. The staff and public were able to see that the form was INCOMPLETE when it came to the criteria (it’s population balance was off). And then for staff and public to realize once the shapefile was available that the FORM was INCOMPLETE written in terms of leaving off desired precinct moves like 187, 199, 147, 145 , 135, 144.

    However, because there was no time for questions about the Shapefile, the motion passed suggest that analysis that will be done is also done on a Shapefile with mistakes or intentions that violate guidance provided.

    On Friday August 8, it would be best to create a break/pause (and the potential for verbal public comment again or for redistricting commissioners to read written comments in the website) before formally adjourning otherwise items like a) the “revised Final Map 1” instructions or b) any other direction given to staff on Friday may have potential for mistakes that the commission will have to wait until August 8th to correct.

    Here is the example that I see in the Vanderwerf shapefile submitted and in the google drive ,there are precincts which are split. There may be others. Precinct 310 for example is split between two county commissioner districts. I hope staff will correct this before they do their analysis and that it will be accepted by the redistricting commission. If not, then we will need to wait until Tuesday August 8 to hear the analysis of this “final map 5”

    As context, and as discussed by Commisioner Vanderwerf on August 2nd, there are many precincts which members of the public and redistricting commissioners find problematic when it comes to describing homogeneous areas of El Paso County. I believe Commissioner Williams and I agree about the problematic use of adjacent zero population census blocks to define a precinct 301 that spans from Mountain Shadows to Palmer Lake. It is presumptuous for one Commissioner to split a precinct and for it to become a “proposed final plan.” It is also a terrible idea for “mistakes” to be part of any candidates for final voting.

    Please revise the agenda on Friday August 4th that allows for sufficient time before adjourning to make sure clarifications can be asked of redistricting commissioners.

  • Katherine Czukas | August 3

    Redistricting Commissioners:

    Based upon the direction to staff in agenda item #6, and the motions presented on 8/2, I’ve been attempting to come up with written public comment in advance that could be of benefit to the staff and redistricting commissioners. It’s getting late in the day on Thursday, here is where I’ve landed based upon my inspection today.

    Based upon the verbal comments about Final Map 1 – I’m not able to track down what Commissioner Geitner’s verbally references as her original map in the public sphere (from looking back at the June or July discussion). So I can’t determine how that “Geit/Brem” form on July 27 corresponds with making changes to a proposal which already had 30 precincts of SE COS together. I’ll await the materials from staff at the meeting, and make comments based upon what I read at 9am.

    For Final Map 5, based upon Commissioner Vanderwerf’s intention to unite SE COS into CC4, I believe his shapefile fails this intention. My inspection of this esri shapefile shows the following with 30 SE COS precincts: 16 precincts in CC5 and 12 in CC4. It is hard for me to see how proposal starts to unite SE COS into a CC4. I realize precinct counts aren’t resident counts and aren’t voter counts. But it seems to me that Final map 5 is about uniting SE COS into CC5, kind of. And it is dividing the smallish Harrison SD2 and Widefield SD 3 communities across CCs as a consequence (between CC3 and CC4, and CC2 and CC4 respectively).

    If the goal of Commissioner Vanderwerf sharing of a Final Map 5 to “see if it has any insights to make it worthwhile” then I’d like to suggest a different process the commission about insights.
    If the goal is to have the redistricting commission discuss uniting SE COS into CC4 there is a plan already evaluated by staff which does so. This plan also unites Fountain and Fort Carson and Security and Widefield and Hanover into one commissioner district. It is your printed materials in a spiral binding from July 27th called El Paso County Commissioner Redistricting. Perhaps the commission could focus discussion on this plan?

    Thank you for reading my comments.

  • Katherine Czukas | August 3

    Redistricting Commission:

    Please excuse one flip of the precinct counts about Final Map 5. You can ignore my prior submission and read this instead….

    Redistricting Commissioners:

    Based upon the direction to staff in agenda item #6, and the motions presented on 8/2, I’ve been attempting to come up with written public comment in advance that could be of benefit to the staff and redistricting commissioners. It’s getting late in the day on Thursday, so I wanted to provide my written comments in advance.

    Based upon the verbal comments about Final Map 1 – I’m not able to track down what Commissioner Geitner’s verbally references as her original map in the public sphere (from looking back at the June or July discussion). So I can’t determine how that “Geit/Brem” form corresponds with making changes to a proposal which already had 30 precincts of SE COS together. I’ll await the materials from staff at the meeting, and make comments based upon what I read at 9am.

    For Final Map 5, based upon Commissioner Vanderwerf’s intention to unite SE COS into CC4, I believe his shapefile fails this intention. My inspection of this esri shapefile shows the following with SE COS precincts: 12 precincts in CC5 and 16 in CC4. It is hard for me to see how proposal starts to unite SE COS into a CC4, as it is splitting SE COS across 2 CCs. I realize precinct counts aren’t resident counts and aren’t voter counts. But it seems to me that Final map 5 is about bifurcating SE COS into CC4 and CC5 , but not successfully, and it is dividing the smallish Harrison SD2 and Widefield SD 3 communities across CCs as a consequence (between CC3 and CC4, and CC2 and CC4 respectively). As an aside, 2 precincts of SE COS remain in CC3.

    If the goal of Commissioner Vanderwerf sharing of a Final Map 5 to “see if it has any insights to make it worthwhile” then I’d like to suggest a different process the commission about insights.
    If the goal is to have the redistricting commission discuss uniting SE COS into CC4 there is a plan already evaluated by staff which does so. This plan also unites Fountain and Fort Carson and Security and Widefield and Hanover into one commissioner district. It is your printed materials in a spiral binding from July 27th called El Paso County Commissioner Redistricting. Perhaps the commission could focus discussion on this plan?

  • Katherine Czukas | August 4

    Move Precinct 445 out of CC2 in the discussion of edits to Final Map 5 that are being made on 8/4 at 10:57pm

    445 is NOT part of SD49 ,it is an academy school district 20 precinct

  • Susan Roehrs | August 4

    On the website, archived meeting documents from August 2, 2023 are not accessible here and being referred to a lot in today’s meeting. Where can they be accessed by the public?

    Based on today’s meeting (8/4), Map 5 or Final Map 6 is considered a finalist after changes by Commissioners. What other maps are being considered as finalists? Will commissioners allot equal amount of time revising other finalist maps with things they don’t like (similar to today’s meeting regarding Map 3/3-31/5/6?

    Map 2 should not be considered at this time. Commissioner VanderWerf proposed removing this from consideration (as well as Map A, B, C and D) on July 17. Please confirm.

  • Katherine Czukas | August 7

    Redistricting Commission Staff:

    Could you verify that this link about Final Map 3:
    which is accessed from the Links to Interactive Redistricting Maps.pdf in the August 2 Meeting Google Drive folder \ and Links to Interactive Redistricting Maps.pdf in the August 4 Meeting Google Drive folder (two separate PDFs) is correct?

    It doesn’t seem to be the same as the Final Map 3 in the El Paso County Commissioner Redistricting.ppt files (the ones in the spiral binding) for August 2 or for August 4 (slide 60 in both), or the ESRI tool’s Final Map 3.

    Thank you for investigating this and making sure that the public can view Final Map 3 in the format that fits best for them.

  • John Jarrell | August 7

    The commission and its supporting staff should be made aware of a mistake that brings the legality of some of the maps under consideration into question. Some courts have determined that “contiguous,” one of the key criteria in the redistricting process, requires populations the ability to readily travel across a given district. District 3, as it is drawn in multiple maps under consideration (Final Maps 5 and 6), is two contiguous populations that cannot safely or easily travel to each other without leaving the district entirely, and for long stretches. Given that both contiguous populations within District 3 can be easily drawn to remain with their contiguous populations (Maps 2, 3, and 4, for example), the commission would be putting the county in legal jeopardy if it were to settle on one of the maps not in compliance with the law. And, given that maps 5 and 6 also violate the community-of-interest and competitiveness criteria (as made clear in public comment), it would be prudent for the commission and its supporting staff to double-check whether these maps are not in violation of redistricting law before choosing from the final maps.

  • Katherine Czukas | August 8

    Redistricting Commission and Staff:

    I am planning to attend the meeting today on 8/8 and make public comment at the first public comment session. Per the discussion during Agenda #6 on 8/4, it was suggested that there could be edits Final Map 4 to improve upon the desires of the Redistricting Commission verbally expressed on 8/4.

    My comments today will focus on those edits to Final Map 4 and I’m submitting a 4 small sets of precinct moves which could improve upon Final Map 4 (and 2 additional single precinct moves). I’ll plan to bring hard copies of the visual and the attached memo of precinct moves should the redistricting commission and staff wish to read this in a different format. I’m hoping this materials will allow for efficient discussion during today’s session.

    Outcome based these suggested changes to Final Map 4:
    CC5 is further east than Final Map 6 (eastern boundary is Union Blvd when north of E Pikes Peak Ave)
    SD49 is in the same CC district
    Precincts 602, 161 and 162 are in CC4 (just as they are in Final Map 6)
    Precincts 141, 144 and 145 are in CC1 (just as they are in Final Map 6)
    Precincts 445 and 219 are with good portion of ASD20 in CC1 (just as they are in Final Map 6)
    The oddity of Precinct 97 identified by staff in Final Map 6 is resolved
    More higher traffic roads are used as boundaries between CC Districts (e.g. Rangewood, Murray, Union, Woodmen) than in some other Final Maps
    Woodmoor is with Palmer Lake and Monument in the same CC district
    Room to accommodate population growth in CC2 and CC4 by overpopulating CC1, CC3, CC5
    Under the 5% deviation (4.43% according to ESRI Redistricting)

    In addition, these changes to Final Map 4 :
    a) minimizes the number of residents to 3 (only three) with one of voting age (according to US Census 2020 Adjusted) who live the census block north of Rampart Range Road and east of NF-300 in Precinct 301 who could not travel by road to all parts of the CC1 district without leaving it (Contiguity)
    b) Are likely better on mathematical compactness metrics than other district boundaries for other Final Maps, though staff would have to determine which compactness metric to use, as there has been no public discussion of a preferred compactness measure for this County Commissioner redistricting process.

    You’re welcome to ask me questions about what you’re reading here, as well as what you don’t see mentioned in writing.

    Thank you for your consideration of these changes.

  • Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta | August 8

    The following is the text of my public comments made at the July 27, 2023 redistricting public hearing entered for the written record:

    My name is Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta, aka Jax, and I am a District 5 voter. Due to the consequential nature of this process, I attended all previous public hearings to make my comments. Sadly, this is my last one because I have no more paid time off to sacrifice simply to participate in this process, as this Board chose to hold the rest of these hearings during work hours.

    Tonight the Board gave directions to citizens to comment on specific map changes, which risks being rather nebulous given the multiple maps discussed throughout the entire process and the 3min limitation.

    That said, my first specific suggestion is to stop wasting everyone’s time in discussing the five different maps that would gerrymander southeast colorado springs and most certainly trigger litigation under the voting rights act of 1965. Some of these maps were just now not recommended by the clerk. This board’s previous insistence in evaluating two versions of a racist map that would never meet legal muster because the author is a stale and pale washed up former Republican elected official has been offensive. Especially while other maps drawn by unaffiliated or Democratic Party voters had previously received less attention. These observations frankly serve to confirm the suspicion many of us hold in that this process has been nothing more than distasteful political theater.

    Another specific change is that this board refrain from using the unity of southeast as a disingenuous excuse to neglect the competitiveness of the overall map. For example, this means ensuring Monument is also united with other nearby communities of interest so it no longer negatively impacts the competitiveness of District 3.

    I am also compelled to share some frank specific changes to this process. This Board chose to ignore representation in this process of the more than 230,000 people who are unaffiliated voters in El Paso County by appointing itself as an all Republican commission.

    Another process change: It greatly saddened me to see the multitude of maps setup during the District 5 hearing, with little helpful context, because that essentially had the impact of information overload as my neighbors new to this process showed up to advocate for their community. I believe this process can be improved to truly engage voters instead of inundating them. So, I must especially give a giant shoutout to all my District 5 neighbors who showed up and spoke out in support of the Czukas version 1 map, uniting Southeast Colorado Springs and a fair & competitive map overall.

    My final specific change is demanding that this Board refrain from wasting our taxpayer money on frivolous litigation, in this case, over an unfair map. In fact, this board has a duty to pick a map that also maximizes political competitiveness, as long as no other standard is violated. Competitive maps get more people out to vote and that’s something we should all want for the future!

    Once again, this is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is about following the law and honoring democracy with our new voting map that is free from the influence of partisan politics. Respect. Our. Votes.

  • Zurit Horowitz | August 8

    I’m Zuri Horowitz, a District 3 resident

    It’s great that the 30 Southeast precincts are united in District 5 besides Final Map 1, however based on these final maps, only Final Maps 2 & 4 follow HB21-1047.

    Besides Final Map 2 & 4, Final maps 1,3,5 & 6 are neither contiguous or politically competitive.

    District 3 isn’t contiguous in 4/6 maps because you have to get on I-25 and go through District 1 to get to Monument and the tri lakes. Why? There is a physical barrier between District 3 and Monument/Tri-lakes, Blodgett Open Space which is wilderness and the Air Force Academy (which is in District 1 in 1, 2, 3, 5, & 6.) You can not get to Monument and the Tri-Lakes through neighborhood streets on the Westside. If these are contiguous maps you could argue that Castle Rock, Denver, Casper or Albuquerque could be part of District 3.

    As you have heard over and over again from Westside residents, Monument isn’t part of District 3, it is a 20 minute drive on I-25.

    And this brings us to the second area where maps 1 (the third area where map 1 fails), 3,5 & 6 fail: Political Competitiveness.

    Putting Monument/the Tri-Lakes in District 3 is gerrymandering. As there’s no good reason to place Monument/the trilakes in District 3, we’re left to conclude the goal is to reduce political competitiveness. Last time a Dem came close to winning district 3 in 2016, you added pieces of the tri-lakes to District 3 in 2017. It looks like you’re going back to your old playbook and planning to gerrymander District 3 for the second time in 6 years. There hasn’t been a dem elected in 50 years, so that tells us something about the political competitiveness of our current districts. If we come out of this process with districts that are even less competitive than they were before it will be because you wanted to reduce political competitiveness.

    If you’re going to make fair maps, use Final Maps 4 & 2, keep Monument & the Tri-Lakes in District 1, unify all 30 precincts of South East Colorado Springs, and have two truly competitive districts which can change hands within 10 years (something that has not happened in 50 years) or face the consequences of going against the law.

    Also holding these during the day means that in order to participate we have to miss work.

  • Lois Landgraf | August 9

    I had the pleasure of attending all but one of your redistricting meetings. At everyone of them we heard about the 30 precincts that needed to stay together although that was never one of the requirements outlined in the legislation. What was in the legislation was the requirement that all districts be contiguous. I don’t know how anyone could call map 1 contiguous. Taking the precincts that are south west of HWY out of CCD4 breaks up the Security-Widefield community of interest and creates a map that, quite frankly, looks ridiculous. Looking at these maps I have no idea what the competitiveness is but based the disruption of the Security -Widefield corridor I urge you to vote against this map.

  • Lois Landgraf | August 10

    I believe I may have misread final map 1 so most of my previous comments don’t necessarily apply. However this map splits 3 precincts and has ccd4 over populated by more than 2000 people when it is the fastest growing area in our county. This contradicts everything the commissioners talked about during the meetings.

  • Sharon Thompson | August 10

    Thank you for all your hard work in this process. Please adopt Map 6, version 3 as presented. This map keeps Fountain Valley as a community of interest and has also taken into account requests from other citizens in this same district.

  • Tamara Estes | August 10

    I strongly encourage map 6, version 3. It is vital that the Fountain Valley is seen as an area of common interest. This area has historical and current community connections. Dividing it up and separating Fort Carson from this area would be detrimental to our community. The vast majority of soldiers station be at Ft Carson that do not live on base live in Fountain. This one fact makes its imperative the Fountain Valley stays together as a community and County commissioner district.

  • Teresa Cheek | August 10

    Having reviewed the most recently submitted maps, I am writing in support of Map 6 Version 3. Map 1 version 2 does not meet the criteria for redistricting. As a resident of Widefield, I speak in support of keeping Fountain and Fort Carson together in our district. When we dealt with water contamination, our response was most effective because we had one dedicated commissioner responding to the issues. To have our community split across more than one district is a huge disservice to all the residents of the Fountain Valley.

    Thank you for allowing me to express support for Map 6 version 3.

  • Rosanna Cheek | August 10

    Thank you to all those who spent their time preparing and reviewing these maps. Please adopt Map 6 version 3. We need to keep the Fountain Valley together, as it definitely is a community of interest. This map is the best one for my area.

  • Patricia Cheek | August 10

    I am writing in support of Map 6, Version 3. This map is the best one for keeping my community – the Fountain Valley – whole and it meets all of the redistricting criteria, which Map 1 does not. Fountain-Ft Carson is its own school district and should not be separated. Our ability to respond effectively to the water contamination issue we faced was better because we were in one district. Please adopt Map 6 Version 3.

  • Shana Black | August 11

    Map 6v3 fulfills the BOCC’s requirements for ensuring equal population representation, as mandated by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It adheres to the preservation of community bonds and political subdivisions, while also striving to increase the count of politically competitive districts (specifically, districts 3 & 4). Furthermore, it minimizes voter shifts compared to maps one and two

  • Brenda Miller | August 11

    Much appreciation for participants of this arduous task. Please consider the final selection of map 6 version 3 which results in achieving EPC redistricting criteria. keeps the Fountain Valley community intact, causes least abruption to precincts; has least precinct moves meaning least of population impacted (vice Map 1 which splits 3 precincts). Map 6 version 3 has closest equal population distribution, is in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 52 U.S.C. sec 10301; map 3 also preserves communities of interests and offers political leveling. Map 1 disrupts whole communities of interest and is most disruptive to political subdivisions.

  • Janna Blanter | August 11

    I am resident of District 3

    I strongly urge Commissioners to adopt map 6v3 as it is most compliant with all of the requirements set for the redistricting procecss and determination. While the arguments are made that it stretches too far north to south it is important to note that this stretch is west of I-25 which is in a higher fire danger zone of the county and as such shares a common interest for security and protection which is best represented by 1 commissioner. Furthermore, map 6v3 is least disruptive in precinct movements.

    The hard work involved in this process is much appreciated.

  • Gordoon Bertoglio | August 11

    I would like to thank the County Comissioners along with Steve Schleiker and his staff for their efforts in creating fair and equitable maps based on the rules and testimonials from those in the 5 districts.
    I would recommend map 6 version 3 to be closest in meeting the rules and constituent testimonial concerns.
    Thanks again for everyone’s hard work to make the best possible final map selection.

  • Sandra Bankes | August 11

    In looking over the proposed maps, I am writing in favor of map 6 version 3. As i understand the protocols, this map adheres to the equal population rule. The distribution of voters to make the districts politically competitive, with less disruption of voters in those districts is also a desirable goal in this process. I hope the commissioners consider the disruption to voters when changing the boundaries.

  • Billie Nigro | August 11

    Map 6v3 is the least disruptive and makes more sense. Most importantly, neighborhoods and areas of common interests are kept intact.

  • Candy Boyer | August 11

    Thank you to all who have been and are involved is this process to realign our county commission maps as directed by legislation from the Colorado Legislature.

    After reviewing the final maps I find that Map 6v3 is the one that I would recommend to be used. Based on criteria established by the BOCC several areas conform to those requirements. The mathematic population equality is well within the criteria. This map complies with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and preserves both communities of interests and political subdivisions. The one area of division of precincts is a logical separation by a major highway. Districts 3 and 4 become politically competitive districts, which is based on the voting shift of the population in those districts. The number of voters being disrupted by changing election cycles is minimized in Map 6v3 more so than the other maps.

  • Amy Paschal | August 11

    Is there a way to get a shape file for the final maps? Hard to tell if the shape files in the google drive, Aug 8 meeting are the final versions.
    I do see the links in the Aug 15 folder, interactive PDF but I don’t see a way to export the shape file once I get the map up on the screen.

  • Nicole Riggio | August 11

    None of the finalist maps are good because they put Monument in District 3 which is ludacris.

  • Cullom Radvillas | August 11

    The three proposed final maps are unacceptable for the residents of District 3. The historic urban portion of our city has unique needs. Including Monument & Palmer Lake in District 3 is simply a way to dilute the impact of the voters of the historic parts of our region; the residents of the Westside, Old Colorado City, Downtown, Ivywild, Broadmoor, and Manitou Springs residents.

    Please redraw your final maps to remove the Tri-Lake region (Monument/Palmer lake) from District 3 and include them in the geographically appropriate District 1.

  • Jonathan Christiansen | August 11

    None of the current maps are acceptable as they include Monument in District 3. Monument does not share the same interests as Colorado Springs’ West Side, which is mostly urban. Including Monument in this district dilutes the voting power of the urban West Side, which shares more in common with the older neighborhoods that surround downtown.

  • Newlin Sharkey | August 11

    Do not include Monument in with the Westside. These are very discrete areas with nothing in common. They do not belong in district 3. Include them with the prairie.

  • Bethany Winder | August 11

    I reject any map that includes Monument in with Rockrimmon. Listen to the public comment on this and do not move forward with this. I, nor my neighbors, have anything in common with Monument.

  • Andrea Freitas | August 11

    Including Monument in the district that includes the West Side is, in short, ridiculous. The two areas have very little in common in regards to politics, and I feel as if this is a blatant attempt to silence the voice of the West Side. If I wanted to live in Monument, I would have chosen to live in Monument. It’s not the Colorado Springs I chose to live in, and I don’t believe Monument has the best wishes of the West Side at heart.

  • Zurit Horowitz | August 11

    None of the final maps are acceptable. First off 6V2 and 6V3 are essentially the same map so there are only two final maps. Secondly all three of the maps place Monument with the Westside, they have nothing in common with each other. There’s no common wildlife interface. They do not share a fire protection district and Monument can only be accessed via I-25 so there’s no contiguity so how would fire trucks access this area (they would have to use helicopters which could be used all over El Paso County). This has been said over and over and over again (see the District 3 meeting on July 10th, 2023 and the last redistricting meeting on August 8th, 2023). The only reason they’re placing Monument (and the Tri-lakes) in District 3 is to gerrymander District 3 for the second time in 6 years. These maps need to be thrown out, there were maps with acceptable starting points (Final Maps 2 & 4), and they weren’t even considered. Each time the Commissioners would bring up some different random quibble that would be addressed by the public and then the maps and proposed changes to address the Commissioners issues were ignored. This has not been a legitimate process.

  • Jody Richie | August 11

    After reviewing the three final drafts, I am strongly recommending voting for Map 6v3. This is the one map that meets all the criteria, keeps communities of interest together and, most importantly, complies with the Voting Rights Act.

  • Naomi López | August 11

    Dear Hon. Members of the Redistricting Commission,

    I am submitting my comment on the final three map options chosen by this commission, all of which fail in representing the numerous voices of District 3 residents who have engaged in this process and have asked the commission to ensure that our district become as politicaly competitive as possible. Not one of the final map options does that. Not one. In fact, they do the opposite.

    I have been a resident of District 3 for the 20 years that I have lived in El Paso County and in those 20 years my vote for a commissioner that I felt would represent my Democrat and Hispanic values has never amounted to having representation at the county level. It appears that despite the robust engagement of District 3 residents, some of which provided fair, competitive and sound map options, our voices and engagement have been ignored.

    In review of all public comment from District 3 residents who call for the political competitiveness of our district, as well as the letter I submitted on behalf of a coalition of organizations that support the minority voters of over 1/3 of our county’s population, they all have called for a map that excluded Monument from within the District 3 boundaries. This small change from our current District 3 map would have been the only change needed during this process to ensure that both political competitiveness and a reduction in minority vote dilution be achieved for District 3 voters. And yet, you have voted forward none of those options. We are now left with no map options that would achieve the goals of true political competitiveness or reduction of minority vote dilution for District 3.

    Minority voters, and our interests to have true representation within the commission, do not become fully and sufficiently considered during this process by only focusing on fixing the issues that have existed within District 5. While I am glad that you have listened to our Black and Hispanic community in the South side of Colorado Springs and have thus moved forward map options that honor their ability to not have their voting power diluted, I am making this public comment to say that doing so does not relinquish this commission of its responsibility to also do the same for minority and Democrat voters within District 3. And yet, this commission has not provided a map option that honors the needs and voting viability of Democrats, Independents and minority voters within District 3.


    Naomi López, MS, CCC-SLP

  • Hannah Martin | August 11

    Unfortunately, I cannot support any of the proposed maps. It is clear that Monument should not be in District 3 and I do not understand the reasoning as to why it is. This must be corrected in a proposed map before it can be supported and all constituents should be paying attention to this.

  • Michael Martin | August 11

    I do not have a map to offer an alternative. I hold question as to why all proposals show ney losses in percentages for Democrats and no net losses for Republicans across any section of any of the maps. I also don’t understand how the West side of Colorado Springs and Monument can be considered in the same district. They need different representation as one representative could not, regardless of party affiliation, be able to adequately represent the different needs and wishes of these communities.

  • Kenneth Linfield | August 11

    I cannot support ANY of the proposed maps, because Monument should NEVER be included in District 3. Such a change is a blatant gerrymandering ploy that has no integrity.

  • Amy Linfield | August 11

    I am writing in reference to redistricting District 3 to include Monument. I oppose this proposal. These two districts have very different needs and objectives, and are located nearly 35 miles apart from each other.

  • Katherine Czukas | August 11

    I’m writing to express my disappointment at the outcome of the 8/8 8 hour meeting. In some cultures, 8s are lucky, but for the residents of El Paso County, this is not the case. In my opinion, this was an unfortunate outcome to a multi-month process that did not need to occur.

    For those of us watching in person, here is what we observed as mis-steps:

    Staff recommended that the redistricting commission bring forward 5 proposals to their final meeting 8/15. Staff was ready to do the analysis on 5 proposals for the 8/15 meeting. For some reason, the redistricting commission wanted to bring forward the bare minimum of 3 proposals.

    The first public comment period was full of advocacy and support for proposals (Final Maps) which the 4 redistricting commissioners present decided not to bring forward to the 8/15 meeting.

    During the first public comment session, I proposed edits to Final Map 4 to address the concerns raised in prior meetings about CC5 not being east or north enough in proposals shared early in July and August. But the redistricting commissioners attending the meeting did not choose to go forward with it. It is disappointing that the absent redistricting commissioner (Bremer), who is very familiar with neighborhoods in CC5, did not have the opportunity to weigh in on that suggestion.

    During the second public comment session, I proposed edits to Final Map 6 v3 to ensure that CC5 could be further to the north and east, and that Rockrimmon neighborhood could remain whole, all with 5 precinct changes. But the redistricting commissioners were not interested in considering this. I also suggested, just as staff did, that for Final Map 6 v2 that precincts 839 and 730 were precincts of SD8, so they could justifiably be united with Ft. Carson rather than precincts 724 and 725. Ultimately, the meeting concluded with two suboptimal ideas around Final Map 6 of either separating the Broadmoor (v2) or separating Rockrimmon (v3) neighborhoods into 2 CC districts. Other than that minor difference, these Final Map 6 versions are 99% identical.

    I’m disappointed that the redistricting commission focused on creating finalists only from “recent” maps, ones that were NOT visible to the public prior to agenda item #5 on 8/8. This suboptimal experience of dynamically and quickly presenting precinct assignments on the screen for brand new proposals at the 5th-8th hour of a meeting did not provide sufficient ability for the residents of the county to understand the proposals, nor for all of the redistricting commissioners to hear a sufficient amount of resident comment. Going forward, I would suggest that there needs to be a period of 24 hours of stable maps before nominating by the entire redistricting commission about which ones should be finalist maps.

    The 2023 Redistricting Commission for El Paso County could have convened on Tuesday August 15th with a full set of redistricting metrics for 4+ maps, ones which truly weigh the pluses and minuses of the complexity of our growing county. If that had occurred, there would have been some maps in the mix that solved issues unsolved in the 3 finalist maps – like uniting all of the Trilakes neighborhoods or unifying all of SD49 or unifying SE COS in CC4 (without separating Widefield from Security) or having contiguity in all of the district boundaries.

    Instead the commission will spend August 15th voting between effectively 2 maps. Both that had no resident advocacy on August 8th.

  • Joan Stang | August 11






  • Savanah McDaniel | August 11

    The final redistricting maps do not appropriately represent the communities of El Paso County. The inclusion of Monument in District 3 is a clear attempt to diffuse the political impact of residents who reside in the west side of Colorado Springs and in Manitou Springs.

  • Valerie Settle | August 11

    Thank you all for working so hard for the best interest of Colorado Springs. I believe map 6v3 makes the most sense. It is the least disruptive.

  • John Mikos | August 11

    In at least two respects, the redistricting commission is falling short in the final voting maps under consideration.

    First, the commission has identified three maps for final consideration. However, two of these three maps are almost exactly the same map. Comparing Map 6 v2 and Map 6 v3, it appears that 99.4% of the precincts are the same (326 of 328) and that about 99.4% of the population is the same. It is hard to imagine how the commission can be said to be considering three options when two of the maps are basically indistinguishable.

    Second, the commission has not endeavored to truly maximize the political competitiveness of the voting maps. The commission has chosen to disregard a number of maps submitted by professional staff and by members of the public. Many of those staff and public member maps met all of the identified community of interest, Voting Right Act (VRA), and other legal considerations and had a greater degree of political competitiveness. Instead, the commission has decided to consider only final maps that were essentially proposed by individual commission members themselves and are less politically competitive than those submitted by professional staff or by members of the public.

    One can only conclude that this is being done to advance some sort of partisan advantage.

  • Amy Paschal | August 11

    I’m disappointed in the finalist maps.
    Firstly, map 6 v3 is a minor variation of map 6 v2. Why are both of these maps in the final set? Pick one as a finalist.
    As far as I’m concerned the redistricting commission has failed to provide the minimum of 3 finalist maps as required by law.

    Secondly the two finalist maps were created by Commissioner Geitner (map 1) and Commissioner VanderWerf (map 6). Why have none of the maps submitted by citizens been selected as finalists? Were they even seriously considered? The Perez map and the map submitted by a coalition of organizations were completely ignored.
    This is why an independent redistricting committee is so necessary. Once again, the commissioners made their own maps driven by their own interests.
    Why was it so important to put all of Monument into Districts 3 even though many district 3 residents expressed concern over such? It ain’t about the WUI, that’s for sure.
    I guess an independent redistricting committee needs to be made legally required for the concept to get traction in El Paso County.

    On the positive side, I do appreciate the fact that the 30 minority-majority identified precincts are kept together in the same district on both of the final maps.
    You ignored a LOT of citizen comments but you did hear the threat of a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act. The current map, which is a violation of the Voting Rights Act should never have existed.

  • Michael Maday | August 11

    As a 35 year resident of CC District #3 it continues to disgust me that the El Paso County Commissioners, this year acting (as in pretending to be) an “Independent Redistricting Commission”, have yet again gerrymandered our District so only Republican Commissioners, like Stan VanDerMander, have a chance of winning this seat. Every single time in the past 35 years our District verges on competitiveness and representation of the interests of our residents, the 100% Republican County Commission redraws the lines to eliminate competition. It is the only way they can win our District. This insider Republican clique knows a significant majority of voters in District 3 do not believe they represent us. In a fair election they will lose. So they continually steal the seat with gerrymandering because they can not win a fairly drawn District 3.

    District 3 is an easily identifiable community of interest with many contiguous, interdependent, densely populated, old and urban neighborhoods including Manitou Springs, the Westside, Rockrimmon, Cheyenne Canyon, the Broadmoor, Patty Jewett and the North End. On a daily basis we live, work, eat, shop, play and go to school in this great urban community. I regularly ride my bicycle through all these neighborhoods in the District because it is easy to travel through it on quiet residential streets and connected bikeways. To steal the District yet again, the final maps the 100% Republican Commission are trying to ram through include Monument and the Tri-Lakes area in District 3. These towns and rural areas are reachable from all other parts of the District only by a twenty minute (or longer) drive on 1-25. These are very different communities. And, in fact, the pulling of these communities out of District 1, which has many communities similar to Monument and Tri-Lakes, splits up yet another community of interest so the Republican Commissioners can preserve their 100% control of El Paso County.

    In the past, the 100% Republican Commissioner was permitted by law to gerrymander districts as they are trying to do again. But in 2021 Colorado law changed to outlaw their historic gerrymander scams. The final maps fancied by the Republican Commissioners violate new Colorado law, which defines what is legal for drawing boundaries for District 3. Preserving communities of interest, competitiveness, contiguousness and compactness of district boundaries are required All the final maps slipped in last minute by the Republican Commission do not comply with Colorado law. Earlier proposed maps labelled maps 2 and 4 do comply with the law and one of these needs to be approved by the Commission.