Opinion | Susan Knopf: Summit hit the trifecta with new maps | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: Summit hit the trifecta with new maps

Susan Knopf
For the Record

The Colorado Supreme Court has approved the redistricting maps. I’d like to say we should be proud of our first attempt to draw redistricting lines utilizing a so-called nonpartisan commission. But it was a tough slog.

There were times when it seemed irreparably partisan. Like the maps that put Summit County in Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s district.

You know Muslims live in Summit County, right? They couldn’t very well be represented by someone who presumes their backpacks contain explosives.

For the record, Boebert is still apparently under investigation by the Federal Election Commission for campaign finance irregularities, like paying her personal bills with campaign funds. She also failed to report her husband’s yearly income of nearly a half-million dollars from energy consulting, like that money doesn’t affect her judgment in Congress.

We got through. Most folks seem happy about the lines. You can draw your own conclusions. The final maps and reports are posted at the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission site.

Colorado State Rep. Dylan Roberts chatted with me about redistricting and the upcoming election. He’d like to be our next state senator. We’ve been represented by Republican Sen. Bob Rankin. His district lines have moved, and he told me he plans to retire.

“Nobody was extremely happy,” Roberts said about redistricting. He takes that to mean that it probably worked. He said the final product “largely honored Colorado voters” by creating “four competitive districts.”

Speaking of competitive, our state House Rep. Julie McCluskie is going to have a more competitive run for office this time. Summit Daily News progressive columnist Linda Harmon told you about the changes in our House district.

I’m a particular fan of McCluskie. She is a rare person of character who hard charges on behalf of the public good. She told me she likes to think of herself as a “problem solver … delivering for the people.”

“I’m here to address people’s needs,” she said.

I have my suspicions that Roberts might be cut from the same fine cloth. I say suspicions because character is so rare a thing to find, and it’s rarely found in politics. Every time I talk to Roberts and I hear his commitment, his excitement, I get just a little bit more sold.

I interned in a U.S. senator’s office, and I was a TV news reporter. I can tell when I’m being played. They all sound like used car salesmen. Not McCluskie and not Roberts.

Roberts has some interesting pieces of legislation coming up in this next session, but I’ll save that for a future column.

I definitely want to make sure you know who Roberts is when the next election comes around. I think you’re going to like his ideas. He is committing to affordable housing in this upcoming session.

I can’t wait to see how that legislation shapes up. He’s having good chats with Summit County stakeholders. I stuck in my two cents from the perspective of the Summit Colorado Interfaith Council and our goal to make sure the unsheltered working people of Summit County have safe and secure places to park and sleep.

Next week, my counterpart Harmon will profile U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse. I’m so excited we keep Joe. Like I said, redistricting was nip and tuck. We could have been represented by gun-toting Boebert. Can’t wait for her Christmas card!

Neguse cares about the environment like the rest of us up here.

I didn’t like sitting through those redistricting hearings. Still, I’d say we lucked out and hit the trifecta.

That doesn’t mean it’s a shoe in. Summit County Democratic Party Chair Patti McLaughlin said she encourages “Summit County Democrats to take an active role in the 2022 election. Democrats can begin getting involved by participating in the caucus and county assembly on Saturday, March 5, 2022.”

We’re going to have to work for it — campaign like everything is on the line. And it is.

If you doubt it, look at the last presidential election and what is still happening. One by one, the insurrectionists and liars are be taken down by the legal system. We need to be patient, vigilant and persistent. The battle for sanity, the battle for decency, the battle for fair elections, the battle for democracy is worth our time.

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