Opinion | Susan Knopf: My hair is on fire
For the Record
This Fourth of July, we’ll miss local fireworks. We’re in Stage 2 fire restrictions. But my hair is on fire, and I just about guarantee fireworks on July 31.
That’s when the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissions are coming to town. I urge you to check out their maps and more info at ColoradoSun.com. Kyle Clark of 9News said the maps are “a dream for Republicans who are at a low point for political power since World War II in this state.”
On this preliminary map, Summit County moves from the 2nd Congressional District, represented by Democrat Joe Neguse, to the 3rd Congressional District, represented by gun-toting, QAnon supporting, nominal Republican Lauren Boebert.
Did I mention my hair is on fire?
For the record, I have no intention of being represented by someone who believes I’m a cannibalistic pedophile and can’t understand why our congressional representatives can’t carry guns into the Capitol.
According to Emmy and Peabody award-winning reporter Marshall Zelinger, Boebert’s district will go from a comfortable 6% Republican majority to an insurmountable 11-point lead. You can kiss goodbye any hope that Summit County’s priorities will be represented in Congress. Forget environmental concerns, climate change worries and sensible gun laws.
“We were happy being with Boulder,” Summit County Democratic Party Chair Patti McLaughlin said. “We’re more connected with the Front Range than agricultural interests.”
That’s the talking point you’ll hear from the Democrats as they fight to be heard.
If you want to be heard, I suggest you attend the Redistricting Commission’s roadshow scheduled for 7 p.m. July 31 at the Summit County Community and Senior Center in Frisco. I had plans for that evening, but I canceled. I have to be at the Redistricting Commission meeting.
This is serious. You are talking about our representation for the next 10 years. This is exactly why we didn’t retire in Texas. It would have been a lot cheaper, and it’s my husband’s home state. But I just couldn’t spend my last laps fighting with everyone all the time about everything.
The state maps don’t look any better. We get lumped in with Eagle County. That pits our state Rep. Julie McCluskie against her buddy Dylan Roberts, unless one of them decides to run for Senate. Kerry Donovan is term limited.
“Round one advantage Republicans, but it is not over,” McLaughlin wrote in a text. “It will be important for concerned Summit citizens to come out on July 31 when the commissions are in (Frisco).”
Both McCluskie and Roberts urge the public to attend the redistricting roadshow on July 31 and use all the tools available from the Redistricting Commission. There’s even a tool that lets you draw your own lines.
I think the state staff who drew the lines are the same staffers who endorsed the gravel pit permit on the Blue River in a rural residential neighborhood, or maybe the same people are pulling the strings.
“Why did the preliminary map pit the two strongest Democratic legislators from the Western Slope, Dylan Roberts from Eagle County and Julie McCluskie from Summit, against each other in the proposed new house district? Coincidence?” McLaughlin wrote.
All I know is we don’t want to go the way of North Carolina, where the Republicans are the minority of registered voters but are the majority of people warming seats in both the state and U.S. capitals. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 6% in North Carolina, but Republicans hold eight congressional seats; Democrats have just five.
Check out Ballotpedia to graphically see what happened in the North Carolina state Legislature after Republicans changed the lines following the 2010 census. A state that had a Democratic trifecta for 12 years has been represented by Republicans for the past decade.
Republicans have figured out if they can’t win hearts and minds, they can just change the lines. Let’s make sure our democracy represents us. We need to show up and fight for our county and our state. We the people.
Susan Knopf’s column “For the Record” publishes Fridays in the Summit Daily News. Knopf lives in Silverthorne. She is a certified ski instructor and an award-winning journalist. Contact her at email@example.com.
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