Denver, CO

Redrawn council maps could shuffle Denverites into new districts

David Heitz
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By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Thousands of Denverites soon may live in a different City Council district.

They're not moving. The City Council is redistricting. That means people who lived in one district may soon find themselves in a different one.

The city has vowed not to change things too much.

"The goal of the process is to create council districts that have roughly equal populations, are compact and keep residents of established neighborhoods in the same council district," according to a news release.

The City Council redraws its district boundaries every 10 years. The redistricting generally happens around the same time as the U.S. Census. But according to City Council member Chris Hinds, former President Donald Trump delayed the 2020 Census. As a result, the council only has a few months to work on redistricting, a process that usually takes a year.

Redistricting' fast and furious' this year

"It's a bit fast and furious and it's not ideal," Hinds said of the process. "If only we would have had a little more engagement from our former president on the Census."

Hinds talked about redistricting during his weekly Facebook Live chat. Using software called Maptitude, residents can go online and draw their own proposed council districts. So far, five people have created maps.

Hinds noted how redistricting would affect him as a council member. For example, his district currently is 70 percent apartments. If redistricting results in more single-family homes in the district, it may be more difficult to temper renters’ concerns with homeowners’ concerns, for example.

Draw your own map online

During the chat, Hinds directed constituents to for more information. The first of six community meetings on redistricting is Tuesday. It will be virtual. You can sign up for the meeting by clicking here.

Comments can be emailed to

Monday is the last day for submitting proposed maps via Maptitude. You can access the Maptitude site by clicking here. "You can create something that you believe makes a lot of sense for the city."

One proposal shows Hinds' district losing Cherry Creek but adds Auraria Campus and Union Station. The City Council will make the final decision on boundaries.

"I'm pretty frustrated that City Council is already evaluating maps, though the due date for submitting maps to Council is January 31," District 10 resident Katie Blakey commented during the Facebook chat. "I'm concerned that maps submitted by the deadline (but after council is already looking at maps) won't actually be taken seriously. Maptitude has such a steep learning curve, it will take hours to get used to the platform -- let alone meaningfully interpret the data and try to come up with a good, equitable map."

Council districts must be evenly populated

In redrawing the boundaries, the council must not have more than 10 percent deviation between the smallest district and the largest one. District 10, Hinds' district, is the city's most populated, with more than 66,500 residents. The least populated district is District 4, with 64,000 residents.

"Obviously, this is a snapshot in time," Hinds said. "Certain districts have way more development than other districts."

During the past 10 years, districts 8, 9 and 11 grew the fastest. There are 11 council districts and two at-large City Council members. At-large means those members represent the entire city and are elected citywide.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here. You can email me news releases and story ideas at

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