What happened with redistricting

What happened with redistricting

I hope this warm fall has been treating you well! I’ve loved the warmer days and beautiful colors, but it’s a reminder of how much more work we must do to prevent the most harmful effects of climate change. We will certainly be continuing that work next year, but for now, I have a few important updates to share.

Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Hospitalization rates are high, and there are many reports of breakthrough cases. The good news is that kids 5-11 are eligible for vaccines now, and every Colorado adult is now eligible for a booster shot. Learn how to get yours here.

Secondly, I’d like to introduce you all to my baby girl, Lennon! She was born on August 28th, and Kyra and I have loved every minute of the last three months with her. It’s true what they say about the wholly different kind of love you experience with your child.

Thirdly, the independent redistricting commissions have completed their work and the Colorado Supreme Court has signed off on the final maps. The commissioners and staff had a monumental task in front of them—maybe an impossible one. I’ll admit I’m frustrated that they disregarded some of the public testimony about communities of interest, and I’m saddened that, as a result, some wonderful public servants will not be returning to the legislature after the 2022 election.

But another outcome is that the new maps are more competitive than they would be if either political party had full control of the process. While I might have chosen a map that was more reflective of our increasingly blue state, I don’t regret my support of Amendments Y & Z which were designed to take that choice out of my hands to prevent abuses of power from either side.

So what does this mean for Lakewood?

Well, it’s a pretty big shakeup. For the next year, I’ll continue to represent House District 23, which includes north Lakewood and the Green Mountain area, and Kerry Tipper will continue to represent House District 28, which includes south and east Lakewood.

But in the 2022 election, I’ll be running to represent the new House District 30, which is now drawn as the east/northeast Lakewood plus the city of Edgewater.

That means I’m losing about 2/3 of my current district as I’ll no longer be representing any of Lakewood west of Kipling. It’s a strange thing to spend so many years getting to know these communities and the ideas and concerns of the people who live there, only to find out that there’s a whole new community to get to know and represent for my final two years in the House.

2013-2022 House Districts
2023-2032 House Districts

Well, I’m always up for a new challenge, but I’ll truly miss serving the people of my current district. I can’t thank you enough for all of the support you’ve given me over my last three elections and last five years in the House. I hope to stay connected with you all, even when I’m no longer your Representative, and I hope you know that you can always reach out to me if you need anything or if you just want to share thoughts or ideas.

The good news is that you’ll all be in good hands with the legislators who will be running to represent you in 2022. And I’d like to take just a moment to sing their praises.

Currently representing House District 24 (Wheat Ridge, Golden, Edgewater) is Monica Duran. She’ll be running to represent the new House District 23, which picks up most of the territory I’m losing. Monica is most proud of her work to require safe storage of firearms, increase protections for victims of domestic violence, and reform construction retainage practices.

In south Lakewood, it’s a bit more complicated. Two amazing representatives, Kerry Tipper and Lisa Cutter, were drawn into the same district. They are still working through which will be running to represent the new House District 28, which includes the southernmost parts of Lakewood and much of unincorporated south Jeffco, in the House for the next two years.

Currently representing House District 28 (currently south and east Lakewood) is Kerry Tipper. Kerry is most proud of her work to expand health insurance coverage to include fertility treatment, funding of census outreach efforts to ensure an accurate count, and a significant increase of more than $400M in funding for early childhood education and child care programs.

Currently representing House District 25 (the Jeffco foothills & some unincorporated south Jeffco) is Lisa Cutter. Lisa is most proud of her work on improving enforcement of mental health parity laws, building out a better recycling infrastructure, phasing out single use plastics and styrofoam, and creating media literacy curriculum for kids.

Whichever of these three admirable leaders runs to represent you in 2022, you’ll be lucky to have such wonderful representation. But I’ll still miss you. And again, I’m so grateful for all of your support these last several years.

I’ll also take just a moment to talk about the State Senate and Congressional maps. Lakewood is currently split between two Senate districts, where Brittany Pettersen represents east Lakewood and Jessie Danielson represents west Lakewood. The new map essentially splits Lakewood north to south, and it will likely be the case in 2022 that Jessie Danielson runs to represent the northern part and Brittany Pettersen runs to represent the southern part.

Meanwhile, in Congress, we’re lucky that all of Lakewood is still in Congressional District 7 where we have the hardest working and most down-to-earth Representative in the whole US Congress, Ed Perlmutter.

Ok, I’m guessing only a small fraction of you have read this far, so I’d better wrap it up for today. Stay tuned for an announcement of a town hall in January, which will most likely be via Zoom unless pandemic conditions have dramatically improved. Until then, feel free to reply to this email with any thoughts, concerns, or ideas for the future!

Chris Kennedy

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