Districts done well
Gayle Berry is right. The attack on proposed state House districts by former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb was off target. There’s no proof the districts were drawn primarily to protect GOP incumbents.
It’s not that we think the plan drawn by Berry and other members of the Colorado Reapportionment Commission is perfect. That’s all but impossible, since the commission had to balance population, minority representation, communities of interest and political makeup as it prepared its proposals.
However, the latest proposals are far better than one earlier plan that would have divided House Districts 54 and 55 in Mesa County in such a convoluted way that the Mesa area would have been in a different district from Plateau Valley. That glitch has been fixed.
We’ll leave it to folks on the Front Range to decide whether the districts there make sense. But one of Webb’s claims — that a House district achieved a 20 percent minority population only by including thousands of Latinos and blacks residing in the Arapahoe County jail — is laughable. According to Arapahoe County’s website, the jail has a total capacity of 1,166 inmates.
You can’t draw boundaries for elective offices without raising somebody’s political ire. But Berry and the other members of the reapportionment commission have sought a balanced plan. They didn’t deserve Webb’s broadside.