Non-partisan Redistricting Reform Coalition Announces Kent Thiry as Chairman

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Reformers vow to open political process now controlled by party insiders

DENVER (October 25, 2017) – Today, Fair Districts Colorado, a non-partisan redistricting reform coalition, announced that DaVita CEO Kent Thiry will join the effort as Chairman.

“I’m excited to engage with a group of civic leaders to help solve a pervasive flaw in the way legislative districts are created in Colorado. The monopoly created by the political parties in the drawing of voting districts is unfair to Colorado voters and games the system,” said Kent Thiry, who led the effort in 2016 to open primaries to unaffiliated voters through ballot measures 107 and 108. “Between now and next November we will work to build support for reform to create competitive districts and empower all voters, including independent voters, now the largest bloc of voters in this state.”

Mr. Thiry joins an effort led by former Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Curry, who is now unaffiliated, and Bill Hobbs, former Deputy Secretary of State. The Fair Districts Colorado coalition boasts support from Democrats and Republicans, including former Republican Governor Bill Owens and former Democratic Governor Dick Lamm, as well as non-partisan members of Colorado’s League of Women Voters.

“Partisans who profit from polarization may not like our effort to end gerrymandering, but I guarantee an overwhelming majority of Coloradans do, and next year voters will get to have a say. Just as Kent Thiry did with the passage of Propositions 107 and 108, this effort will give voice to all Coloradans, not just the partisan power brokers,” added Rep. Kathleen Curry.

Gerrymandering and political gridlock and gamesmanship have become hallmarks of drawing legislative and congressional districts in Colorado. Only once in the last forty years have Colorado’s political leaders adopted a map for Colorado’s congressional districts. Legislative redistricting has followed the same partisan trend in recent decades, with only four competitive districts currently at play in the state House of Representatives out of 65 total House seats.

“Our broad-based coalition of Independent, Democrats and Republicans is taking aim at the partisans who want to protect their own power at the expense of the people of Colorado,” said Aaron Cohen of Fair Districts Colorado. “Voters are tired of letting the political insiders make decisions for them. Our reform effort empowers the people and makes general elections matter again. We are grateful that Kent Thiry is willing to lend his executive leadership and good government credentials to our reform effort.”

Mr. Bill Hobbs concluded, “Our redistricting system is broken and I’m proud to stand with Kent Thiry in working to fix it. We need to draw districts that represent the voices and values of the voters, not the partisan political powers. Giving voice to independent voters and taking the politics out of redistricting will be a giant leap forward for Colorado’s system of government.”

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