CANCELLED: Thanks to everyone who had agreed to share their expertise with the community. The Coronavirus has disrupted this gathering, necessitating the cancelling of the 2020 American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in Denver. Many geographers who were planning to present are now unable to attend. Colorado College is prohibiting gatherings of more than thirty people on campus. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs has cancelled all on-campus activities until further notice. Organizers are looking at options for future gatherings in the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021. While this topic is important to the health of our democratic republic, the health of community members is paramount at this time. Questions? Email Rebecca Theobald at email@example.com.
Best Practices in Redistricting
Discuss Apportionment and Redistricting in Colorado Springs in April 2020
With the recent Supreme Court decision about partisan gerrymandering devolving the issue to the states as well as continuing conversations about the health of the democratic process in the United States, we encourage active discussions about redistricting plans at all scales. Whether you have been serving as an expert witness, drawing electoral boundary lines, or living in a gerrymandered district, join this conference to explore what actions we might take as researchers, academics, and community members to identify the best practices for ensuring proper geographic representation, recognizing the need to address equal population, contiguity, compactness, communities of interest, political boundaries, incumbent protection, competitiveness, party advantage, and the Voting Rights Act.
Best Practices in Redistricting: Case Studies from Colorado
The first day, Friday, April 3, will be devoted to using Colorado as a lens for understanding development within a state experiencing demographic growth and changes, examining practical challenges to a fair representation process. It is expected that Colorado will gain one seat in the House of Representatives, necessitating multiple changes in Congressional District boundaries. The state also passed constitutional amendments creating an independent commission for state and congressional redistricting. As with the United States as a whole, Colorado has urban centers and rural areas, is increasingly ethnically diverse, and is experiencing the aging of its population. There will be time to hear from students, community members, experts, public servants, and researchers as well as opportunities for conversation among all participants.
Best Practices in Redistricting: The Role of Geography
The subsequent two days, Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5, will focus on approaches to bridging theory and practice in Colorado and beyond. We will not schedule concurrent sessions as we think all need to hear the same information. We seek presentations on the history of gerrymandering, the role of geospatial technology and mathematical analysis, classroom and community engagement, grassroots efforts (e.g. Voters Not Politicians in Michigan, Draw the Lines PA), serving as expert witnesses, approaches to redistricting in international contexts, and redistricting at scales beyond that of the federal congressional district (e.g. state senate and house districts, county and city governing bodies, school districts, and planning boards). This conference is designed to inform political parties, bipartisan commissions, media, and the general public about the geographic and demographic knowledge, political analysis, and computer mapping skills that are necessary for constructing impartial legislative districts.
About the Program
We will be respectful of all perspectives.
Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel and Spa, Downtown Colorado Springs, 8 South Nevada Avenue
Questions? Guests may also reach out to Andrel Huliganga, Reservations Manager, at 719-323-2000 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a room.
This hotel is situated near the downtown conference sites and near the bus station with easy access to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. If you are traveling with a car, you may wish to consider other hotels in the area.
Additional information on visiting Colorado Springs can be find at this website: https://www.visitcos.com/
Stan Brunn, Professor Emeritus, University of Kentucky, Department of Geography
Richard Morrill, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, Department of Geography (in absentia)
Rebecca Theobald, Assistant Research Professor, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Beth Malmskog, Assistant Professor, Colorado College, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Sara Hagedorn, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Department of Political Science
Register to Attend the Conference
If you plan to attend the conference, please register here. You may attend one day or all three days, depending on your interest and schedule. Additional details about registration will be forthcoming.
This conference is taking place directly prior to the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in Denver, April 6 - 10, 2020. We have modeled the event on gatherings organized by the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group at Tufts University and the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University, bringing together people from varied viewpoints who are willing to learn from others, talk about next steps, and return to their communities to provide leadership.
Tentative Schedule and Locations
Friday, April 3 - Colorado College and UCCS Downtown
8:30 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday, April 4 - University of Colorado Colorado Springs
8:30 am - 7:00 pm
Sunday, April 5 - University of Colorado Colorado Springs
8:30 am - 1:00 pm
Additional details about the program and schedule are available here.
Colorado College: Office of the President / Department of Mathematics / Department of Political Science
University of Colorado Colorado Springs: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies / Faculty Minority Affairs Committee / Kraemer Family Library