When the Marshall Fire sparked in Boulder County on the morning of Dec. 30, it was cold and overcast in Leadville. Snow covered the sidewalks of Harrison Avenue and another storm was on its way.

Yet the communities of Superior and Louisville, just a two-hour drive from snowy Leadville, proceeded to burn — resulting in the loss of one human life and more than 900 homes.

The destruction in Boulder County serves as an incredibly visceral reminder of Colorado’s affordable housing crisis. As those who lost residences in the Marshall Fire attempt to find new housing in the area, they not only deal with the trauma of loss, but with vast shortages and steep prices on both rental and for sale units.

The situation unfolding in Superior and Louisville has lead the Herald to reflect on “what if” a similar fire took hold in our own mountain community.

Like many areas across the state, Lake County already faces prohibitive shortages and unattainable pricing on housing. How would we ever find new abodes for displaced residents if hundreds of units of our current housing stock burned?

It’s an important and terrifying question, and one that deserves much thought.

Redistricting

It’s official — Lake County will change each of its three legislative districts for the 2022 election.

Colorado’s decennial redistricting process concluded last month after the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously approved new legislative maps for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Colorado General Assembly.

First off, Lake County is set to move from the third to the seventh Congressional district. In doing so, Lake County will join Chaffee, Park, Teller, Custer, Fremont and Jefferson counties as a voting block in the 2022 election.

Lake County’s departure from the third district means that local residents will not vote in Representative Lauren Boebert’s reelection race. Instead, Leadvillians will help decide whether Democrat Ed Perlmutter of Arvada, the current seventh district representative, will maintain his seat in Washington, D.C. Perlmutter will face a tough race next November as the redistricting process removed various blue communities in the Denver suburbs from the seventh district, adding several red areas in the central mountains.

Secondly, Lake County will move from the fifth to fourth state senate district, joining Chaffee, Park, Fremont, Custer, Teller, Douglas and Jefferson counties. Republican Jim Smallwood of Parker currently serves the district. Smallwood is not up for reelection next year; his term extends through 2024.

Lastly, Lake County will move from the 61st state house district to the 13th, joining Chaffee, Park, Summit, Grand and Jackson counties. Though Democrat Judy Amabile of Boulder is set to represent the district through 2023, she will not be able to run for reelection as Boulder County is no longer part of the 13th district.

Stay tuned for upcoming news coverage on how local residents, elected officials and other stakeholders believe redistricting will affect Lake County in the years to come.

Rachel Woolworth

Herald Editor

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