About Senate District 18

NEW DISTRICT BOUNDARIES IN PLACE: In mid-December 2011, new state House and Senate district boundaries were approved due to reapportionment. Senate District 18 now basically includes the City of Boulder, the towns of Lyons, Nederland, Allenspark, Niwot, Gold Hill, Ward, Hygiene and Jamestown, plus most of unincorporated western Boulder County (pictured below in purple). Click here to access the approved new House and Senate district maps for District 18 and the rest of Colorado. The new district boundaries will stay in place until after the 2020 U.S. Census, and a new reapportionment team will then draw new boundaries to make sure each district has roughly the same population. Currently, the 35 Senate districts average about 143,000 people per district. 

Senate District 18


We are blessed here in District 18 with a number of wonderful features, including the University of Colorado-Boulder campus that was established in 1877.

CU-Boulder is one of the district's most significant economic engines for many reasons. Its researchers create cutting-edge products that lead to the creation of new businesses; the campus itself employs roughly 7,000 people; and many local businesses cater directly to CU's 30,000 students and its employees. Certain businesses locate in or near Boulder at least partially because they can take advantage of assets that CU offers, including facilities, researchers, or a workforce that may have been educated at the university.

CU-Boulder also provides tremendous opportunities for social and cultural engagement. People flock every year to the Conference on World Affairs, the Shakespeare Festival and/or classical music presentations at Macky Auditorium. Athletic fans root for the Buffaloes in sporting events at Folsom Field or the Coors Events Center, while CU's cross country running and ski teams frequently contend for NCAA championships.

District 18 also includes branches of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The federal labs in Boulder conduct essential research in their respective fields, from climate change to space weather to atomic timekeeping that is already accurate to one second over the course of 80 million years.

With reapportionment, District 18 picked up the scenery, business activity and recreational opportunities found in western Boulder County. For example, Lyons boasts a vibrant downtown area and popular summer music festivals such as Rocky Grass. Gold Hill has maintained its historic character, while tourists and locals alike enjoy visits to the Gold Hill Inn. Nederland is also well-known for events such as Nedfest and Frozen Dead Guy Days, as well as the beauty of Barker Reservoir. With hiking trails, fresh air, open lands and wildlife, western Boulder County is a wonderful place to live and a popular nearby destination for urban dwellers.

The district is certainly blessed with stunning natural beauty. Thanks to visionary leaders and the willingness of voters to support tax measures, the City of Boulder and Boulder County have both protected thousands of acres as Open Space. Recreationists have hundreds of miles of trails in their back yards, and naturalists can still find a wide diversity of plant and animal species in lands not far from a city of 100,000 people. District 18 also includes rich agricultural land that supports many organic farms, mountain vistas, streams and creeks, forests and grasslands, campsites and ranches.

Back to business - Boulder's IBM campus is one of the largest employers in the district, and Big Blue announced the completion of its environmentally friendly Green Data Center in 2008. The district also boasts Celestial Seasonings Tea, the pharmaceutical firm Corden Pharma Colorado, Ball Aerospace, Amgen and a regional headquarters for Whole Foods Market. Shoppers can stroll the pedestrian Pearl Street Mall or the relatively new Twenty Ninth Street retail district. Locally owned businesses such as McGuckin Hardware, Video Station and Boulder Book Store hold their own in competition with national chains that sell or rent similar products.

Last but not least, we have a very unique populace that includes entrepreneurs, political and social activists, contemplative and religious souls, business leaders, visual artists, musicians and poets, world-class athletes, herbalists, physicists and philanthropists, to name just a few. It's never boring around here, and many of us like it that way in Senate District 18.

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