Without much time to produce a side-by-side comparison of the major redistricting proposals and the newly minted “July 19th Plan,” here is my first take on the obvious shortcomings of this map.
It’s clear that the so-called “Coast and Canyon” district, the historic African-American empowerment district, and Border-Barrio Latino empowerment district are locked. Expectedly, there has been little variation in the borders of these districts in any major proposal, including the “July 19th Plan.”
The shortcomings of the “July 19th Plan” include (but not limited to):
- Ignoring UTC and UCSD as population centers of the API community, while simultaneously failing to include the next most desirable API population center north of Mira Mesa and Rancho Penasquitos. Instead, the July 19th map opts to pull Clairemont into their District 6 (the API empowerment district). Clairemont is not an API population center, not geographically contiguous in a meaningful way, and divides a community planning area. Rancho Penasquitos is left as an island, rather than uniting it with similar communities in Torrey Highlands, Black Mountain Ranch, and Carmel Mountain that have more significant API density.
- Splitting apart Little Italy and the airport from Downtown and the civic core. A district that unites the Airport, Little Italy, and Downtown with the area bounded by the 5, 8, 805, and 94 has the value of empowering three distinct communities: our tourism hubs and the businesses that rely on them, our civic core, and the LGBT community. It’s rare to create a district that adds such tremendous value to public, private, cultural, and demographically consistent communities. The Redistricting Commission has to take a second look here.
- Dividing the SDSU/College area community of both sides of the 8. Instead of keeping the college community whole and connecting it neighboring communities along the 8, the “July 19th Plan” connects the college community north of 8 with bedroom communities in Tierrasanta and the almost vacant Miramar East. SDSU proper is pulled into an otherwise well-drawn Latino empowerment district to the south. It looks as though this map reflects a commitment to a second Latino empowerment district, tracking somewhat consistently with the Mid-City Latino and Immigrant empowerment district, but it’s unclear what role SDSU plays in that equation. Will the voters in more affluent neighborhoods around SDSU effectively drown out the power of Latino community?
The Redistricting Commission needs to set out some priorities and start making decision based on those priorities. They have an opportunity both tonight and Thursday to make changes that could produce even stronger API, LGBT, and Latino districts, without fracturing economic and educational communities downtown and around SDSU.
The draft currently being discussed will become the official draft map on Friday. If you’d like to share your support for these important changes, the time is now. Please attend the remaining Redistricting Commission hearings this week and make your voice heard.
The hearings are being held:
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011, AT 4:00 P.M.
SILVER ROOM (2nd Floor) SAN DIEGO CONCOURSE 202 C STREET, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 92101
For post-map hearing information, please visit the Redistricting Commission website.
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