The seven members of San Diego‘s Redistricting Commission met on May 2 in City Heights.
In 2008, City of San Diego voters approved Proposition D, which established a “strong mayor” form of government. Voters also approved the creation of a ninth council district, the first new district since 1965.
Because all council districts are redrawn every ten years based on census units, the commission's goal is to draw the districts so each one includes one-ninth of the city's population. Their working figure is 144,624 residents per council district, with a deviation of zero (or, as little deviation as possible). For District 3, with a population of 152,208, that means a potential loss of 8000 residents.
Of the 200-plus people who attended the meeting, 60 addressed the commission. The majority lived in City Heights and lauded the diversity of their community. Speakers urged the commission to create a second majority Latino district, while others asked the commission to maximize the effectiveness of the African-American population. Still others wanted the Kensington-Talmadge area unchanged, and the Adams Avenue Business Association requested that Normal Heights be kept intact for the businesses along Adams Avenue.
Asian-Pacific Islanders requested a district where they might predominate and elect an Asian to the San Diego City Council. The loudest applause was given to a woman who said, "If you live south of the eight [freeway], you have nothing. We need five council districts.”
The commission will continue public hearings in May, a preliminary plan will be developed by the end of June, and public hearings on the preliminary plan will be held in July. The final plan must be adopted in August and filed by September 15 in order to meet the requirements of the June 2012 primary election.