Scott Marks 4:26 p.m., May 21
Residents of Kensington and Talmadge are asking the City's Redistricting Commission to rethink how they plan to redraw district boundaries. Most of all, the district three denizens oppose getting placed in the newly formed ninth-district alongside the College Area, Southeastern San Diego, and City Heights. Instead, they are pleading with commissioners to allow them to remain in the same district as Hillcrest, Normal Heights, University Heights, and North Park.
The reasoning behind lumping Kensington and Talmadge into the ninth district, said commissioners, was that it would allow the third district to move westward. If the boundaries remain, the ninth district will be comprised of a diverse group of neighborhoods, with newer infrastructure and newer housing developments.
District nine's population will be 50.3% Hispanic; 23.2% White;11.2% African-American; and 13.4% Asian.
Members of the Kensington/Talmadge planning group object to the new district map, largely because the neighborhoods in the new district will not share common issues.
"Having been laid out in the 1910s and 1920s, the age or our infrastructure is similar to the older neighborhoods to our west in Normal Heights, North Park, and University Heights and to our south in City Heights," reads an email from the planning group. "College Area and points east and north are mostly much newer areas that don't share infrastructure as aged as our own. This is an issue whichis a primary responsibility of city government, and which requires a council member who can give it concentrated attention."
Denizens of Kensington and Talmadge claim they need a councilmember that understands past patterns development in their neighborhood, such as the "Huffman Six-Pack" style of development which brought square, windowless developments to their neighborhood and the communities of Hillcrest, and North Park. "The negative impacts of this building type cannot be over-emphasized as they affect all aspects of our community life — crime, trash, parking, graffiti, traffic congestion, and inadequate park space. Our neighborhoods look to our city leaders to address these negative impacts. These negative impacts are not seen in neighborhoods to our east and north, but are all too prevalent to our west and south."
Residents and members of the Kensington/Talmadge planning group plan to attend upcoming redistricting commission meetings and try and convince commissioners to rethink their proposed redistricting maps.