San Diego closes in on new city council district map after latest vote
Speaker 1: (00:00)
San Diego's redistricting committee has settled on a preliminary boundary map that avoids major changes in most districts. New boundary lines for city council districts are needed to keep the districts relatively equal in population based on the numbers. And last year census by and large major shakeups, such as the proposal to remove UC San Diego out of district one were rejected by the committee, but there are still changes in store for several areas like Scripps ranch and Pacific beach. The proposed map now moves on to a final series of public meetings. And joining me is San Diego union Tribune reporter David Garrick. David, welcome back to the show.
Speaker 2: (00:41)
Thanks for having me. There
Speaker 1: (00:42)
Were proposals for big changes in a new redistricting map. Did that fizzle out with this new map?
Speaker 2: (00:49)
I guess you could say that. I think it depends on your perspective, but yes, there was a bold proposal called the San Diego communities collaboration map, which would have display somewhere between 305,000 voters, depending on your calculations and would have really redrawn the entire Northern part of the city in a dramatic fashion. It was a tied vote, but the commission voted against that and went with something that accomplishes some of the goals of that map, which was trying to create some racial minority empowerment districts without as much severe disruption. What
Speaker 1: (01:21)
Communities are reunited under the new boundary map
Speaker 2: (01:24)
Are there actually four prominent ones that everyone's really comfortable and familiar with Claremont, which was divided, uh, Linda Vista, which was divided normal Heights and Rancho Penasquitos. And they'll all be reunited under this proposal.
Speaker 1: (01:36)
Now, as you alluded to one of the major community efforts in this process was to create an Asian American empowerment district with a more than 40% Asian American population in that particular district, is that reflected in this map,
Speaker 2: (01:52)
There is an increase right now, district six, which is basically Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa. Those communities that district now is the largest Asian district. It has an Asian city council member, Chris Cate and office, and that's about 34% Asian, almost all the maps that the panel was considering all increased that number. It's just a question of how much, whether it's up to 38%, 39%, 40%. And the key thing that the panel started to drill down on late in the process was it's not just the percentage of Asians in the district overall, but it's how many of them are of voting age and how many of them are citizens. And so th there's different calculations based on those, uh, the community collaboration map would have increased the Asian percentage a little bit more than the compromise map that was adopted on Saturday.
Speaker 1: (02:39)
And would it have increased because of that move from UC San Diego out of district one into district six?
Speaker 2: (02:45)
Correct. But it's going to increase either way because of the convoy district, they're moving a lot of areas. Most of the large swath of the Asian population of San Diego lives sort of in that area. But yes, the UCFC thing would have been part of the one that increased even higher. And
Speaker 1: (02:59)
Just to be clear, moving UC San Diego is not happening in this map. That is the preliminary map from the redistricting committee.
Speaker 2: (03:07)
That is correct. And again, I'm not sure it's possible. They could revisit that, but it seems like that's a done deal and UCFC will stay in district one with low-end.
Speaker 1: (03:14)
There are communities that will find their districts changing, what happens, uh, say to Scripps ranch, Pacific beach. And I think there are some communities in Southeast San Diego that are changing to
Speaker 2: (03:26)
We're going to be very different situations because I think strips ranch residents are not excited that, that the community will be divided at Pomerado road. That's sort of the one big community that's going to be divided under this proposal and I'm not an expert, but it seems it would be difficult for them to fix that in the next few days with meetings between now and December 15th, Pacific beach is an interesting change. It's been tied to the beach communities, mission beach and ocean beach for years and years and years. And now it will be shifted upward and will be tied to the Hoya. So it'll stay coastal, but it will be tied to a different part of the coast. That'll be interesting in Southeast San Diego, those will most likely be embraced changes. Those were lobbied for by residents and community leaders. Uh, examples are a shell town in south KRAS. We moved from district nine to district eight and that's what the residents had wanted and requested.
Speaker 1: (04:10)
And are there any other significant changes to San Diego's nine city council district in this new proposed map?
Speaker 2: (04:18)
I think the two biggest ones that come to mind is that university city would shift from district one into district six that the Asian district and the second one would be that district nine now, uh, which already included, uh, sort of SDSU and, uh, Eastern communities now is going to move a little bit west and also add in STS used new mission valley campus that was under construction.
Speaker 1: (04:40)
This preliminary boundary map, a unanimous decision by the redistricting committee. No,
Speaker 2: (04:46)
It was seven to two. And you could argue that it was five to four because of the seven two people said that they could have gone with either map that the more aggressive communities, collaboration map or the compromised map, but the official vote was seven to, to the folks who were against it, thought the community's collaboration map did more to create Asian empowerment districts. And they thought that should have been a greater priority than avoiding the disruption.
Speaker 1: (05:10)
The map now moves on to a final round of public meetings. How much is the preliminary map expected to change as a result of those meetings
Speaker 2: (05:19)
Expected to change dramatically. Again, illegally as I pointed out in a story I wrote they could change it dramatically. Uh, but from what the commissioners have said, they plan to only make tweaks and minor adjustments. So probably not significantly one area that they specifically mentioned is that Mount hope community in Southeast San Diego might be, might be shifted in some other areas might get trimmed here and there.
Speaker 1: (05:42)
And would that be because of public input or is that just something that's in the works already?
Speaker 2: (05:47)
That whole thing I said was because district dying does not have as large of a Latino population as some community leaders would like. And they suggested that moving Mount hope could possibly help solve that problem, but they have to take a look at the numbers and any time you move, one thing you have to make moves somewhere else. So there's always that reverberate of change that makes all sorts of proposals complicated.
Speaker 1: (06:07)
Now, December 15th, that's the date? A new map must be finalized. What happens after that?
Speaker 2: (06:14)
Well, what happens after that is that there's new districts and in the primary, the June, 2022 primary, the city will vote based on those new districts. Some candidates will have to adjust if they wanted to run for city council, all of a sudden they realized their house is in a new district. So we have to be sort of people reacting and making adjustments based on these new,
Speaker 1: (06:32)
Does the commission have to present the map? Like let's say to the city council or anything like that?
Speaker 2: (06:38)
Oh, the commission has the final load they're volunteers and it's the process is deliberately set up to eliminate the city council. So that, that politics of adjusting the boundaries is, is downplayed a little bit. These are all volunteers and they're not elected and they have no reason supposedly, you know, to vote one way or the other based on how,
Speaker 1: (06:54)
How can people participate in the final five public meetings before this map is finalized?
Speaker 2: (07:01)
Uh, they can go to the city's redistricting website, just go to Google and type in San Diego redistricting committee and it'll come up. It has a long URL. Basically you can go to any of their meetings. Uh, the next one is 5:30 PM on Tuesday, and then there'll be four more. Uh, at least they could hold more, but they have to hold a minimum of five between now and December 15th. And as with this last time, the commission is hoping to make a decision before December 15th, but the preliminary map had right up into the wall. So I'm guessing this one probably will.
Speaker 1: (07:27)
Okay. I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune, reporter David Garrick. David. Thank you.
Speaker 2: (07:32)
Speaker 3: (07:35)
San Diego is closer to having new city council districts after Saturday's meeting of the San Diego Redistricting Commission.
The panel voted 7-2 in favor of the Clairemont United Compromise Map, over an alternative, known as the San Diego Communities Collaboration Map.
Under the Compromise Map, Clairemont will join with the coastal areas of Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and Point Loma, with Pacific Beach moving districts, while Scripps Ranch will be divided. The plan would also keep the UCSD campus in District 1 with La Jolla, against the wishes of many of its students.
San Diego Union-Tribune reporter David Garrick joined Midday Edition on Monday to discuss the latest map and its potential implications for San Diego neighborhoods.
"It was a tight vote but the commission voted against that (Collaboration Map), and went with something that accomplishes some of the goals of that map, which was trying to create some racial minority empowerment districts, without as much severe disruption," Garrick said.
Though the map remains preliminary, as it needs to go through at least five public meetings before December 15, "it's not expected to change dramatically," Garrick said. The commission's next meeting is set for Tuesday, Nov. 16.