The San Diego Redistricting Commission is expected to release its preliminary map at its July 21 meeting, showing how the City Council districts could be redrawn. The commission is hosting public hearings before it finalizes the map.
Using federal census data, the Redistricting Commission has to modify city council districts every ten years to adjust for population changes. This year, the city is also adding a 9th district, in accordance of the new strong mayor format approved by the voters last year.
The redistricting process must also preserve “identifiable communities of interest.” The LGBT neighborhoods were recognized as a community of interest 20 years ago with the creation of District 3, which includes areas like Hillcrest, North Park and City Heights.
Since the creation of the LGBT-friendly district after the 1980 census, San Diego voters have elected a gay or lesbian city councilmember.
A preview of an un-approved preliminary map, presented at Tuesday’s commission meeting, shows a shift of District 3 to the west. The proposal adds Little Italy, Old Town, Mission Hills, Bankers Hill and downtown to the west, and eliminates Talmadge, City Heights, portions of Normal Heights and Kensington. Azalea Park, which has catered to LGBT homeowners for years, is also being eliminated from the new LGBT-friendly district. The eastern portions of the existing District 3 are now included in the proposed District 9.
The proposed District 3 is very similar to a map presented to the commission by the LGBT Redistricting Task Force. The task force has been very involved in representing the LGBT community at commission public hearings and meetings.
“I am very happy with this map of D3,” said Linda Perine, LGBT Redistricting Task Force chairwoman.
If the preliminary map is approved at the July 21 meeting, the Redistricting Commission will host five post map public hearings to listen to public feedback based on the preliminary map. Those meetings are: July 26, 6 p.m. at the Logan Heights Branch Library; July 28, 6 p.m. at the Thurgood Marshall Middle School Theater; July 30, 10 a.m. at the Balboa Park Palisades Building Recital Hall; Aug. 1, 6 p.m. at the UTC Forum Hall; and Aug. 3, 6 p.m. at the Joan B. Kroc Center Multipurpose Room.
The LGBT Redistricting Task Force is meeting this Saturday, July 23, 10 a.m. at Filter Coffee Shop (1295 University Ave. in Hillcrest) to plan its approach to the post map hearings.
“Right now, things look pretty darn good,” the task force wrote on its Facebook page, “but they can change in a heartbeat.”
To join the LGBT Redistricting Task Force, contact Perine at 858-775-2950. For more information about the Commission, log on to sandiego.gov/redistricting or call 619-533-3060.