SAN DIEGO CITY CHARTER, ARTICLE II - NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
(only those sections related to Redistricting)
SECTION 4. DISTRICTS ESTABLISHED.
For the purpose of electing members of the Council the City shall be divided into eight Districts as nearly equal in population as practicable. For the municipal primary and general election in 1965, the boundaries of the eight council districts shall be established by the City Council as such Council was elected at the municipal election in 1963. Thereafter the boundaries of such districts shall be subject to alteration and change under the provisions of this Charter.
In any redistricting plan adopted by the Redistricting Commission pursuant to Section 5.1 or ordinance adopted by the Council establishing, changing or altering the boundaries of any Council district, the redistricting plan or ordinance may describe the new boundaries by reference to a map on file in the office of the City Clerk; a metes and bounds description of the new boundaries need not be contained in said redistricting plan or ordinance.
SECTION 5. REDISTRICTING.
In the event that any voting precinct which may be established at the time this Charter takes effect or which may be thereafter established is partly within two or more such districts, said precinct shall be allocated to the District in which a majority of the voters within such precinct resides, and said district boundaries shall be changed accordingly. The City shall be redistricted pursuant to Section 5.1 of this Charter at least one in every ten (10) years, but no later than nine months following the receipt of the final Federal Decennial Census information.
Any territory hereafter annexed to or consolidated with The City of San Diego shall at the time of such annexation or consolidation be added to an adjacent District or Districts by an ordinance of the Council. However, if any territory annexed, deannexed or consolidated upsets the approximate equality of the populations of the established districts, a redistricting shall be conducted pursuant to Section 5.1 of this Charter, except that the nomination period for appointment to the Redistricting Commission shall commence on the July 1 immediately succeeding the annexation, deannexation or consolidation and the Redistricting Commission shall be constituted no later than the next November 1.
In any redistricting, the districts shall be comprised of contiguous territory and made as equal in population as shown by the census reports, and as geographically compact as possible, and the districts so formed shall, as far as possible, be bounded by natural boundaries, by street lines and/or by City boundary lines.
SECTION 5.1 REDISTRICTING COMMISSION.
The members of the City Council shall be elected by districts, as follows:
Subject to the provisions of the City Charter relating to referendum and initiative powers of the people, the sole and exclusive authority to adopt plans which specify the boundaries of districts for the City Council is vested in the Redistricting Commission, to be established by this Section.
Commencing in the year following the year in which the national decennial census is taken under the direction of the United States Congress at the beginning of each decade, the Redistricting Commission shall adopt plans that redistrict the City into eight (8) Council districts designated by numbers 1 to 8 inclusive. Those districts shall be used for all elections of Council members, including their recall, and for filling any vacancy in the office of member of the Council, subsequent to the effective date of this Section (and until new districts are established).
No change in the boundary or location of any district by redistricting as herein provided shall operate to abolish or terminate the term of office of any member of the Council prior to the expiration of the term of office for which such member was elected.
Districts formed by the Redistricting Commission shall each contain, as nearly as practicable, one-eighth of the total population of the City as shown by the Federal census immediately proceeding such formation of districts.
Each redistricting plan shall provide fair and effective representation for all citizens of the City, including racial, ethnic, and language minorities, and be in conformance with the requirements of the United States Constitution and Federal statutes.
To the extent it is practical to do so, districts shall: preserve identifiable communities of interest; be geographically compact--populous contiguous territory shall not be bypassed to reach distant populous areas; be composed of whole census units as developed by the United States Bureau of the Census; be composed of contiguous territory with reasonable access between population centers in the district., and not be drawn for the purpose of advantaging or protecting incumbents.
The Redistricting Commission shall be composed of seven (7) members who shall be appointed by the Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court, San Diego Judicial District. In the event that the Presiding Judge declines to make the appointments, they shall be made by a Municipal Court Judge selected by vote of the Judges of the Municipal Court, San Diego Judicial District. Should the Judges of the Municipal Court decline to so act, then the Redistricting Commission shall be appointed by a panel of three retired Superior Court Judges drawn at random by the City Manager in the fashion described in Penal Code sections 900(a) and 902. In the event that all of the preceding individuals decline to act, then the Redistricting Commission shall be appointed by a majority vote of the City Council in the fashion set forth below. The term "Presiding Judge," as used herein below, shall include any person or any body acting to appoint the Redistricting Commission pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph.
The City Clerk shall solicit nominations for appointment to the Redistricting Commission in accordance with this Section and shall distribute to the news media the announcement of a thirty (30) day nomination period (which shall commence on July 1, 2000, and on July 1 of every year in which a national decennial census is taken) and the guidelines for selection of Commission members.
Individuals or organizations desiring to nominate persons for appointment to the Commission shall do so in writing to the City Clerk within the nominating period. The City Clerk shall transmit the names and information regarding all nominees with the names of nominating individuals and organizations to the Presiding Judge immediately upon the close of nominations. The Presiding Judge shall appoint the members constituting the Commission no later than November 1, 2000, and on November 1 of every year in which a national decennial census is taken. The Presiding Judge shall appoint women and men who will give the Redistricting Commission geographic, social and ethnic diversity, and who, in his or her judgement, have a high degree of competency to carry out the responsibilities of the Commission. The appointees shall include individuals with a demonstrated capacity to serve with impartiality in a non-partisan role.
Each member of the Commission shall be registered to vote in The City of San Diego.
Persons who accept appointment to the Commission, at the time of their appointment, shall file a written declaration with the City Clerk stating that within five (5) years of the Commission's adoption of a final redistricting plan, they will not seek election to a San Diego City public office. The members of the Redistricting Commission shall serve until the redistricting plan adopted by the Commission becomes effective and any and all legal and referendum challenges have been resolved.
Any vacancy in the Redistricting Commission which occurs after the Commission is constituted shall be filled within seven (7) calendar days by the Presiding Judge of the San Diego Municipal Court, San Diego Judicial District, following the same procedure and using the same criteria established with this Section and making the selection from the same pool of individuals given consideration for appointment when the Commission was constituted.
Within twenty (20) days after the membership of the Commission is appointed, it shall hold its first meeting at a time and place designated by the City Clerk.
All Commission meetings shall be open to the public and Commission records, data and plans shall be available, at no charge, for public inspection during normal business hours in the office of the City Clerk. Copies of records and plans shall be provided, for a reasonable fee, to any interested person.
The Commission shall elect a chair and a vice chair and shall employ a chief of staff, who shall serve at the Commission's pleasure, exempt from Civil Service, and shall contract for needed staff, technical consultants and services, using existing City staff to the extent possible.
Aye votes by 5 members of the Commission shall be required for the appointment of its chief of staff, the election of its chair, and the adoption of the final redistricting plan and a majority vote of the Commission shall be required for all other actions. A majority of the entire Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business or exercise of any power of the Commission.
The Commission shall make every reasonable effort to afford maximum public access to its proceedings. It shall solicit public comment and shall hold at least four (4) public hearings in various geographic areas of the City before the preparation of a preliminary redistricting plan.
At least thirty (30) days prior to the adoption of a final plan, the Commission shall file a preliminary plan with the City Clerk, along with a written statement of findings and reasons for adoption which includes notation of all criteria employed in the process and a full analysis and explanation of decisions made by the Commission.
During the thirty (30) day period after such filing, the Commission shall hold at least three (3) public hearings in various geographic areas of the City before it adopts a final plan. Upon approval of the final plan, the Commission shall adjust the boundaries of any or all of the Council districts of the City pursuant to the final plan. Said final redistricting plan shall be effective thirty (3) days after adoption and shall be subject to the right of referendum in the same manner as are ordinances of the City Council. If rejected by referendum, the same Commission shall create a new plan pursuant to the criteria set forth in Section s 5 and 5.1.
Within sixty (60) days after the members of the Commission are appointed, the Commission shall adopt a budget and submit it to the Presiding Judge. If he or she approves it, it shall be forwarded to the City Council for its consideration. The City Council shall appropriate funds to the Commission and to the City Clerk adequate to carry out their duties under this Section.
If any part of these amendments to Sections 4 or 5 of the Charter or the addition of Section 5.1 to the Charter or their application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications which reasonably can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.