MINUTES

FOR THE 2000 REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
OF THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO
OF THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2000
IN THE COMMITTEE ROOM - 12TH FLOOR

 
CHRONOLOGY OF THE MEETING:

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Ralph Pesqueira at 4:03 p.m. Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m. to the next scheduled meeting of the Redistricting Commission on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 at 4:00 p.m.

 
ITEM-1: CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Ralph Pesqueira called the meeting to order at 4:03 p.m.

 
ITEM-2: ROLL CALL

Analyst Bonnie Stone called the roll:

(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present
(VC) Vice Chairman Leland T. Saito-present
(M) Mateo R. Camarillo-present
(M) Charles W. Johnson-present
(M) Marichu G. Magaña-present
(M) Shirley ODell-present
(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present
(EO) Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster-present

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A010-028.)

ATTENDANCE DURING THE MEETING:

(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present

(VC) Vice Chairman Leland T. Saito-present

(M) Mateo R. Camarillo-present

(M) Charles W. Johnson-present

(M) Marichu G. Magaña-present

(M) Shirley ODell-present

(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present

(EO) Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster-present

 
ITEM-3: APPROVAL OF COMMISSION MINUTES

Approval of Commission Minutes for the meeting of November 16, 2000.

MOTION BY ODELL TO APPROVE THE MINUTES. Second by Magaña. Vote unanimous; all present.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A029-030.)

 
ITEM-4: NON-AGENDA COMMENT:

NONE.

 
ITEM-5: CITY ATTORNEY STAFF REPORT: VOTING RIGHTS ACT

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A031-B002.)

Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster will discuss the Voting Rights Act and subsequent court decisions pertaining to the Act, as they relate to the Redistricting Commission.

Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster stated that she would go over the Voter Rights and some of the main legal principals. Ms. Foster explained that she found presenting the issue to be exceedingly difficult as an overview because the subject is so complex as well as a moving target. Ms. Foster noted that the case law is still really developing and that she would update the Commissioners as things developed.

Ms. Foster provided the Commissioners with a handout and stated she would give a very general overview. Ms. Foster stated that she will need to do additional research, feeling that she has only scratched the surface regarding cases that are out there. Ms. Foster noted the following:

  • The process is about the one person, one vote principal that comes from the United States Constitution, both in concept of equal protection.

  • There are specific provisions in the Federal Constitution that relate to Congressional Districts needing to be divided by equal population so that the voters in each District have equal voting strength.

  • The guiding principal behind the voting process is: Congressional Districts need to be divided by equal population so the votes in each District have equal voting strength.

  • Census data needs to be taken to make sure it has been ten years since the Districts have been drawn and that population shifts haven't resulted in lack of equality between the Districts.

  • Case law recognizes that having exact precision, exact numbers, is really not always possible. (In the City's case, no expectation to end up with eight districts that will each have the exact number of people.)

  • Look at variations between Districts, and how much there is for a particular plan based on census data.

  • Under the one person, one vote principal, the more variation you have, the more likely there will be a legal problem although there is no specific rule as to how much variation the Courts will allow.

  • In cases where there are variations between Districts, and where they have been challenged, the Courts look at the justification or the reason for the variation. The Courts do expect a good faith effort to be made.

  • If population data shows that there is a population trend and there is expectation over the course of ten years that the plan is going to be in place, and there is a very predictable population shift; then lines could be drawn based on predictable population shifts so that the plan will be viable for as long as possible. (The Courts say in that case the principal only applies to having very accurate data.)

  • Geographical features and geographical issues were discussed in some of the cases as the reason why there might be a certain amount of deviation.

  • Courts do expect a close amount of equality between the Districts and any variation needs solid justification.

  • A large area of law to be mindful of is the Voting Rights Act which is a Federal Statute. During the 60's there was recognition that there was very flagrant voter discrimination practice.

  • Challenges of redistricting plans can be on the basis that the redistricting plan has the effect (whether intentional or not) of diluting the voting strength of minority groups.

  • When the Voting Rights Act was first enacted it only dealt with intentional discriminatory practices, but since then the Act has developed in response to new types of practices that occurred in the early 80's. In some cases the practices were subtle and it wasn't possible to prove intentional discrimination.

  • One of the developments in the Voting Rights Act is more recent amendments that include the language minorities. There is case law that recognizes language minorities as a protected class under the Voting Rights Acts; specifically Asian, Native American and Spanish speaking, subject to further development as new cases come along dealing with other language groups.

  • There are two ways that a redistricting plan could violate the Voting Rights Act: (1) intentional discrimination, and (2) unintentional results of a redistricting plan which would dilute the voting strength of a particular group.

  • Ms. Foster cited a case from Montana that went through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals where American Indians challenged a 1992 redistricting plan. The end result was that the Court found the plaintiffs did not prove their case. The American Indian voters felt that the plan did not recognize their group as politically cohesive.

  • There is a three-prong test that is called the Gingles Conditions that the Court applies.
    1.The population that is challenging the decision has to be large and compact enough to be the majority minority group in a single District.

    2. Must be politically cohesive in their voting to have voting power in their District. (Cannot assume that a group is politically cohesive because they are the same racial group or speak the same language.)

    3. For an unintentional violation to stand not only does the opponent have to show that the group is large enough to constitute a potential majority in the District, and that the majority group votes cohesively, they must also prove that the majority group votes cohesively so that they defeat the minority groups. Does the voting plan prevent that group from having the power to elect a preferred candidate?

  • Once you have gone through the three-step test and have proven that you have a cohesive group that may not have been treated fairly in a redistricting plan, you will have to show the totality of the circumstances including factors such as the history of discrimination in that jurisdiction against the particular group; whether members of the group were denied access to the process; whether the political officials have been responsive to their needs historically.

  • Ms. Foster cited an African American voters case where the redistricting plan was intentional and based on racial motivation that put the voters in a single District instead of having them represented in numerous Districts.

QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSION:

  • Commissioner Mateo Camarillo referenced Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster's discussion of census data that enumerates every person regardless of age, whether voting age or not. Commissioner Camarillo noted that Ms. Foster talked about the voter, and that was a different number. Then voting patterns were discussed. When drawing lines, we take into account all people - not just voters - is that correct? To try and divide the City's eight districts by numeration, and not by voters because not every community is registered to vote to the same degree.

  • Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster expressed that you do look at full population, but in some of the Voters Rights Act issues you look specifically at issues having to do with the voting age population. When you talk about dividing the Districts, you are talking about dividing the whole population - so it really depends on where you're at and what you're doing.

  • Commissioner Camarillo referenced the Gingles Conditions, whether groups vote as a bloc or the opposite; whether the majority votes to frustrate minorities; and that to his knowledge the City of San Diego had been sued at least twice. Commissioner Camarillo stated that it was shown at least twice that minorities do vote cohesively.

  • Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster suggested that at future meetings, the Commission discuss the last litigation, what it was about, and what the issues were since it happened in San Diego.

  • Chair Ralph Pesqueira expressed that the Commission will bring in people that were involved in the 1990/1991 litigation, and that they will be trying to get as much information as possible before the Commission starts looking at the actual map to enable them to be fully aware of what happened in 1990/1991.

  • Commissioner Charles Johnson noted that being a minority he constantly hears in the minority community that they aren't counted, and that he feels it is imperative to have the best data available regarding that.

  • Commissioner Shirley ODell requested a session on how the Commission was going to gather information for analytical purposes.

  • Chair Ralph Pesqueira asked the Commission to keep in mind that right now they do not have a staff and that one of the most important things that they have to do is to get a Chief of Staff on board who will carry out the Commission's requests. The Chair noted that the Commission's primary responsibility is to properly draw the lines so that they have a "popular" result and each District is satisfied that they were properly heard and properly diagramed with the boundaries properly set.

  • In closing Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster wished to express that the same type of principal that guides Federal laws has really been incorporated into our City Charter, and that the Charter is a good starting point as far as the guiding principals and the law.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: B003-320.)

 
ITEM-6: RULES OF PROCEDURE:

Discussion and development of rules of procedures, or bylaw, for Commission meetings.

  • Chairman Ralph Pesqueira noted that Commissioners ODell and Johnson as well as himself put together a draft from the Charter so the Commission could have guidance as to what the Commissioners were going to use to govern themselves by. The Chair requested the Commissioners look the draft over to see if there is anything that they would like to add.

  • The recommended name for the Commission was "The City of San Diego Year 2000 Redistricting Commission" - to basically be known as "The Commission."

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: B321-424.)

 
ITEM-7: COMMISSION STAFF

Discussion of staffing requirements, particularly the job description for the Commission's chief of staff; possible action.

The City Charter requires that the Commission employ a chief of staff, who shall serve at the Commission's pleasure, exempt from Civil Service, and will contract for needed staff, technical consultants and services, using existing City staff to the extent possible. Aye votes by five members of the Commission are required for the appointment of Chief of Staff.

  • Commissioner Camarillo stated there were three Commissioners on the subcommittee to draft a job description for chief of staff, and requested the minutes be corrected to reflect that Commissioner Leland Saito joined the subcommittee.

  • Commissioner Camarillo noted corrections to be made that were typos on the draft of the job description.

  • Discussion was held regarding the anticipated date for the Chief of Staff to begin and Commissioner Camarillo stated he would oppose the Chief of Staff being on board when the budget was presented to Council on December 5th. Commissioner Camarillo stated it would show irresponsibility if the Commission did not give an opportunity to the general public to apply which would include advertising in newspapers and the general community. Commission Camarillo noted the Commission would not like to be accused of insider trading.

  • Analyst Bonnie Stone invited Glenn Encarnacion, Deputy Director of the Examining and Recruiting Division of the City's Personnel Department, to answer the Commission's questions.

  • Mr. Encarnacion noted that there are dichotomies that exist within the Unclassified service which is within the purview of the City Manager, and the Classified service which are under the purview of the Civil Service Commission. The Chief of Staff position for the Commission has been designated within the City Charter as an Unclassified position.

  • Mr. Encarnacion stated that he was not familiar with any constraints that the Commission would have with regards to budget demands, but as far as the methods and the process used to hire the Unclassified Chief of Staff position, the time line and the method are the Commission's to set.

  • Commissioner Ulloa inquired as to what the general amount of time was to put out an announcement for the Chief of Staff position.

  • Mr. Encarnacion stated there was a very wide range when it comes to Unclassified appointments, and processes within the City. The City Manager has the discretion whether to use internal candidates, there is an assessment that generally takes place, and a list of candidates who are generally City employees who are deemed as qualified for management appointments. Also, the process includes going through the Labor Relations Office and distributing an advertisement or bulletin.

  • Mr. Encarnacion answered questions regarding putting out announcements for the Chief of Staff position, advertising, and the necessary qualifications, but stated that it was difficult to answer all questions because of the amount of discretion that has been exercised historically within the City to fill Unclassified appointments. Mr. Encarnacion stated that any comment or time restraints would strictly be conjecture based on the Personnel Department's own processes.

  • Chairman Pesqueira requested that Commissioner Camarillo use language within the job description for the Chief of Staff to include that the length of employment for the Chief of Staff would be until the Commission has completed their work.

  • Commission Ulloa stated he did use that language and referred to item number six on the draft job description for clarification.

  • Several suggestions were made as to the wording regarding the length of the job for Chief of Staff as follows: 1. Minimum length of employment would be February 2001 to December 2001. 2. Job effective February 2001 and ending when the redistricting plan is accepted.

  • Chairman Pesqueira suggested that Analyst Bonnie Stone make contacts with suggested staff to ascertain what precedents have been set by the City.

  • The Chairman stated that according to the City Charter the Chief of Staff will select a staff to work with him.

  • Discussions were held regarding hiring practices, education, years of experience verus knowledge skill and ability base that indicates success or job potential.

  • A proposed budget for the Commission was passed out that the Chairman and Analyst Kathy Mayou prepared. Ms. Mayou discussed her estimates of everything she thought the Commission would need based on 12 months/18 months. Ms. Mayou stated she tried to base the salaries on similar positions throughout the City. Ms. Mayou expressed these figures were also based on benefits being included.

  • The Chair stated the Commission will try to use "in City" resources as much as possible and that there may be the possibility of an office that can be used and divided up into the necessary cubicles.

  • Commissioner Camarillo stated he would like to see a category reflecting the costs for software. Commissioner Camarillo expressed that he anticipated a heavy demand for copies due to the meetings to be held out in the community. Commissioner Camarillo stated office supplies, postage and print shop services should be doubled if not tripled.

  • Analyst Bonnie Stone noted that Joe Perry discussed the wide variety of prices on a wide variety of software applications that are relevant to the redistricting process at the previous meeting, and that she felt Ms. Perry will be an excellent source regarding variety and cost of software.

  • Ms. Mayou stated she was still confirming some costs with the Print Shop.

  • Analyst Bonnie Stone stated the Commission has an invitation from one entity in Council District 4 to use their facilities for a meeting, and that Council has met in auditoriums of schools, libraries, etc., so there are a number of facilities to use for having meetings out in the communities. Ms. Stone stated she anticipated there will be press releases sent out relating to those community meetings.

  • Analyst Kathy Mayou will be researching the general practice for the use of interpreters and that she will be considering the ADA requirements as well.

  • Commissioner Saito stated the average individual does not know what redistricting really is and questioned whether the Commission should offer informational brochures--perhaps multilingual--before the public meetings to help people understand redistricting.

  • Further discussions were held regarding mapping and using university and the City services for that.

  • Legal services and consultants to advise the Chief of Staff and the Commission were discussed.

  • Analyst Bonnie Stone was asked to arrange a meeting with Mr. Glenn Encarnacion from Personnel and Commissioners Camarillo, Saito, and Ulloa to work on the final draft job description for the Chief of Staff.

  • The Chair stated that the final draft of the job description will be presented at the next meeting of the Redistricting Commission and hopefully will be adopted at that time.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: B425-C300.)

 
ITEM-8: ADJOURNMENT

Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m.

MOTION BY ULLOA TO ADJOURN. Second by Johnson. Vote unanimous; Camarillo not present.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: B439-C117.)

 

Ralph Pesqueira, Chairman
2000 Redistricting Commission

Peggy Rogers
Legislative Recorder II