MINUTES

FOR THE 2000 REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
OF THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO
OF
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2001
IN THE COMMITTEE ROOM - 12TH FLOOR

CHRONOLOGY OF THE MEETING:

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Pesqueira at 4:10 p.m. Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 6:57 p.m. to the next scheduled Redistricting Commission Meeting of April 18, 2001, at 4:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 12th floor City Administration Building.
ITEM-1: CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Ralph Pesqueira called the meeting to order at 4:10 p.m.
ITEM-2: ROLL CALL

Operations Director Staajabu Heshimu called the roll:

(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present
(VC) Vice Chairman Leland T. Saito-present
(M) Mateo R. Camarillo-not present
(M) Charles W. Johnson-present
(M) Marichu G. Magaña-not present
(M) Shirley ODell-present
(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A009-015.)

ATTENDANCE DURING THE MEETING:

(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present

(VC) Vice Chairman Leland T. Saito-present

(M) Mateo R. Camarillo-not present

(M) Charles W. Johnson-present

(M) Marichu G. Magaña (arrived at 4:35 p.m.)

(M) Shirley ODell-present

(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present

Also present was:

(EO) Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster-present
Kathy Mayou, City Manager's Office-present
Staajabu Heshimu, Operations Director-present
Joey Perry, Senior Planner-present

ITEM-3: NON-AGENDA COMMENT

This portion of the agenda provides an opportunity for members of the public to address the Redistricting Commission on items of interest within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

Comments are limited to no more than two minutes per speaker. Submit requests to speak to the City Clerk prior to 4:00 p.m. Pursuant to the Ralph M. Brown Act, no discussion or action, other than a referral, will be taken by the Redistricting Commission on any issue brought forth under "Non-Agenda Comment."

No Non-Agenda Comments.

CONSENT ITEMS
ITEM-4: APPROVAL OF COMMISSION MINUTES

Approval by Common Consent of Commission Minutes for the meeting of March 21, 2001.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A017-021.)

ACTION ITEMS
ITEM 5: ROSE INSTITUTE CONFERENCE REPORT

Joey Perry summarized many of the highlights which were presented at the Rose Institute Conference Report.

  • The report consisted of many parts from sessions on the law to important cases. They also covered Census 2000. The overview discussion had issues relevant to redistricting on national, state, and local levels.
  • People who have been dealing with redistricting for a long time gave their impressions. All of them agree that redistricting now will be very different from the past. The primary reasons for this are the advances in technology which allows more people to have access, and changes in the law that occurred since the last round of redistricting.
  • In the nineties the emphasis was on creating districts with equal race or preserving communities based on race. Race was one of the primary factors used to create many of the districts. Since 1990 race cannot be the primary factor used to create districts. They anticipate a lot of controversy and discussion.
  • There were presentations on line drawing and some examples on how different districts have been created to help represent minorities. Even the courts have supported some bizarrely shaped districts to help support minorities. They expect minorities to be watching over everybody's shoulder much more closely this time around to make sure minorities are not disenfranchised.
  • There were scholars and ex-census bureau officials who talked about how the Census 2000 was conducted. Presenters agreed the numbers should not be adjusted.
  • There were some demonstrations on computerized redistricting that helped us figure out what software to pursue.
  • We specifically went to sessions on redistricting and its impact on local governments. The experts encouraged us to invite city council members because they know their districts. Their advice was to keep them in the loop especially the council members that have been in their district for a number of years now.
  • There was also some discussion on population growth differentials. If you have a group of people moving in to a geographical area already represented by another group, should this area now become group A or remain group B. The general consensus was you have to look at the totality of the factors in order to determine were those boundaries are.

Commissioner Johnson asked to go back to the issue regarding race not being a deciding factor. He was a little concerned because he remembers reading in some of the literature that race and language has to be considered.

Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster clarified that there has been a turning point in the law. For the first time courts ruled you can consider race too much. She doesn't think it would be accurate to say we can't consider race. Obviously race is a factor that has to be considered. Our mandate is to achieve one-person-one-vote goal to the extent we can.

Ms. Foster feels we have to step back and look at the lines we are drawing and try to figure out if we are creating a dilution of voting strength of a particular group. If there is a potential for that anywhere in our tentative plans, we need to analyze that under the law. We can determine whether or not we can draw lines based on that group.

Chairman Pesqueira reminded the Commission that the city council approved the motion not to use the term "minority" or "majority" in conversation.

Commissioner Ulloa asked what were the top five things cities used in determining their boundaries.

Ms. Perry gave a couple of examples. The one-person-one-vote rule. Making sure population is pretty equalized in all districts. It is generally safe if the numbers in the districts vary by a five percent margin.

Ms. Perry also stated communities of interest. Communities of interest are defined in planning areas as old, new, rich, or poor neighborhoods. A gated community, single parent households, and ability to speak a different language are other factors that might be considered. A certain community that doesn't speak English might be very important.

Ms. Perry noted voting patterns; studying the numbers of registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and other parties. Since San Diego is non-partisan, looking at these factors may not be as important as some of the others. Perhaps looking at how people voted in the past would be more beneficial.

Ms. Perry commented on existing council districts. In some jurisdictions the goal might be to minimize the amount of change in a particular council district.

Commissioner Ulloa wondered if some cities rank in order of importance which factors they will consider more than others.

Ms. Perry thinks it is wise to look at other cities to see how they are ranked in order to help determine what order we might want to apply.

Commissioner Ulloa suggested the Commission get together so that they are all playing by the same rule and applying the same criteria. He feels it is important to agree which items they are going to weigh heavier than others, and which items they will omit altogether. He wants to avoid any confusion and feels the Commission should do this before the first meeting with the public.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera reminded the Commission, before they go out to the community, to provide the people with handouts. These handouts should include sections of the charter so everybody would have in writing exactly what they would have to consider. Each community district needs to know what we have to do.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera also reminded the Commission of questions to think of in order to stimulate interaction from the audience.

Commissioner Ulloa explained he was a novice to this game and wanted clarification on the vague terms that appear in the charter. He hoped the Commission could spend some time on this.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera expressed they should have a short description of each one of the terms that appear in the charter. He suggested they appear on the reverse side of the paper. Mr. Pesquiera wants to set a little time aside for all of them to ask questions and get greater familiarization of those terms.

Commissioners Johnson and ODell supported the suggestion to set some time aside in order to help the Commission understand those terms in the charter.

Ms. Foster commented she was willing to draft a handout. Ms. Foster pointed out that there is a lot of other information in the charter that is kind of hard to pick out. She could draft something and bring it back to the next meeting so they can discuss it.

Commissioner Saito asked for a brief sketch of the planning areas. He wanted to know when they were established, and what sort of criteria they used to establish them. He wondered if they should be considered as a community of interest.

Ms. Perry explained the City has been established into community planning areas since the late sixties, and others have been created rather recently. When community planning areas were created, they were created in part to encourage citizen input.

Ms. Perry commented that the Planning Department was mandated to gather information from communities and get input in developing the plans for particular communities. In some cases the planning areas do represent communities of interest. In other areas the planning boundaries do not represent a traditional community of interest, but they are working with the planning groups to try to make these areas more of a community of interest.

Ms. Perry informed on the relationship between the Police Department and community planning areas. The Police Department's effort is to place police beats within the community planning area to make sure they are consistent with each other.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A022-435.)

ITEM 6: CENSUS BUREAU'S PL 94-171 DATA

Ms. Perry briefed the Commission on the census population for the city. The population numbers for Census 2000 came in lower than what was anticipated. The population of January 1, 2001 actually was estimated to be 54,000 people higher than the census found three months later. Ms. Perry said that they were still waiting for data to be released.

Ms. Perry announced that originally they had expected the districts would be close to 159,000-160,00 people. Now it looks like it would be closer to 154,000 people.

Ms. Perry gave statistics on the total population. We have 1,223,400 which is a 10.2 percent growth over 1990 census. The Hispanic population grew about 35 percent. The African-American populations appears to have declined about 8,000 people. This might be misleading because in 1990 respondants were allowed to check only one racial category. In Census 2000 people had an option of picking more than one racial category.

Commissioner Ulloa suggested a summary of Ms. Perry's opinion on important factors or key points. He wants to make it easier to follow and help him ask the right question.

Ms. Perry stated there was a 32 percent increase in the Asian-Pacific Islander population. This figure is based on people who responded to a single race. About 4 1/2 percent of the population identified themselves as being of more than one race.

Commissioner. Ulloa noted there had been a controversy prior with Chicano or Mexican-American groups not wanting to list Mexican-American as a white race. There were certain people who did not want to list themselves under a particular category. Would there be a way to make sure that everybody gets counted in the proper categories.

Ms. Heshimu explained that the Census Bureau believes they made an error by putting "other" on the racial line as there are no races other than those that were specifically listed. Ms. Heshimu was told at the Census Bureau workshop that they had already made an adjustments for those people that selected the "other" race category.

Chairman Mr. Pesqueira asked which software was being considered.

Ms. Perry shared with the Commission that staff had decided on Maptitude for Redistricting by Calipers and had recently ordered the software.

A discussion ensued about whether staff should have waited for the Commission to vote on the software selection. Ms. Heshimu said that as a Department Director she had authority below a certain amount to make purchasing decisions, however, she felt the Commission should be involved in any decisions they so desired.. Ms. Foster suggested they follow the rules and regulations standardized by the City. Ms. Heshimu proposed that the Commission take a look at what the City purchasing rules are and then craft their own cutoffs. If the Commission wants to approve all expenditures over a certain amount, they could set that to avoid any misunderstandings.

Ms. Heshimu suggested a staff report on each agenda in order to keep the Commission informed of ongoing operations.

Ms. Foster noted that would be okay, there could be an ongoing staff report accompanying each agenda., if it were correctly crafted. She wouldn't see a problem if the topics on such an agenda item remained as specific as possible.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A436-B360.)

ITEM 7: PUBLIC HEARINGS PRESENTATION AND SCHEDULE

Ms. Heshimu discussed the planning that went into the scheduling for the district meetings. A great deal of thought went into the preparation. Keeping in mind comments made from the Commission regarding the main purpose is to be able to outreach the communities in order to have feedback.

Ms. Heshimu explained that the districts that were first on the schedule were districts where staff felt the outreach would be easiest and taking into account several variables like which communities were waiting to for the hearings, and which were expected to have the least amount of change.

Ms. Heshimu added that District 8, on the other hand, was further down on the schedule as staff anticipated a more difficult outreach program in a very important community. She believes staff will need more time to have a good meeting in District 8..

Ms. Heshimu announced the following tentative schedule:
Monday, April 23 Tubman-Chavez Cultural Center CD4
Wednesday, April 25 Normal Heights Community Center CD3
Monday, April 30 Clairemont Community Service Center CD6
Friday, May 4 Scripps Ranch Community Service Center CD5
Monday, May 7 Carmel Valley Library CD1
Wednesday, May 9 Otay Mesa Library CD8
Monday, May 14 Pacific Beach/Earl & Birdie Taylor Library CD2
Monday, May 21 Mission Trails Visitor's Center CD7

Commissioner Ulloa asked what types of outreach were being considered.

Ms. Heshimu stated everything possible. She has obtained lists of community planning groups, a list of city-wide organizations, major media, neighborhood newspapers, ethnic and targeted newspapers. She said staff is considering what type of information they have time to pull together for a mailing.

Commisioner Johnson announced it would be important to notify the NAACP and Urban League of the meeting scheduled on April 23.

Commissioner Saito mentioned it would be very helpful to the residents if they could prepare their testimony in advance. He would prefer the public have access to an informational packet that is not very elaborate.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera reminded the Commission they will be visiting each district twice. The first time as an introductory and informational visit. The second time around would consist of more testimony and feedback once the preliminary maps are drawn.

Ms. Heshimu reminded the Commission that the agenda for each public hearing must be filed 72 hours prior to the meeting.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera recommended there be more flexibility regarding the meetings. They could have one Commission meeting either on Monday or Wednesday.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera commented on the amount of time he will allow the audience to speak will depend on the number of people who want to give testimony.

Commissioner Magana expressed concern about people having their testimony in written form.

Commissioner Ulloa recommended that the Commission be consistent in the amount of time given to the individual giving his or her testimony.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera reassured the Commission that in his experience with the City of San Diego the time allotted is strictly dependant upon the number of people.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera reminded everyone to try and avoid any discussion with the audience. The primary function is to listen and take testimonials.

Ms. Heshimu stated that there might be an audience that does not participate, and the Commission should be prepared to ask leading questions. In this case the individual would be responding on the spur of the moment, and it would be awkward to ask them to fill out a speaker slip.

Ms. Foster said there is no legal requirement for using a speaker slip. It is a protocol that is used by the City of San Diego to aide in making the testimony orderly.

Ms. Foster discussed some issues regarding the Brown Act. She wanted to make sure the Commission is aware any written testimony or sign-in sheet would have to be on a voluntary basis.

Commissioner. Ulloa wondered how the situation would be handled if there was a large group of people who do not get an opportunity to speak.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera mentioned that the time allowed at each community district will be dictated by the facilities in which they are being held. They will be limited in time.

Commissioner Ulloa suggested they have interpreters available at the meetings in District 4 and District 8. He asked if special interpreting equipment would be made readily available. Commissioner Ulloa also made apparent that he felt the expense should be considered, but not the determining factor.

Ms. Foster suggested that the availability of an interpreter is announced on the notice of the meeting. This could be a determining factor for many individuals.

Commissioner Johnson inquired if staff members would be able to assist in answering questions from the public.

The entire Commission agreed that would be both positive and helpful.

Commissioner Saito recommended the introduction remain brief, approximately 15 minutes total, so as not to overwhelm the public.

Chairman Mr. Pesquiera suggested a slide demonstration so the public can have a visual aide.

Ms. Heshimu presented a drafted map showing the district boundaries. These could help people understand what redistricting entails. It would help people ask intelligent questions, or assist the public in supplying the Commission with good information.

Ms. Heshimu spoke about the resourceful maps that will be handed out at the meetings. Ms. Perry and Ms. Heshimu both feel they will be very informational and empowering. The hope is to encourage people to speak to the Commission.

Commissioner Ulloa asked if they would be provided with pertinent information for each district prior to each off-site meeting.

Ms. Heshimu reminded the Commission that they are still waiting for certain statistics and would like to set aside some time on the next agenda to discuss what information they do have thus far.

Commissioner Ulloa suggested the information be e-mailed so they could have it ahead of time so that the information could be digested prior to the meeting and not take up so much time in discussion.

Ms. Heshimu mentioned at the close of each meeting it would be a good idea to inform the people of what to expect next. They should explain to the public they still have another opportunity to provide testimony. Also, a voluntary sign-in sheet will be provided for those people who wish to be notified of the post-map hearings.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: B361-D370.)

ITEM 8: ADJOURNMENT

Chairman Ralph Pespuiera adjourned the meeting at 6:57 p.m.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: D371-D372.)

Ralph Pesqueira, Chairman
2000 Redistricting Commission

Gilbert Sanchez
(OCA)Legislative Recorder I

Site Map Privacy Notice Disclaimers