For The Redistricting Commission
Of City of San Diego
Public Hearing
For Monday, April 23, 2001 - 6:00 p.m.
Tubman-Chavez Cultural Center
(District 4) 415 Euclid Avenue
San Diego, CA


The Redistricting Commission was called to order by Chairman Pesqueira at 6:03 p.m. with all members present. Chairman Pesqueira then introduced the Commissioners and staff to the public. Chairman Pesqueira thanked the members of the Commission with an applaud by the audience. Chairman Pesqueira announced the public hearing must be adjourned by 8:00 p.m. The meeting was adjourned by Chairman Pesqueira at 7:52 p.m.


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-present
(M) Shirley ODell-present
(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present
(EO) Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster-present
Also present:
Senior Planner Joey Perry



(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



Ms. Staajabu Heshimu presented a powerpoint presentation on "Redistricting the City of San Diego" in order to provide background on the redistricting process.


Ms. Joey Perry spoke regarding the "Preliminary Census 2000 Population Estimates by City Council Districts and gave information on maps and data.


Chairman Pesquiera gave an overview regarding the procedure for the public hearing.


SPEAKER 1: Deputy Mayor Stevens

Council Member Stevens. He spoke regarding correcting the maps to include Educational Culture Complex (ECC) and the Police Station in District #4 which area not listed on the map. These corrections are important in order to see where services are in terms of redistricting and to insure proper servicing of various districts.

Deputy Mayor Stevens solicited speakers from the audience to speak to the Commission and help identify any other services that may be missing from the map of District 4.

Ms. Gracie Hutsona spoke regarding the identification of Mountain View and the college being identified incorrectly as blue.

Ms. Jolaine Harris spoke regarding Mid City Police Beat. The school she pointed out is missing on the map where it says Oak Park near the private Lutheran High School which should be on the map a bit down from where the "K" is in Park on the map.

Ms. Jaine Derrough, who lives in the Skyline area, spoke regarding the fire station she doesn't see on the map where she sees the words Brookhaven and Deep Dale. The firestation is on Paradise Valley Road and Briarwood.

Ms. DeDe McClure spoke about her concern in having the mortuaries and cemeteries identified on the map.

Deputy Mayor Stevens then spoke again regarding two further concerns:

1: Communities should be kept together instead of being separated as is the example of Linda Vista which is in District 5 and District 6.

2: The College Grove Shopping Center is a concern of Mr. Stevens. He stated that each of the areas around it are in District 7 while the total surrounding community is in District 4. Mr. Stevens suggests that the College Grove Shopping Center be placed in District 4 and because there is no residence in the Center there should be no affect on any Census data whatsoever.

Mr. Stevens suggested starting with District 8 or District 1 and begin to work either way. The reason he suggests starting with District 8 is because it already has three boundaries (Otay Mesa-south, Imperial Beach-west, Mexican boarder-south).

(Transcript begins)

So we either have to go Northeast or North. The 4th Council District has approximately 1000 persons to lose, that they're over. So, therefore naturally 1000 people could come out of 4th District to add to perhaps District 8. If that would take place it would be my suggestion that you would go with District 8 to the east. As you know the boundaries now east is Interstate 15 unless we're in Paradise Hills which a different part. Paradise Hills, just for a number kind of thing...by the way I have a question.

Do you have yet the data in each of the Census Tracts so you can know what Census tracts to move? (Answer No) Okay. So, that's kind of difficult to play around with those now if you don't have that number in the Census tract because you don't know how many people you're making reference to, to go east or west in this particular area. But my suggestion would be, and I think you'll understand why I would make this, would be if you go east with District 8 to pick up numbers. You're going to have to pick up numbers for District 8 because it's a very small district. And the suggestion would be to go to the east, which you would begin to pick up from Interstate 15 which is your west boundary now. So, if you went east you would begin to pick up across 15 going east and use those numbers which is in the cemetery area; Mountview Park is in there, I'm not sure how far you can go. That's 40th Street. That may be the last eastern boundary to pick up some numbers there. And naturally then you begin to go to the north, because that's the only place you can go.

So, 1000 votes can come out because I have to lose close to 1000 voters in District 4. I think we have almost 1000 voters over...residents over. So, I'm going to have to lose approximately 1000 to get to the 152,000. So, that would be my suggestion if you go in that direction.

When you start going north you got some other people...districts coming your way because they're going to pick up numbers. That's why I'm suggesting that if you can get them in there...And I'm going to be very honest with you it also picks up a Hispanic constituency. And I'm not trying to go into gerrymandering in terms of the district, but it does add to the Hispanic numbers by going in that direction over to 40th Street in that area. Because the Hispanic population is large. And I'd like to receive the same respect whenever District 4, if it does have to be redistricted, in the same direction.

I don't think...you don't have to move north or west in the 4th District because basically there I'm going to lose 1000 people and that's the thing there. And everything else basically stays the same. And if it does stay the same then your biggest problem is going to be making the adjustments coming north down. Because I think we can accommodate District 8 which has to pick up numbers.

And then your big one will be...and again let me emphasize, if you can just keep communities together. And that to me is a real big important thing. I'm not sure how you're going to deal with that on that map that goes up to...You have this big part up here at the top. And District 1 has to lose people. And I don't know who's going to pick up that top portion up there which is now in District 5, but you do know that you could lose down here which is in District 6 and take that part and go across hopefully there. That picks up a number...and I don't know how many without the Census Tracts. Then to make an adjustment if necessary with District...I think...we may have to...if you have to go into District 7 then District 7 naturally if you moved it up you could pick up up here. Somehow these numbers are going to have to be picked up up here in this upper part...in this green which, because you can't add them to District 1, somehow they're going to be picked up to make your differences down here.

Ms. Joey Perry commented that she hopes to have the Census Tract numbers identified by Council District by the end of this month. But it could be the first week of May.


SPEAKER 2: Charles McKain


During the previous redistricting proceedings in 1990 and 1991 I appeared many times before the Redistricting Advisory Board and the City Council on behalf of an ad hoc redistricting coalition from the Gay and Lesbian communities. And based upon mailing lists and other data bases we identified census tracts where large concentrations of Gay and Lesbian people made their homes. Our goal then was to insure that Gay and Lesbian communities not be splict into different Council districts. We presented suggestions for districts that would preserve communities and recognize natural boundaries. And in those proceedings which featured adoption of successive maps by two different City Council governing majorities with the recall of one member in between. The Council on both occasions in their foresight and wisdom adopted a map that protected the interests of the Gay and Lesbian communities by uniting the Mid City neighborhoods including those around Balboa Park into one Council district and that's now known as District 3.

And for purposes of this redistricting process, we have been forming a similar ad hoc coalition to insure that the neighborhoods where large concentrations of Gay and Lesbian people live will be included in one City Council district. Consistent with our goal, we. also want to support the redistricting aims of other identifiable communities of interest and historically under-represented groups including African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans. Thus, we would recommend to this Commission that as the first step in this redistricting process that you first deal with the two districts most affected by the Voting Rights laws which are District 4 and District 8. By doing so the Commission can preserve and enhance the opportunities for African Americans and Latinos to be empowered. Then, after District 8 and 4 are constructed we would request that you then proceed consistent with the logical geographical manner, the next one to the north to draw a District 3 that contains the bulk of the Census Tracts that we have identified this year as containing large numbers of Gay and Lesbian residence. We will distribute a map indicating the specific Census Tracts. I think you have already been provided with a copy. This shows the specific Census Tracts that we should include in the new District 3. Most of these Census Tracts are in the present District 3. A few are in the current District 2, directly to the west of the current District 3. So, these are the ones you have...okay. Thank you.

So, if you look at these copies the dark outline is the present boundary of District 3. And then the ones that he's noted in color are the neighborhoods that we believe should all be included in the new District 3. Those have high concentrations of Gay and Lesbian identified people. And then pick up Census Tracts in the northwest there, 5 and 4 that are currently in District 2. And although we haven't marked it on here, I think it would be also in the interest of preserving the communities and the neighborhoods in that area to add 61 and 58 to District 3 that's currently existent. That's on the far west of this. And I know that District 2 would require some major additions. But I think that can best be done by moving north through Pacific Beach and then moving eastnorth of I-8, because Interstate 8 is one of the major dividing lines in the City. So, if you have the two go north and east, north of I-8 it will preserve the Mid City areas.

Now, these are the ones as I say that we believe should be placed in the new District 3. I think I can just sum it up by saying that our coalition does not want the Gay and Lesbian communities neighborhoods to be split by dividing...by division in the two different districts. And we would like to work with your commission to insure that the new map respects and preserves our identified community of interest.


Commissioner Camarillo questioned the speaker on the percentage of residents identified as Gay and Lesbian in District 3. The speaker doesn't know without the Census data.

Charles McKain also mentioned that according to this map of the Community Planning areas of the City of San Diego, that would also unite the Community Planning areas of Uptown Greater Northpark, Mid City-Normal Heights, Mid City-Kensington, and Talmage; the ones in the pink here. And we haven't drawn at this time any suggestion for District 3 as a whole, but these are the Census Tracts that we strongly believe should be in any reconstituted District 3 without division.

Commissioner Camarillo mentioned that the Commission is tasked with identifying protected groups under the Federal Law which are Latinos and African Americans and that takes precedence over communities of interest such as Gays and Lesbians.


SPEAKER 3: Kevin Davis


I'd like to second the remarks made by Mr. McKain. I assisted with this drawing of the map that you now have. And to be more specific about your question, Mr. Camarillo. We identified these communities by mailing lists of Gay and Lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-sexual organizations by people who have walked these Precincts and had contact with the people who live there. And by the voting records of these people when voting for openly Gay or Lesbian candidates. So that's how we identified these. And on the back of the map is a list of these tracts in the priority order that we decided we'd like to retain them. (He believes the greatest density starts at the top)

Now, speaking as someone who used to live in Census Tract 4 when I first moved to San Diego. I believed I was part of the Hillcrest Community. I lived next to Mercy Hospital, just above Washington Street. And I was part of Hillcrest, but I was shocked to learn that I was represented by Mr. Byron Wear in Council District 2. So, I moved to a little bit west of there and I'm now a resident of District 3. And I think it's important that 10 years ago when District elections first took effect and the Districts were redrawn so the Gay community had a concentration in District 3, for the first time we were able to get someone to represent us on the Council, Christine Kehoe succeeded by Toni Atkins who's also a member of our community. So, I think that's important to retain that.

Now, trying to be helpful, I would say that if you look at the current Council map, Districts 4 and 3 need to basically stay the same. So, it would be easiest just to leave them where they are. And District 8 needs to gain a few people. And the only place it. can move is either into 3 or 2. I would say that since 2 needs to gain the most people, but I would say take some of 2 that's inland a little bit and make 2 more of a coastal district. Move District 2 up into District 1 which needs to lose a lot of people. So, I would say that would be the easiest to do.


SPEAKER 4: Robert Haynes

Mr. Haynes spoke regarding District 4. He is concerned about the dividing lines of the County and City of San Diego. He wants to know why it is so hard to make dividing line between the City of San Diego and the community of Skyline Hills where Skyline Hills really ends at the City line going into Spring Valley which is the County part.

What I'm asking is that the City should make a dividing line. And I have a suggestion of where I think the dividing line should be. Right now if you come at the end of Meadowbrook and Paradise Valley Road and turn left going east, you'll see you're in Spring Valley. But then you get to Glen Vista that's when you say it begins Spring Valley. But anybody can plainly see the dividing line which should be Worthington Street, which runs from 54th all the way to Ashmore Lane, a straight shoot. And everything to the west of that should be the City of San Diego. And everything to the east of it should be Spring Valley the County. Because you've got a dividing line. You shouldn't have all those scoops and turns. And everybody is concerned that they don't really know where they are.

We're also asking that you somehow along the line come up with the difference between communities and areas and localities and neighborhoods. What is the distinct difference between the two? Because in the United States they're made up of Counties, Districts, Cities and Communities. Now a community is the enlarged part of the district. And within the district you've got three situations. You've got localities, areas and neighborhoods within the community.

Chairman Pesqueira pointed out to the speaker that the Commission represents the City and they're looking at the City. The Commission has no authority to tell the County of San Diego where they're going to have their boundary lines. So for the near future we're going to have to at least stay with the present boundaries between the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego. (The speaker later clarified that his concern is not with the. City and County dividing lines but with the community dividing lines within the City of San Diego)

Chairman Johnson commented that we are concerned about keeping communities together. We also want to make sure that the district lines are very distinct and very clear. He assured the speaker that the Commission is working on and looking at this issue.


SPEAKER 5: Jolene Harris

Ms. Harris mentioned her confusion regarding keeping communities together and having continuity in communities of interest and ethnic issues. She mentioned that she read in a newspaper that a judge said that we do keep communities together but not like have one Black district and one Hispanic district, one Gay and Lesbian district. Is that correct or am I wrong?

Liss Foster spoke regarding this concern. She stated:
"The whole issue of to what extent the Commission can consider ethnicity and racial groups is a very complicated question. What we like to say in redistricting circles is you can consider it but you can't consider it too much. What you were saying about that we cannot maintain a primarily African American district or Hispanic district is not correct. And I would not expect that the ones that we have currently would change significantly. What the Courts are saying is that it can't be the sole factor that's looked at in drawing lines. Because the primary reason that we're doing this is to equalize the districts. But while we're at the exercise of equalizing the districts we don't want to take any steps that really create a serious regression in voting rights. So, for the communities that we have that currently are in districts, if we were to do something like to cut a district in half so that what was once a district that perhaps was primarily African American or Hispanic is now not so any more and doesn't have the same ability to elect their preferred candidate, that would be a voting rights type of a violation.

So I think what you're concerned about is not something to be concerned about here. But again when you hear a Court saying that you can't consider race as a sole factor that's because the primary reason that we're doing this is to equalize the districts. But it's. certainly a consideration. And one of the chief goals that we have is not to take any districts now that have protected groups and to divide them."

Jolene Harris would like to see the different communities stay together but become more diverse rather than establish different voting blocks.


SPEAKER 6: Dwayne Crenshaw

Mr. Crenshaw expressed his concern to see Linda Vista becoming one community. Mr. Crenshaw agrees that the Commission should start in District 4 and then District 8. He feels racial diversity and communities of interest are well represented in District 4 and they work well in this district. He stated that he read of the North Carolina Court decision that race can be a consideration. He hopes race can be an important issue, though not the only consideration. He recommended moving District 8 east into District 4 slightly and perhaps moving District 4 north. He feel that the community of Darnell on the Police Beat Map seems to be a natural geographic boundary that might be included into the area if the line is moved north perhaps to University Avenue as a named location.

Mr. Crenshaw hopes that the Commission continues to keep a large number of districts south of Interstate 8 as it's a historic dividing line.

Mr. Crenshaw had three questions for the Commission:

a. What would be the Commission's process for accepting public maps,
b. Will the Commission go back into the 8 districts to present the maps or simply do the required public hearings in the communities,
c. In terms of receiving the data once it is received, how will community groups that are working on this that are interested be able to share data with the Commission or with the City. (Data sharing arrangement)

Chairman Pesqueira responded to the speakers questions.

A. No paper bags or butcher wrap unless it's nice and big and you can draw the map. Try to have a map that is easy to read. Always consider the surrounding area, especially when on or near boarders.

B. It is the Commission's desire and hope to come back into the communities, especially to District 4 and District 8 because we can see the impact of what we do is going to have a large impact in these districts. And the Commission wants to make sure these two districts maintain as closely as possible those communities of interest that we all know are there. The Commission will come back at least once when the preliminary map is made. The Commission will definitely come back to District 4 so that district can see exactly what the final map is going to be before we sign off on it and present it to the City Council as the final map to be governing for the next 10 years.


SPEAKER 7: Jaine Derrough

Ms. Derrough requests Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster to help her understand how in the consideration of ethnicity in the redistricting process how does that work. Ms. Derrough wants to know what the Commission will be looking at and how the Commission will be using its information as a consideration.

Deputy City Attorney, Lisa Foster answered stating:
We will be considering the Census data regarding the ethnicity of the population. And what we're going to be doing is taking that, overlaying it on our City map and taking a look at where the concentrations of the various ethnic groups are. And then while we're primarily engaged in this to equalize the districts we also need at the same time to make sure that we don't violate the Voting Rights Act which essentially says that when you have a large concentrated group that has the ability to elect their preferred candidates in a district you basically don't want to do anything that breaks that group up. And so, we will be considering that data to make sure that we aren't doing anything that would be a violation of the Voting Rights Act.


SPEAKER 8: Herman Collins

Mr. Collins hopes the Commission continues to look at the racial distribution of voters and how they would apply in any new Council district. He wants to make sure the individuals who are a protected class maintain that protection and allowed to have equal representation.

Mr. Collins mentioned, regarding the size of Council districts, that he doesn't see how the Commission takes its task without making some type of notice to the City Council that it needs to start looking at increasing the size of the Council itself so that we have smaller Council districts and can ensure representation by many of these protected classes.

Also look at the economic engine of the Districts. He feels Redevelopment Agencies being split is a bad idea. He would like to have an early idea of where the voting trends are and what would be the best district to preserve the interests of African Americans, Filipinos and Latinos in the politics of San Diego City government.


Joey Perry announced the Internet address to the public.

Chairman Pesqueira mentioned the handout that outlines the guidelines the Commission must follow, and encouraged the public to keep the commission accountable.

SPEAKER 9: Dr. Patricia Wilson

Dr. Wilson mentioned the reason there was a good turnout was because of Ms. Heshimu did a great job of informing the community.


SPEAKER 10: Dede McClure

Ms. McClure spoke of being troubled by previous speakers being able to produce a map for the Commission to view while the rest of the public, staff, and the Commissioners aren't able to produce the Census data that is needed for all the people present tonight. She mentioned that everyone is not able to access the Internet and she asked if by the next meeting on April 25th the Commission would be able to have better Census data.

She feels that the over-riding issue in this redistricting is the Voting Rights act.

Chairman Pesqueira mentioned that the data wasn't made available until the 1st of April and the Commission didn't want to wait until data was crunched to meet with the communities.


SPEAKER 11: Guy Preiss

Mr. Preiss asked requested that whatever changes have to be made to the City Charter that the Commission consist of at least one member from each district of the City and maybe one additional to break ties. He would like the 2010 Census to reflect a more fair representation of each district.


SPEAKER 12: Robert Henry Law

Mr. Law asked the Commission, when making their decision on redistricting, to consider the seriousness of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He feels that it is unfortunate that we still have to operate from a race basis so long after 1965.


SPEAKER 13: Maxine Sherard

Ms. Sherard mentioned that District 4 is not being represented on the Commission and the community formed a group to try to extend the number of Commissioners to include District 4 representation and every other district not represented on the panel of Commissioners.


Ms. Sherard is concerned about the optimum number, services, neighborhoods and police beats. She would like the group who might be drawing maps to be given more information in terms of (the criteria) or what is really going to be looked at as it related to the shift in the boundaries.

Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster responded that the criteria in priority order are:

1. Equalizing the Districts
2. Voting Rights Acts to protect the racial groups
3. What's in the City Charter (of lesser importance than what's in the constitution)
4. Communities of Interest
5. Natural boundaries


SPEAKER 14: Maria Miramontes

Ms. Miramontes questioned the Commission on when there will be a meeting in District 8.

Chairman Pesqueria responded and encouraged the speaker to sign in and she will receive notification regarding future meetings.

Notification of meetings were sent to groups who then sent them to individual addresses.

Ms. Miramontes desires a notification in Spanish.

Commissioner Saito responded that the budget restricts the commission in sending notices to all residents in communities. Commissioner Saito also addressed the unfairness of holding more meetings in one district over others.

Joey Perry stated that notices were sent to the press and news stations. She will make even more of an effort next time.


SPEAKER 15: Charles Lewis

Mr. Lewis spoke regarding District 4 and their plan to continue the strength demonstrated tonight. Mr. Lewis expressed that District 4 will hold the Commission accountable during this redistricting process.



Commissioner Camarillo reiterated that the protected groups (Blacks, Latinos and Asians) are in two districts; District 4 and District 8. He expressed that the Commission needs to hold enough meeting to hear all of these protected groups.

Commissioner Magana thanked the public for attending.

Commissioner Johnson spoke regarding the fact that the first meeting was held in District 4 and the next meeting will be held in District 8.

Commissioner Saito thanked the public for their attendance. Commissioner. Saito also mentioned that the Supreme Court was split on all their decisions relating to the Voting Rights Act. He assures the public that the Commission is very understanding of this issue and they understand the letter of the Law and the spirit of the Voting Rights Act.

Commissioner ODell mentioned that the Commission has the communities' interest at heart. She commends the District 4 community for their turnout.

Commissioner Ulloa commends the public and encourages the public to attend other meetings.


FINAL COMMENTS: Deputy Mayor Stevens

Deputy Mayor Stevens commends the public and thanks others. He challenges the Redistricting Commission to remember the economic development issues concerning redistricting District 4. (45th and Imperial Ave, and Mountain View Park Development) Mr. Stevens mentions that if districts are changed then debt will shift as well.

Chairman Pesqueira mentioned to the audience that they can call Ms. Heshimu if they are interested in her showing them the redistricting program called "Maptitude". He also mentioned that during the month of June, after the district meetings have been accomplished, the staff will then begin to take all of the numbers and number crunch them and try to get them in the proper order. They will then present a rough draft to the Commission so they can see how those numbers tend to lay out. It's from those numbers that the Commission will then begin to fine-tune those district boundaries and come up with many of the things the public has said tonight.

The public was encouraged to keep up with the meetings or watch on Cable Access Channel 17-Cox, and 24-Time Warner.

Chairman Pesqueira announced that in late June or July the Commission expects to select one plan that seems to be most responsive to the desires and residents of this City. That will be the preliminary plan that the Commission will file with the City Clerk's Office. After the 4th of July then the Commission will conduct a new round of hearings to solicit public comment on the preliminary plan.


ADJOURNMENT: Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned by Chairman Pesqueira at 7:52 p.m.


Ralph Pesqueira, Chairman
2000 Redistricting Commission

Ramone Lewis
Legislative Recorder II

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