|CHRONOLOGY OF THE MEETING:|
|Chairman Pesqueira called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Each Commissioner gave a short personal introduction. Chairman Pesqueira announced that translation services would be available for those wishing Spanish translation. Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 8:00 p.m.|
|ITEM-1:||CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Pesqueira called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Operations Director Staajabu Heshimu called the roll:
(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location A032-083.)
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
Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster
Welcome and Introductions by Chairman Ralph Pesqueira:
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location A085-098)
Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster:
Ms. Foster explained why there is a Redistricting Commission.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location A099-173)
The Redistricting Task by Director Staajabu Heshimu:
Ms. Heshimu presented a power point presentation on "Redistricting the City of San Diego" in order to provide background on the redistricting process.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A180-274.)
Area Maps and Data by Senior Planner Joey Perry:
Ms. Perry presented information regarding the Preliminary Census 2000 Population Estimates by Council District and gave information on maps and data.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A279-416.)
SPEAKER: Kevin Davis
I live in District 3. I don't live in District 8, and I wouldn't presume to say what the people in District 8 want; but I have been looking at the census data over the last few days and because a lot of the census tracts in this district are split between this city and other cities surrounding it, I had to look block by block at all this data so I came up with a little bit different number than what Joey mentioned earlier. From a purely technical standpoint if you unify District 8, the southern portion of the city, take back a portion of District 8 that is in District 2, and leave the northern part of District 8 alone, you have 6700 too many people. My idea, just looking at ethnic data and trying to avoid impacting District 3 and 4, which are basically where they need to stay, Census Tract 51 which is East Village is not ethnically the same as the rest of the district, I would remove that and that would get rid of 3,000 people so there is still 3,000 too many people and I couldn't decide what else to get rid of. The only option would be Census Tract 46 which is the western third of Golden Hill and that also is not ethnically the same as the rest of the district, but if you were to split that, it would split up Golden Hill and I don't know if that is a good idea or not. The idea I presented, unifying the southern part of the city all in one district and keeping the northern part of the district the same except the East Village, would avoid impacting Districts 3 and 4 which are the right population and would presumably give some population to District 2 which needs to add population. That's my idea from a purely technical standpoint. I would not presume to speak for what the residents of District 8 would like. Those are my ideas.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A433-538.)
SPEAKER 2: S. Clive Richard
I live in the College area. When you refer to the population of the Second District in the southern half, was that when you were referring to Census Tract 101.03 and 101.04, I believe those are the two new tracts, what are you going to do the population for those two tracts?
Commissioner Leland Saito: These are the census tracts for '90, they're different.
No, I have the - this is the 2000 tract. Those are the two districts in South Bay that are in the Second District. I have a population here of approximately 8,000 for the two districts.
Commissioner Leland Saito: Do you happen to have the total for all the census tracts in the southern part with Two plus Eight?
I can calculate it. It can be calculated out.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A542-585.)
SPEAKER 3: Suellen Brown
I live in Otay Mesa. I'm late to the redistricting process so I feel that I'm not very knowledgeable. You say that you have to consider racial, ethnic, and language groups, I would also ask that you consider economic groups. I can see if you're-slicing off parts of East Village and Golden Hill that economically you're taking away some very valuable property. I've lived here more than thirty years and for the first time in all that time, I now have a council person that lives near me in my same area so it's the first time ever in all the years I've lived here. I would like to see you get rid of Two send it else where. Make all of this Eight so that we really do feel like more of a community down here.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A597-614.)
Lisa Foster listed the priorities that must be considered when redistricting.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B030-056.)
Joey Perry informed regarding census data that is available now.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B057-075.)
SPEAKER 4: Jan Johnston:
Prior to the redistricting after the 1990 census, we were in District 8. With the 1990 census, we had no representation once we became Two. Since we have had Council Member Wear as our council member, we have had very good representation. I can see the need to actually put us back together, maybe, with Eight. At the same time, I'm hoping if that is done, that we have the same representation as we have presently.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B080-098.)
SPEAKER 5: Wayne Dickey
I wish that you would put all of the South Bay back together; that is District 2 and 8, put it back together as District 8. According to the numbers that I keep hearing, of course I didn't check the exact numbers, but it looks like part of Shell Town and Southcrest might need to be added to that so there still would be the water connection. Wherever the line is drawn to get the right number, this could very easily give a large number of people to District 2 helping out their problem and putting us back together, and ten years from now we'll eliminate the downtown area. We'll be our own section. We have a lot of people moving into the area.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B100-113.)
SPEAKER 6: Ruth Schneider
I've lived here since 1968. I have been active with various groups. One of them was with the Planning Committee for the Otay Nestor area which I just retired this afternoon and so you don't have to worry about my showing up downtown very soon, but don't count on it because there are always things that are going on. We're growing. We still have things to do, things that we need, and progress is being made all of the time. We have an area to the east on the other side of I-805 called Otay Mesa. It is part of this Eighth District and it is with a lot of new homes, a lot of people, and I think it is going to help a lot in the balance of housing and the fact there are a lot of people here that are economically a little better off and looking for brighter futures than a lot that have lived down here for a long time. As you know the Eight District in the South Bay that swings at the end of that line is the Otay Mesa Nestor area, the San Ysidro Area, the Tijuana River Valley, and the Otay Mesa. These areas have a variety of economic levels; the ethnic backgrounds are very diverse. We have people of all races and colors and we've always been proud of that because we've been able to get along and grow together and enjoy each other. Now when you had the last redistricting, you sliced us in half as far as the Otay Mesa Nestor area is concerned, and it really hasn't worked. It just has not been fair for those people who have tried to represent us and it hasn't been fair to the people who have been at the other end of the line who are supposed to be represented. We feel that we need to be put back together because we are just dangling by pieces. We also feel that we have an unusual situation in that we're not the actual part of San Diego, we're kind of that extra piece that was added on to San Diego and cutting us in pieces doesn't help any; it just makes it worse. It's hard enough to get people out to vote without having something like this come along and then cutting us up and discouraging people from voting. This has been a big thing that we have tried to overcome down here is to get people to turn out and vote so that SANDAG and the City will know how many people are really down here. Because a lot of times we feel, and I know you've heard it in the census taking, not everybody is counted. We want you to get us back together so we can get them turned out so they can be counted for that one person one vote. That's important. I'm urging you to make us one as the Eighth District and to keep our lines tied to San Diego because we have a hard time keeping pieces of us in San Diego the way some of these neighboring towns want to come along and chew us off. Don't cut us from San Diego into pieces because that makes it easier for them to chew us up. We'll need that life-line down in the Bay when you do make that connection. At one time we had a little part of Golden Hill as part of the area. I know we also had Barrio Logan, I don't know how that affects the ethnic or economic background, but it is something that you have to consider so my biggest message to you so far this evening is put us back together again. Don't make us divided, and look at our ethnic and economic background very seriously because that is a very serious thing for us and that will help us get the people out to vote. There are some of you on this board I recognize. Good to see you again. I hope I will have an opportunity again to speak to you. I hope that you will pay attention to what we have to say.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B116-184.)
SPEAKER 7: Elissa Mendoza Cisneros:
I live in Golden Hill. Golden Hill feels that they belong with North Park, South Park area more than anywhere else. That's north of Highway 94. Since there are all these considerations I thought maybe this comment could be considered. There are a lot of people that have moved in the area, a lot of business people that work in downtown San Diego. I don't know how current the census is. For instance we're going to be moving to an unincorporated area, our house is not even built, it's called Otay Ranch. I don't know if that will be part of District 8. Either way I will probably end up in District 8. As for Golden Hills, there is a clear distinction north of Highway 94 and below 94, then the neighborhood changes a great deal so I don't know if you still need to keep it together or not. I thought since I live in the neighborhood I could make the comment.
Commissioner Leland Saito: Lisa, you mentioned that north of 94 in the community of Golden Hill that has more in common with North Park and South Park, could you describe some of the factors or issues that create a community of interest between those communities.
It's sort of like a craftsman revival sort of situation. You have the homeowners that are trying to remodel their houses and restructure their communities, just beginning with that. They have a little newsletter called "The Golden Hill Cornerstone" and they have a fair that takes place on 30th and Beech which is in South Park and it's all very close to Golden Hill. I ride my bicycle and I go up to the little park on 28th in Golden Hill and then it becomes part of South Park. It's just very closely linked to South Park and North Park.
Commissioner Leland Saito: So the newsletter serves those communities?
I'm not sure if it serves all of them, but I do know the people are very active in making the neighborhood a better place. Not only in Golden Hill but they seem very linked to - I find this newsletter in parts of North Park not necessarily just Golden Hill. You can go into a grocery store or cafe in North Park and you will find "The Golden Hill Cornerstone" magazine.
Commissioner Leland Saito: The fair is in South Park, but the people who come to the fair are from South Park and Golden Hill?
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B186-228.)
SPEAKER 8: Brad Benson:
I represent a family business that has been operating on the corner of 12th and Imperial which is in East Village and I wasn't planning on speaking. I just came down here to check this out and thought I would get up and say a few words. I feel with all the changes going on in East Village, we have ballpark that hopefully will be getting built here in the near future, that Ralph Inzunza being the council member in that district, I think it is important to have him involved in everything down there. I think it is a strength to have different councilmen involved in this area, not just one. If you were to remove East Village from District 8 and put it in District 2, I'm sure Mr. Wear would do a fine job, but I also feel that it would be - personally, Mr. Inzunza - it would be very beneficial to have that piece remain in that district.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B229-244.)
Chairman Pesqueira encourages everyone to get involved in the redistricting by experimenting with the maps that are available.
Commissioner Juan Ulloa: Asked the staff if they had made contact with organizations or individuals in the north part of District 8 because only two people have spoken reflecting on what is going on in the north part of District 8. He had a concern with ensuring that the Commission received input from both parts of District 8. District 8 is unique because it is divided into two separate areas.
Staajabu Heshimu: Yes, we have contacted many organizations and community leaders. We made no distinction when we contacted District 8 residents. We have many community leaders and organizations from the northern part of District 8 that we contacted. We didn't make any distinction between whether or not they were in the south or the north.
Commissioner Mateo Camarillo: When this meeting started, I asked for a show of hands how many did not understand English. If you recall, at our very first meeting in District 4, we had a monolingual Spanish speaker that requested a meeting in District 8 in the northern part to accommodate Spanish speakers and no one raised their hand here that needs any assistance in understanding the proceedings so I think Commissioner Ulloa's question is valid in terms of the demographics of the district. If you take a look at the entire District 8 in demographics, the representation of this room does not resemble District 8.
Commissioner Shirley ODell: Just on what Mr. Mateo has said is exactly what I have been thinking as I have been sitting here. I was wondering where, with the percentages that we heard earlier, 66% of Latino representation within an area where are they and why aren't they here? This would be helpful. Here is part of your community of interests concern that we need to understand and I'm puzzled.
Speaker in the audience: We can't park. We have been driving around looking for parking. This is not a good location to have it. Everyone is driving around trying to find parking.
Commissioner Shirley ODell: I don't have a response to that if that is the case. I find it very sad that has happened.
Chairman Pesqueira: I am going to do something we haven't done any place else and in part it's going to permit each of you to speak. If you would like to say something raise your hand and the microphone will be passed to you to let you speak. If there are any questions you would like to ask of the commissioners or staff, please raise your hand.
Margaret Castro: I have been looking for parking for a half hour and finally I saw some other people that wanted to come to this meeting and I said I'm going to Lucky Waller and park there and walk and they said they would not do that and they left. There are all sorts of people out there, but this is not a good area. You should have had it where there is parking, larger room and parking.
Speaker: Whose decision was it to have it at this location in such a small room with no parking available? It is not fair to the people that are members of the Eighth Council District. I think a disservice has been done to the community.
Ron Bendle: I live in this area and I work in District 8 and I can tell you right now they are not represented here. It's mostly Hispanic. I do not want to see our district separated either.
Kevin Davis: I did have a problem at the District 1 hearing. It was very difficult to get up to the second floor; the elevator was hidden behind the drive-up teller window and also the hearing in District 6, I also had a problem with parking. I arrived half and hour early and I'm disabled and I'm entitled to park in a disabled space, but there was none there. I have seen some difficulties in attending these hearings. I also wanted to make another comment regarding the remarks. People are speaking about drawing the district lines in order to affect the council person representing them, but these boundaries are going to be in affect ten years. Under the term limits, none of the people currently on the council will be on the council in ten years. I'm sure the commissioners are aware that can't be a factor in the redistricting.
Ruth Snyder: I think if you had arranged for a high school either Montgomery High School or the Southwest High School it would have accommodated more people and a larger parking area. You are going to have another meeting downtown at City Hall and that will give people an opportunity to speak. I believe, even though we may have people wondering in the area, if they are truly interested, they won't give up on the first meeting.
Chairman Pesqueira: We will have more meetings in the district after the preliminary maps are drawn and repeat some of these meetings.
Carlos Vasquez: I work and live in District 8 and I'm Hispanic and I'm here. I didn't want to say anything because I would like to be more up to speed on what is happening before I make a comment. I would like to say that if I wouldn't have had a meeting today, I wouldn't have known about this meeting. They said staff notified organizations, I think that's the best way to do it. Let the organizations know so they can let the community know. I'll be here for the next two meetings.
Staajabu Heshimu: We thought this was a good site or we would not have had it here. Our goal - we had a limited amount of time to select the sites for these meetings and we had no idea how much public participation we would get. We did try to select sites where we thought there was good parking and sufficient parking for the disabled. One of the primary things was that we wanted to choose a site that was approximately in the middle of the district. In District 8 where it is primarily a large geographical area, once it was decided there would only be one meeting, we needed to decide wether to have it in the north or in the south. We decided to have it in the northern half of the southern part of the district and this library was recommended to us as a place that would meet all of our requirements. We apologize for any inconveniences. We will know more when we go out next time and when we have the post-map hearings in July we definitely expect more people and we will select sites that will accommodate more.
Rosario Ramirez Ulloa: Being that District 8 is unique. It is divided into two separate areas. Why weren't there two meetings to meet the needs of both parts of District 8?
Commissioner Charles Johnson: Kevin I thought I heard you say something about districts and lines being drawn for City Council Members. I can assure you that this Commission - I don't have any idea where the council members live and it is not a concern of ours.
Vincent Knowto: I have a house in Sherman Heights and buildings in Grant Hill and I am in the northern part of District 8. I am looking at this chart here on the populations. I'm looking at District 6 which looks like it was gerrymandered a long time ago. If there is a possibility you would move the southern part of District 6 into 5 - District 5 is the one that was gerrymandered - If you could move that down into District 6, you would give District 6 a lot more than it needs and take the western part of District 6 and give it to 2. That would give 2 a great deal because there are quite a few people in there and then you could drop 2 into 8.
Commissioner Marichu Magana: I would like to make a comment in regard to having two meetings in District 8. That was discussed at length, but as you can see on the map, District 5 actually has the greatest distance between the top and the bottom, much more so than District 8. If we were to provide two meetings in District 8, which would have served the citizens of San Diego, I feel that, coming from District 5, we would also need two meetings in District 5. It became a matter of we want to hear the public comments, but we wanted everyone to feel free to come to all the meetings and not feel they should come just to their district meeting. That is how the decision was made. I wanted to ask Staa to make a comment regarding the type of outreach we provided to get the word out. What kinds of newspapers, TV announcements, that sort of information.
Staajabu Heshimu: We did different outreach for different meetings. We had less time to do certain outreach for the early meetings and we had more time to do outreach for the later meetings. By the time we got to this meeting, which is number six, we had alerted - we had a media list of 50, 60 media outlets. By that time we thought they all knew what the schedule would be. Over time we collected an extensive list of community organizations and of course District 8 - some of those of course are located in District 8, but many of them work city-wide. We have done more than one mailing to all of those groups. In the case of this meeting it just happened that I was going to be attending the Chicano Federation luncheon, May 4th Cinco de Mayo luncheon, and we had the flyers made up and so we were able to distribute those at the luncheon. The council office also did an extensive mailing on this hearing and the budget hearing that was last week. We know that because we got lots and lots of phone calls from people who told us why they could not be here. We did know the outreach was good, but we did not know the location would deter people.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B225-564.)
Council Member Ralph Inzunza:
I want to thank everyone for coming down to the Otay Mesa Community and sharing some of your thoughts and hearing some testimony from some of the residents that are here this evening. What I would like to do is present the facts as I see them from my district and make a presentation as to the city-wide implications that might or might not take place with regard to how my district might be redistricted and the impacts it might have on other districts.
Chairman Pesqueira: I notice you have census numbers. Would you let us know where those numbers came from?
We just got these numbers. It's not on the Maptitude software yet, but we got these numbers from SANDAG and we overlapped them. We did a little bit of homework with the Registrar of Voters and what we have is a breakdown - we got the census breakdown and we have a breakdown by each census tract and then the population under that so I can be specific with you. I think it's important that you not only hear from the constituents, but you also get some directions on which census tracts we might be willing to drop and which ones we might be willing to add. I think that is the gist of what you are trying to do here to get a flavor of what it is all of us want to do so that we bring some of the communities back together and we're doing this with citizens because the politicians couldn't get it right ten years ago and I favor this process because I think it will look wholly at putting the communities back in place rather than looking at politics which is usually the case when redistricting comes in. If I may, Mr. Chairman, I would like to start with the southern tier of my district and then we'll go to the northern tier. What I would like to do is talk about the southern teir and the formulas you're using in order to reach out to which communities you feel should and should not be kept together and why. This is the southern teir of the Eighth District and it is made up of several communities. You have the Otay Nestor Community which is basically from the Imperial Beach boundary that goes to 805. You have the Otay Mesa Community which is up here in the northern teir. You have the San Ysidro Community and you have the Tijuana River Valley and within these communities you have different smaller pockets. You have Egger Highlands, you have Palm City, you have different areas that make up the whole southern teir of my district. Interestingly enough, this is a part of the City that is relatively new. It was purchased from the County in the '70's and it became part of the City then. The southern teir of my district for the most part shares many different school districts, many different parks, and many different areas in common. What I'm looking to do and what I am suggesting to all of you is that we add two census tracts to this southern area and that is 101.03, which is a population of 5420 people and 101.04 which is a population of 3298. What you roughly have here is about 8800 people that would be added on. That would get us about 1300 over what it should be. I'll address the subtraction in the northern tier of my district in a second. The idea is to try to get the whole southern part of San Diego together under one district and I think that's important for several factors. First of all, the Otay Nestor Planning Community, which many of the members are here today, they represent all of this area even these two areas which are right now under District 2 represented by Council Member Wear. It's important that we recognize that these two census tracts have much in common with this area here, whether it's the Otay Mesa Nestor Planning Community, the park and recreation, if you look at some of the different transportation corridors that they share in common, whether it's I-5, 905, whether it's large arteries like Palm or Coronado, you can really make an argument that these two census tracts are a part of this community and really don't have much in common with Pt. Loma or Mission Hills. You also have many of the park areas. We especially share one large regional park which we hope one day will be even larger than the Mission Trails Regional Park and that's the Otay Valley Regional Park which really begins out here in this census tract and works all the way through, abutting the boundary of Chula Vista all the way through to the Olympic Training Center. It's a wonderful corridor that is represented by myself, Mayor Shirley Horn and by County Supervisor Greg Cox. It's a joint powers agreement. Even though this part of the park is not in my district, I still represent it. In essence on the park, this census tract, I'm acting as the councilman for it, when it comes to the Otay Valley Regional Park. The other thing to look at are the school districts. It's a bit confusing when you see this area and you look at how it overlaps with many school districts. You have the San Ysidro school district down here. You have the Chula Vista School District up here, which interestingly enough, parts of it run down here, and there are a few schools here that are part of the Chula Vista School District. For the most part the Otay Mesa Nestor area when it comes to elementary education is represented by the South Bay School District. You have schools in this area and this area that are represented by one school district, yet they are part of two different council districts. You also have the Sweetwater Union High School District. They represent both this area and this area as well. You have Mar Vista here. You have Montgomery here. We would be able to have better joint-use programs with the school districts if they had one council member they could refer to and go to with regards to setting up programs where we can be able to leverage our dollars for Prop. 14 money and Prop. 12 money because that's the way the State functions right now. They reward you when you're able to work with the school district, a municipal government. I think it can be better handled if this area is under one council member than under two. The other interesting note with regards to parks is that you have the Tijuana River Valley down here. As you can see both District 2 and District 8 abut to the Tijuana River Valley, yet this is an area that I primarily handle. I think again there is justification there to find ways to get this council district under one. You also have some large regional issues. You have the whole border area and it's impact on the South Bay Communities. You have Brown Field, you have Ream Field which have their different political issues that are being dealt with in the South Bay for different reasons. Many people are opposed to a cargo airport. Many people are concerned about the helicopters that fly over night and that again overlaps amongst these two areas. I think finally the other thing to look at is the socio-economic and the demographics, not that they need to be the primary reasons for redistricting, but they should be reasons that are considered as well as partisanship. What you have down here is a very diverse community. From some of the older neighborhoods to the newer neighborhoods you really do have a population that is diverse and rich in culture and I think it is important that we continue to have that together. I also think it is important to look at the registration here. This is primarily a democratic area. The assembly members, the senators, the congress members here have traditionally been democrats and that type of registration and these census tracts are very similar. Tonight Commissioners, my suggestion would be to strongly look at adding these two census tracts as being part of one council district because of the issues that I put forth with regards to the socio-economic areas, some of the natural corridor areas and the ability to keep the rich diversity that makes up the South Bay. If I can I will talk a little bit about the northern teir of my district. The northern teir of my district about 10, 15 miles north of the area that we were looking at is an area too that is very similar to the southern part in that you have many communities there that also socio-economically are very similar and it's very diverse in it's background. It's a little bit different from the southern district with regards to diversity in that there are large populations from the Latino and from the African American communities and it is something that I have enjoyed being a part of, not only as part of Councilman Vargas' Chief of Staff, but in my first couple of months here at City Hall, being able to work with these different communities. What you basically have here is in the northern teir, you have the Golden Hill communities. You have here the Sherman Heights, Grant Hill, Stockton communities. You have Logan Heights and Memorial. You have Centre City East. You have Barrio Logan, and then you have the Southcrest, Shell Town; but for the most part - in the Thomas Brothers it uses both names. They like to be called Southcrest and I've been corrected several times. Try to be sensitive to that if you decide to have a second meeting here in the north. These are the communities that make up my district. We've been able to add these communities because as many of you know the southern part of the Eighth District does not have enough of a population to make up its own council seat so about two thirds of my district lives in the south and about a third lives in the north and there are some common issues I want to address with regard to why I believe the majority of this should be kept together. First of all, these are some of the more historical neighborhoods in San Diego and much that goes on here really is tied into being able to work together to find some solutions to bring back and restore some of the inner neighborhoods that make up our great city. Golden Hill for quite some time really has been an anchor and a jewel of a community when it comes to historical preservation. You have many homes here and many areas that have been designated historic. I think that is very important to know because what we would like to do for the remainder of this area is to began to see some of the historical elements that we can bring out there. There are many ways as to how all these areas are tied in together. First of all, we just recently built a fire station on the corner of 25th and Broadway. This fire station serves all of this area. We have a police station that was just built on 25th and Imperial. That police station serves all of this area. We're going to be building a library and the library in our community will probably be located on one of these campuses and we hope to have that library built within the next couple of years and that too will serve this whole area. The other important thing to look at is most of this area west of I-15 is represented by one planning group currently. With the exception of Golden Hill, most of this is represented by the Southeast Planning Committee. The other thing I think is important to look at is you do have many programs here that really do go out there to try to bring the community together such as the San Diego Organizing Project which is an interfaith-based non-profit which works with both the Baptist and Catholic communities of faith to try to tie in how people here can find their just representation in every facet of life. What you have is you have our Lady of Angels, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Calvary Baptist, New Found Baptist Church, New Hope Friendship, Christ the King, St. Jude's, St. Anne's. These are communities that work together to try to find ways to get better street lighting, more street policing, and ways to bring about the services that government can provide at the local municipal level. What you also have is common school district boundaries. You have Memorial on 28th and National, and different elementary schools, all part of the San Diego Unified School District. What is unique about them is many of them have the same demographics. Many of them share socio-economics in terms of looking at the school lunch program or the six-to-six program. If you look at Brooklyn Elementary to the north, Sherman, Kimbrough, Martin Luther King, Burbank, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Perkins, Logan, and down here you have Emerson, Bandini, Ceasar Chavez and Balboa. Many of those school districts are tied in because they have special programs that deal with bilingual education. They have some of the highest lunch programs in the city. They have some of the highest numbers of people who are both African American and Latino. I think it's important that we try to keep many of these communities together. In terms of making the difficult decisions and seeing what areas we would be willing to cut, I think what I'm trying to do is get as close as possible to your optimal number which is about 153,000. What I just did in my suggestion was to add two areas which is about 8800 and if we follow the numbers we would be 1300 to a couple of thousand over. Some of the areas I've considered to look at in terms of dropping census tracts which for me would naturally fit in another community would be 1) the census tract 51.00 which is in Centre City East and part of downtown and it has a population of 3360 people and a portion of Census Tract 42.00. I'm not going to give you the number because this is an area that just runs one block. It goes up a couple of miles and grabs Home and I don't think this is an area that the Eighth District any longer needs to represent. It's an area of South Park. It would probably be better served with the Third District as I think this area down here - if the idea and the spirit is to try to bring communities together and not to split census tracts or split communities. In all fairness this will probably be better served as being part of District 2 and all of downtown. If you add those up I'm probably one or two thousand people over, but with that 5% - You're correct I would be short.
Chairman Pesqueira: With that in mind Ralph, looking in Otay Mesa you know there is going to be a population increase in the next ten years and one of the things we will take into consideration will be SANDAG's projected growth so that might be a way that we could handle that situation.
That would be excellent because I think there is going to be substantial growth. You probably are going to have 4 to 5,000 homes that are going to be built over the next ten years in that area. According to what you're saying, if we're a couple thousand short, and that still is within your 5%, give or take a little bit, that is what I see for the Eighth District. The other thing to note that's interesting, this again on a partisan level is a very Democratic area. It's an area that right now the Supervisorial seat cuts off at A Street. The congressional seat, the State Assembly, and the Senate seat so I think Balboa Park really does become a natural boundary for this community. I love all of these communities. They are all special and unique in many ways. The Golden Hill, Sherman, Grant, Memorial, Stockton, Logan Southcrest, and of course, Barrio Logan are communities that I want to continue to work with and I think they are a natural fit. They are very tight in terms of some of the different criteria that many of you are looking at. I would hope that you would just consider those possibilities. The other thing, Mr. Chairman, if I may, would it be appropriate to comment on any other districts?
Chairman Pesqueira: Anything you'd like Councilman.
I look at the City and I think what we're trying to do and trying to find is how do we keep communities together and how do we go through this sensitive process being careful and delicate to the needs of some of the council members and their abilities to continue to work with the communities they've established relationships with and many programs with, but also doing what is appropriate and sometimes making some difficult decisions. My suggestions in trying to assist the Commissioners is, obviously the Eighth District down here is a natural in terms of bringing it together and I think once you have 105, 110,000 then it's a matter of looking for the next 40 - 50,000 people to bring that together. For the most part it looks as if the 4th in my opinion is pretty whole and very close to where it should be, give or take a few hundred people. What kind of shifting goes on between the 7th , the 4th, and the 3rd, I don't know, but I do think it's important that we try to keep the 4th district an area that can be represented by an African American. I think it's very important that we look at the populations and the communities and the rich history and diverse history that the 4th has when setting up how this district will eventually be redistricted. The Third District is a district where it can probably gain and lose some communities quite comfortably. I can see it gaining some parts here to the west and I can see it just as easily losing some parts here to the east. I would have to defer to Council Member Atkins on the specifics of it, but I think either way will be a natural fit and comfortable fit. They have an excellent working relationship with the areas of Mid-city as they do with the areas of Uptown and the remainder of Hillcrest. I think it's important to take notice of the direction you're going to get from people in the Third District. I know they have been one of the districts that have been more vocal and I applaud them for that. Those are the easy districts. The Second District and the First District, I think you have to talk about them jointly for several reasons. I think strategically, and I think this might be one of the more political statements I make tonight. I think strategically when you look at San Diego and you look at our ability to lobby the State, the Feds, the Coastal Commission, Coastal Conservancy, EPA, or the Army Corp of Engineers with regards to many of the issues we have with the bay and the Pacific Ocean, it really is important that we have two pretty evenly split districts along the ocean. I think it is very important to have two representatives here that can go out and lobby and push a first rate type of team approach towards one of the splendors that we have living here in San Diego. I think it's important for District 2 to have all of downtown. It really should be under one council member's area and then for it to move up and take at least the rest of Pacific Beach. I don't see what the politicians did ten years ago. You have a lot of communities that are split up in District 2 and part of it might include taking more of Uptown, more of downtown and more of Pacific Beach. I think that is probably appropriate for District 2. District 1 probably goes north from La Jolla and carries for the most part many of the communities it has now. I think it has to lose some. I don't know really if it's in a position to gain as a council district. I would argue the same for District 5. District 5, especially this northern teir, there is no other district to really give it to. As you work your way down, somewhere between Miramar and 52 is probably where you are going to want to cut it off and tie it into District 6. I think it is important to look at that, but I have to tell you this is an area that is really going to flow because depending if District 6 doesn't take enough or takes too much District 6 might even be coming up here to the University area and tying in this I-5, I-805 merge area depending on where you decide to give or take in these areas. I think District 7 seems to be pretty land-locked, if you look at the north, south, and east and I think it will probably be the district that will get whatever is - not that it's not as important as the other council districts, but I think District 7 because of its proximity to the other parts of the districts, it probably isn't quite a player in these areas and will probably get what is remaining here whether it's part of District 3, District 4, or District 6. I think it's more of a natural fit for District 7 to come down and not necessarily go up. I think the Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, Carmel, Rancho Bernardo should probably remain in District 5. I think they have a lot of issues together with regard to the corridors especially the transportation corridors. I think it's very important that we look at this in a way that we try to keep communities together and try to distinguish between those areas that can work and those areas that can't. So Commissioners, that's my presentation. If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B556-C305.)
Commissioner Juan Ulloa: There was a comment from someone from East Village that they were concerned if East Village was taken out that they wouldn't be getting the representation from Mr. Vargas and yourself.
Council Member Ralph Inzunza: I think what we have to look at is the population shifts and unfortunately there are decisions that need to be made and recommendations that need to be made to all of you. There really isn't one area that I want to give up. I fact there are a few areas I would like to add, but if you're going to look at a population crunch and you're going to say you have 153,000 people, which areas belong together? Well, the only logical answer would be that all of the South Bay should be together. Those two census tracts, there is no reason why they should be in District 2. South Park should be part of one community so I give up the finger. Also with regards to the downtown portion of my district I just have really a fifth of it, a sixth of it, if you're really looking at greater downtown. If you're looking at Uptown and Little Italy all the way out there it's a fifth of it. It's very exciting to have that community, but in all honesty that is part of downtown and we should try to keep communities together. Downtown should be under one district. It would be great to have downtown, but the truth of the matter is I'm already at 153,000 and there will be a lot of growth in those census tracts so by the next census I could be at 165,000 people and I could be one of the districts that has to give up, if you're looking at 4 or 5,000 houses and two or three people per house, you can assume I'm going to be over. That's why I would suggest that we add the two census tracts in the southern tear and subtract the Centre City East census tract and the South Park portion of that census tract.
Commissioner Leland Saito: What Juan mentioned about giving up that area of the council district, one of the points that he made was that with an area like downtown it might be helpful to have more than one council person directly involved in the issues that are there. If we consider our downtown, that's the kind of place in terms of the economic-redevelopment issues that are going on there in terms of the money spent there and in terms of the kind of direct investments that the City makes and if we think of such things as the ballpark and convention center there are massive projects going on there that dwarf what happens in other parts of the city. That is a good question that residents may raise. Shouldn't we have more than one council person directly involved in those kinds of issues so there are more voices speaking about these large economic-redevelopment projects that effect the entire city in the way money gets spent.
Council Member Ralph Inzunza: I think what you're looking at when you're looking at redistricting is two areas of responsibility that a council member has. The first area and the area I think district elections help us to refocus on are the residents you represent. What I mean by the residents are the everyday issues, street sweeping, street lights, pot holes and taking care of those issues. Certainly downtown could be represented by one council member with regard to those issues, just your everyday issues of concerns for your average resident. With regard to the larger issues that you address, the truth of the matter is when an issue is large enough all the council members chime in. Even though the ballpark district is split up between Council Member Wear and myself that really is an issue where anyone can come up. Council Member Maienschein recently came up with a suggestion and Council Member Stevens might have a suggestion on the ballpark. When the issues are large enough, you have all of us involved. If it's an airport, Balboa Park, Beaches, stadium, convention center, you already have enough people that will be engaged in those issues. My concern is that we really have to have fairness when it comes to the everyday issues and one person that can be the focal point for addressing a better street sweeping program, lighting, or community policing. I think in that sense downtown will be okay if they have one council member. When it comes to the larger economic issues, the trolley, central library, the ballpark all of us will be engaged in that.
Commissioner Mateo Camarillo: If you unify the southern portion of District 8, in essence with the population gain, the entire district would only be plus or minus 500 people off the median deviation. If you try to factor in growth, you're getting into thin ice in regards to opening yourself up to litigation for violation of the one man one vote in the sense that you are counting people that are not there. I think it is better to go with real people that are there as well as trying to stay with the closest to zero in terms of deviation. Just unifying the southern portion you coming pretty close to an ideal district in terms of numbers.
Council Member Ralph Inzunza: If we go with the real people, numbers, then what we would have, we were 7500 short if we added those areas in District 2, the two census tracts, we would be about 13 or 1400 over and if we take away about 3300 people in the Centre City East census tract then we take another 100 people in the South Park we would probably be then about 2000 under and I think on those numbers we are within the 5%. I think 10% is allowed, but we're trying to get to 5% as close as possible. What I'm saying is that in a legal sense, you're correct. We need to talk about real numbers. If we talk about real numbers and if we add those two census tracts, take away one and take away a portion of another one, then we are within 5%, but the understanding could be, maybe not your final result, is that all of you know, the Eighth District is going to grow in Otay Mesa and by the next redistricting commission you probably are going to have a city council district that is at least 10,000 over, but you'll probably have the same with Districts 1, 5, and probably 7. That's why we do this every ten years.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location C307-424.)
Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 8:00 p.m.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location: C426-450.)
Ralph Pesqueira, Chairman
2000 Redistricting Commission
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