FOR MONDAY, MAY 14, 2001 - 6:00 P.M.


The Redistricting Commission was called to order by Chairman Pesqueira at 6:10 p.m. Chairman Pesqueira announced the public hearing must be adjourned by 8:00 p.m. Chairman Pesqueira informed the public on the procedures that would be implemented for those people interested in giving testimony. Chairman Pesqueira and the Commissioners proceeded to give a short introduction about themselves. Chairman Pesqueira recognized a few individuals from different Council Offices, as well as the Mayor's Office, and Lieutenant Governor's Office. The meeting was adjourned by Chairman Pesqueira at 7:35.


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



(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present

(VC) Vice Chairman Leland T. Saito-present

(M) Mateo R. Camarillo-(arrived at 6:25 p.m.)

(M) Charles W. Johnson-present

(M) Marichu G. Magaña -present

(M) Shirley ODell-present

(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present

Also Present:

Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster
Operations Director Staajabu Heshimu


Chairman Pesqueira stated the purpose for visiting the public was to provide a little bit of information. He explained why the Commission exists. Once the public understands the Commission's job, it is hoped they will provide feedback in order to help with the decisions the Commissioners will have to make.


Ms. Foster gave an overview regarding the history of redistricting. Ms. Foster stated this was the first time San Diego has had a Commission make all the necessary decisions regarding redistricting. Ms. Foster briefed the public on the rules that the Commission has to follow regarding the legal factors.


Chairman Pesqueira states for the record Mateo Camarillo has arrived. Chairman Pesqueira announced to the audience that he would like to recognize Eric Hereford from Lieutenant Governor Bustamonte's Office.



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


Chairman Pesqueira recognized two people: Chris Cameron from District 1, and Maxine Sherard, the Commission's very loyal alternate. Chairman Pesqueira reminds everyone to fill out a speaker slip if they want to speak. The Commission would appreciate some insight into their district since it needs to gain about 17.05 percent.


SPEAKER 1: Councilman Byron Wear

I wanted to first get some observations to the Commission on District 2. If you look at the current boundaries of this district, it takes in some of the best features of our city. It's a very diverse district and exciting district. It's a district that keeps my staff very busy because of the complex nature of the types of things going on. There is everything from port related issues, tidelands law, the airport, beaches, Mission Bay, downtown redevelopment, and older neighborhoods so there's a lot of complex issues versus simply representing more of a suburb or the inner core. I want to give you some observations that I see in terms of some of the pockets and alternatives you might want to explore. Let me start down in the southern portion of the district, Egger Highlands. They have a lot of issues. They had concerns about infrastructure, and through our council office we created something called the Egger Highlands Community Association. They meet quarterly to deal with some of the issues and they have been advising me on various infrastructure projects. We went forward with the improvement of Palm Avenue. It also is adjacent to District 8. If your decision was to consolidate that area for whatever reason, obviously, that looks like a natural thing to do, to lump it in with District 8. I will say that the southern portion of our city, and the complexity of issues around the border, and the things that are happening in this area, having two council members involved is not a bad idea. You need to be thinking about that.

Moving into the center city area., downtown redevelopment, of course, is a hot topic. The ballpark project is right in the middle of that controversy. Assuming the ballpark project goes forward, currently the ballpark is actually split between two districts. If you needed to add population, certainly the East Village would be a logical target as well as the area known as Cortez Hill depending upon what kind of adjustments you might have to make in District 3. I never did really understand this little weaving that goes on between District 3 and District 2 up there on the I-5 portion of Uptown and Center City. There is some room there for some adjustment. I will say that because of the regional nature of this council district that adding Balboa Park to it probably would be a pretty big load. I'm carrying a load right now with all the controversy surrounding the coast and Mission Bay. If I were you, I would look at seriously keeping Balboa Park in Council District 3. Again, if you need to make some population adjustments, certainly the Park West area immediately west of Balboa Park is an area where you could make some adjustments depending upon what you needed to do. I will say as you go over to this little easterly portion of District 2 known as University Heights, that the area that's pretty much east of I-163, we have worked issues here, but this seems to be a better fit, frankly, with Council District 3; geographically it is on the east side of the freeway. Moving into the addition mode, obviously Pacific Beach is split between two council districts, and I suppose no matter what you do in the city there's always going to be a community or area that is going to end up being split in some fashion. In the case of Pacific Beach, Stallings and I really worked together on common issues, but if you were to need the additional population, certainly the easterly portion of Pacific Beach would make some sense. If you need a portion of La Jolla, I would argue that having two council members represent the coast is a pretty natural split. If you added too much of the coastal area in La Jolla, it would really create an imbalance. I look at the coast as a regional resource. I will say if you had to look at an area of La Jolla because you needed to add population the area around Kate Sessions Park is more of a suburban portion of La Jolla. It's a portion I think of that 83.01 census tract. That's something you might want to look at. In addition, as far as adding an additional population, years ago District 6 actually grew out of Ocean Beach, and then it slid to the east over about a 20-year period, and if you are going to have to go to the east side of I-5, the community of interest probably would be all or a substantial portion of the community known as Bay Park. Particularly the area along Marina Boulevard, those folks that overlook Mission Baym, there's a common interest there. That is something you might want to look at, as well as the base of Linda Vista at Napa Street. The area where the trolley station is that is part of something called the North Bay redevelopment area, there is a common interest with the Midway Community and that area. I don't know if you are going to pick up much population there, but certainly it is something you might want to look at, that lower part. Certainly Mission Valley would be nice to keep together. If you had to take off a little piece of it towards the west, that would be something that you might consider. I just wanted to throw out to you some concepts and ideas from my observations.


Mr. Ulloa asked in Hillcrest where it was mentioned University Heights could be reunited with the eastern part. What about Hillcrest in terms of the northern part.


Mr. Wear: The northern portion of Hillcrest would be a logical fit with District 3. Mission Hills would be probably the logical break moving from District 3 into District 2.


SPEAKER 2: Kevin Davis

The first thing I wanted to do is a little bit embarrassing. I said last week at the District 8 hearing I gave some figures for District 8 that were wrong. If you take District 8 the southern portion, and you unify all of the census tracts including the two of them that are in District 2, and then you leave the northern portion alone you come up with about 1,000 too many people. If you chop off, I think, census tract 51 which is City Heights (sic) which several people have recommended, then you have 2,200 too few people in District 8. So you might want to do some adjustments to that. I also figured out the population of the southern portion of District 8 and District 2 alone as Mr. Saito asked for last week. If you take away the two census tracts that are in the south, and you take away University Heights and Hillcrest and give them to District 3, then unify East Village, so you're adding some population finally to District 2, you take the portion of East Village that's in District 8 and put it into District 2, and then you take the portion of Pacific Beach that's in District 6 and add it to District 2, you still need 35,000 more people. We are taking away two parts of District 2 in the south, and two parts near District 3. So taking those four total and adding the one still leaves 35,000 short. So what I did was look around District 2 and obviously there is quite a few constraints. District 3 doesn't want their territory annexed. District 1 made it clear that they do not want to lose La Jolla. If you move into District 8, there will be problems with the racial balance. That only leaves District 6. I took census tracts until I got 35,000. I took all of Bay Ho and Bay Park and Moreno, and adding all of those three areas gives you 151,535 people which is 1390 people short of what you need. When I was looking at District 6, I didn't particularly look to see if I was splitting up any communities. I just took census tracts until I got to the right number. There will have to be some adjustment, but that's my recommendation.


SPEAKER 3: Michael Zucchet

I just wanted to echo the great desire among the community groups as well as the residents of Pacific Beach to be unified under one council district. There are many reasons for this. I'll just touch on one of them. In one sense it is nice having two council members looking out for you, and I think Council Member Wear and former Council Member Stallings really did make a great effort to work together, but it was still two people putting in half-time for one community, and even with their great efforts I don't believe that a half plus a half equaled one. It was still a little short. I believe in terms of population Pacific Beach's number are among the largest in the city, and I think it deserves to have the representation of one council member who considers Pacific Beach to be the base of his or her district. When I say Pacific Beach, let me hasten to throw in the Mission Bay and Mission Beach Community Plans, basically the area that surrounds Mission Bay west of I-5. The issues and challenges from a public safety standpoint, from an environmental standpoint, are so similar that it's important to have them unified under one person. The second thing I'd like to suggest is again something you've heard. La Jolla and Pacific Beach those two community planning areas deserve to be separated for a lot of reasons. Council Member Wear mentioned one of them. The splitting of the coastline between two council members. San Diego is identified as a coastal city, and to have one council member represent virtually the entire coastline short changes the other seven. Also, they're entirely different communities, La Jolla and Pacific Beach, demographically, ethnically, in lots of ways. Mr. Wear had a good suggestion in terms of taking a look at the area around Kate Sessions Park and perhaps sneaking up the hill a little bit. There is some discussion about protecting incumbents or taking too much into account where certain people live, etc. Nothing undue should be done to protect incumbents. On the other hand, it would cause a great deal of havoc to unseat incumbents from their own districts who were just elected by the people of that district. In some sense, not only unfair to the incumbent but unfair to the communities who just elected that incumbent. Frankly, it should be taken under consideration.


SPEAKER 4: Michael Simonsen

I would like to echo the thoughts of Mr. Zucchet and Council Member Wear and thank you for coming out to the community to get the input of the residents of District 2. I didn't answer your question if there were any representatives of any other council districts. I do work for Council Member Maienschein, but I am here as a District 2 resident on my own time to lobby you on behalf of myself and the other residents of District 2. I should say as a resident of Point Loma and I know other residents of Point Loma, we really want to stay in District 2. I want to talk to you about Pacific Beach and give you a perspective that I have as a former council representative in District 6. I'll tell you during the time I was in District 6 Councilman Wear and Stallings had a lot of issues that we had to deal with together. Like Councilman Wear said we did deal with those issues cohesively and constructive; however, I think at the same time Pacific Beach would be better represented by one council member. There are a lot of issues that happen in Pacific Beach and specifically in the District 2 portion of Pacific Beach that spill over in the District 6 portion with the beach, the bays, what I like to call the fun stuff down in District 2. A lot of residents in District 6 are impacted by that, yet there is a split between council districts so, basically I'm just here to say, an easy way to make up a big portion of the 22,000 that needs to be gained for District 2 would be to combine Pacific Beach as one council district. Allow that council member to represent Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, Ocean Beach, and Point Loma which all have similar issues, and that council member could attack those issues with one common goal, and if the residents for that district didn't agree with those goals then you know what they could do.


SPEAKER 5: Don Mullen

Thank you very much for volunteering. As a 20-year community volunteer I understand what it is like to take that time away from personal life. Once again, I would like to mimic what everyone else has said. There's a real great desire in our community to unify Pacific Beach again. As a 20-year small business owner here, many times I found myself in front of the City Council on a various numbers of issues that concerned land use in our community and it made it very difficult many times to try and get the two council members on the same page at the same time. Not to disrespect the fine service that they have always given us but I would say that would be my main point. The point that many community members have expressed is to bring our community back together.


SPEAKER 6: Thomas W. Martin

Thank you very much again for your work and dedication to this issue. I represent Clairemont, a district which has some similar issues as Pacific Beach has which is we have dual representation in that district. The issue is, of course, the splitting up of District 5 into District 6, and District 6 lapping into District 2. We have our share of multiple council representatives. I would definitely urge you to review the reunification of Pacific Beach as part of Council District 2. However, I would disagree with the councilman that the Bay Ho, Bay Park area should be part of District 2. We do have quite a bit of representation from that area in the Clairemont Town Council from those residents. I do believe that the going north and looking into other areas of University Heights and Hillcrest would be a more appropriate area. I am waiting for the census tract numbers officially to come out so we can review those and take a better step. Obviously, the information that is being received now is not necessarily accurate and before presenting any information we want to make sure we do have 100 percent accurate information. I would like to just say that I would agree Pacific Beach should be annexed into District 2.


Chairman Pesqueira explained that at this point in time the official figures are out. The only problem is trying to get the accurate numbers on the split census districts.


SPEAKER 7: Leslie Wade

I represent the East Village neighborhood of Downtown. They do not have a lot of residents; therefore, as a voice it is sometimes not heard. I simply want to share with you the perspective of that community. I also have a question. The blue boundaries on the map indicate police beats. I would just like to point out that the police beat boundary for the East Village does not follow the planning boundary for the East Village. Maybe that is something we should take up with the police department. I would urge you to unite the East Village, in fact, to unite all of Downtown in Council District 2. It really makes no sense to have the Downtown community split which is quite cohesive. We are a growing assemblage of individual neighborhoods that are growing in character. It has changed dramatically in the last ten years. It is particularly difficult representing an area that is largely commercial in nature with few voters. There is little incentive for a council member to pay a great deal of attention to a small annexed area that is largely commercial. It creates a situation of potential - lesser - representation. I would urge you to include all of the East Village. For your clarification, I would say that the southern boundary of the East Village in terms of how the community feels in function with is Imperial. Once you cross Imperial, you really feel you've gone into Barrio Logan and those neighborhoods. That would be a logical southern dividing line for the Downtown area. I think, the same is true for Cortez Hill. It really makes no sense to have that in District 3. On a personal note, having lived right on the corner of the boundary between the two Hillcrests, I really think it makes a great deal of sense to include Park West in District 2. The fact is as we go forward as a city and look at broadening our redevelopment boundaries and expanding our scope of redevelopment, that northern boundary between the Park West area gets quite blurry. I suspect we are going to start looking at planning and relationships of those two communities more strongly over the next 10 years. I would encourage you to consider adding Park West to District 2, and unite Hillcrest. Keep Hillcrest united as one neighborhood either in District 2 or District 3.


Chairman Pesqueira inquired if there were any numbers of the anticipated population for the residential development in the Downtown area.


Councilman Wear: We are right now asking those numbers from CCDC. It has a lot to do with the difference of whether we want to go with high-rise product or not. From a policy standpoint the council would like to densify the East Village, but we need to do it in a very liveable way. I think the numbers are a range from 10,000 to 30,000 in the next 20 years. There's a feeling as though Downtown should be densified, but there are physical limitations. There is also an earthquake fault that runs through that community and a few other complications with that. The sense is to densify the East Village over the next 20 years. I will say for the record that of the 15,000 housing units that are in the pipeline, are under construction, in the City of San Diego, 8,000 of those are being constructed in Downtown San Diego. Most of those are in the Council District 2 portion.


SPEAKER 8: Don Schmidt

I am a member of the La Jolla Community Planning Association, I am a member of the La Jolla Town Council, I am a member and the Traffic Chair of Birdrock Community Council, and I'm Secretary of the La Jolla Historical Society. I am going to try to make my comments as brief as I can. I wanted to echo a little bit of what Councilman Wear said. Try to keep the southern part of La Jolla in Council District 1. I live in the Birdrock area. I know a lot of people outside La Jolla and Pacific Beach really don't know what Birdrock is. Birdrock is a small community at the southern end of La Jolla that is historically a part of La Jolla. It was developed in the early part of the 20th Century. Recently the Birdrock Community Council Incorporated and part of the incorporation was applying to the Mainstreet USA program, and one of the processes of the application is writing a history of Birdrock. It has a very unique history. It has essentially always been tied with La Jolla. It is part of the La Jolla Community Plan. The Community Plan boundary and the Council District boundary for District 1 runs roughly the same. Birdrock, I would say, the southern end is at Turquoise maybe the northern end is at roughly the Via Del Norte Park. I would urge the Commission to keep the Birdrock area intact. It has historically been part of La Jolla. It's a very close community.


SPEAKER 9: Allen Fisher

A few thoughts on something I really haven't heard mentioned tonight. I noticed District 5 needs to shed about 35,000 people. To get that many people out of District 5, I think, it is going to take a lot of reshuffling north because you can't take much out of the north or the east of District 5. That, in itself, will require quite a boundary change and possibly District 6 being bordering District 5 will need to move up and encroach on District 5. So that could mean District 2 will almost need to move further east in order to accommodate the other shuffling. I know, there are certain sacred cows that people want to see left in tact. I would rather like to see communities left in tact and not divided up in several ways. I also realize whatever needs to be done for the benefit of the city is what should be done. I have lived in the community all my life. I have seen a lot of changes. I think, it would help us all if we were unified as one by the City of San Diego. Maybe the northern boundary of District 2 should be the 92109 zip code. Another thing that needs to be taken into consideration is basically when we are talking about the ballpark and other things of that nature is the possibility of enterprise zones. I realize you have quite a task on your hands, but the main thing I would like to see is these boundaries kept as well as possible geographical.


SPEAKER 10: Ralph Bennett

I have lived in Pacific Beach since 1953, and I worked with the Tribune until I retired in 1986. I just want to make two points. Since elected officials have a conflict of interest, you are the first Commission to do it. It's a very progressive change in the way we operate, and I'm sure you are going to do a good job. I hope that the system proves to be as good as I think it's going to be. The other point that I want to make is that, I think, almost everybody in Pacific Beach wants us to be in one council district. It's not an identifiable community when you split it down the middle like a jigsaw puzzle. Let's try to put it back together again. If you need more people in District 2, you can easily get them by picking up some down around Old Town, the Moreno district and Bay Park.


SPEAKER 11: Cory Schmelzer

I am a resident currently of Pacific Beach and homeowner and also President of the Birdrock Community Council. I had a couple of things to note. A lot of the things that have been talked about in redistricting is having communities of equal interests. I think there are some conditions with the streets and the parks of La Jolla and Pacific Beach being District 1. District 2 are very similar the infrastructures have a lot of the same problems, same issues along with the idea of sharing the same coast. As being a representative mainly of La Jolla, at this point in time, the things that we again, that I want to reiterate from last week, are school districts, business improvement districts, La Jolla Community Plan Association, La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Historical Society. I have been working with Scott Peters on a lot of programs and events from the Holiday Parade to a number of events we share. Birdrock in particular is divided on a census tract between Pacific Beach and La Jolla. From the way you all are making some of your selections, it would be natural to have Birdrock fall into either one district or the other. I would urge you to make that towards La Jolla into District 1. You do not need to add anything to District 1. On top of that, the police beats, school districts follow the lines of natural boundaries, and so they do seem to make a lot of sense. District 1 right now is within our legal number of the five percent and I think it would be great if we just kept it that way. I think we have a little bit of leniency there.


SPEAKER 12: Madelyn Bennett-Gibson

I've lived in San Diego two years. I grew up in Washington D. C. I come from a political family. I majored in political science, and I studied urban politics. The thing that I found that unifies a city best is when neighborhoods are cohesive. I'm the changing face of Bay Park. It was at one time full of people who identified more closely with Clairemont. It's not now. You can't touch property there for under $500,000. It is full of lawyers and doctors and professors and people who identify more strongly with Pacific Beach and Mission Beach and other areas like that. We use private schools because our public schools are not satisfactory to us. I run in the morning. I get up and go from my house in Bay Park all the way down to Birdrock and stop at Turquoise. The fact that we are on the east side of I-5 doesn't stop me; there are sidewalks. Everything that we do in our social life and all the people we know in Bay Park do things in Mission Hills and Hillcrest and Point Loma. We don't do anything in Clairemont. We don't feel we are part of Clairemont. Clairemont's problems seem very, very different than the problems in Bay Park. Our issues are different, and I think that the things that we want in a city are different. We feel much more a part of the beach community than we do part of Clairemont, and I think it would make a lot of sense statistically and demographically to move Bay Park into District 2. We have much more in common with District 2 than we do with the rest of Clairemont.


SPEAKER 13: Otto Emme

I am Chairperson for Pacific Beach Planning Board. I think you got our letter regarding this issue. I agree with what a lot of the previous speakers spoke about. Up to the north the boundary is quite acceptable. I am speaking on my own behalf right now. The northern boundary is appropriate the way it is on the northern part of Pacific Beach. I want to digress from what the previous speakers have spoke about, and that was the idea of just having two coastal representatives. I really believe that we should have a triad here. Have three council members representing the beach. A triad is something that would be more beneficial. If we could go further east, have District 6 take back District 2 here in the beach area. I find our community competing with Downtown interests, a ballpark, an airport, a sewage treatment facility, port property, the navy, Downtown San Diego. It's a competition that Mission Bay Park suffers, our beaches suffer, and yet Mission Bay Park is going to be a focal point in the next ten years with a lot of the redevelopment that's going to go on in Mission Bay Park. If District 2 has to grow, it can grow further into Downtown like we heard previously. It could go further east into Hillcrest and Park West up to the Moreno area. I just cannot stress enough that we need to have more council members that know about the beach area and not compete with issues south of the river. We are dramatically different from Ocean Beach, Point Loma. We are different and I would hope that you could possibly bring in District 6 back into the beach area so that we have three council members representing the beach area. It would be a lot easier to get things done here. Try to think triad, three council members sharing a coastline that most people come to. In San Diego you'll hear three things: the coastline, Sea World, and Zoo. So let's spread the wealth around; let's give it to other council members. It is too much for one council member to handle all the issues south of the river, the Downtown, the port, the airport , the navy, the sewage treatment plants, etc.


Chairman Pesqueira announced that the Commission is very grateful for the feedback provided by the audience. He also noted that Joey Perry would be returning soon from the training session. If anyone was interested in working the program, they can make an appointment.


FINAL COMMENTS: Councilman Byron Wear

Thanks again for coming out to District 2. I will say just a couple of clarifying comments. I would echo the comments made about keeping Pacific Beach under one community. I think the adjustments in the Downtown area or East Village are something that needs to be under serious consideration. Some adjustments in Park West area would be something you might want to look at. I will say that after you have done all of those things and you still need to add population to District 2 if you have to move east of I-5 the thing that separates Bay Park from the rest of Clairemont is Tecolote Canyon that is a natural barrier. If you were to go back and look at the old boundaries of District 6, a substantial portion of Bay Park was in what was then the Pacific Beach area. Obviously, there's some concerns that people have on both sides of that issue so that needs to be deliberated as part of your process. Those our my closing comments, Commissioners, and I do want to thank you again. I think all of us here in the audience ought to give you a round of applause for serving on this Commission.


Chairman Pesqueira stated that they wanted to have this finished in time for those candidates who will be running in the even numbered districts. They need to be able to file their papers and know where their borders are going to be.


SPEAKER 14: Dale Pursel

I only have a question: are you aiming to redistrict based on the 2000 Census, or are you looking a little bit in the future for future adjustments? Because District 5 is going to continue to grow like wildfire and is going to quickly become out of bounds. I would just like to suggest that at least you make it pretty easy to swing forward. Make it easier on yourselves. This time you will have to do quite a bit of adjusting. I would suggest that you look ahead. I commend you for your efforts.


Chairman Pesqueira explained that they cannot count people that are not alive and aren't there. They can only justify now growth, not anticipated growth. Just to say there is a lot of open space up there and someday somebody is going to move into it, he stated this was something they could not do.


SPEAKER 15: Marjorie Larsen

I would like you to take into consideration that sometimes we look to create these council districts and they become very provincial special interests, one income level, or low income level, which is not very good for the city. The council members are debating when they need to look at the needs of the whole city. If you have low-income housing, should it be throughout the whole city? Sometimes it is helpful not to put everybody of a high income level or just one special interest group into a City Councildistrict because that's all they look for to serve their constituents. Sometimes, it's good to--and I'd like to have a very strong vibrant Downtown so maybe part of the council districts could be like a spoke of a wheel where everybody has a piece of it so they make sure that they don't mess it up. This is the first time we've had a commission and you need to think broadly not just the way things have always been, but maybe what are some ways to unite the city so we feel as one city. Look at the interests of all our citizens within the city not just a special council district.


Ms. Foster reiterates that the Commission can take into consideration future growth a little bit but not a huge amount. The process will happen again in ten years for the very reason that in ten years San Diego will look very different. There is a certain margin of error that the courts allow as far as the equal districts. In some cases the court has allowed up to 10 percent deviation, especially when dealing with a good faith attempt. The law requires that the Commission tries to equal the districts based on the current census data as much as possible.



Chairman Ralph Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 7:35 p.m.


Ralph Pesqueira, Chairman
2000 Redistricting Commission

Gilbert Sanchez
(OCA)Legislative Recorder I

Site Map Privacy Notice Disclaimers