Redistricting Commission Meeting
|ITEM-1:||CALL TO ORDER
The Redistricting Commission was called to order by Chairman Pesqueira at 4:23 p.m. with Commissioner Johnson not present.
Ms. Heshimu called the roll:
(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A001-006.)
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-not present
(M) Marichu G. Magaña -present
(M) Shirley ODell-present
(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present
(EO) Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster-present
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A007-008.)
|ITEM-4:||APPROVAL OF COMMISSION MINUTES
The minutes of March 28, April 4, April 18, April 23, and April 25, 2001 were approved by the Commission.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A009-014.)
|ITEM 5:||DIRECTOR'S REPORT
Ms. Heshimu began by introducing Carmen George who is the new Executive Secretary for the Redistricting Commission.
Ms. Heshimu informed the Commission that the Planning Department has not agreed to release Joey Perry to work with the Commission full-time at this point in time. Bruce Cain was introduced. The Commissioners were informed that staff can contract Cain and McDonald to help with the tasks that Ms. Perry's is not available to do.
Ms. Heshimu stated that the Maptitude software demonstration will be held in Council Chambers next week.
Mr. Cain briefed the Commissioners on what the demonstration will include:
The demonstration will start with the status quo lines and take a look at some of the suggested changes made in theory. The Commission should look at the top 10 or 15 suggestions and show what happens to the district population and the racial composition when these suggestions are implemented. It will be educational to understand what the implications of the suggestions that were heard will be. The public and Commission needs to understand the trade- offs that are going to have to be made.
Commissioner Magana suggests starting with the largest district since they will affect the districts more.
Each commissioner will be asked to suggest changes and the Commission will look at how the districts are affected by using the Maptitude program.
Mr. Cain, Ms. Perry and Ms. Heshimu were asked by Chairman Pesqueira to get together and evaluate the need for a revised time-line (as close as possible to the current time-line) in order to accommodate Joey Perry's unavailability.
Ms. Heshimu assured the Commission that the time-line will not change but operations will be adjusted in order to stay within the current time-line.
Chairman Pesqueira requested holding a few longer afternoon meetings after June 15 in order to grasp all the issues surrounding the preliminary maps and be able to adopt the map sson after July 4th. Chairman. Pesqueira recommended 2 or 3 days of about 5 hours starting after June 15, 2001.
Commissioner Ulloa stated he will be able to start coming in at 1:00 pm on June 21, 2001.
Chairman Pesqueira would like to start by 1:00 pm and go until about 5:00 to really tackle some of these redistricting issues.
Ms. Heshimu stated that public hearings for July are not scheduled yet as she is trying to work around the schedules of the Commissioners that will be out of town.
Commissioner Ulloa questioned Ms. Perry's time (full or part-time). His concern is how much work Ms. Perry can do part-time as it relates to the workload. He feels that it will be more efficient to have her do more of the work full-time. He doesn't want the Commission to have to worry about staffing problems.
Ms. Heshimu stated the Manager can make a different decision than the Planning Department did. In the meantime, Ms. Perry, Mr. Can and Ms. Heshimu are attempting to get all the work done as efficiently as possible.
Chairman Pesqueira requested that Ms. Heshimu send an Email to the commissioners if a decision is made regarding the full- or part-time status of Ms. Perry prior to the next Commission meeting.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location: A015-206.)
|ITEM 6:||HUNT v. CROMARTIE
Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster discussed the recent Supreme Court case related to a North Carolina redistricting decision and the issue of whether the redistricting plan was motivated predominantly by race. Hunt v. Cromartie was decided on April 18, 2001.
Yes. I received a request last week to talk about this case. You may know that this is a very recent U.S. Supreme Court case that was decided on the subject of redistricting.(sic) It did receive national news attention back in April when it happened. And I think a lot of us were aware that maybe in a general sense what it was about. But, this request really was timely to talk about this case just as I prepared to brief you. I was reading a case and thinking about it. I think, although it's not really a significant case from a legal standpoint - it doesn't really change the state of the law at all - it raises some issues that I think are really good for us to talk about as far as how we go through our process; what significant things we can say and do while we're going through this process. So, as I read the case I thought, well, it may not be a really legally significant case but there is a lot of new lessons we can learn from it. So, I think this is a really timely time to talk about it. Because we're really just getting into the heart of our task.
You may recall we talked some time ago about the Shaw v. Reno case which was an early 90's redistricting case that came out of North Carolina. And to refresh your memory, if you forget which one that was, we looked at a map and that was the one with the very bizarrely shaped, very long, skinny district that was overturned because the Court found that it had been drawn predominantly for purposes of pulling together a lot of geographically distant African American residents to create an African American district. And the Court found that the fact that that particular redistricting decision was based predominantly on race and basically abandoned other traditional redistricting principles making it unconstitutional redistricting.(sic) Well, believe it or not, here we are in the year 2001. This new case is still fighting about that same district, (sic) from the same census. There has already been a new census since the redistricting happened and we're still fighting about 1990's census redistricting. So, I think this is really sort of a redistricting commissioner's or legislative body's worse nightmare. You know you literally are into the next census and you're still fighting about your districts from 10 years ago.
What happened after Shaw v. Reno is that the Court, the Court actually in Shaw v. Reno, they created that principle, that basic legal principle, that redistricting can't be based predominantly on race alone. But they can get a particular kickback to the one court for more evidentiary finding.(sic) They didn't make a final decision about whether that particular district actually was motivated predominantly by race. They felt they didn't have sufficient facts on the motives so it got sent back down. And it's been going up and down ever since.
Subsequent to that in Shaw v. Hunt 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court filed its case again. And did indeed make that decision in 1996 that the bizarrely shaped district was indeed predominantly motivated by race and therefore was unconstitutional under equal protection. And ordered that that plan be evaluated and the districts be redrawn. Now it's 1997. We're still drawing the districts from 1997. And so in 1997 in an entirely new 12th district; the 12th Congressional District was drawn for North Carolina based on Shaw v. Hunt, the second district court decision that actually looked at more evidence of the motivation to drawing the districts.(sic) And so this new district that was drawn in 1997 is now the subject of this brand new Supreme Court case - Hunt v. Cromartie. And I've given you a little map that does show what the new districts look like that were drawn in 1997. And you'll see it certainly is more compact than the original district, but yet it still has a pretty long skinny shape to it. And unfortunately this new plan did not settle the controversy over the districts. But once again the new plan got challenged.
The lower Federal Court found that this new district was also unconstitutional. And that it was unconstitutional because once again they found that it was primarily based on creating the districts on the basis of race rather than under traditional redistricting principls. So the Hunt v. Cromartie decision would be appealed from that Federal Court decision invalidating those new districts. And in Hunt v. Cromartie the U.S. Supreme Court this time around found they did not think the evidence supported that finding in the lower court and factually the district was, the 1997 district was, motivated predominantly by race. The Supreme Court this time around actually found that there was actually some other, what they considered to be a legitimate consideration despite the findings made by the District Court. And so finally now in 2001 the Supreme Court finally decided that we have a valid 12th District.
So, again a redistricting commission's worst nightmare. This case did not set any new legal principles. So, that's why I say originally this really isn't legally significant. Throughout this whole process the courts have simply been affirming again and again that original principle set up in Shaw v. Reno: You can't have a redistricting decision predominantly based on race. That's not the purpose of redistricting. And if there aren't other justifications for the redistricting then you're going to have a problem under "Equal Protection". But I do think that there's something significant to be talked about when you read through this case. And I've given you the actual whole case for those of you who love reading court cases. But I'll try to summarize what I think is interesting and worth discussing about this case.
It's basically an evidentiary case. The legal principles that have already been set up, the question was:
And then finally I think and most interestingly, there was considerable discussion on the single E-mail that was sent by a staff person who worked for one of the legislators. And I think if this person whose E-mail ended up being the subject of a Court case is kind of the equivalent of our Joey. It was a staff person who's job was to technically take the map and work on the map at the direction of the decision makers. And so this person sent an E-mail and I'll read you the direct language from the E-mail in this case: "I have moved the Greensborough black community into the 12th and now need to take 60,000 out of the 12th. I await your direction". And that one line...two line little E-mail from a staffer ended up being the basis at least in part for this challenge that this redistricting was based purely on racial motives only for the purpose of creating an African American district and for no other purposes.
Obviously the government's side is different. The government presented extra evidence that there were political considerations that this was based on not just racial considerations. And interestingly those political considerations had to deal with party affiliation. And if you read through this case it can be kind of confusing to read about. The Court characterizes it as legitimate..you know political considerations versus the racial considerations because you might think, why would they be basing a decision on party affiliation. I think that illustrates that we are dealing with different rules and different jurisdictions. And in North Carolina it's clear from reading this case that that is considered a legitimate exercise under the rules they're following in North Carolina. What I wanted to caution you about reading this case is that based on the idiosyncracies of our Charter, I think here in San Diego what they were doing was considered legitimate. In North Carolina, which is drawing a district based on party affiliation, would probably run a fowl of our charter language which talks about our making a decision to protect incumbents. So, I just caution you that again that illustrates a difference in the law between North Carolina and San Diego. And I don't want you to read this case and take it for the proposition that here in San Diego, you know, we can create districts based on party affiliation. I don't think that's necessarily true. And so that might cause a little bit of confusion as far as trying to sort out what's really important.
But I think really the basic lesson I think we need to learn from the case is to look at the fact that everything we say and do including E-mails we send, even conversations we have out in the community off the record could actually be evidence in a court case later if it supported an opponents' position that we used an improper motive to make any redistricting decision. Now according to the Charter when we file a plan, we are going to have to put a "Statement of Reason" on the record and explain our reasoning on the record. But if comments have been made in any setting whether it's in our open meetings that we have, comments that we have had off the record or even things like E-mail......
I think the only other thing I wanted to say about this that I think is interesting is once again, like a lot of the other cases that we've talked about. This was a split decision with a very strong dissent; a 5 to 4 decision.
TAPE A2 - Beginning of good recording
A dissent essentially is just an evidentiary disagreement. The defendant really felt that the lower court had properly found based on the evidence that there was a racial motive. And so the disagreement between the majority and the dissenting Justices was just that how they looked at the evidence and what they thought the evidence. But again, the standard really still remains the same: that we do need to follow the traditional redistricting principles and not make decisions solely based on race. But again, I think the real lesson in this new case is how even something down to a single E-mail can create considerable controversies later. So, just sort of a reminder I think for all of us to really think about being careful about what we say and do going through this process. And I think that's especially critical right now because we really are starting to get into the heart of the task. And I think it's a lot less abstract to us than it was when we started. We might be making stronger comments about things that we have as intentions or things that we think maybe should be done or could be done. And so I just caution you based on this case to really think about that. And to try to make sure as we go through this process that we're not setting ourselves up for a challenge later by making strong comments.
So, that's really all I had to say about the case. I think it's...you know again, not legally significant, but certainly interesting to follow up on this more-than-10-year saga now of this one little redistricting decision that's been going back and forth between the Federal Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court and see where it's been. And I think they finally have a 12th District now that's been upheld in there just in time to start all over again in North Carolina. So, well...anyway does anyone have any questions about that?
Doesn't the Court look at party registration as a community of interest?
Well, I think there's different ways that you can look at party registration. I should mention that in this Hunt v. Cromartie case it wasn't so much the registration but the actual voter activity that the court found significant. But, I wanted to raise as an issue that there is an argument in San Diego that party affiliation could either be a community of interest or it could be considered if a redistricting decision was made primarily on party affiliation. It could be argued that that would be to protect an incumbent, even though I understand the point that we don't have partisan elections. I think the reality is that if a particular district was heavily dominated by one party and that happened to be the party of the incumbent that there is an argument that making a decision on that basis could be for the purpose of protecting the incumbent. I just throw that out as an argument that's there, that might make that kind of a consideration less legitimate here in San Diego than it was in North Carolina. In North Carolina it was considered a very legitimate exercise. And that just highlights that there are some differences in the law from state to state, district to district. And we need to just be mindful of that reading the case.
If such factors as race, ethnicity, party registration, more than one is in conjunction, that would stand up because you're taking communities of interest that could be clearly arguably defended; is that correct?
Well, I think you do need to look at the big picture. And I think what the government was trying to argue in support of this plan in North Carolina was that well, yes as it stands the decision we made did create a heavily African American district. But it was not solely based on race. They were looking heavily at party affiliation and there happened to be a correlation. And so I think again the more factors you're looking at and considering the better off you are because the standard is that it can't be...a decision can't be predominantly based on race. The standard isn't that it can't be based on race at all.
Lisa, I was wondering just on page three it talks about the vote here, a 5/4 vote. I was thinking about the other redistricting cases since Shaw v. Reno and it's been pretty consistent as you mentioned, 5/4. And so in this vote 5/4 vote, did O'Connor change? Is this different from the other cases in the way the vote broke down?
You know, I haven't really looked at that. I don't think I have Shaw v. Reno with me. If there's anyone else here that knows you can pipe up.
(Audience member comments)
What's interesting about that is that she is...if you read when she writes the opinion, there tends to be more of an emphasis on compactness. And when some of the others write the opinion there's more discussion of communities of interest. If you look at your maps one of the nice things that you have here as compared to North Carolina is your protected minorities for the most part are in reasonably compact areas. If you look at your Latino concentration, it's primarily in your southern most Council manic district with the portion that was attached being heavily Latino as well. And similarly if you go with the African American community it's not spread out throughout the whole city. So, you don't have to worry as much about that. You're going to be able to work with a compact and community of interest type approach.
And I think what Lisa's saying is that you want to make sure that in your language and the way you discuss it that you've got the luxury of thinking of it in community of interest terms. You don't have to talk in boldly racial terms because you do have communities of interest.
Questions Mr. Cain on why O'Connor decided to split from her colleagues in her past vote?
Lots of speculation on that Leland because if you look at it in terms of compactness while I think Ralph mentioned, or somebody mentioned, it's a little bit cleaner. It's still a district that makes your eyebrows go up a bit. So if she were really being very strict about compactness you would have thought she would have voted the other way. So, a lot of the legal scholars, the law professors are sort of scratching their head and trying to figure out where O'Connor really is on this. Maybe she just got tired at the end of the decade.
Commisssioner Ulloa questions Lisa Foster on the Asian/Pacific Islander population and their voting patterns. He requests more information so they can defend their position on not primarily looking at race which is the only information the Census has so far provided.
You're absolutely right that the data set that we have should have more than race in it. And the data set that we've FTP'd down to Joey, and unfortunately we have communications we're still working out, has on it political data, assessor's file data and it will have the racial data. And in addition, we're going to geo-code in the planning district; the police area districts. We feel those were negotiated to be communities of interest. They seem to correspond. Both Joey and Staa feel they correspond to what people were talking about in the neighborhood meetings as being communities of interest. And so we feel that the building block that you'll start with will be the planning district and move those around. And then as you need to carve to make the populations more precise where if you feel that the Asian community needs to be accommodated in some way it's within the context of thinking of community districts. You started off with a community of interest approach already plus on the screen will be some variables. And in my report I will talk about what variables I would recommend that you put on there in addition to the census variables. But, I think if you're working with those planning districts then I think you've got a good solid basis of the community of interest approach.
And I think the distinction between that and especially this process in North Carolina especially back when it first began is they weren't looking at anything but race. They weren't looking at voting behavior, they weren't doing anything to verify that people who shared that race had any political cohesiveness with each other. The people were very geographically remote and basically still are. Again this is still the most non compact district in North Carolina and was still a subject of considerable controversy; just the shape, even after the change was made. I think we're talking about looking at a great number of things and we're even programming it into our system to look at a great number of things. So, I think certainly we're going to be in better shape as far as what we're looking at and building our record. But I still don't think that changes the fact that if we express strong opinions that we're doing anything based solely on race, that could come back to haunt us later despite what we're actually doing in reality. I hope that was clear.
Commissioner Camarillo clarifies that Latinos are not primarily in South Bay but are in fact spread out in the districts especially in the metro area. Commissioner Camarillo also points out that relying on planning areas as a community of interest doesn't necessarily reflect communities of interest. It represents one specific interest but not necessarily an entire community in that general area.
Again, number one. I would say we were talking about the police planning districts not the City planning; the police beat data. And I think I mis-spoke so I apologize for that. But it's the police beat data which I understood. And Staa can speak to this, was derived from a consultative process with the neighborhoods. So, it's a best effort. Now, as a best effort is it absolutely precise; will everybody in the neighborhoods agree with it? Probably not. But the point is it's a starting point from which you can then chisel away, if you have a different or more precise definition of what you think the community of interest is. And you're going to have to break those up, some of those up anyway in order to make the one-person-one-vote. But you've got to start somewhere. You have to have some building blocks. And what I'm recommending is that you use these as your first building block, both for legal reasons and for feasibility reasons. Because as Joey will point out, if you're going to be looking at thousands of different scenarios, it's a lot easier for Joey to work with these fairly large clumps than to work with census blocks with cracks. And then once you sort of get the basic architecture of what you want then Joey can sit down and carve to get the numbers down to one-person-one-vote. But if she's doing all this sort of precise work then it's going to slow down her ability to look at different options. So, I think there's a technical feasibility to it, there's a legal reasoning behind it, and I think there's a kind of correspondence between this and what people were telling you in the hearings. So, I think that's the way to start.
Commissioner ODell questions how much the Commission has actually heard from the Asian community. She suggests that it is very important that the Commission hear from this community."
Chairman Pesqueira requests that the commissioners be mindful of the differences in the use of the words race and ethnic. Chairman Pesqueira questions Ms. Foster on the decision that speaks directly to race and whether it has the same impact when you're talking about ethnic groups.
Well, I think it potentially could. If you were basing a decision totally on trying to create a district made up of a particular ethnic group, my understanding is that there would be an equal protection problem because you're making a decision solely based on a racial or ethnic classification. And again, I'll invite comment on that if I'm mistaken. But I believe you would run into the same problem because that's considered a suspect thing to do; to make a decision based solely on a race or ethnicity. And I don't think there's really a legal distinction there for our purposes.
Commissioner Camarrillo reminds the commissioners to remember the protected ethnic groups while considering redistricting.
Chairman Pesqueira requests the commissioners to reference protected groups or protected populations more than the races or ethnic groups.
Commissioner Ulloa comments on his concerns that all people should have access to the political process and that the Voting Rights Acts forces us to look at this issue. Commissioner Ulloa doesn't want the Pacific Islander population to be diluted and wants to assure that they will have some impact on local elections and representation.
Well, and you say two things that are going on and I think you really hit the nail on the head because we're dealing with two competing legal principles. In some respects they seem to contradict each other. One is Voting Rights Act that we can't create more retrogression. The other is Equal Protection that we can't make a decision for better or worse based solely on race. So, I think the Shaw v. Reno principle says you can't make a decision to create a district based on race if it flies in face of other redistricting principles. That's not the directive of redistricting, that's not the purpose of it and it's not to basically right wrongs or to enhance voting power. It is about equalizing the districts. The Voting Rights Act says in the process of equalizing the districts we can't create more retrogression. But equal protection says that you can't make decisions based solely on race even if it's a decision that enhances the voting ability of the racial group. And I don't see the Voting Rights Act as calling for this process being about enhancing voting ability. It's about not retrogressing more as far as taking groups and making their situation worst than it is now. So, that's the frustration. There really are competing principles that we're having to grapple with here from different parts of the law that all deal with race.
Chairman Pesqueira suggests that Joey clarify the outer boundaries of the City on the maps.
Chairman Pesqueira stated that he received a call from an organization that was stating their confusion over what they were told the Commissioner's representation was for each district. They were told some things could be different than what was going on. They wanted to know if Commissioners could come out individually and talk to them about redistricting. Chairman Pesqueira told them they could come to the meeting to speak to the Commissioners at the beginning, but this group said they didn't have representation in the meeting they went to. Chairman Pesqueira reminded the Commissioners not to go to meetings aside from the other Commissioners and represent the Commission and not to represent some negotiations that could take place. This will eliminate inconsistent information being given to the public. This group was concerned that they were getting two messages and so they called to find out what the message was.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location: A206-B130.)
|ITEM 7:||PRESENTATION BY CAIN AND MAC DONALD
(Transcript of statements)
Mr. Cain stated he watched the tape from the last meeting. Mr. Cain commented on his observations from the last meeting. Mr. Cain recommends that in order to create the maximum definition of the racial data the Commission should put the Hispanics back in and to count all the multiple designations so that everybody who says that they're Asian, whether they had two or three designations or they called themselves Asian and Hispanic or whatever, is back in. So, then you have minimum and maximum. This way you don't have to stake out a position as to what the proper definition of African American is or what the proper definition of Asian is. You'll have the continuum between the minimum and the maximum.
The political data, if we're going to make sure that the file that you have is not purely racial, there's some political data that I would recommend that you have on there for voting rights purposes to just look at the patterns of polarization. So, for example right out of the state-wide data base we have sent a file to Joey, or we will send a file to Joey, that will have things like the Lieutenant Governor's race from 1998 on it...it ought to have Juan Vargas's race for the Assembly in the year 2000. It ought to have on it Prop 277, 187 and 209 from 1994, 1996 and 1998 respectively. It ought to have Prop 22 on there which was the homosexual marriage. Because you've had some testimony on the importance of the gay and lesbian community. Now I say it ought to be on there for voting rights purposes because then you can look at the polarization so that if you are trying to build coalitional seats or community of interest seats you want to make sure that you're putting communities that have a shot at being compatible with one another together. You don't want to put people who are homophobic together with the gay and lesbian community. You're just creating a decade of trouble for the City.
So and similarly you don't want to dilute Hispanic or Asian areas with people that are not compatible coalition partners. So, it seems to me that data ought to be in there and I think Lisa would agree it is well within what you would do in voting rights litigation in assessing what your liability is, if there is any liability in this county in terms of the Voting Rights Act. But it may well be that there are some other political races at the state level and at the local level which you think reflect important interests and concerns in the city of San Diego.
And I would recommend that over the next few days that if the Commissioners have any ideas of what that would be, maybe it has something to do with planning issues, or something deals with water or something that you think reflects an important non-racial interest that should be built into the data-set so that we have a complete record of the context of the community, then I would recommend that you pass that on. And we certainly have lists of all the propositions. And I will leave them with Joey. We took them off the Net so you can look through and refresh yourself of what the state propositions are. And Joey has lists of the local propositions. And I would just pick a set of them that are non racial that you think reflect important things that San Diego has been divided over or has thought heavily about and maybe let's add those to the data-set so that it reflects a broader perspective of what's going on over the city than just the race. So, I would recommend a balance then between the set of racial variables so that we can take care of our voting rights obligation and non-racial variables that can provide a fuller picture of what's going on. And I would solicit the input of the Commissioners. I don't think we need lots of them. I think we only need a handful of them. And so I would recommend that you would thumb them through and refresh your memory on them and then make some suggestions to us.
And then if you can't do that and you want me to do it I can do it. But I think you guys know San Diego better and I think would have a better idea of what's meaningful for San Diego whereas I tend to come from more of a state-wide perspective.
Commissioner Camarillo asked Mr. Cain how far back we can go for elections to be relevant. His concern is in finding out if Asians ran for offices or if Latinos and Blacks are a community of interest.
Well, Mateo I can see where you're coming from. But I think both technically and also analytically it's a little problematic to go further than 1990. Technically it's difficult because the census units change and the state-wide database for the purposes of the state legislature has not merged in the 1980 data with the 1990 data. So, it would be technologically very expensive and difficult for us to do it and you certainly don't have the money and the time to have us do that. And also, I would say analytically it might be problematic because you've had a lot of growth in those areas and so if we went back and analyzed the Bradly/Dukemajian race from 1984, I think, you might infer that there was polarization. But that area has changed substantially in its demographics. And so the people that are there now might not have voted that way. So, I'm not sure that a lot would be gained. I would stick to the 1990. And indeed I would almost say because, particulary in areas that have changed a lot, you'd probably be more interested in things that have been in the mid-decade on. But, I'd still say anything in the 1990's is fine. And we can handle it.
And I agree with you about the Asians. I think Leland's got to put his mind to this. Whether there's been at any level in San Diego County an Asian candidate running for school districts, special districts of any kind; make a list of those races. I think that would be very valuable to us and we can try to add that in. Because I think I agree with you Mateo, I can't think off the top of my head of any state-wide candidate...oh, no. Wait a minute, of course. We had in the primary Matt Fong, March Fong's son. So, maybe I'll check into that. I don't know whether...I think we have primary data. I'll have to check and see. But that would be a possibility. That was a Senate race. So, we could try Matt Fong's primary race. I'll just have to check and see whether our contractor put the primary data....that would have been 1998. Yes, I think we did primary 1998 so I'll have to check and see. That's right. He made the general too. So, we can do the general, that's right. The only problem with doing the general, in some ways the primary's better with partisan races because the party is controlled for and you can see whether there were people within the party. But sure, yeah. We had the general and the primary for Matt Fong.
Comissioner Saito questions Mr. Cain on polarized voting and how does this stand up in court.
Well, it gets very statistical very quickly for all the reasons you're indicating which is it's aggregate data not survey data, so you don't know for certain that even though say, a heavily Latino district, say it's an 80% Latino census tract, you discover that the majority of voters voted for Cruz Bustamante. Well, it's entirely possible that all the whites in that census tract voted for Cruz Bustamante and only half of the Latinos did and that gave you that same number. That's theoretically possible. Now those of us who know politics say, yeah right. But you can't say that from the aggregate data. So, that then leads to statistical experts. So, if it ever came to testimony you'd then be hiring people who would run statistical models and so it gets very technical very fast. I think from your purpose you're just using this as kind of guidelines to sort of raise some red flags if you see some areas where it's a democratic area and yet the vote for Bustamante is extraordinarily low and it happens to be white, you say uh, oh. Now you can't prove that for certain but...and then you would combine that, it seems to me, with subjective testimony that you know it might not be a good thing to put this neighborhood together with this neighborhood. They're just going to be fighting. This is all affluent white people who are worrying about slow growth. And these are people that are trying to make ends meet on a day-to-day basis and their problems don't coincide. Something like that. But you're right. At some deep level there is a mythological problem there and the courts have had to deal with this. And it's actually a whole line of cases that are incredibly technical and tedious and a lot of it has taken place at the lower court level. But I still think having these political variables there will give you some guideline.
Commissioner Ulloa questions Mr. Cain on party affiliation in voting. What is the motive in looking at the numbers regarding party affiliation in voting?
Well, I took Lisa's comment and maybe she can correct me. But you're unlikely to ever lose a lawsuit at the Federal level because you took political considerations into mind. So, I don't think you worry about a lawsuit on that. I think what Lisa's saying is, you guys are supposed to be a good government group and so politics is not your primary consideration. But that doesn't mean that...it seems to me that we have to have registration in there because I think one of the things you have to look at again for voting rights is to look at the Hispanic population above the age of 18, to look at Hispanic registration in order again to assess voting rights liability.
So, we're going to be giving you registration data in which we've run ethnic surname dictionary just as the state will be doing that. Because I think that's again part of the assessment process. Whether when you give me your selection of political data, I would recommend taking...relying a little more on referendum than individual races. I think probably the stupidest thing would be to take all the councilmanic races and put them in there. Because then I think Lisa's point would be well taken. Well, hey why are you looking at the councilmanic races if you're not interested in how it affects the council member? So, if you're trying to be a good government person then I wouldn't put the councilmanic races in there unless they relate to one of these larger issues. I think better would be some of the referendum or initiatives that deal with some issue that you think are important around which there may be communities of interest. Those would be the ideal referendum. And then most of the partisan races I just mentioned because they have a racial component which I think is valuable to the assessment of the voting rights.
If I can just clarify the issue of looking at the political party affiliation. I'm not troubled at the idea of considering that as one of a host of factors. I think the Hunt case presented a fairly extreme example though where to defend themselves against the charge that they were looking only at race, the state came back and said, no! We were trying to create a democratic district is what we were really trying to do. It just looks like we were creating a racial district. And they pretty much came out and admitted that at least in their defense it was their primary consideration with party affiliation. So, I think my comment is just that I don't think we'd want to take an extreme position on party affiliation here because of our charter language.
Again, I will point out you will also have assessors' data which is socio-economic data which again is good one to rely on. Because really what you're talking about is disadvantaged communities that just don't have the resources in a political setting that the wealthier areas have. And so I think the socio-economic data, the state has added this on the advise of their attorney's; that's where the data is. That's why we created it in the first place. And so, you'll be following the same practice that the state is using
In addition, we going to have basically at our disposal, and we can give these files to Joey on a CD ROM, basically every political race from 1990 to the year 2000. So there's just hundreds and hundreds of variables. What I would recommend is that at the end, when you finally draw your districts and people want information about it you can take hundreds of these variables. But I think for the purposes of what you guys are trying to do and Joey's trying to do, you want to work with a manageable set of variables. You just can possibly work with 30 different variables simultaneously. And plus you're going to have many different options. You may in the end present the public with 3 options. But to get to those 3 options you're going to have 25 variations. Because each one of you is going to have an idea; well try this, try that. It's going to get really complex. I think you want to get down to a core set of variables which we'll help define for you. But remember that you can always then, if you have a particular question, if something arises...then you can always go to the higher level. We can download some more data and you can take a look at it...You've only got a month and you've got to get going on drawing lines.
I think the line drawing process should be Joey's primary responsibility; getting started on that and mastering Maptitude, generating the different options: step number one, taking the things you've heard from the public and really trying to assess what those mean so that you can start with that and what it does to the existing districts. And as much as possible the sort of other stuff, we'll take off of her shoulders if we have to so that she's free to really focus on the line drawing. Because that's where your heads should be and her head should be, because you don't have a lot of time...
Mr. Cain completes his presentation at 5:45 p.m. with one last recommendation that copies of the plans be sent up to his firm in case of a black out or energy crisis and for backup purposes incase there is an error in the program during the line-drawing process and in case Joey gets sick or is out and the Commission needs to have something for a hearing (a backup capacity).
Commissioner Ulloa asks if they will have a map next week to look at as a base map for modifications.
Chairman Pesqueira said this first map will be to take into consideration the comments from the districts to see if the commission can come up with a one-person-one-vote principle out of that. This will not; however, be called the base map. The base map is going to be the map that we, all the Commissioners, look at and agree to file with the City Clerk's Office.
Commissioner ODell would like to hear from other protected groups or special communities of interest and would like to hear from the Commissioners on who they think these people would be.
Chairman Pesqueira stated that he has invited a particular group to come and speak before the Commission but is not clear as to whether or not they will be able to.
Ms. Heshimu is working on all the comments from the public and is considering ways to bring those special-group messages to the Commissioners. Ms. Heshimu state she will get this information to the Commission as soon as possible.
Commissioner. Saito questioned Mr. Cain on whether we will start with a blank slate for redistricting or with the existing districts and add changes proposed by the citizen groups.
Mr. Cain stated that he would lean towards starting with the existing districts and then adding on changes recommended to the Commission by the citizen groups. Mr. Cain would not rule out starting from scratch (north to south) and then build eight compact districts with minimum deviations as an option. Mr. Cain, in his 20 years of working on redistricting, has a strong prejudice on things being built on the status quo (existing districts) because people have already built networks and coalitions within those existing districts. Mr. Cain feels that disrupting all that and throwing it all out is a waste. Mr. Cain feels a good redistricting plan builds on the good that was there and tries to improve rather than reinvents the wheel.
Mr. Cain would like to receive more of the hearings. He only received the hearing from
District 3. Receiving these hearings are useful for Mr. Cain in giving advise to the Commission.
Commissioner Camarillo comments on the usefulness of older voting patterns and input received from the hearings. He states that the input or testimony from the hearings isn't 100% accurate. We should consider testimony or input from residences from the actual districts over much of the data input from residences outside the referenced district.
Chairman Pesqueira suggested meetings with the help of Ms. Heshimu in order to adopt the preliminary plan by July 27, 2001. Chairman Pesqueira stated he can meet on July 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Depending on what the City Manager says regarding Ms. Perry's time, if she can be used 100% at least as the Commission moves into the last 2 weeks in June, then by July 27th Chairman. Pesqueira would like to try to get a good shot at the preliminary plan. During the week of June 11th or June 18th Mr. Pesqueira would like to have multiple meetings.
Ms. Heshimu says that Ms Perry is actually needed more on the front end. She needs some concentrated time to learn the software program and to load the data into it. Ms. Heshimu suggested that the Commission plan for the regular meetings during the four weeks in June and to keep what Chairman Pesqueira said about extra meetings in mind. If it looks like progress isn't coming along quickly enough then Ms. Heshimu will ask for longer and special meetings on the 20th and the 27th. If the Commission doesn't adopt a preliminary plan on the 27th then Ms. Heshimu will be asking for a special meeting the week of July 4, probably that Thursday or Friday. Ms. Heshimu stated she is currently planning to hold the eight public hearings during the two weeks of July 9 and July 16th, 2001. This will accommodate the Commissioners who will be out of town.
Commissioner Ulloa requests that information be sent sooner to Commissioners with a suggestion of what to consider before the next meeting in order that the Commissioners may be more efficient and expeditious during the meeting.
Chairman Pesqueira suggested Commissioner Ulloa coming in to meet with staff to get more personal knowledge of issues one-on-one.
Commissioner Ulloa is concerned about having part-time staff yet being required to perform full-time duties.
Commissioner Magana recommends that all the E-mail input be kept as permanent record.
Ms. Heshimu assured her that all E-mails and redistricting information is being kept in files.
Ms. Perry stated the plan for the software availability.
Ms. Foster briefed the commission on record retention laws and public records act requests.
Ms. Perry briefed the Commissioners on the handouts provided by her today.
Chairman Pesqueira suggested that the map size be adjusted for the Commissioners. Chairman Pesqueira would like to have the same scale map based on the entire City. Joey will have this to them by the next meeting.
Chairman Camarillo requested that the population by voting age be included on the ma
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location: B131-C286.)
Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 6:18 p.m.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: C287-289.)
Ralph Pesqueira, Chairman
2000 Redistricting Commission
Legislative Recorder II
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