Minutes
FOR THE REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
OF THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO
FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2001
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
NORMAL HEIGHTS COMMUNITY CENTER
4649 HAWLEY BOULEVARD
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

CHRONOLOGY OF THE MEETING:

Chairman Pesqueira called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. Each Commissioner gave a short personal introduction. Chairman Pesqueira introduced the staff. Chairman Pesqueira announced that the public hearing must be adjourned by 8:00 p.m. Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 7:55 p.m.

ITEM-1: CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Pesqueira called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m.

ITEM-2: ROLL CALL

Operations Director Staajabu Heshimu called the roll:

(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present
(VC) Vice Chairman Leland T. Saito-present
(M) Mateo R. Camarillo-present
(M) Charles W. Johnson-present
(M) Marichu G. Magaña-present
(M) Shirley ODell-present
(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A040-063.)

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

ALSO PRESENT:

Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster
Staajabu Heshimu, Operations Director
Joey Perry, Senior Planner

ITEM-3: PUBLIC HEARING

Welcome and Introductions by Chairman Ralph Pesqueira:

Chairman Pesqueira welcomed and introduced Council Member Toni Atkins, Jeffrey Gattas from District 3, Chief of Staff from District 7 Aimee Faucett, and Robert Young from the Mayor's office. Chairman Pesqueira gave an overview regarding the procedure for the public hearing.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A003-038; A065-098

Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster:
Ms. Foster explained why there is a Redistricting Commission.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A099-113.)

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 an overview of the redistricting process.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A119-193.)

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 A194-268.)

PUBLIC COMMENTS

SPEAKER 1: Council Member Toni Atkins

I want to thank the Commissioners for ensuring that hearings take place in all the Districts. I would like to welcome you to Council District 3. I want to commend you for working hard at the process in as non-political a fashion as possible. Clearly you have a difficult task before you and I wish you all success. I stand before you as an elected official so my one overriding comment, given what I've heard already, is that District 3 should be left in tact. Given the population and the census numbers, there is no compelling reason to make major changes to this district and disrupt its communities. I have two main issues that I want to address: 1) is keeping the communities in tact, and 2) is defining communities of interest. I also stand here tonight before you as a citizen who has lived in City Heights, North Park, and Normal Heights. Additionally, I have worked in this district for the last eight years and have listened to the citizens discuss in length the representation they receive from the city, what they like about it, and what they don't like. I hope you will listen to them and hear their wishes which is what you have been charged to do; and I know that all of you take that responsibility very seriously. Council District 3 as it currently is configured is one of the most diverse and exciting districts in the entire city. I am somewhat biased. We are part of the larger fabric of the city and we are very proud of it. I suggest that we serve as a model as to what other Districts could look like. There are pockets of great affluence and there are pockets of poverty. The District is the most ethnically diverse of the entire county, representing almost every ethnic group, language, and dialect spoken in San Diego. We have excellent private schools and we have not enough public schools. We have housing that is among the most expensive in the City and housing that is among the most affordable. We have residents who have lived here their entire lives, young families just starting out, and the largest concentrations of new Americans in the county from such fascinating and far-away places as Somalia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Iraq. We are blessed with a charm of thousands of California craftsmen style single-family homes, yet burdened with hundreds of Huffman-styled multifamily complexes which have devastated our community. District 3 is truly a melting pot and we are proud of our diversity. These communities share an historic and cultural link yet maintain a unique neighborhood character. They also share many of the challenges that older urban communities feel, such as burden infrastructure, density, a lack of open space. It is important that they have a strong unified voice at the City to advocate for these common factors. This can be achieved by keeping District 3 as it currently exists. What I have heard over the last ten years from citizens in all of the communities in which I have worked and lived is that they cherish their own community and neighborhood boundaries and want to keep them in tact. They want their boundaries to be recognized because it shapes who we are. When the Police Department set service areas several years back, community hearings were conducted and well attended, in an effort to redrawn boundary lines based on the communities' expressions, where they believe their borders began and ended. These lines should be respected if it is truly to be a process that keeps the community's best interest at heart. If you were inclined to move boundary lines, I would urge that you do so in a manner which serves to unite communities that were divided by previous redistricting. In District 3, that could include University Heights, Golden Hills, Talmadge, City Heights, and even a part of Hillcrest north of University Avenue. I hope you will strive to do this throughout the city, but also in District 3. As I stated earlier, we are an urban district lacking green and open space. It is important to recognize the distinctive tie the neighborhoods have to Balboa Park. District 3's communities practically surround Balboa Park. Even though it is a crown jewel to the city, it is our neighborhood park. This is the place where District 3's residents take their families for picnics, to play volleyball, to swim, to play tennis, or golf. It is important that Balboa Park not be removed from our neighborhood. I urge you not to take Balboa Park away from District 3. It is possibly the single most distinctive feature in our district. As it relates to communities of interest, I have heard discussion from the gay lesbian bi-sexual trans-gender community that there has been discussion that the term communities of interest does not include them. This troubles me deeply, especially if we're talking about police beats and planning communities being communities of interest, which I think they are. I would ask you to please listen to the citizens that the gay lesbian bi-sexual trans-gender community deserves to be recognized and included as a community of interest for the purpose of redistricting. The City is very much in acknowledgment of this community. Our norms, our values, and commitment to diversity point this out. The city's employees' associations include it. There is a Gay and Lesbian Association along with all the others. The human dignity ordinance includes it. You are charged with redrawing the lines for the City of San Diego, I urge you to honor and respect the city's treatment of the gay lesbian bi-sexual trans-gender community by giving this community the same fair treatment during this redistricting process. The residents of the Third District elected two openly gay persons to represent them at City Hall. When I was running, a survey was taken where over 20% of the residents of the Third District self-identified themselves as gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual. This is a larger percentage than the African American population in District 3, which is at 10%. It is clear that the gay lesbian bi-sexual trans-gender community has a strong presence in District 3 and should be maintained, which leads me to the topic of Hillcrest. The community of Hillcrest is the heart of the gay lesbian bi-sexual trans-gender community. It is concentrated with gay-friendly businesses including a wide variety of restaurants, clubs, shops, and stores that make this such a vibrant neighborhood. It is also no coincidence that it's the home to the Lesbian and Gay Men's Community Center for more than a decade. It is a place where people of all sexual orientations and cultural backgrounds feel comfortable living, working, shopping, and socializing. This neighborhood, so vital to our community, the gay lesbian community, must not be separated from the rest of the district which is home to thousands of gay and lesbians. Since I believe that the gay lesbian bi-sexual trans-gender community meets the criteria of a community of interest it merits the same consideration as any ethnic population does. As with such a strong presence in Hillcrest, I urge you not to move Hillcrest out of District 3. What I would like to leave you with is the understanding that District 3, more than any other district in the city, is a community of villages. The people who live here take extra pride in their neighborhood identity and it is no coincidence that the majority of those readily recognizable, neon neighborhood identification signs located in District 3, we've all marveled at the beauty of these signs. These signs help express the unity felt by the residents of District 3. I urge you to respect the sense of pride and not split apart the community that is District 3.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A276-388.)

SPEAKER 2: Heather Flowe

Thank you for holding this meeting tonight. I am a graduate student at UC San Diego and I could live in more affordable student housing in La Jolla, but I choose to live here because my community is here. I am a lesbian and I am surrounded by gay-owned and operated business. There is the Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Trans-gender Center that is right down the street from me. I can't believe there is only 20% of us in this district because it seems like so many more. I wanted to come here and ask that you keep my community in tact when you consider whether or not to change District 3 as it is, and I hope you leave it in tact. Thank you very much.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A448-465.)

SPEAKER 3: Dolores Lesnick:

I live in District 1, but my heart is in Hillcrest because I have a lesbian daughter and when you have a gay child, all gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and trans-gendered individuals are your children. I actually have two daughters one lives in - the non-gay daughter lives in Connecticut and my gay daughter lives here. I am the president of PFLAG, that's Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual, and Trans-gendered Individuals. We are the largest non-gay, gay activist organization and we love our GLBT children the way they are, valuable human beings. We want them to continue to have a voice in the government of the city. I am also a member of Mayor Murphy's GLBT Advisory Board. We did met on April 7 and I was encouraged with the Mayor's interest and concern about our issues. Please don't pull apart the Third District in which for ten years progress has been made for our GLBT community's interest. Please continue to allow my children's GLBT's voices to be heard. I have a newsletter I would like to hand out.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A040-519.)

SPEAKER 4: Kevin Davis:

I second everything that Council Member Atkins said. My priority is to keep the GLBT community together so we can be represented. My one request is one I made on Monday and I would like to repeat that request. As your map shows better than my own, Hillcrest is split and I used to live in the part of Hillcrest that is in Council District 2. If you know Hillcrest, you know that University Avenue is the main street of Hillcrest. That's an arbitrary boundary to be splitting the western edge of the council district. I would like the Census Tract 4, the part of Hillcrest that is in Council District 2, be added to Council District 3, if possible.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A525-553.)

SPEAKER 5: Joyce Marieb

I am the executive director of the Greater San Diego Business Association. Our office is on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest. Already many people have spoken eloquently to the fact that we are a community of interest. The Greater San Diego Business Association is made up of over 700 business, the majority of which are located in Uptown. Tonight we're having a mixer out in North Park, ten of our businesses are there, socializing with many others. I brought our directory which has over 500 of our members advertized. I will get you our zip code so you can see how man gays and lesbians in supportive businesses identify with our community, and that we are a real entity like many other different communities and we are valuable and we make a contribution to District 3. These people - it would be a disservice to separate Hillcrest from the rest of District 3 in any way, and maybe that was one of the rumors you were referring to and may that never happen. Council Member Atkins has referred to the fact that the City of San Diego recognizes us as a people, as a community. Last year the United States Small Business Administration entered into a partnership with the Greater San Diego Business Association, first association of its kind, the chamber of gays and lesbians in support of business, in this country to be partnered with a United States Organization. In other words, they recognize us as a minority, and that is quite a step because it is very clear and long overdue certainly that African Americans and Asians, and Hispanics and on and on have been recognized as viable communities and communities deserving respect and support and now as gay and lesbian trans-gender bi-sexual, our community is being recognized finally as a community of people. I would hope we wouldn't be disenfranchised because we would be. If we are not recognized as a community, then this whole set up doesn't work because we have districts so that people have power, communities have power. If you take that from us, we are a community at large and we loose our power. You can see the great people we put in office, really wonderful people. They represent all the people and that is what is so beautiful about our community. On behalf of the 700 members of the Greater San Diego Business Association and all our friends and customers I would like to ask you not to divide us and recognize us as real viable and important to the community.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A601-B057.)

SPEAKER 6: Mark Conlan

I have been a resident of San Diego since 1980 and a resident of District 3 since 1983 and an openly gay man since 1983. I've also been active as a community journalist since 1983 and I can certainly testify to the difficulties I had as a journalist attempting, during a short-lived experiment with a community paper that cover the Downtown and Hillcrest areas, how hard it was to cover Hillcrest without also bringing in North Park and Normal Heights and most of the areas in the current District 3. On that basis, irrespective of questions of sexual orientation and whether the gay lesbian bi-sexual trans-gender community is or is not a community of interest, it is very clear that this is a meta-neighborhood, a group of communities that have their individual sparks, but are also very strongly tied together, are very similar, and have far more in common than we would with the beach communities or the communities to the north or south or other places where you had suggested some of the current District 3 might be reassigned on the overall map making. On that basis, aside from the questions of the gay lesbian bi-sexual trans-gender community as a community of interest, which some of the other speakers have eloquently described for you tonight, I would urge you to maintain the current configuration of District 3 as much as possible. The separation of Hillcrest from the rest of the current District 3 was a long standing injustice. It was rectified in the early 1990's and I feel very strongly that it should not be reintroduced by your commission in this process.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B061-085.)

SPEAKER 7: Jess Durfee

Let me open by thanking each of the Commissioners for accepting the daunting task of serving on this commission and I applaud your willingness to serve our city and its citizens in what will likely at times seem like a thankless responsibility. I come before you today representing the roughly 250 members of the San Diego Democratic Club which has a 26 year history of fighting for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans-gender rights in the city. As you endeavor to revise the City Council District lines in the city, I would ask that you consider the following: 1) You have received some maps from others and other statistical information identifying where the gay, lesbian community is most concentrated. Unfortunately we as a community are at a statistical disadvantage since we are not identified through the census data collection process. Therefore, I ask that you carefully and fairly evaluate the data that representatives of the gay and lesbian community have provided you. If you have suggestions as to other sources of data that would assist you in this process we gladly offer our assistance. We would also like to stress that we fully support maximizing opportunities for ethic and racial representation on the City Council. Nothing in our proposal should be interpreted to suggest otherwise. We believe that once the racial and ethnic community's needs have been addressed, the commission can, without great difficulty, then unit communities of interest, such as the gay and lesbian community as you revise the district lines. I would like to remind the commission that Mayor Murphy recently created four advisory committees to address the needs of the city's diverse communities, one for Latinos, one for African Americans, one for Asian and Pacific Islanders, and yes, one for the gay and lesbian bi-sexual trans-gender community. We applaud the Mayor for his outreach to our community and others and encourage you also to recognize us with equal regard. On a personal note, I'm a resident of University Heights, and just as Hillcrest is divided between Districts 3 and 2, so is University Heights. The Chair earlier referred to the change that Hillcrest has experience in the past, so has University Heights, much credited to the gay and lesbian community. Unfortunately just as Hillcrest's main business district is divided, University Heights' main business runs along Park Boulevard, the very far north end of Park Boulevard. As a volunteer for University Heights, I deliver the neighborhood newsletter and that business district is my route. As I'm doing the east side of Park Boulevard, I'm in the Third District as I do the west side, I'm in the Second District. That to me, does not make sense. I request that you reunite University Heights. Thank you for you efforts and consideration of our concerns.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B086-123.)

SPEAKER 8: Ellis Rose

I reside in Council District 3 in the Normal Heights neighborhood. I have two points I wish to make in my comments this evening. My first point is to request that you respectfully consider the common needs of the many neighborhoods of the current Third District and make every effort possible to keep them together as you draw new boundaries for the new districts. Your own estimates of the current districts populations indicate that the Third District currently contains a reasonable and practicable number of residences for the purposes of equal distribution among eight districts. Much of the current district is contained within some natural boundaries already, especially with the Interstate 8 freeway as the northern boundary. Additionally, many of the freeways and major streets that pass through the districts create natural links between these same neighborhoods. As an example Adams Avenue, a major street in the northern part of the district, extends from University Heights through North Park, Normal Heights and into Kensington. This link creates mutual interests, concerns, and issues. Also many of these neighborhoods have historical links. The same above neighborhoods, along with Talmadge, have developed historically along and beyond Adams Avenue. Perhaps the most important link among all the neighborhoods of the Third District is the historic disregard that the city has had for their infrastructure needs prior to the creation of the current district. Regardless of their socioeconomic statuses, all of the neighborhoods of the Third District struggle with issues of streets, utilities, crime and safety, schools, affordable housing, and recreation areas. Since the creation of the current district, revitalization of these historically older neighborhoods of San Diego has received increased attention. Please recognize these neighborhoods as a community of interest based upon history and location and allow them to continue to work together as much as possible with a new district for the next ten years. My second point is that I encourage you to recognize the work of the LGBT voting rights coalition to recognize the LGBT community as a community of interest and to consider the coalition's recommendations regarding the inclusion of identified census tracts from the recommendations within the newly drawn district that will take the place of the Third District. This will enable the LGBT community to meet their needs while also being integrated within the larger general community of the district. In no way should this request be construed as suggesting that this community of interest take precedence over federally protected classes. For that reason, we strongly recommend that the needs of the current Fourth and Eighth Districts be accommodated first, but please do not disregard the very real needs of the LGBT community. I arrived late and please excuse me, but I respectfully suggest that each Commissioner identify what Council Districts they reside in so we have a chance to know you better as citizens of San Diego. In closing, I want to thank you and the commission for allowing me to present my views and I hope that you will take them to heart and respectfully include them in your decision-making process.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B130-167.)

SPEAKER 9: Charles Kaminski

Thank you for holding your hearing in the heart of District 3. I don't represent any specific organization, I speak as a citizen of District 3. I'm a member of the Kensington Planning Group, but I am not here speaking for them. I give that information to let you know that I'm very interested in my community of Talmadge and very interested in the piece that is listed on this map as No. 7, which is in District 7. The citizens of Talmadge have been working over the last two years to bring their community together and I believe some other speakers will address the formation of the Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District that occurred about a year ago, I won't speak to that. I do encourage that the eastern boundary, which is now in District 7 be brought into District 3. I like to think of District 3 as the City of San Diego's first neighborhoods. The Mayor has an approach this year that he is calling the City of Villages and the City of Neighborhoods. Most of the neighborhoods in San Diego which were first established, Hillcrest, North Park, Golden Hills, Normal Heights, Talmadge are of the oldest neighborhoods. Talmadge was established in 1926 and Hillcrest around the same time. We are the city's first neighborhoods. I think it is important that those neighborhoods be kept together. From my own recommendation, I support the previous comments about University Heights being brought - unfortunately I'm going to tell you what to add not necessarily what to take out, which is why you are sitting there as the judges of Solomon to make us happy. University Heights needs to be brought back in; Hillcrest needs to be brought back in, and I'm very much in favor of City Heights East, the part that is in 7, be brought back into the district. I really enjoy living where I do. I can walk down to El Cajon Boulevard. I can go to a Somali restaurant. I can purchase Middle Eastern lamb at the Middle Eastern grocery. I can go into the supermarket at the corner and buy fresh green vegetables from the Vietnamese grocer. It is the closest I have to living in a New York City-type of an environment where I lived up until 1975. It is truly the diverse city that Council Member Atkins talked about. With that, I would like to conclude and say I do encourage you to absorb the piece of Talmadge into Three, the City Heights of Seven into Three, Hillcrest Two and University Heights into it. I know there are people in the audience that will disagree with me, but if I had to pull sections out, I'd probably pull out Cortez and Park West. I would agree with Council Member Atkins about keeping Balboa Park and Park West is a questionable one, but definitely Cortez.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B176-211.)

SPEAKER 10: Adrian Kwiatkowski

I'm not a resident of District 3, but one of the jobs I hold, my free job actually, I'm president of the Rancho Penasquitos Town Council. I'm also a co-president of the San Diego Community Leaders Council which is all the town and community councils in the City. I'm not here speaking on behalf of the Community Leaders Council, but I'm here in behalf of the Rancho Penasquitos Town Council and just something I learned in my job going as community leader council president is that when communities speak up and they want to protect themselves and when they come out in force and talk about their community it's really a great thing. I think this is something I hope you see when you go out throughout the whole city communities coming out and having a nice turn out this is really important. Now, kind of going to why I'm here and what I would like to express to you, as you know from your estimates of where the populations and adjustments in the council districts need to change the greatest change is going to happen in the northern part of the City, primarily Council District 1 and Council District 5, actually and Council District 2. Council District 5 being the most extreme needs to lose 35,000 residents. As you see in the boundaries before, Council District 5 goes all the way from Rancho Bernardo down to Linda Vista and Council District 1 is the entire coastal area north of La Jolla, including La Jolla going north and cuts over to Rancho Penasquitos and includes our community. Something we've also felt is that we didn't belong with the coast. We should have been with our natural family on the I-15 corridor. We're the only community on the I-15 corridor that is not part of the same Council District and that's something we would like to see changed. I know that you have a tough job ahead of you and I know a lot of communities say don't take us out of where we are currently, what we're tell you is that we like the Councilman that was just elected but you know, the reality is that we should be with our family on the I-15 corridor. Another thing that is important is don't split communities apart. Something that I didn't like to see is what happened to Pacific Beach or what's happening at City Heights where it was split up three different ways or Hillcrest or University Heights. You have the unfortunate job of trying to do a non-political job in a political environment. That's a real difficult task. I ask you not to split up communities. I ask you on behalf of my own community to take into consideration our request to be included with our family along the I-15 corridor. I think it is also important to respect the elections that just happened and try to keep the electoral vote that just occurred in tact with the people who were elected so you don't tear apart their electoral base that they just used to get into office.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B220-316.)

SPEAKER 11: Charles McKain

As I hope you all recall after last meeting two days ago on April 23rd we presented a map identifying the census tracts that contain substantial gay and lesbian populations that we believe should be placed together in one district and most of those census tracts are in the current District 3 and a few are in the current District 2. Since our presentation is now on record, I won't repeat it in detail. Instead I would like to make a few additional comments. First we'd like to add one more census tract to the one we've identified and that would be one already in the Third District No. 53 which is down in the southwest corner of Balboa Park, it's Cortez Hill area. With respect to your request for census tracts we could delete from the Third District, I'm just talking for my self in terms of the coalition for just looking at the gay and lesbian issues but it would be these on Mr. Davis's map that would be, well the ones in white and not in pink on the eastern edge there of the district. That would be to our liking. I'd also like to respond to the questions asked by Mr. Camarillo on April 23rd, although the Voting Rights Act will likely be a significant factor with respect to the redistricting goals of the African American Community in District 4 and Latinos in District 8 and perhaps by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders elsewhere all of whose goals we support our request for inclusion in one district of census tracts with a high concentration of gays and lesbians is not based in any way on the Voting Rights Act. Instead, our proposal is based on the criteria set forth in the City Charter and part of the Commission's mandate involving the preservation of identifiable communities of interest and that specifically No. 2 that says to identify and preserve as far as practicable communities of interest in order to retain the common activities social, and life style patterns typical and desired by the members of the area. And our proposal is also consistent with number three of your requirements to maintain the geographically compact nature of the district and we do that also respect natural boundaries and as we mentioned before it would unite four community planning areas in this area. I would also like to Mr. Camarillo's questions about precise numbers of gays and lesbians residing in these census tracts we've identified. We've heard some more tonight including the survey as cited by Council Member Atkins in addition to the data bases we talked about before, but I think also evidence of the existence of a large gay and lesbian community in these census tracts is shown by the fact that in the last three elections the voters in District 3 have elected two openly lesbian candidates. Those election results reflect a large number of gay and lesbian voters and are identified census tracts, but perhaps more significantly those results also reflect the existence of a number of a non-gay voters who recognize the contributions of their gay and lesbian neighbors to welcome their participation in neighborhood community and civic affairs and are willing to support many of the goals of the gay and lesbian communities. Finally, although I dearly love and strongly support Council Member Atkins who is a wonderful Council Member and human being, our proposal transcends the career of any specific individual. Instead, consistent with your Rule No. 4, our proposal does not seek to advantage or protect any particular incumbent but instead we seek to maintain the cohesiveness of an evolving gay and lesbian community and to create a reasonable opportunity for gays and lesbian people to have a place at the table when decisions are made affecting the city.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B318-388.)

SPEAKER 12: Alex Sachs

I want to commend this Commission for taking on this difficult task. It's a thankless duty and you're to be commended for taking it on. I'm a member of the University Heights Association. I also serve as the vice chair of the Up Town Community Planners Organization. I've been active in the Mid-City Transit Interchange Project which is in the eastern part of District 3 working on improvements at the I-15 and El Cajon Blvd corridor. I'm also a member of the gay and lesbian community and very proud to be represented by our Third District Council Member Toni Atkins. I want to thank you Mr. Chairman for your recognition of our community as a community of interest in this process I think that's very important and I want to thank you for that. I do favor retaining District 3 in the same configuration as much as possible. District 3 should be comprised of at least the communities of Hillcrest, North Park, University Heights, Normal heights, Kensington, and Talmadge. If at all possible I would urge the committee to reunify the currently split communities of Hillcrest and University Heights. As a planning committee member , and let me say I am not speaking as a planning committee member, I'll just speak from my experience, I will tell you that it is important that Hillcrest and North Park are linked in one Council District. We share many of the same development pressures. Our communities have been targeted, the Up Town Community and the North Park Community have been targeted by the City for the Planned district Ordinance Update. Retaining our Council District representation is critical to the success of these linked efforts to modify our Mid-City land-use law to meet the needs of a densifying community under the City's strategic framework. Up Town and North Park Community meet the criteria of the communities of interest. I would make the case even large, all the Mid-City communities combined make up a community of interest. When I moved here to San Diego two and a half years ago I knew what community I wanted to live in. Not just University heights but in the Mid-City Communities currently comprised of District 3. I think that Council Member Atkins said it very well when she referred to these neighborhoods as communities of villages. I have known these communities for many years. When I was a federal official in Washington D.C., I first heard the community revitalization efforts that were being undertaken by Third District Council Member Kris Kehoe from the Urban Village in City Heights to the successful construction of a more community friendly I-15 corridor and to the nationally known reputation of North Park's main street project to the revitalization of University Heights, Hillcrest, and El Cajon Boulevard, and the construction of the Vermont Street foot bridge. That foot bridge links my community in University Heights which I believe is a part of census tract 6 with the Uptown and Hillcrest Districts. Again, I say these are communities of interests. And finally as a member of the gay community this district has a representation that is representative of our community of interest the gay and lesbian population is an important significant part of the district and must be maintained as part of one district. I know you are asking us to help you make difficult decisions. If you are looking for advice and I don't really want to do this because it is not my Council District, but first of all I do not believe that District 3 should go north of interstate 8. We basically are the canyon rim or just on the south side of Mission Valley now and I don't believe District 3 should go any further north. I recognize that District 2 needs to be expanded. My suggestions without having looked at all the population figures would be for District 2 to first of all unify Pacific Beach which is a divided community. Other places you might be able to go to get additional population would be to take in part of Mission Valley into District 2. I do not believe that District 2 should encroach any further on District 3. Actually as I said earlier, I'd like to see University Heights and Hillcrest unified in District 3. The final thing I wanted to mention that on behalf of a colleague who is active in both University Heights and Park West, I would make a plea that Park West remain a part of District 3. As Council Member Atkins said District 3 surrounds Balboa Park. It's a very important resource and the Park West Community is very important to us. In addition, it is the home to a large gay and lesbian community as well.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B392-471.)

SPEAKER 13: Fred Lindahl

I would like to remind you and the general public that I am an alternate to the commission. I also serve as board member to the Kensington Talmadge I serve as the co-chair for the Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District. I sit as a board member for the city heights redevelopment project area and I am the co-author of the Talmadge Historic corridor. I applaud you for this task that you have before you for it is a difficult one. My request this evening as a resident of District 3 is that you take into consideration the census tracts, police service areas school attendance lines business improvement associations assessment districts, planning groups and neighborhood historic boundaries such as Hillcrest, University Heights, North Park, Normal heights, Kensington and Talmadge. If you look at the map, your handout, you can see that my neighborhood of Talmadge which is located at the top right hand side of the map has a fourth of it's vote voice cut. This current configuration causes confusion regarding neighborhood and district issues and impedes the sense of continuity and community. I also request that when you are drawing district lines and you are considering the use of District streets that you would place both sides within the same district.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B373-503.)

SPEAKER 14: Sherry Wright

I know you've heard a lot about a community of interest, but that is my goal to reiterate that. We are a community of interest. I participated in Get Out the Vote. Getting people to the polls in both the primary and the general election and District 3 was our concentration and we also concentrated solely on gay and lesbian households with 26 volunteers on election day for the primary we started at 5 a.m. and worked all day until the poll closed and we weren't able to get to all the gay and lesbian households and to me that indicates there is a solid group of gay and lesbian households thus a community of interest. Together we have a voice and if the boundaries are changed if we are divided we risk being silenced and our power to assist in electing powerful insightful officials like Toni Atkins and Chris Kehoe will possibly be diminished. I ask that you leave District 3 as is and I was over there trying to figure out the map. It looks like a puzzle to me and I'm not good at puzzles so I wish you a lot of luck and I really appreciate you have ahead of you and I appreciate you having us here and my only suggestion is that maybe 2 can borrow from 5, but I don't know if that will work.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B505-538.)

SPEAKER 15: Paige Coatney

I live in North Park and my wife and I moved to North Park in 1998 from Reno, Nevada so unlike these people here who have said we've had these neighborhoods for ever, I'm very new to the area. When we moved, we had no idea where we were moving to because she was going to school and they said here is your place. Within the first few weeks of living in San Diego we noticed how unique of an area we lived in. We found in District 3 people who loved their district and beamed when they talked about. No where in my 20 years in Anchorage, Alaska, or my eight years in Reno, Nevada have I ever found people who strongly identified as a neighborhood in a district. I don't think of District 3 as a district. It's a neighborhood and I have never seen that before. Now I love District 3 and I'm beaming. I would like the Board to keep the neighborhood together by keeping District 3's boundaries fairly in tact. Unlike Sherry, I love puzzles. If the Board must change our boundaries and I have a little suggestion. We could trade three areas in Hillcrest for three areas over in East City Heights and just cut right down Fairmont Street that way East City Heights is not a divided neighborhood as well so that adds more people over to Seven, which I think also needs people. I hope that way there is another community over in Seven's and we would like Hillcrest back.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B539-578.)

SPEAKER 16: Paul Lambert

I am a gay man who is proudly and very appreciatively able to live in luxury in the safety of my community, but I think that voice has been pretty well represented here and I think any of you can correct me here if I'm wrong. I'm also concerned about another group that has not been mentioned and within this area we have an abnormally large disabled community. As Council Member Atkins had mentioned, we have affordable housing here as well as rather costly housing. Currently we have Deaf Community Services up here who is moving down here to Park West within the next eight to ten months. We have the Blind Rec. Center which is over here by Balboa Park. We also have the Access Center which is here in Hillcrest. Because of the proximity of these services and because of the affordability of housing we also have all these groups that are co-located in this vicinity as well as up in our neck of the woods where we are right now. My recommendation, now I don't like the idea of cutting areas out. It's like asking me which limb to remove. I would suggest reuniting City Heights and putting that in Seven and at the same time we can expand and re-incorporate Hillcrest and University Heights. If you need other areas to remove, we can consider Gateway which is naturally separated here by the interstate and then Also Cortez. Basically we're just moving everything slightly west and also moving Cortez here with the downtown group and Gateway with this section on the other side of the freeway.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location B583-627.)

SPEAKER 17: Craig Roberts

I reside on Florida Street, Florida Canyon. I come to you as the former chair of the Greater North Park Community Planning Committee. I'm not here representing the Planning Committee, but I'm using that for identification purposes so you know I'm very active in my neighborhood of North Park. Also, you may not recognize me because I've changed my looks since the summer, but I was also an applicant for this commission. I would appreciate thinking of me as a potential colleague because I almost was. I've been a resident of San Diego since 1987 and except for the first four misbegotten months when I lived near San Diego State and when I mistakenly moved near UCSD, I've lived in Council District 3 for my entire 14 years here in San Diego and when I say mistakenly moved into the UCSD area, I was very heavily involved in Christine Kehoe's City Council race in 1993 and I was completely chagrined, and Kevin mentioned earlier when he talked, that when I moved on Third Avenue north of Washington, I wound up in District 2. I couldn't understand that and I ask you rectify that. Your asking is the short hand of Washington, we add Washington. We subtract, I'm going to say it again, we need to have Hillcrest in Council District 3, all of Hillcrest. We need to have all of University Heights in Council District 3. If you must subtract, and of course you must if you add things, I say lop off Cortez Hill. It belongs to the downtown Council District. Lop off City Heights East. City Heights is a huge neighborhood and I'm not normally in favor of splitting neighborhoods, but even the police recognize that there is a difference between City Heights to the west of Fairmont and City Heights to the east of Fairmont. Perhaps you can put it in District 7. Perhaps the new district of 4, I don't know. I also personally think if you need to subtract something still is perhaps Gateway, but I know some people disagree with that and that's a distant third choice. I also do completely applaud the reunification of Talmadge in the new District 3 too. Using my neighborhood activist hat, I would like to point out that Council District 3 is currently the most geographically compact council district in the City and there is no reason to think that the new Council District 3 won't remain the most geographically compact. Therefore, I think that we are a community of interest, not just because we have a sizeable gay and lesbian population, and by the way, as a gay man, I certainly agree with everything that has been said about that before this. We are also older urban neighborhoods. We're the only council district to vote against proposition 22 the anti-gay marriage proposition that was on the ballot in March of 2000. If you're looking for a council district that is predominately gay and lesbian that is evidence right there. The only council district to vote down Prop. 22. Talking about the configuration of our neighborhoods, we are the older urban neighborhoods North Park was founded in 1896. We have a similar mix of single family and multiple unit properties. We have historically suffered from infrastructure neglect by the City as a whole. We have a Mid-City Urban Cores with similar business makeup. I love the fact that Council Member Atkins pointed out the neon signs because I was going to say the same thing and great minds think alike. These neighborhoods that stretch from Park West to Talmadge have similar lot sizes, infrastructure needs, they surround Balboa Park. I'm someone that when I spoke to apply for the Commission, I talked about neighborhood cohesion. I think that's very important. I guess the only way I can justify splitting City Heights East from City Heights West is that the police have recognized them as two distinct neighborhoods. Certainly as a North Park activist, I'm glad that there seems to be keeping North Park together and that's the heart of District 3 now and I hope it remains the heart of District 3 in the future.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location C025-072.)

SPEAKER 18: Karen Bucey

I believe issues relevant to my neighborhood are consistent with issues in other District 3 communities such as Kensington, Talmadge, North Park, and Hillcrest. I believe that retaining Azalea Park, on your map it's City Heights West, but we've broken into separate communities, but it is a bigger issue than just our little community. We really have a passion for it. We were a struggling community when I first moved in when many other people did. We have a commitment to our community, where we live. We formed a strong bond with our Council Districts through all of the work we did to get I-15 completed and it's almost done and we're so proud of that and the new schools. It just goes on and on with the community centers and our pool and an adult education center. Things that we would never think we would get in such an urbanized part of the city. We're really proud of that. We're really passionate about that and I really don't want to be in another district. We have a track record with District 3. We believe it's the same sort of issues and we believe that we are a contiguous kind of a community. I would urge you to try to keep us at least. I know other people have other views, but us in Mid-City and I'm in Mid-City West, but I understand the same issues are in Mid-City East, but try to keep us together as much as possible.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A073-096.)

SPEAKER 19: Gary Weber

I have lived in Normal Heights since 1969, welcome to the hood. I guess if I was speaking for a community of interest it would be aging white heterosexual males. I want to first of all acknowledge and agree with everything that our Council Member said. I want to acknowledge and agree with everything the Gay and Lesbian Community said. It's a pleasure to live here, and I want you to acknowledge the diversity of this community. If you get into these issues of where do you split this thing, and I'm an urban planner and I'm familiar with maps and I'm speaking from that perspective, I would encourage some sort of east west shifting nothing north and south and for God's sakes don't send us down to Mission Valley. We have nothing in common with Mission Valley. I also want to respect what Mr. Sachs said. There are multiple planning issues which unit this community, Up Town, North Park, Normal Heights, Kensington, Talmadge, and City Heights being those groups that have conspired together for a long time on all of these inner-city economic development issues. I want to say something else which hasn't really been mentioned, but it's something I thought about for a long time, that's the whole issue of downtown. Honestly, I think there's too much of that in District 2. I think District 2 is too much of an imperial district. There are too many play things in District 2 right now and I think this City deserves seeing downtown split into four quadrants maybe at 6th and Broadway or 6th and Market. I really encourage you to think seriously about one way or another dividing that in at least two or three parts if you can't do four so that no one has a dominant interest in what goes on down there. Finally, I think I just by reference suggested you add something else to District 3 which is downtown, I know we've all talked about adding, honestly if you have to subtract something, I know that's a difficult thing, maybe Golden Hill could be unified with District 8. I don't feel comfortable speaking for Golden Hill so maybe that boundary could drift north to the division line at least between the community planning areas and maybe City Heights East. I really don't feel in any position to speak for City Heights, but given this dilemma maybe that Fairmont thing if you have to split somewhere and lose something would be the place to do it because that still leaves a very large City Heights in District 3 and a ver large City Heights in District 7.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location A097-135.)

SPEAKER 20: Mary Wendorf

I would like University Heights to be combined with the other District 3 area and Hillcrest as well and I just kind of agree with what people have said earlier and City Heights could probably be reunited with East City Heights and leave District 3.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location C136-142.)

ITEM 4 ADJOURNMENT

Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 7:55 p.m.

REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION (Tape location: C143-198.)

Ralph Pesqueira, Chairman
2000 Redistricting Commission

Esther Ramos
Legislative Recorder



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