Redistricting Task Force seeks community help at May 2 hearingAround the City Thursday, April 28th, 2011
The Community Leadership Council’s LGBT Redistricting Task Force is working to ensure the survival of an LGBT-friendly district, and is asking the community to make a strong presence at the May 2 public hearing.
The San Diego Redistricting Commission is hosting public hearings to gain feedback and input about the redistricting process. A pre-map public hearing specifically for District 3 is May 2, 6 p.m. at the Regional Transportation Center, 4001 El Cajon Blvd. This meeting will be the big push by the task force in front of the Redistricting Commission.
“The core principle of redistricting is to equalize population amongst the districts,” Midori Wong, Chief of Staff to the Redistricting Commission, said at a previous public hearing. “Per the city charter, districts need to be made as equal in population as possible or practical … and very basically, it’s to ensure equal access for everyone to equal representation.”
With the newly-created strong mayor government structure in San Diego, the Redistricting Commission is not only tasked with balancing the existing districts, but also creating a ninth city council district. In addition to other requirements that include geographical and natural boundaries, the new districts must preserve “identifiable communities of interest.”
“There is no one definition of what is a community of interest,” said Sharon Spivak, Deputy City Attorney. “Residents of the city will be helping the commission to assist in identifying and preserving what they consider to be communities of interest, in order to retain common activities, social and lifestyle patterns typical and desired by members of the area.”
The LGBT Redistricting Task Force is striving to prove to the commission that the LGBT community is a community of interest. The creation of District 3 during the 1990 redistricting process was a huge step toward equality for the LGBT community, the task force has said. It has resulted in the election of three consecutive LGBT City Council members.
The LGBT Redistricting Task Force is presenting several key speakers at the May 2 meeting, presenting the case for the preservation of an LGBT-friendly district. The task force is asking full support of the community, and encourages everyone in the community to attend.
“Redistricting matters because, more than campaigns, cash or candidates, district lines determine who will make major decisions about your life for the next decade,” the task force said in a press statement. The task force is coordinating efforts “to ensure the continuity and integrity of our collective community message to the Commission. Come show support for the preservation of a LGBT friendly district.”
Contact Linda Perine at 858-775-2950 for more information about how you can get involved.
After the May 2 meeting, there will be a celebration hosted by Bourbon Street, 4612 Park Blvd. Anyone who attends the Redistricting Committee meeting gets a $5 Bourbon Buck for the after-party.
After the pre-map public hearings, the last on May 11, the Redistricting Commission will develop its preliminary plan in June. A series of post-map public hearings will be conducted starting in July. The commission plans to adopt a final plan by August, in time for the Registrar of Voters to prepare for the 2012 primary election.
For more information about the redistricting plan, log on to sandiego.gov/redistricting.
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