Daily Business Report — July 26, 2011
Tentative Plan Moves Councilman Todd Gloria Out of District 3
By Manny Cruz
City Councilman Todd Gloria, a candidate for re-election in 2012, says he is prepared to move out of City Heights — his residence for nearly a decade — in order to keep his District 3 council seat. A preliminary redistricting plan approved July 21 by the San Diego Redistricting Commission moves City Heights out of the current District 3 and places it in a new Council District 9 that was authorized by voters in 2010.
To remain on the City Council, Gloria, 33, would either have to run and win the District 9 council seat from his City Heights home or move into the proposed new and enlarged boundaries of District 3 and win that election. Gloria, who is immensely popular among voters, particularly among members of the LGBT community, has made it clear he will not seek the District 9 council seat. “If I have to move (to run for re-election in District 3), then I will do it,” he said.
“The majority of existing District 3 residents would be in the (new) District 3,” added Gloria, “and I have a number of initiatives that I would want to see through and I would want to see that they are done correctly.” As examples, he cited the redevelopment of North Park, continued improvements to Balboa Park and his ongoing campaign to improve streets and fix potholes. “At the end of the day, I just want to provide for the neighborhoods that I currently represent,” he said.
Next year’s primary election will be held on June 5 and the general election is set for Nov. 6. City Council seats up for election will be in Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. Voters citywide also will cast ballots for mayor and city attorney.
The Redistricting Commission issued its preliminary plan after holding several public meetings around the city and inviting testimony. It was to hold five more public hearings between July 26 and Aug. 3 to accept more public comments.
If the preliminary redistricting plan approved by the Redistricting Commission remains intact in late August, when a final plan is to be adopted, District 3 would change dramatically, but would not lose its core communities. Among the neighborhoods added to the district would be Horton Plaza, Little Italy, the Marina area, Midtown, Core Columbia, Cortez Hill, East Village, the Gaslamp Quarter, Park West — all in Downtown — and Old Town.
In total, the neighborhoods that would be part of the new District 3 are: Adams Avenue north, Balboa Park, Bankers Hill, Burlingame, Core Columbia, Cortez Hill, East Village, Gaslamp Quarter, Golden Hill, Harbor View, Hillcrest, Horton Plaza, Little Italy, Marina, Midtown, Mission Hills, Normal Heights, North Park, Old Town, Park West, South Park and University Heights.
“The commission wished to move the district (3) to the west to fully include Mission Hills and Old Town, which share common interests with the other neighborhoods included,” the commission said in its preliminary plan report. “Moving the district to the west resulted in excluding the Kensington/Talmadge area, but also prevented fragmentation of the city’s Latino and new-immigrant population located in the City Heights area.” The commission said City Heights does not generally share demographic and socioeconomic interests similar to the other neighborhoods in the district and should be united into the new District 9.
Proposed District 3 — The Redistricting Commission’s goal was to divide the city’s population of 1,301,617 residents into nine council district of about equal population — with as close to 144,624 residents per district as possible. Under the preliminary plan, District 3’s total population would be 147,117 residents. According to the commission, 57.5 percent of the population currently in District 3 would be included in the proposed new district boundaries. The commission stated that the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) has historically been represented by District 3 and wished to draw a district that respects this history.
Other points made by the commission:
• Testimony from the LGBT community supported including Downtown within District 3 in contrast to residents of District 2’s coastal areas, who asked that Downtown be removed from their council district. District 2 is currently represented by Councilman Kevin Faulconer.
• Golden Hill was united with District 3 based on its proximity and connection to Balboa Park and to balance population deviation.
• Downtown neighborhoods were found to share a community of interest, “a compelling reason to united them all.”
Proposed District 9 — In the proposal approved by the Redistricting Commission, 46.6 percent of the residents in this new district were drawn from the current District 3. The new district would have a population of 145,045 and, for the first time, unite City Heights, which currently is divided among three City Council districts. It would include Kensington, the San Diego State area, Fairmount Village, Mt. Hope, part of Mountain View, Talmadge, Azalea Park, among others. “The district has the largest population of immigrants in the city, which has unique needs in the community,” the commission said. “The district also has a large number of low-income residents, kept together with the new immigrants because of their shared economic interests…” It noted that the proposed district includes a “majority-minority” population of Latinos. “The commission did not wish to dilute the voting strength of this significant Latino community and drew boundaries that it believed provided fair representation,” it said. As drawn by the commission, Latinos would represent 50.3 percent of District 9’s population; 23.2 percent white; 11.2 percent African-American; and 13.4 percent Asian.
At a previous Redistricting Commission meeting, the LGBT Redistricting Task force presented a District 3 plan that is very similar to the one approved by the commission. “I think we won big,” said Linda Perine, chair of the task force. “We will have a stronger LGBT community.” Although Todd Gloria said he will run for re-election in the proposed new District 3, Perine said the councilman would probably do very well if he had decided to run in District 9.
The commission voted 5-2 to approve the preliminary plan. Voting for the plan were commissioners Anisha Dalai, Frederick Kosmo Jr., Carlos Marquez, Arthur Nishioka and David Potter. Voting no were commissioners Ani Mdivani-Morrow and Theresa Quiroz.
The Redistricting Commission’s preliminary redistricting plan, including maps, demographic information and the reasoning behind its boundary realignments, can be found online at sandiego.gov/redistricting.
City Election Schedule:
Who’s Up: Seats of the mayor, city attorney and City Council Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.
Feb. 16, 2012: First day to file nomination papers.
March 8, 2012: Last day to file nomination papers.
June 5, 2012: Primary Election.
Nov. 6, 2012: General Election.
Dec. 3, 2012: Terms of office begin.
Requirements for Candidacy:
Candidates for public office in the city must be citizens of the United States and at least 18 years of age. In order to run for mayor or city attorney, a candidate must be a registered voter of the city for at least 30 days prior to the date of filing nomination papers, and a resident in and registered voter of the city at the time of assuming the office. In order to run for Council office, a candidate must be a registered voter of the appropriate council district for at least 30 days prior to the date of filing nomination papers, and a resident in and registered voter of the district at the time of assuming the office.
Upcoming Redistricting Commission Meetings:
Today — 6 p.m., Logan Heights Branch Library 567 South 28th St.
July 28 — 6 p.m.. Thurgood Marshall Middle School Theater, 9700 Avenue of Nations.
July 30 — 10 a.m., Balboa Park Palisades Building Recital Hall , 2130 Pan American Road West.
Aug. 1 — 6 p.m., Forum Hall at UTC, 4545 La Jolla Village Drive.
Aug. 3 — 6 p.m., Joan B. Kroc Center Multipurpose Room, 6845 University Ave.
The preliminary redistricting map approved by the San Diego Redistricting Commission shows the general boundaries of the proposed City Council Districts 3 and 9 (both are shown in the center). District 3 has moved west to include the Downtown area and Old Town. District 9 would include Kensington, now in District 3, and the San Diego State area.