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Redistricting is heating up as an issue in San Diego. By which I mean that if redistricting were a grindstone, and you had an ax of any kind, you could grind it to a keen edge.
The process sounds pretty simple in our San Diego Explained, and it won’t be finished until the end of summer, but there’s no shortage of early onset outrage. All of it calculated to make sure some set of “others” doesn’t end up with more than its fair share of representation.
An innocuous post by Don Bauder in the San Diego Reader last month is as good as starting point as any. Bauder pointed out that the city put out a request for proposals for redistricting services, presumably for the city’s Redistricting Commission.
User Psycholizard wisecracked, “Jerry Sanders soliciting gerrymanders?” To which user Visduh comments,
Perhaps we need to coin a new term right here and now. “jerrysandersing” could become a new term for being a completely out-of-touch politician who talks up giant municipal projects while being unable to fix the potholes or keep all the fire stations staffed.
Commenters laced their words with a dash of conspiracy. Visduh starts it:
Attendance at public meetings? Maybe they can pack the house at a few gatherings where the “public” acts as cheerleaders for the plan that was developed behind closed doors with plenty of outside influence.
There is the same sort of talk after Matt Hall’s story in the Union-Tribune, in which he writes about the forthcoming ninth council district (which we’ve examined before). Hall mentions a KUSI TV piece that found two Republican partisans to criticize the commission as being to favorable to progressives.
In response, Lorena Gonzalez, the head of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, characterized a third board member, Ani Mdivani-Morrow, as “a Republican party activist who flaunts her partisanship on her Facebook page.”
Evan McLaughlin, who works for Gonzalez, reposted the pictures.
At San Diego News Room, columnist Michael Rosen’s take on the commission is, basically, that some of the commissioners appointed were sleeper Democrats who hid their allegiances before appointment.
Charged by the commission’s bylaws with appointing individuals with the “demonstrated capacity to serve with impartiality in a non-partisan way,” these two judges selected two Republicans, three Democrats and two independents or “Decline to State” voters.
Yet two of the Independents chosen for the commission — Theresa Quiroz and David Potter — are functional Democrats.
There’s more discussion of the supposed liberal bias of the commission at SD Rostra.
Scott Lewis, who has been out of town for a few days, has a sarcastic take:
I hear people with political beliefs are trying to influence the redistricting process. Outrageous! … Next thing you know, neighbors with a similar agenda will lobby the redistricting commission to try to get what they want.
If you want to see who, exactly, might be influencing the commission behind closed doors, there are public communications logs for the commissioners and the chief of staff, in which they log their phone calls and emails.
The commission, as we learned in on our own forum this week, will release tools that let you make your own redistricting map. Until then, try these data and maps from a group of “progressive leaders and organizations,” which we learned about in the Reader comments.
Stefan Popov, Dagny Salas, and Will Stocker contributed to this article.
Items quoted here may be lightly edited for spelling, grammar, or style (such as using proper capitalization, removing extra exclamation marks, or fixing obvious typos). Send comments you’d like to have included here to Grant Barrett, engagement editor for voiceofsandiego.org: firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 550-5666 or @grantbarrett on Twitter.