Rancho Peñasquitos Park Village / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

During the last round of City Council redistricting in 2011, people had competing ideas about what should happen in the community of Rancho Peñasquitos. 

Some wanted it to be split apart in the service of creating a so-called Asian-empowerment district. (Empowerment districts are created so that various identity groups do not have their vote diluted. The driving philosophy is that you keep different groups like Black residents or LGBTQ folks in one cohesive district to ensure they have voting power.) 

But many Asian-Americans in the community said they would rather maintain a voting bloc with their neighbors in Rancho Peñasquitos than other Asians, Maya Srikrishnan reports in a new story. 

“We’re in the community and we’re Asian,” said one man. “We didn’t think the city was doing a bad job at race relations, but we thought they could do more to have cohesive communities.”

Ultimately, the Asian-empowerment district was created and Chris Cate, a Republican, became one of only a handful of Asian-American ever to be elected to the City Council. 

The fight over whether to reunite Rancho Peñasquitos into one Council district or retain the current split shows how different interests wrangle to create a map that will ultimately play a big role in the city’s future over the next 10 years. 

Once new census data is released later this year, a county redistricting commission will once again go through the process of drawing new district lines – and it’s likely many Rancho Peñasquitos residents will ask that their community be reconnected into one district, rather than split in half. 

North County Parents Demand Mask Freedom

Some rural school districts in California have said they won’t enforce new state guidelines that say all students must wear masks next school year, regardless of vaccination status. 

And now some North County parents are trying to push school districts like Poway, Vista and Carlsbad to do the same thing, reports Kayla Jimenez. A group called Let Them Breathe wants districts to give students the right to choose whether to wear a mask

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said students shouldn’t have to wear a mask if they’re vaccinated, but the California Department of Public Health took its guidance a step further, mandating that all students must wear masks. 

The fight is reminiscent of earlier reopening debates, notes Jimenez, when some very vocal parents pushed schools to reopen, despite state guidelines to the contrary. 

In Other News

  • Former Mayor Kevin Faulconer will not be listed on the gubernatorial recall ballot as “retired San Diego Mayor” after he lost his lawsuit Wednesday to use the ballot title despite the fact that he is not retired. He’ll instead be listed as “businessman/educator,” two jobs that few people realize he holds and which have little to do with why he’s a viable candidate.
  • Coronado is obligated to plan for 912 new homes, with half available to low-income residents, over the next eight years, based on state laws and regional planning decisions meant to accommodate population growth and address California’s housing crisis. But the city — after losing a lawsuit challenging the requirement — has instead drawn up a housing plan allowing for only 344 new homes, in defiance of the state law, as KPBS reported Wednesday.
  • San Diego home prices — stop me if you’ve heard this one — reached another all-time high in June. (Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego Convention Center officials say they’re ready to re-open the facility for in-person events on Aug. 1. (City News Service)
  • U.S. officials have extended the restrictions on non-essential travel at the U.S.-Mexico border. (NBC San Diego)
  • Escondido will celebrate Pride for the first time. (KPBS)

The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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