San Diego
San Diego’s Redistricting Commission is tasked with using Census data and public input to redraw the boundaries for the city’s council districts. / Photo by Sam Hodgson

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It would seem that the more things changed in San Diego the more they stayed the same. At least that’s true for what we saw unfold in this year’s redistricting process. 

San Diego saw some changes to its demographic make up. The city is now 53 percent non-White. Advocates for some of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods hoped that shift would translate to changes in the city’s political boundaries — with more power going to neighborhoods that have felt historically marginalized. A coalition of organizations and advocacy groups even drew up a map that empowered minority voices in several districts. 

But, as Maya Srikrishnan reports in her latest story, this year’s redistricting process showed how little some systems in San Diego are changing. 

In the end, the city’s redistricting commission went with a different map. Many commissioners cited reluctance to merge two districts into a single coastal district as a primary reason, Srikrishnan writes. Commission Chair Tom Hebrank said at the time that the collaborative map contained too many large shifts from the city’s previous map.  

Not all the commissioners agreed. 

“In the wake of a national reckoning on racial and social justice issues, my strong hope for this overall effort was that this commission would embrace the opportunity to make these really meaningful changes for our democratic institutions and particularly to empower those marginalized voices,” said Commissioner Justine Nielsen from District 7. “So again, I’ll just reiterate my disappointment.”  

Read the full story here. 

ICYMI: We spent all last week reflecting on what we learned this year about some of San Diego’s most pressing issues. 

You can find all those stories in one place. Check out our What We Learned This Year series here.

Correction: A previous version of 2021’s Most Memorable Quotes: One Bear of a Year incorrectly reported a Twitter exchange involving Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. Gonzalez’s “Dude, I’m not dead” reply was directed at former San Diego Councilman David Alvarez. She did not direct the reply at former Councilwoman Georgette Gómez.

In Other News

  • About half of San Diego’s hospitals saw such a increase in patients that they had to divert ambulances to other facilities and the county issued a special alert, the Union-Tribune reported. Part of the reason for the demand came from people requesting COVID-19 tests. The U-T reported there were 3,653 new positive test results as of Tuesday.
  • First there’s rain, then snow and oh … loads of tourists in Julian. NBC 7 reports that this rainy weather attracted visitors to Julian, but many were disappointed Wednesday when it didn’t stick around long. Meanwhile, Caltrans workers are working to keep the roads safe as the region expects more rain. (NBC 7)
  • San Diego County reported its first flu death of the season. The 42-year-old man died on Dec. 9. He tested negative for COVID-19, CBS 8 reported. There are some 192 lab-confirmed flu cases in San Diego.
  • Some San Diego libraries are giving free rapid COVID-19 tests, but they are going fast, so call ahead before stopping at a nearby library. (KPBS)
  • Related: At least one person on Twitter reported seeing those tests end up on resale apps for as much as $50. Those tests are free, so don’t fall for it.

This Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. It was edited by Scott Lewis. 

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