Supervisory Board’s new district map proposal is out and everyone thinks it’s an abomination

The proposed redistricting of SF’s Supervisory Board map has been released, and early reviews from current and former supervisors describe it as “horrifying”, “a joke”, and “on crack”.

San Francisco redistributes its Board of Supervisors districts, as we do every ten years based on the latest census data. The latest iteration of this new map drawing process has been underway since last April, and on Thursday we hit a major milestone with the release of a proposed new map. But as the Chronicle reports, several current supervisors are lambasting the proposed card with ratings like “very disappointing”, “must have been a joke”, and “Whoever came up with this card seems crazy”.

Notably, District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman reportedly no longer lives in his own district and, in the words of the Chronicle, “would have to move out if he wanted to continue running for office this year — or lose his seat.”

Image: SF.Gov

Above we see the proposed new map, which is also available online. (You can see side-by-side comparisons of current and proposed new map versions via the Chronicle.) Your main changes are that District 6 loses Mission Bay, District 5 loses Japantown, and District 8 loses Duboce Triangle, parts of Corona Heights, and part of the Valencian Corridor. A sort of Cliff Notes version can be seen below, with the changes marked in red.

The most controversial response was the redistricting of District 8, which State Senator Scott Wiener called on Twitter “awful.”

In a statement to SFist, a spokesperson for the Wiener office said the proposed new map “removes all of the northern part of the district – part of Castro, Corona Heights, Corbett Heights, Buena Vista, Duboce Triangle – some of the neighborhoods the heaviest LGBTQ in the whole city. And that removes a lot of the LGBTQ-heavy, progressive Valencia corridor.”

Mandelman himself told the Chronicle, “This particular card basically cuts the Castro and the queer community in two,” and that “I almost feel like it must have been a joke or not a serious effort.”

Their points are well understood, and the district has an LGBTQ supervisor since we reverted to the geographic district system instead of the “general system” we had until 2001 – the district system is what brought Harvey Milk, the first openly gay supervisor, elected in 1977, during a three-year period when the city reverted to the district system, when the Castro was part of District 5.

But is the “queer community” better served by having only gay, white CIS men fill the seat? Since 2001, the seat has been held by Mark Leno, Bevan Dufty, Scott Wiener, Jeff Sheehy and Mandelman. It’s LGBTQ representation, although I’m not sure if it’s “diversity”. (During the Freedom era from 1981 to 2000, two previous supervisors dated lesbians Susan Leal and Roberta Achtenberg.)

Japantown’s move out of District 5 and into District 3 (Chinatown District) is also getting negative reactions. “Whoever found this map looks like they’re on crack,” District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin told the Chronicle. “It sounds like gerrymandering to me. Looks like they’re cutting communities of interest. It struck me as laughable, and I doubt anyone in either district would support it.

The new map is only a first draft, however, these map drafts are still changing. And you can participate! The Redistricting Task Force is meeting again this Monday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall in Room 244 (meetings are again in person). The final map will be determined by April 15.

Related: SF is having its supervisory districts redesigned next year [SFist]


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