One of the many quirks of the proposed SF state assembly district boundaries is that if David Campos won his assembly race, he would not even live in the district he represents.
The completion of the 2020 U.S. Census sets off another bureaucratic process for 2021, that is, redrawing districts for Congress, for the state Senate, the state Assembly, and even the SF Board of Supervisors districts. In most states, these redistricting processes are handled by legislators in a raw political grab to entrench more partisan incumbents. In California, which effectively lacks a functioning Republican party, the redistricting is handled by a citizen committee called the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. And among their goals this year is to give the state’s growing Asian population more legislative power.
They released their first draft of the districts Wednesday. Under the proposed new boundaries, Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district would take up more of San Francisco, adding the southwest neighborhoods like Lake Merced. Scott Wiener’s state senate district would expand to cover a little more of South San Francisco. These are not huge overhauls. But the proposed new state Assembly districts are drawing criticism, as the Chronicle reports on complaints that they “create a white-majority district on the east side,” and “dilute the influence of Asian American, Latino, African American and LGBTQ residents.”
“I think this map pisses everybody off a little bit,” longtime City Hall political consultant David Ho told the Chronicle. “This iteration is just straight-up offensive. I don’t see any group that would support this iteration locally.”
Another quirk is how David Campos would be districted out of the very state Assembly seat he’s running for. He lives in Bernal Heights, which is moved to D-19 under the proposed new map, and he’s running for D-17. These new boundaries will not be in effect for the probably-February 2022 special election pitting him against Haney, but they will be in effect by the June 2022 primary election, where the winner will have to run again. So… would Campos have to move if he wins in February?
Campos did not entertain that possibility in his remarks to the Chronicle. But he did say, “If the goal was to disenfranchise communities of color and the LGBTQ community, they have done an excellent job of that,” and that “It seems like from an equity perspective, the visualizations are as bad as you can come up with.”
If you too would like to complain about these proposed redistricting “visualizations,” they’re still taking public comment for about a month before finalizing the new maps.