A bonkers weekend of redistricting fireworks saw profane Twitter fights between supervisors, and four members storming out of a late night meeting in protest, but the map’s final draft is now complete.
The normally boring and sleepy process of redrawing SF supervisor districts happens every ten years, and generally without notable incident. But this year’s version of the process has turned into the poster child for everything wrong with SF politics. This past weekend started with an attempt to oust three Redistricting Task Force members, saw sitting members of the board of supervisors lob foul-mouthed insults on Twitter, and ended with four members of the task force storming out of Saturday's meeting in anger.
Yes, one of the members they voted on removing ended up removing himself by the end of the weekend. And there is now a “draft map” as seen below, but we will unpack these developments in chronological order, rather than their order of batshit insanity.
The draft final map is displayed on the map viewer for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors district created by the redistricting task force. That draft final map was created during the task force's live line drawing meeting of April 9, 2022. https://t.co/EWM0qPJgaF— Redistricting Task Force (@RedistrictSF) April 11, 2022
The weekend's nuttiness started Friday afternoon, when the SF Elections commission decided to not remove three members of the task force, an ouster that had been requested by a number of community groups. So their work continued into Friday’s meeting, which, again, went until around 5 a.m. Saturday morning.
Disgusted. You used to stand with us before you decided to abandon your District in your first term. Thought that wasn’t a betrayal because @honeymahogany was going to win. Not with these gerrymandered districts your standing up for. Truly disgusting. pic.twitter.com/Hm17ECsWz8— Hillary Ronen (@HillaryRonen) April 8, 2022
And then we got new drama! After Supervisor Matt Haney put out the most milquetoast possible tweet supporting the embattled task force members, Supervisor Hillary Ronen volleyed back: “Disgusted. You used to stand with us before you decided to abandon your District in your first term. Thought that wasn’t a betrayal because @honeymahogany was going to win. Not with these gerrymandered districts your [sic] standing up for. Truly disgusting.”
Okay, what's all that now? Ronen’s reference to “abandon your District in your first term” is clearly a dig at Haney’s state Assembly run. But it seems (and I’m just speculating here) her phrase “thought that wasn’t a betrayal because @honeymahogany was going to win” means that, umm, Haney’s legislative aide Honey Mahogany is running for Haney’s seat? That hasn't been announced, to my knowledge. So this is not just a swipe at Haney, it’s a swipe at Haney’s staff too.
Matt, are you really starting to believe your own bull shit or is this just more bull shit?— Hillary Ronen (@HillaryRonen) April 9, 2022
Ronen’s Twitter was a gift that kept giving Saturday, as she followed up with “Matt, are you really starting to believe your own bull shit or is this just more bull shit?”
Meanwhile, the task force itself would meet again Saturday. That meeting did culminate in the voting on a final draft map, but not before four members of the task force walked off in protest after the meeting had stretched past 2 a.m. Sunday morning, according to Mission Local. One of the members who walked out had just been up for removal the previous day.
Moment in which Michelle Pierce, Jeremy Lee, and Chema Hernandez Gil stoop up, packed their belongings and left the room following Vice Chair’s motion to rescind her last vote after they had made a significant decision towards a popular and comprehensive map. pic.twitter.com/pSoCf7dnPE— Jupiter Peraza (@PerazaJupiter) April 10, 2022
“There were irregularities in the voting and the motions that we were going through that made me uncomfortable,” walk-out member Raynell Cooper told Mission Local. “Changes were made where the sources of those changes were unclear.” In one notable instance, the Chronicle reports that task force chair Ditka Reiner bafflingly asked for a revote to change her vote on a District 9/District 10 reshuffle that she had just agreed to pass.
It's unclear whether those task force members have resigned, or if they're coming back. All three are still listed as members on the task force website.
As far as the map itself (oh yeah, that!), the current draft version is above. It still has many issues over which activists are furious; Valencia Street is mostly removed from the traditional LGBTQ District 8, it still moves the Tenderloin into District 5, and moves much of Potrero Hill from District 10 to District 9.
Honestly, there is no way to implement redistricting without pissing off some community groups. The task force has to make all of the districts more or less equal in population, and some districts had enormous population growth while others have shrunk.
And while this is the “draft final map,” it is not the “final map.” They are going to have another barnburner Redistricting Task Force meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday (it’s on SFGovTV), though any changes are expected to be minor. They then sign off on a final version Wednesday, with the goal of City Attorney David Chiu approving the map by Friday, April 15.
Related: New Proposed Board of Supervisors District Map Is Out, and Everyone Thinks It’s an Abomination [SFist]
Top image: screenshot via SF.Gov