By Kendra Sitton
The redistricting process finished with thousands of San Diegans finding themselves in a new district with a new representative at the state, county or city level following the census results.
For the county, County Board President Nathan Fletcher’s district changed from focusing on central San Diego to adding the cities of La Mesa and Lemon Grove as well as unincorporated areas of Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego, Campo and Paradise Hills. District 3, represented by Terra Lawson-Remer, gained some coastal areas, including parts of Downtown that will no longer be represented by Fletcher.
As for the city council, Normal Heights will no longer be a part of District 3 and will instead be included in District 9, currently represented by Council President Sean Elo-Rivera. Old Town is moving from District 3 to District 2, represented by Jennifer Campbell. Mission Valley is also being split between district 3, 7 and 9. A concern with the final map is it diluted the voting power of Latinos in San Diego by adding majority-white communities to District 9. Despite San Diego being majority non-white, the council districts do not reflect that, according to Maya Srikrishnan in Voice of San Diego. Five of the nine districts are majority white. The independent commission did change District 6 to be the center of Asian power in San Diego. While not a majority in the district, Asian San Diegans will have significant say in the district.
Some of the new districts put same-party legislators who are already elected in the same district – potentially leading to conflict in the next election. However, one of those issue has already been solved: Asm. Lorena Gonzalex announced she is resigning from the Assembly to lead the California Labor Federation. As a City Heights resident, she was moved out of the 80th District she represents and into the 79th District which includes La Mesa – pitting her against Asm. Dr. Akilah Weber, also a Democrat. Now, Dr. Weber has a clearer path to reelection.
Advocates successfully advocated against changes to State Assembly District 78 which would have split Hillcrest in two along the 163. Hillcrest is the center of the LGBT+ population in San Diego and District 78 has consistently had a lesbian or gay Assembly member since 2008. Advocates worried LGBT+ people will have a harder path to Sacramento and less representation at the state level due to the change. Changes were made to ensure Hillcrest and other gayborhoods around Balboa Park stayed intact despite the district changing from a coastal district to an inland district that reaches north to Mira Mesa and east to Bostonia.
— Reach Kendra Sitton at firstname.lastname@example.org.