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From The Center: Why redistricting matters to the LGBTQ community

From The Center: Why redistricting matters to the LGBTQ community

As we have shared, last year The Center was a key member of the CountMe2020 Census coalition, helping our community understand the importance of the U.S. Census and ensuring our community participated. One key reason that the once-a-decade Census is important is redistricting. 

Every ten years, our communities are charged with drawing the lines that decide the areas and communities that our elected officials represent. Though this process is different state-by-state, in California this work is done by public commissions, as opposed to legislative bodies. The various Redistricting Commissions in charge of these processes are tasked with balancing multiple priorities, including but not limited to, creating districts with equal population while keeping Communities of Interest together.

While the Redistricting Commissions attempt to draw new district boundaries that maintain similar population counts in each district, they must also ensure that Communities of Interest retain their collective power and voice, and are not fractured. Since the 1990s, thanks to the hard work of allies and activists, including The Center, San Diego has been a leader in LGBTQ political engagement and redistricting for the past three decades where the City of San Diego Council District 3 was one of the first districts in the country to be developed in response to community input for the LGBTQ Community of Interest. Similarly, District 4 has historically empowered the Black Community of Interest, District 8 has historically empowered the Latinx Community of Interest and most recently District 9 was created as a majority-minority district that unified City Heights under one district.

Recently, the City of San Diego’s Redistricting Commission held a series of Public Input Hearings in which residents were asked to share information about their communities and what changes they’d like to see. Later today, the initial 2-3 draft maps will be posted on their website in advance of their public input meeting on October 21st at 6PM. We’ll be sharing more information on social media once we get a chance to review the draft maps but we ask that you plan to join the Redistricting Commission meeting to have your voice heard.  

Last week, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission shared early visualizations for State Assembly, State Senate, and Congressional Districts that allow residents to review the Commission’s progress thus far. The public comment period is open until October 21st for the first round of maps, and we need our community to make their voices heard! You can do so by filling out this quick and easy feedback form; enter “AD_A_SoCal & AD_B_SoCal” as the answer to the first question, and add your feedback that the heart of the LGBTQ community - the Hillcrest and the surrounding Uptown neighborhoods - should remain unified under the same Assembly District to ensure the LGBTQ Community of Interest is not divided and disempowered. Questions or want additional information? Please reach out to our advocacy team at advocacy@thecentersd.org.

The Center believes that it is critical to advocate for districts that empower Communities of Interest to ensure everyone’s fair equal political representation. Though redistricting is a long process, we are approaching a very critical time for the community to get involved and provide important feedback on the preliminary district maps. I hope you’ll join us in our advocacy to ensure the results of redistricting continue to empower our communities.

If you’d like to receive updates about redistricting and The Center’s Civic Engagement work, please sign up to become a Center Advocate today. We’re all in this together!