Fresh census data could radically transform San Francisco politics, and with it all manner of city planning.
Every 10 years, San Francisco has a chance to redraw its supervisor districts, and we may be faced with new borders by 2012, according to the Chron.
It's a highly complicated process. If the population of any district changes too much, officials must convene a panel to organize the redrawing. That nine-person panel will need to represent a broad range of interests, reflecting various minority groups, political factions, and neighborhoods.
That means that we can anticipate a rough-and-tumble showdown between progressives and moderates, who tend to support more development.
Ironically, the parts of town held by pro-development moderates are also the most suburban and least developed: the Marina, the Sunset, and Twin Peaks. Progressives rule in the Haight, SOMA, Mission, and Castro.
A variety of factors could shift the balance of power. A growing or shrinking of the population could change voting tendencies, and the redrawn boundaries could connect hitherto-unaffiliated political ideologies.
In any case expect plenty of complaining, from both sides, that they're not getting their way. Hopefully the process will be complete within a year of the new Census data being released in April.