San Francisco

San Francisco's Redistricting Map Sparks Controversy

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For many communities, the process of redrawing voting district maps is something few people pay much attention to.   

But in San Francisco, where entire neighborhoods might change drastically every 10 years, the process can be contentious.

On the steps of San Francisco City Hall, a group of redistricting activists raised concerns about the way the process is going.

"It's not okay to say the final draft map is violence, simply because of our presence, it's being called violence,” said organizer Josephine Zhao.

They said residents in the Portola and Visitation Valley neighborhoods want to be reunited after 20 years of being in different supervisor's districts.

But in video shared by organizer Zhao, tensions erupted during work sessions and meetings between opposing coalitions. 

The redistricting board first approved a controversial new map but then rejected it earlier this week after widespread concerns.

"It was so blatant. The disrespect was so blatant that Stevie Wonder called me and he could see it, right?" said Zhao.

Uzuri Pease Greene is with a coalition of groups in Potrero Hill who did not support the now rejected map.

They say uniting Portola and Visiation Valley would happen at their expense because they would be cut out of Supervisor Shamonn Walton's district.

He's the only African American currently sitting on the board of supervisors and they're concerned they would lose representation at city hall.

"Black people in this city have been struggling just to survive,” said organizer Cheryl Thornton. “For decades, our numbers have been going down."

The now-rejected map had also raised concerns among LGBTQ and Latino immigrant communities in other districts.

Voting down that map also means San Francisco is now missing the deadline for this work to be completed.

For those closely following this process, they're hoping a new map can quickly be approved. The next meeting is April 21.

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