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ACTION ALERT: Tell City Redistricting Commission to support equality

The City Redistricting Commission has begun their line drawing and appears to be turning a deaf ear to the hundreds of people who testified before them about the needs of communities of interest in San Diego.

The "Communities in Unity" coalition, which represents thousands of under-represented San Diegans in the African-American, Latino, API and LGBT communities, has submitted a map that listens to the needs and aspirations of these communities.

The Commission has heard from these community leaders, now it is time they hear from YOU!

Please send an email to the Commission by Saturday and tell them that they need to listen to the community and the law when drawing our City Council Districts.

Use this template to compose your letter and email it to the Commission at: wongm@sandiego.gov

Dear San Diego Redistricting Commissioners:

I am very concerned about some of the comments that were made by commissioners during the meeting on Saturday 7/9/11. Some of the comments seemed to reflect a lack of respect for or understanding of the requirements of the City Charter and the Voting Rights Act.

City Charter Article II, Section 5 and 5.1, specifically states that:

“Each redistricting plan shall provide fair and effective representation for all citizens of the City, including racial, ethnic, and language minorities, and be in conformance with the requirements of the United States Constitution and Federal statutes.”

These are the guiding principles to which the Commission must adhere:

1. The Voting Rights Act CLEARLY requires the Commission to consider race in drawing district lines. The only restraint on that requirement is that race cannot be the only consideration in drawing district lines.

2. The plain language of the City Charter and the legislative history of Section 5 thereof make clear “fair and effective representation for all citizens of the City, including racial, ethnic, and language minorities”.

is a requirement above and beyond the minimum standards set by the Voting Rights Act.

3. The Commission must give weight and deference to the verbal and written testimony of the hundreds of citizens who have appeared before the Commission. To do otherwise is to make a mockery of the entire process.

The current plan 3 is the plan that most clearly reflects the extensive testimony from communities of interest. It is the plan that is most respectful of the requirements of the Voting Rights Act and the City Charter. This plan is not perfect and needs to be amended, but it is a reasonable and efficient place to begin discussions.

Sincerely,

[Name]
[Address or Neighborhood]