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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Thoughts about a latecomer to redistricting debate

The tenor and tone of William Rodriguez-Kennedy’s recent editorial in LGBT Weekly on redistricting comes off as condescending, and aloof, when you consider that he mentions his recent move into District 3. As if he has an oracle-like opinion on the matter, despite not fully grasping the major functions of redistricting: demographics and geography.

With the addition of a new council district, most other districts will need to shed a few thousand people, communities, and neighborhoods from their current boundaries. It should be noted that Hillcrest, North Park and University Heights are Caucasian – demographically –by population. If you don’t believe me, then blame the 2010 Census workers for getting their data wrong. There is no way to draw a new District 3 that empowers both LGBT interests and minorities, without sacrificing the empowerment of one over the other. However, that’s not to say that a candidate of diverse color and faith can’t put together a solid, LGBT-coalition to win a council seat in the newly drawn district.

Unlike other community members-of-interest who actively participated at the LGBT Redistricting Task Force meetings, William was nowhere to be seen. According to the minutes of previous San Diego Redistricting Commission meetings, he has even failed to provide simple testimony which makes it seem like he’s showing up 20 minutes late to the party. In all fairness, perhaps he couldn’t bum a ride from a friend to a meeting or two.

I will note and whole-heartedly thank the incredible work the Task Force put in to ensure a fair and equally represented District 3, although I disagree with their involvement in the “Community and Unity” map which, citywide, is anything but unified communities. That led me to propose my own citywide plan, “Empowerment Through Equality,” which did utilize the efforts the Task Force presented in their proposed map.

When communities have their empowerment at stake, instead of showing up late to a game and coaching from the sidelines, perhaps Mr. Rodriguez-Kennedy should engage himself on these issues in a more timely and appropriate manner. After all, redistricting comes but once every 10 years!

Ryan Trabuco
Vice-President, Clairemont Town Council