San Diego starts its own 2011 Redistricting Commission process

On July 1st, the brief application period for the City of San Diego redistricting commission began. Applications will be accepted until August 2nd. The criteria and selection process are detailed in Section 5.1 of the City Charter, available here. Application forms are available at the website of the City Clerk.

San Diego’s City Charter requires that a Redistricting Commission be created at the beginning of every decade with the purpose of setting boundaries for City Council districts. The 2010 Commission will be the second independent redistricting commission in the city’s history. The final report from the 2001 Redistricting Commision is available here.

The City Charter says the Commision will be made up of seven members appointed by the Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court, San Diego Judicial District. The Charter outlines how “in the event that the Presiding Judge declines to make the appointments, they shall be made by a Municipal Court Judge selected by vote of the Judges of the Municipal Court, San Diego Judicial District. Should the Judges of the Municipal Court decline to so act, then the Redistricting Commission shall be appointed by a panel of three retired Superior Court Judges drawn at random by the City Manager […] In the event that all of the preceding individuals decline to act, then the Redistricting Commission shall be appointed by a majority vote of the City Council . . . ”

According to the City Charter, appointees should “give the Redistricting Commission geographic, social and ethnic diversity, and […] have a high degree of competency to carry out the responsibilities of the Commission. The appointees shall include individuals with a demonstrated capacity to serve with impartiality in a nonpartisan role. Each member of the Commission shall be registered to vote in The City of San Diego.”

Once Commisioners are chosen, they will hold at least four public meetings across the city before preparing an initial redistricting plan for the City Clerk. The Commisions must hold at least three public hearings discussing its initial map before adopting a final plan. In 2001, over fifty public meetings were held before a final map was reached.

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