It’s been a decade, so the City is now finalizing a redistricting plan for our Supervisors that will likely have some interesting political implications for Bernal Heights.
The crux of the plan would revise boundaries of the current district by adding the northern half of The Mission and the southern half of The Portola to our District 9, creating a contiguous band of awesomeness that stretches from McLaren Park to Rainbow Grocery — with Bernal Heights occupying the strategic highlands in the middle. The downside is that the Dominion of Bernalwood may lose some of our brothers and sisters from the Bernal Cut in the D9 reshuffle.
It’s all rather geeky and complicated, but fortunately the scribes at Beyond Chron have been paying attention:
The most controversial move – about whether to put Portola in District 9 or 10 – has been partisan, with moderates advocating for D10 and progressives pushing for D9. But at this point, a majority of Task Force members appear to want it in District 9 for a non-partisan reason: math. D10 and D11 must lose people, and D9 has to grow. Because everyone agrees we must make Portola “whole,” moving a neighborhood with 16,000 people into District 10 would require moving Potrero Hill out of D10 – causing a ripple effect at this late hour.
Last week, the Task Force made no major changes to the Draft Map – but instead had extensive debate about various district boundaries, balancing neighborhood unity with an attempt to “equalize” the numbers. Legally, all 11 districts must be within 5% of the population median (73,203 people.) And while the Draft Map has all eleven districts within that deviation, there’s a consensus among Task Force members to avoid too much “imbalance” – so tweaks have been, and will be, made.
So that’s why the entirety of The Portola is likely to join us here in glamorous District 9. But to make the population numbers work out, one part of Bernal Heights may be moved out of District 9 and into Glen Park’s District 8. Beyond Chron, again:
With Portola currently in District 9, the Task Force has focused on wanting to make the neighborhood “whole” by putting as much of it into D9. At the same time, they have tried to “re-unite” the Mission District – by moving up D9’s northern boundary with District 6, with the current Draft Map putting the boundary at 14th Street. As a result, D9 is dangerously close to being 5% above the median – currently at +4.7%.
So the Task Force has considered removing parts of District 9, and one logical place would be “Glen Bernal” – the neighborhood between Mission Street and San Jose Avenue, just north of the I-280 – by putting it in District 8. The Task Force did not do this last week, but competing priorities might make such a move inevitable.
I rode my bike down there this weekend, just to get a feel of the area. On Bosworth Street, I asked a resident what neighborhood he lived in – and he said, “Glen Park.” If we moved that area south of St. Mary’s Avenue into D8, it would shift 940 people. Moving everything south of Richland would move 1,560 people – but I don’t think anything north of Richland would be appropriate. People up there told me Bernal Heights ends at Mission Street, but that they have less in common with Glen Park.
The redistricting process is now in the final stretch, and most of the work will wrap-up this weekend:
The Redistricting Task Force meets tonight at 6:00 p.m. in Room 416 at City Hall, and again on April 11th at 6:00 p.m. in Room 416. The final meeting is on Saturday, April 14th at 10:00 a.m. in Room 400 – with a midnight of deadline of completing the map. For more details, check for updates here
Likewise, be sure to explore the interactive redistricting map to take a closer look at the proposed district boundaries.