Last Updated on 09/06/2021 to add replays of previous public hearings & links to additional public hearings.
Every 10 years, the Census surveys every household in the United States, counts each member and updates the nation’s population data. Using the new population data, which is set to be released on August 12th for 2020 Census Data, federal, state and local voting districts are redrawn.
But often districts are drawn to benefit one party instead of being representative of the population.
A common example to illustrate this is:
- Our city has 50 precincts and we want to divide them into 10 precincts to represent 5 districts.
- The makeup of these 50 precincts represents 60% Blue and 40% Yellow.
- But instead of dividing these precincts into 3 Blue and 2 Yellow districts to be representative of the 60%/40% population, they are divided to:
a. 5 Blue and 0 Yellow districts where Blue wins all and no Yellow are represented
b. 3 Yellow and 2 Blue districts where Yellow wins the majority when they only represents 40% of the population
This is called gerrymandering, and it can often manifest in different ways.
For example, drawing Escondido with parts of San Diego City instead of with its North County neighbors in the San Diego County districting. This has left many communities in Escondido unable to effectively ally with our North County neighbors to advocate for common interests in the Board of Supervisors.
- Cracking takes a group of voters and spreads them out across several districts to dilute their influence enough that they are not able to elect any representatives.
Packing crams as many of one type of voter into a single district so they’re only able to elect one representative, rather than allowing them to influence electoral outcomes in several districts.
Hijacking puts incumbent politicians from the same party who previously represented different districts into the same district so they have to run against each other.
Kidnapping moves an incumbent politician’s voter base to another district, leaving them stranded in a new district with less support.
So how do we prevent gerrymandering?
One simple way: provide feedback about our communities during what is called Communities of Interest Input.
Do you live near the Escondido Creek and have built a coalition advocating for its restoration? Or a coalition against the privatization of public services, such as the Escondido Public Library?
Or are you a student living in or around Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College? Or part of the underrepresented but growing Black, Lantinx and Asian communities in North County? Or the Indigenous and Tribal communities of the land wherein we live?
Defining your communities and submitting your feedback allow:
- The public to be (more) aware that your communities (and issues) exist
- You to advocate against the gerrymandering of your communities
Communities of Interest Input are collected during the start of the redistricting process and before maps are drawn. The survey often asks:
- What bonds your community? What are your shared interests? What brings you together? What is important to your community?
- Where is your community located? What are the boundaries of your community, e.g. counties, neighborhoods, streets, addresses, a key landmark such as college campus, facility, school, church, or other boundaries, etc.?
The Voice of San Diego provided an explainer of Communities of Interest and the role they play in San Diego redistricting here.
The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw California districts has started collecting Communities of Interest Input and will continue to September. See their California Redistricting Basics Virtual Presentation.
- You can provide your Communities of Interest Input online at Draw My CA Community.
- You can attend Communities of Interest Input Meetings virtually on:
a. Friday, August 13, 2021, 3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. (Zone K–Imperial, San Diego)
b. Thursday, September 2, 2021, 3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. (Zone K–Imperial, San Diego)
c. Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. (Southern CA, Zones H-K)
- You can watch a replay of a previous public hearing:
a. California Communities of Interest Input Meeting for Imperial & San Diego County on September 2, 2021: included an introduction in the beginning about the California Redistricting process and how to provide input. Some public comments involved Escondido advocated for keeping:
- Escondido with Valley Center, Hidden Meadows, Fallbrook, Bonsall, Temecula, and Rainbow together as part of rural agriculture community of interests
- 78 Freeway Corridor Cities (Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside and Carlsbad) together
San Diego County
The County of San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission to redraw San Diego County has started collecting Communities of Interest Input and will continue to September.
- You can provide your Communities of Interest Input online at Community Builder Tool
- You can attend Pre-Mapping (Communities of Interest) Public Hearing on:
a. Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. for General Hearing – District 3 via Zoom or In-Person at Mira Mesa Senior Center, 460 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126
b. Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. for District 3 via Zoom or In-Person at Escondido Chamber of Commerce, 720 N Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025
c. Saturday, September 18, 2021, 1:00 p.m. via Zoom (scroll down to 9/2/21 for link & passcode) or In-Person at Green Dragon Tavern & Museum, 6115 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92011
d. Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. for District 5 via Zoom or In-Person at Vista Civic Center, 200 Civic Center Dr, Vista, CA 92084
- You can watch a replay of a previous public hearing:
a. San Diego County IRC Pre-Mapping (Communities of Interest) Public Hearing Replay on September 2, 2021 in Escondido (Meeting Presentation): included an introduction in the beginning about San Diego County Redistricting process and how to provide input. The IRC also talked about 2020 Unadjusted Census Data where the percent deviation for District 3 is 1.7% and will need to be adjusted in the redistricting. The public during the meeting mainly advocated for keeping the 78 Freeway Corridor Cities (Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside and Carlsbad) together.
The Escondido Districting Commission plans to host public input hearings in January 2022. See City of Escondido Redistricting Workshop hosted in July 12, 2021.
Upcoming Independent Redistricting Commission meetings:
- Monday, August 23, 2021, 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. via Zoom or In-Person at Escondido City Hall, Council Chambers, 201 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025.
- Monday, September 13, 2021, 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. via Zoom or In-Person at Escondido City Hall, Council Chambers, 201 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025.
- Monday, September 27, 2021, 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. via Zoom or In-Person at Escondido City Hall, Council Chambers, 201 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025.
* 09/06/2021: added replays of previous public hearings & links to additional public hearings