Executive director Gabriel Medina of La Raza Community Resource Center (speaking), Kevin Ortiz of the SF Latinx Democratic Club (left), founder of Calle 24 Latino Cultural District Erick Arguello (left.) Photo taken by Annika Hom, April 1.

The city asked the community to comment on four possible redistricting maps that will affect politics and culture for the next decade, and a group of longstanding Mission nonprofits have spoken: Pick Map 4D, with modifications.

This design, like the others, combines all of Valencia Street into one district, which was seen as a plus by leaders representing Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, La Raza Community Resource Center and the American Indian Cultural District at a Friday press conference. Map 4D also preserves historic Latinx and American Indian spaces in District 9, which is key for the Mission’s cultural identity and its past of displacing Latinx and Native American residents, leaders said. 

“We want to make sure that we keep our communities of interest intact,” said Erick Arguello who founded the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District. 

But Map 4D is the only one of the Redistricting Task Force’s maps to keep the Tenderloin in District 6, which is a defining reason Latinx leaders support it over the other plans. “I also want to say that we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Tenderloin,” said Arguello. “What affects one of us, affects all of us.” 

The question to unite all of Valencia under one district has been top of mind for neighborhood leaders, since currently the west side belongs to District 8 and the east side to District 9. While many Latinx activists want it to be joined, some Valencia merchants, like Manny Yekutiel of Manny’s and queer activists, asked to be in District 8. If adopted, Mandelman, who lives on Valencia and is gay, would be cut out of his district.

Apparently the Redistricting Task Force heeded the Mission’s calls, because all four designs unite Valencia in District 9. But Latinx leaders who spoke Friday reiterated the importance. From 2000 to 2013, the Mission lost 12 percent of its Latinx residents and gained roughly the same percentage of white residents. In that post-dot-com period, Valencia Street was viewed as the center of gentrification and lost much of its working class to higher-earning professionals and businesses, which advocates now dub “Valencia-fication.”  

“We will never make up the population that we’ve lost in the Mission with any lines we draw,” said Gabriel Medina, executive director of La Raza. But “now, with these new proposed lines in Map D, we actually can unify Valencia Street, and hopefully stave off massive gentrification.”

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Medina said this could invite more Latinx representation, which has been lacking since district elections were reinstated in 2000. David Campos has been the only Latinx supervisor since districtwide elections were reinstated in 2000. “We need to be able to have that empowerment for our people. We need to be able to have that voice,” Medina said. 

Valencia is also home to a multitude of community resources, such as La Raza, Mission Housing, and Dolores Street Community Services, all which are on the District 8 side of the street.  

“It’s really been a tale of two cities, right, where you see District 9, right across the street. And technically, right now, we are in District 8,” said Kevin Ortiz, the vice president of political affairs for the San Francisco Latinx Democratic Club, from his spot outside La Raza Community Resource Center at Valencia and 16th streets.

But even Map 4D has room for improvements. Arguello called for the boundaries to extend beyond Guerrero Street at 17th and 18th Streets out to Church Street, and add Guerrero between 22nd and 24th Streets into District 9. At present, this area is part of District 8. 

Ortiz agreed, and advocated to include Guerrero Street south to 24th. The current map scoops up Mission High School, excluding other Latinx residents in the surrounding area, he said. Extending to Church would place a majority of the American Indian Cultural District, founded almost exactly two years ago on the dot, within District 9, in part thanks to support from District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen. 

American Indian Cultural District map. Originally from American Indian Cultural District.

The addition of Church and inclusion of Valencia would “prevent dividing the future area of our American Indian Cultural District,” said Paloma Flores during a recent Redistricting Task Force meeting as a representative of the American Indian Cultural District.

Flores said she has worked for Native organizations since 2007 along 16th Street and witnessed the direct impacts of gentrification and displacement in the community for 15 years. The new map could mitigate those impacts, she said. 

“Cultural districts are more than just a place on the map. They provide cultural resources and bring visibility to our community’s past, present and future.”

Map 4B actually encompasses more of that area than Map4D, but changes to Church and Guerrero would compensate for part of the loss. However, leaders Friday emphasized the need for Tenderloin to be in District 6, making Map 4D the front runner — with improvements. 
The Redistricting Task Force is holding a community meeting Saturday, April 2, at 10 a.m. and must make a decision by April 15.

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REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

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12 Comments

  1. Nobody uses Latinx in the Latin world. Just white progressive libs in SF, NYC, and Seattle.

  2. Yesterday’s statement from The League of Women Voters: “The League of Women Voters of San Francisco is deeply concerned that the draft supervisor district maps created so far by the city’s Redistricting Task Force fail to adequately reflect the input that has been shared by the most vulnerable and least represented people in our city. LWVSF is especially alarmed to see draft maps that would diminish the voting power of low-income, immigrant, renter, LGBTQ+, and people of color neighborhoods.”

  3. ……more from the League of Women Voters:” “Dozens of historically and systemically excluded communities in San Francisco have put in substantial time and effort to tell the Redistricting Task Force what they need,” said LWVSF President Alison Goh. “Yet, with just over one week left in the mapping process, the needs of many of those groups have been left out of the draft supervisor maps made by the task force.”

  4. The League seems to favor map 4D wit( some tweeks. More from yesterday’s statement: “LWVSF has attended every Redistricting Task Force meeting and listened closely to comments from San Franciscans. There has been overwhelming community support for keeping the Tenderloin and West/Central South of Market areas together in District 6, and for keeping the SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Heritage District, LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District, and Transgender District whole and together in one supervisor district. Yet, in the Redistricting Task Force’s most recent set of draft maps, only one map — Map 4D — actually reflects these concerns.”

  5. More on Redistricting Task Force’s clueless lumping of lower income folks and renters with affluent home owners in Sea Cliff , Presidio Terrace and along Lake Street: “ Many people have also spoken passionately about the need to protect the voting power of low-income, renter, and Asian Pacific Islander communities in the Richmond. Yet, in the Redistricting Task Force’s most recent set of draft maps, the areas of Sea Cliff, Presidio Terrace, and north of Lake Street, which are primarily affluent homeowner neighborhoods with characteristics at odds with most of the Richmond, are moved into District 1.”

    1. Yes – I noticed in a projection of maps that included population percentage changes from redistricting that the percentages of Asian-Americans in almost every district was reduced in every option. And consequently, percentages of White people go up. Is that on purpose? Are they trying to reduce the Asian-American voting power and hoping no one will notice or care?

  6. Haste makes waste……..why only 5 weeks Task Force??? “LWVSF’s displeasure with the timeline the Redistricting Task Force gave itself to create draft maps and hear public input on those maps is well documented, as are our concerns about the task force’s community outreach. In other cities and counties, redistricting commissions have often needed two to three months or more to hear public input on draft maps. The San Francisco Redistricting Task Force gave itself less than five weeks total for its mapping phase, significantly abridging due process.”

  7. The League doesn’t like any of the most recent maps. But 4D looks the best of the 4 recently released maps with some major adjustments…… “None of the draft maps issued by the Redistricting Task Force so far would create more fair, equitable representation in our local government. Of the four draft maps currently being considered by the Redistricting Task Force, Map 4D is the only path forward as it keeps the Tenderloin and West/Central SOMA united in one district, and does the best job of reflecting the community of interest needs of the three cultural districts in the area.

    This is not an endorsement of Map 4D, which has many substantial yet solvable problems. By moving forward with Map 4D, LWVSF is hopeful that the Redistricting Task Force will prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable and least represented people in San Francisco’s new supervisor district map.”

  8. This same Kevin Ortiz?

    https://missionlocal.org/2019/11/game-over-proposed-mission-arcade-to-be-challenged-by-neighborhood-activists/

    https://missionlocal.org/2019/11/ready-player-one-planning-commissioners-approve-mission-arcade-in-epic-meeting/

    Impressive that he has moved up in the world to “Vice President” – but this guy should have as much influence on this city as the recently-recalled members of the school board. There should be some mandate for public transparency to force these “leaders” to declare for how few people they actually represent. Ask long-time Mission business owners how they really feel about the vitality of Mission street, and it won’t be much about Muni bus lanes.

    I find it very telling that Mannys wants to get out to District 8, lest his cash register receipts be at the whims of the clowns of Calle 24.

  9. ‘But Latinx leaders who spoke Friday again reiterated the importance. From 2000 to 2013 the Mission lost 12 percent of its Latinx residents and gained roughly the same percentage of white residents. In that post-dot-com period Valencia Street was viewed as the center of gentrification and lost much of its working class to higher-earning professionals and businesses, which advocates now dub “Valencia-fication.” ‘

    Are they still leaders in their dwindling communities after, on their watch, the Latinx population fell and the white population rose under rezonings that the nonprofits signed onto? After their hand picked supervisors, backbenchers all, sat on their hands as our neighborhood was rent asunder, so long as the in-lieu and community benefit fees flowed?

    These people are not picked by the community to lead, rather are picked by private corporate boards and staffs to be compensated nonprofit staffers whose sole concern is maximizing their political power to compel more funding from government to their agencies under the guise of serving the dwindling community.

    Valenciazation has been going on for two decades now. The late Jim Meko feared in the 2000s that Folsom in SOMA could be Valenciaized.

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