The final draft map adopted Thursday April 21 by the Redistricting Task Force.

In a 5-4 vote tonight, the Redistricting Task Force once again selected a final draft map.

The selected map splits the Tenderloin away from SoMa. Unlike last week’s rejected map, it keeps Potrero Hill in District 10 and Portola in District 9.

The map was approved by Chair Rev. Arnold Townsend, Vice Chair Ditka Reiner, and members Matthew Castillon, Chasel Lee and Lily Ho. It was opposed by members Jeremy Lee, J. Michelle Pierce, Chema Hernández Gil, and Raynell Cooper.

The map’s selection was the latest controversial move from a task force that, over the past few weeks, has pivoted from map to map in meetings that often ended only hours before dawn. Even this final map is poised to see opposition in the coming days.

“At least five of us have publicly denounced the legitimacy of this process,” said member Hernández Gil shortly after the map passed.

He said that the task force had never created a process to “fairly organize the hundreds of comments we have received.” He added that the map selected today made “fair and effective representation more elusive, and maybe unattainable” for some marginalized communities.

As in previous meetings, today had its fair share of unexpected turns. At the end of last week’s meeting, members said they would begin again with Map 7, previously nicknamed the “healing map” or the “blow up map”. That starting point was noted in today’s agenda.

However, the task force was free to discuss any draft map from previous weeks, and five of the task force members opted to do just that. As the meeting started, they returned to the map voted down last week. Townsend immediately amended that map, moving Portola into District 9 and Potrero Hill into District 10; moves that have been called for in public comment by Black advocates from District 10.

A later motion from member Pierce moved Dogpatch from District 6 into District 10. Another, put forward by Cooper, attempted to recombine the Tenderloin with District 6 but failed, 5-4, along the same lines as the final map’s approval.

This map will very likely be approved by the task force on Thursday, April 28, to avoid missing a Department of Elections mandate of May 2. There is one more meeting scheduled before that approval meeting, which is intended for making minor “technical” adjustments, such as moving individual census blocks and fixing errors.

So, despite public comment, the Tenderloin and SoMa appear destined to remain split.

Data from the Redistricting Task Force. This map compares the final draft map approved on April 21, the final draft map rejected the week before, and San Francisco’s current district boundaries.

“The most public comment you’ve heard in this entire process, all the meetings combined, has been for the Tenderloin and SoMa to stay together,” said Curtis Bradford, co-chair of the Tenderloin People’s Congress. “And still you voted to separate it.”

“The task force willingly splitting the trans district in half is outright transphobia,” said Jupiter Peraza, director of social justice initiatives for the Transgender District.

Peraza told Mission Local that she was looking into the possibility of taking the map to court for allegedly violating the City Charter by disregarding communities of interest. Kim Tavaglione of the San Francisco Labor Council and Joseph Bryant of SEIU 1021 have previously said that they were open to pursuing legal challenges to earlier iterations of the map approved today.

Theirs would not be the first litigation filed against the task force.

On Tuesday, the task force was hit with a lawsuit headed up by Todd David, executive director of the Housing Action Coalition, after it missed its April 15 deadline. The plaintiffs alleged in a statement that “extreme partisan interests successfully intimidated” the task force into delaying past the deadline outlined in the City Charter. David said that the lawsuit was a “safety valve” that would allow the process to be thrown to a judge in the event that a map was not selected tonight.

After the map was selected, David said that they would be keeping the lawsuit active, but that it would not be invoked unless the map was somehow deselected in the coming week.

There were multiple minor disturbances during tonight’s nine-and-a-half-hour meeting. The audience was admonished several times by the chair for shouting out and interrupting speakers, and at one point an activist was escorted from the room by deputies.

Some 190 people called in for public comment, which was limited to one minute per person.

The task force’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 25.

Follow Us

DATA REPORTER. Will was born in the UK and studied English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism in New York. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

Join the Conversation


Please keep your comments short and civil. Do not leave multiple comments under multiple names on one article. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. THE primary function of a district supervisor is to represent and fight for her/his constituents. Conspiracy trolls talking trash about supervisors alerting and rallying their constituents is their actual job. Read the City Charter.

  2. Will Arnold “move my car” Townsend’s and Ditsy Reiner’s bipolar speeches be published as proof of the TF’s malfeasance?

  3. Great, that an improved map was (almost) finally passed. The changes are quite slight, but seemingly could improve Districts 6 (by removing the Tenderloin), 5 (by removing the Inner Sunset), 1 (by adding Seacliff), 4 (by removing the Lakeside), and 7 (by adding the Lakeside). As other commenters have mentioned, we really need to return to at-large District elections instead of district elections, which have led to extremist, unqualified, corrupt, and counterproductive supervisors (including Dan White, David Campos, Dean Preston, Hilary Ronen, Connie Chan, and both Mars). If we fail to return to citywide elections, at a minimum the redistricting commission should no longer have any appointees by the Board of Supervisors (this is an obvious conflict of interest & an example of the fox guarding the henhouse).

  4. This endless argument is the silliest San Francisco argument I have seen yet.

    This is not a purple state! The whole city is Democratic, and leaning to the left of the Democratic party to boot. And this is reflected in the fact that every elected Supervisor is a Democrat.

    The lines should just be drawn as straight as possible, no gerrymandering. But no, every interest group wants to feel aggrieved, without any reason whatsoever. Some of these groups apparently exist solely to feel aggrieved.

  5. Campers,

    Loving the array of photos.

    What I recall most when District Elections came in was that under the old system the BOS aides made more than their bosses.

    Gonzalez cleared that up and gave them pay equivaltent to those of surrounding area.

    First thing he did as BOS prez (job he got cause Maxwell double-crossed Peskin) …

    First thing he did was move Full Board meetings to Tuesday so that the BOS staff didn’t have to work weekends.

    Second was to let me hassle Gavin’s staff to approve Gay Marriage.

    Third was to bring in a Tidal Energy Company (Hydro-Ventura) for a presentation to put a pollution free unit under Golden Gate Bridge.

    Well, Gavin adopted Gay Marriage from the Greens, killed Tidal Energy for PG&E and did the wild thing …

    that’s another story.

    Giants win today 5-2 over Nationals.


  6. Missing from the discussion is the fact that the Parks Alliance / San Francisco Botanical Garden Society area of Golden Gate Park is being removed from Connie Chan’s purview and handed to arch-conservative YIMBY! Myra Melgar.

    The Inner Sunset will also have Melgar as its Supervisor! Horrible change!

    1. And it is somehow not conservative to block building housing for people? Views so incongruous it hurts. Try as you might to make it one, YIMBY is not a slur – more like a badge of pride. So long as people suffer in the housing market, you’ll see support for densification because young people see what has been tried (massive downzoning in the 70s driven by Welch et al) and that it hasn’t worked.

    2. Harry Pariser,

      First of all her name is MYRNA Melgar.

      Second, there are no “arch-conservative” politicians in SF — accordingly, your hyperbolic characterization is absolute absurd.

      Third, only an economic ignoramus and/or comfortably-ensconced NIMBY “I’ve-got-mine-so-screw-everybody-else” ideologue (– a prominent one just loss the AD17 in a landslide –) can argue that we don’t need more housing across the board in San Francisco; a lot more housing.

  7. We each had 11 votes! I think it was 5 in one election and 6 in the next? It was pretty cool since you could vote for a more representative mix. Supervisors were still part time- not paid that much- and big money hadn’t quite overtaken the system. The highest vote getter became board President.

  8. Now if we can just admit that this 20-year experiment in District elections has been an abject failure — resulting in low-caliber politicians, myopia, and continuous political dysfunction & inaction on the pressing issues facing the City — and return to the Citywide election of Supervisors (who’d have to appeal to a broad cross-section of the electorate), we’d never have to go through this nonsense again.

    1. I wasn’t hear when there were city wide elections for supes, how did that work?

      Did the supes still have their own districts, but elected by everyone in the city
      Was there a committee of 11 supes (or whatever number back then) all representing the entire city?

      Seeing the antics of idiocy of Preston and the microphone grabbing of Haney, I wouldn’t be opposed to city wide supervisors if that meant those two clowns would not have been elected

      1. – Michael Yaki
        – Leslie Katz
        – Barbara Kaufman
        – Amos Brown
        – Alicia Becerril
        – Mabel Teng

        That is all.

      2. Remember Harvey Milk? The district-based elections finally allowed minorities to vote for their own representative. That’s what is critically important in democracy. A few years earlier there was something along the lines of “no taxation without representation”.
        Obviously, not everyone thought like that which resulted in the assassination of Milk and Moscone. Though some Republicans these days would probably call that “political discourse”.

        1. So a principle of democracy is that it is minorities that matter rather than the majority?

          Interesting point of view.

          1. The principle behind democracy is to protects the principles laid out in the Constitution, and the Amendments and Acts put forth there after.

            The mission of progressive politics is to ensure Constitutional Rights and political power are extended to minorities, the disenfranchised, the marginalized, and the lower and middle classes; those who would not be equally considered without organizing and activism.

            District elections ushered in the first gay supervisor, the first Black supervisor, and the first Asian supervisor. It was an accomplishment that can be traced back to the Black, anti-war, and LGBTQ activists of the early 70s. And its dissolution can be traced to conservatives in the late 70s who fought it in the early 70s. And its reinstatement can be traced to a new batch of progressives in the 90s. And its current call for dissolution can be traced to…

            Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

      1. Janet Clyde describes the city wide elections of the supervisors the best. I do remember the Board of Supervisor with the city wide elections. Even if there was someone on the Board you did not agree with, vote for and/or like, the Board had to look at SF as a whole. Lot of good citywide things got done. I was living in the Tenderloin then to South of Market at the time. Both areas were [believe it or not] pretty safe and clean.

    2. Actually, it’s been more like a 40 year, or more, “experiment”, which is, was, and always will be, mostly a distraction. Citywide elections were scrapped because of the blatant power they gave to downtown corporate interests. Candidates didn’t need “wide representation”‘ if they had money. District elections were put forth as a counterweight, but have done very little, because effective power in this city lies with the Mayor. The BOS asks questions, doesn’t get answers, basically rubber stamps what the Mayor demands, and once in a while produces legislation that gets ignored and then forgotten. We’ve had conservative boards, progressive boards and mixed boards but where has it gotten us? The answer is in the pile of trash you just stepped in on the sidewalk. The redistricting farce, though excellent absurdist theater, has demonstrated that something deeper, more fundamental, is called for to turn around the City.

  9. ““The most public comment you’ve heard in this entire process, all the meetings combined, has been for the Tenderloin and SoMa to stay together,”

    Why? Market Street is the closest the city has to a natural boundary, as it delimits and defines the north and south of the city. That is why those two areas have different names!

      1. There is no cultural distinction. That is mere projection by those who seek to generalize and categorize others. Voters are individuals and not self-serving classes of people.