The redistricting map as of the end of Thursday night. Screenshot from meeting.

“You miss one meeting around here and everything changes.”

So said a member of the public during last night’s task force mapping session. In a process that has seen commenters of all political stripes accuse one another of gerrymandering, and has now led to the potential recall of three members of the task force, everyone can still, surely, agree with that sentiment.

Yesterday was no exception. In a move the task force conceded was its most controversial of the night, it once again split the Tenderloin from SoMa, moving them into Districts 5 and 6, respectively.

This preliminary map is where members will begin today at 3 p.m.

Chema Lee, who proposed the move, did so as part of a motion that moved Potrero Hill to District 6, switched Portola to District 9, and pushed the north-west boundary of District 8 eastwards. He said that it was made in a good-faith effort to stimulate discussion, and he expects the Tenderloin’s boundaries to change during the meeting.

“This is a very imperfect starting point, because we have to start somewhere,” he said. He also expressed sadness at moving Portola to District 9, which he had hoped to avoid. Lily Ho also expressed her dissatisfaction with the Portola move.

Lee’s original edit saw the Tenderloin split down Jones Street, but at the end of the night he moved its east boundary to Mason Street. The Tenderloin and SoMa were still separate when the final vote passed.

“It’s shocking to me right now that we are even talking about splitting up the Tenderloin,” said Chema Hernández Gil. “I can’t believe it. It’s absurd.”

Hundreds of public comments over the last weeks and months have advocated for the Tenderloin and SoMa to remain connected. The reasoning for the split put forward by some members of the task force was that it was required to keep cultural districts in SoMa whole.

“I am uncomfortable with splitting the Tenderloin,” said member Matthew Castillion. “At the same time, I do realize that the cultural districts have expressed a strong desire to stay together. And something’s got to give.”

According to the task force’s maps, splitting the Tenderloin down Jones Street would keep the trans and Filipino cultural districts intact in District 6, although members of the public have emphasized the links between those districts and the Tenderloin. Splitting the Tenderloin from SoMa down Mason Street and Market Street would see the trans district chopped in two.

Screenshot from Redistricting Task Force meeting.

Last night, significant public comment praised the current iteration of Map 4B, a change from previous meetings, in which Map 4D was the clear popular favorite.

“We were out-organized, but we are on the ball now,” said one commenter.

Near the end of the meeting, member Raynell Cooper voted to include a version of Map 4D, with Russian Hill moved to District 2 and the East Cut moved to District 3, in future discussions. The vote passed 5-4, meaning this map will be in the “back pocket” if consensus cannot be reached with the main map.

Cooper and two of his fellow members, vice chair Ditka Reiner and Chema Lee, will be facing the Elections Commission at 1:30 p.m. today. The commission will decide whether to recall them from the task force after members of the public criticized the task force’s actions on Wednesday.

The task force’s deadline is the end of the day next Friday, although they are meant to have a map with all main changes ready by tomorrow, with only minor tweaks permitted after that.

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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.

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  1. There is no such neighborhood called “The East Cut”. It’s Rincon Hill and I live here. A few wealthy property owners do not have the right to rename a neighborhood.

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  2. According to this article:
    – there’s a moderate YIMBY group behind the blatant gerrymandering that’s happening. Is there any way this can be stopped? I feel somewhat like our rights are being trampled. And it’s unnerving to think, “well hell this must be how rational people in Georgia (for example) feel – helplessly gerrymandered”.

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  3. Back to the progressive gerrymander of D 10. Split Portola and Vis Valley – two hoods which are over 50% working class Asian but will never elect a Supervisor who represents their interest.

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