San Diego 101: How Redistricting Shapes Your Community | Voice of San Diego

San Diego 101

San Diego 101: How Redistricting Shapes Your Community

In Episode 3 of San Diego 101 hosts Adriana Heldiz and Maya Srikrishnan explain how redistricting works in San Diego by taking us back in time to the city’s last redistricting process.

Redistricting San Diego district art
Illustration by Adriana Heldiz

Throughout San Diego – and across the country – there are lots of meetings happening, in which communities are talking about voting – who shares their values, where they want their city council or congressional districts to be and how they can maximize the power of their vote.

This is because every 10 years all sorts of political entities from cities to school districts to state legislatures go through a process called redistricting.

Redistricting is when these various jurisdictions redraw their political maps to better represent the changing populations and demographics of their constituents. It happens right after the U.S. Census collects updated data on the country’s population.

In the newest San Diego 101 Podcast episode, hosts Adriana Heldiz and Maya Srikrishnan explain how redistricting works in San Diego. Heldiz and Srikrishnan take us back to 2011 during the city’s last redistricting process to show how this political map drawing works and what it means for communities – especially marginalized communities. (You can also watch our San Diego 101 video on redistricting here.)

They talk to two people who were heavily involved in the 2011 process. Emily Serafy-Cox, at the time, was the executive director of an organization called EMPOWER San Diego and was working with several marginalized communities throughout the city to create a map that they agreed on – and crucially, created a second Latino empowerment district, where Latino voting power was concentrated enough that they could elect someone who represented their interests into office. Heldiz and Srikrishnan also spoke with Barry Pollard, who at the time was advocating for the needs of his community, today’s City Council District 4.

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