Residents Weigh In On Future District 7 Supervisorial Boundaries

The Redistricting Task Force met to collect comments about what should and shouldn’t be included in the redrawn map for Supervisorial District 7.

Population change by district. Courtesy image
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Residents, many affiliated with improvement associations, shared input Wednesday evening about what neighborhoods and communities should be part of Supervisorial District Seven for the next decade.

The city's Redistricting Task Force, the nine-member body responsible for redrawing the city’s 11 supervisorial districts after the release of the U.S. Census each decade, held the virtual meeting.

The newly drawn districts will determine the way communities are represented at City Hall. The RTF can draw them however they see fit so long as their boundaries keep existing economic, social and cultural communities, referred to as “communities of interest,” intact to the greatest degree possible. They also must balance each district’s population within 1% of one-eleventh of San Francisco’s population, which is 79,545 people based on the 2020 Census.

Comments at the virtual meeting addressed several areas in and around District Seven. Residents called on the RTF to keep Ingleside's stretch of Ocean Avenue solely inside of District Seven, some implored them to redraw District Seven to include the commercial strip near Irving Street and Ninth Avenue, while others demanded that Diamond Heights to remain entirely within District Eight, and several Chinese-speaking residents called for Lowell High School to be moved to District Four.

Pierre Smit, executive director of the Ocean Avenue Association, implored the task force to keep Ocean Avenue entirely inside one district, contrary to comments made during the Feb. 7 RTF meeting focused on District 11 about splitting Ingleside's stretch of Ocean Avenue between Districts Seven and 11.

“Right now we are in one single district, and we would like to keep it that way,” Smit said. “Splitting a business corridor in two different districts would be twice as much work.”

While most of the community benefit district that the Ocean Avenue Association manages is in District Seven, a part lies in District 11.

Dennis Minnick, president of the Sunset Heights Association of Responsible People and a 47-year resident of the Inner Sunset-Golden Gate Heights area, said that he wanted District Seven to include the shopping and dining area of Irving Street near Ninth Avenue to place that commercial area and the residents who frequent it into the same district.

“I walk four blocks to the Ninth and Irving shopping area several times a week,” Minnick said. “That area is in District Five, only four blocks from my house. Our shopping area should stay in the same area as the residents who use it.”

Another concern raised by public commenters was the risk of having Diamond Heights, which is currently inside of District Eight, bisected by both District Seven and Eight, should District Seven be redrawn to include it.

Betsy Eddy, co-president of the Diamond Heights Community Association, warned that splitting Diamond Heights between the two districts would result in inconsistent representation at City Hall.

“Diamond Heights is designated a community of interest,” Eddy said. “It would be a disservice to residents to divide the neighborhood either vertically or horizontally.”

Evan Chan, a father of two living in the Lakeshore neighborhood in District Seven, said that he wants the task force to redraw District Four to extend south of Sloat Boulevard, its current border, so that his home and the children’s play area in Sigmund Stern Grove are in the same district.

“Every week, when I go to Stern Grove with my toddler and my baby, I cross an invisible boundary from District Seven into District Four,” Chan said, “My family shops, eats, and enjoys community in the Sunset. I understand that District Four must grow — extending District Four south of Sloat [Boulevard] makes sense to me.”

Five of the 36 who spoke, four of whom were Chinese speakers living in the Sunset District, said that they want Lowell High School, where they said their children attend, to be placed in District Four. Callers said this would ensure that Lowell, their homes and sections of the bus routes that connect the two, such as the 18 and the 28 lines, are represented by one supervisor.

“My opinion is that Lowell High School could move from District Seven to District Four because my neighbors’ children all attend this high school,” Mae Wu said through a Cantonese translator. “Our resources, allocation, and public transit accommodations should all be coordinated and harmonized by [the] Sunset District.”

The public is invited to draw proposal district maps for submission to the Redistricting Task Force using an interactive tool.

Update: This article was updated to clarify Pierre Smit's comments.

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