by Provided by the City of Chula Vista

A public forum will be held on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m to discuss and approve a map that will be recommended to Chula Vista city council on Dec.7 for their final approval. The Registrar for Voters established the deadline of Dec.15 for a final map adoption in order to have an election next June. 

A series of community workshops were launched to increase public participation. This was a focal point in discussions surrounding the maps according to the city’s demographer Justin Levitt, Ph.D from National Demographics. 

According to Levitt, the current map is not legal due to imbalances found within district populations. A total deviation, or the total distance between largest and smallest districts is at 27 percent, whereas the constitution and supreme court’s interpretation requires a total deviation to be reduced to under 10 percent. 

District three drives this imbalance because of it’s overpopulation of nearly 20 percent. The Chula Vista Redistricting Commission has set a target deviation under 5 percent.  

A total of four draft maps and a timeline were presented to the Chula Vista Redistricting Commission on Oct.18, which resulted in the selection of draft two by the commission to determine a starting point for the re-creation of city boundaries. Objections from commissioners Michael Juan and Robert Moreno took place. 

The map adopted by the commission on Oct.18 has a deviation of 3.68 percent. Of the four options presented to council, the selected map was one of two options which maintained the I-805 boundary for district four. 

In draft map two, District four grew northbound into District two. That required for District two to grow eastward into District one, which resulted in gaining population within District three bounds. In effect, district three would lose some population.  

Levitt said this map option took the I-805 as a starting point based on feedback presented in workshops held in the months prior. 

“As you can see, it spirals across the city to pick up the necessary populations and become population balanced,” Levitt said. 

Demographers are required to follow criteria established by the city charter such as establishing a reasonable population, geographically compact and continuous areas, following man-made and natural boundaries, and respecting communities of interest in the city to the extent possible.

All maps must be drawn blind to partisanship and must respect communities of interest to the extent that are practicable. Chula Vista City Attorney Glen Googins introduced Frank Rivera, a Principal Civil Engineer with over 37 years working for the city to aid in the redistricting process. 

“A lot of conversation to this data is what are these communities of interest and how can they be best represented. That is something we hope to continue tonight and through the remainder of the process,” Levitt said. 

Commissioner Micheal Juan placed a motion for Levitt to adjust the District four boundary toward H street and cut across near Sandpiper Way to allow for two representatives to look over the Bayfront. The motion was passed with the exception of Commissioner John Cressler who expressed concern that the division will not be evenly distributed across the Bayfront. 

Vice Chair Stelle Andrade passed a motion to use the Otay Lakes Road boundary between Districts one and two.

Draft map two will remain the basis in future redistricting discussions, and recommendations passed by council will be taken under consideration and presented in two weeks. 

“I want to remind you that you don't need to be subordinate to this. You all live here and frequent these neighborhoods. You may even go out to visit different areas as part of your due diligence and all of that is legitimate and appropriate for you to factor in,” Googins said. 

Public comments regarding the proposed maps can be made online and opportunities for further discussion will be available on Nov.18. 

Community members are encouraged to experiment with tools offered on the city’s redistricting webpage. PDF Paper kits with the city’s population counts and Excel sheets prepared with numbers for calculation are also made available to the public. The public may paint communities of interest through “District R”, an interactive redistricting map that allows the creation of a redistricting model.

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