The San Diego County Redistricting Advisory Committee met for the first time in county chambers on February 23. The five county supervisors appointed five committee members: Deanna Weeks, Andrea Skorepa, Bruce Reznik, Adam Day, and Michael Anderson on February 9. Redrawing political boundaries is required after each ten-year census.
During the next four months, the committee will be asked to analyze population data from last year's census and gather public input. After doing so, they can submit up to three new district maps.
While the process is not new, neither is public concern about the process. Critics worry that the board of supervisors will ignore the committee's recommendations as they did in 2001 and draw the boundaries for political reasons.
Former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre is among those critics. During public comment, Aguirre urged the committee to be nonpartisan and warned them of the Board of Supervisors’ influence over county staff.
“In Sacramento the democrats redistricted in a way that was undemocratic. In San Diego County, the republicans have done the same thing.... The staff is going to get directed by the supervisors unless you stop it. Last time the plan was completely disregarded," said Aguirre, who accused the supervisors of holding closed-session meetings during the 2001 redistricting process.
To prevent the same thing from happening, Aguirre suggested that the committee members be independent from staff.
"Try and have little information come from the staff to you. The directive should be from you to the staff. You're the best chance...the only chance to restore the democratic process to San Diego County. When you have five republicans on the board, you know you don't have a democratic process."
The committee will meet 12 times until their June 9 deadline for proposals. The next meeting will be on March 8 in county chambers at 9 a.m.