Losing candidates, nonprofit leaders and other political figures are lining up for a chance to serve on an influential task force that could change the political bent of San Francisco’s supervisorial districts.
Today, Elections Commission Director John Arntz is expected to officially announce that The City’s 11 supervisorial districts will need to be redrawn based on the results of the 2010 census.
The Board of Supervisors will have until July 6 to call for the creation of a redistricting task force. The task force will be made up of three members appointed by the Elections Commission, three by the board, and three by the mayor.
The Elections Commission has already begun reviewing the 28 applicants who are vying for its three appointments. The commission interviewed candidates Wednesday night, and are expected to hold another hearing May 18 and then select three on June 15.
Applicants include unsuccessful supervisorial candidates such as Ron Dudum and Steven Moss and influential nonprofit leaders like Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness.
With new boundaries, long-standing progressive or moderate districts could shift.
Applicant Ted Loewenberg, president of the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association and a strong advocate of the politically divisive sit-lie law, said the more subtle motive at play is “how will the guys figure out a way to try and gerrymander the districts” to keep existing political strongholds, such as the historically progressive District 6 and District 11.
Redrawing district boundaries must meet certain legal requirements, including distributing population equally among all 11 districts and no dilution of the voting power of a language or racial group.
“It’s highly likely every district will be changed to some extent, some will be changed a lot, some will be changed a little,” political consultant David Latterman said.
Daniel Scherotter, chef and owner of the Palio d’Asti Restaurant and former vice president of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said he believes he gives voice to an underrepresented segment at City Hall, and said progressives “will want to have safer districts for progressives,” as moderates too will work toward that goal. “Everybody’s got a dog in this fight,” he said.
The impacts of the redrawn district boundaries will be tested for the first time during the November 2012 election when the six odd-numbered districts are up for grabs.
11 Board of Supervisors districts
6 supervisor elections in November 2012
60 days the board has to convene redistricting task force
9 people on the task force
3 members each appointed by mayor, Elections Commission and Board of Supervisors
28 applicants vying for commission’s three appointments