Political redistricting meeting or Pride Parade — choose one 

When setting up what could be a heated public meeting in San Francisco about redrawing the state’s political boundaries, you might want to invite The City’s sizable — and politically active — gay population.

But by default, that’s exactly what the California Citizens Redistricting Commission failed to do when it scheduled the sole public meeting for region 8 on the same day as the San Francisco Pride Parade and Festival, according to an influential San Francisco political group.

In a letter Friday to Executive Director Daniel Claypool and commissioners with the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club called on the commission to change the date so that it didn’t conflict with the largest gay pride event held in California.

“It is particularly important to our organization that members of the LGBT community are able to participate in this hearing,” read the letter. “Alice takes the issues of redistricting very seriously as it has always been at the forefront of political issues and activities throughout the state for the last 40 years.”

The authors of the letter, Bentrish Satarzadeh & Reese Aaron Isbell, added that “all the various LGBT political and grassroots organizations in San Francisco are deeply committed to activities on Pride Sunday and will find the timing complicated for scheduling to say the least.”

Early Monday morning, the group sent the letter out to the media, and within hours the club had received an “enthusiastic” promise to reschedule the meeting, Satarzadeh said.

A spokesman for the commission confirmed that they were looking to change the date, and would provide the new meeting information later Monday.


UPDATE: The commission released the following statement Monday afternoon:

In an effort to schedule a wide reaching series of public input hearings across the state we inadvertently set our meeting in San Francisco on the same weekend as the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Pride Festival and Parade.  The Commission certainly understands that this is a very impactful and important event.

Commission staff is working as we speak to re-schedule the hearing and to bring to the Commission for approval at our meeting later this week.

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Brent Begin

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