San Francisco’s redistricting task force receives legal briefing 

As the nine-member task force gets to work on redrawing the boundaries that make up the 11 districts represented by members of the Board of Supervisors, it has received some pretty clear legal guidance from the City Attorney’s Office.

When the task force draws the boundary lines it must be sure to draw the lines so that all 11 districts are equal in population, the lines cannot “dilute the voting power of racial and language minorities,” and it must “consider communities of interest and use adjusted census figures when drawing district lines,” according to the legal memo from City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office. Race cannot be used as a “predominant factor when redrawing district lines,” the legal memo said.

District boundaries could be redrawn in such a way to make an area more progressive or more moderate, which is why it can become a tense and very political exercise.

The redistricting task force holds its second meeting Monday at 6 p.m. at City Hall in room 278, and it will go over the legal memo.

What has triggered the redrawing is that the 2010 US Census counted 28,502, or 3.7 percent more people from the 2000 count of 776,733 people living in San Francisco, and the growth was not uniform in all districts.

District 6, represented by Supervisor Jane Kim, will likely undergo the most significant change since it has had the largest population growth. That means that Kim could be running for re-election in a voter demographic much different than the one that elected her.

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