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Monday, April 16, 2012

Final Supervisor District Map Approved: What it Means …

From BeyondChron,
District 10 More Progressive: Loses Portola, Picks Up Slice of Mission

One major drama at the Redistricting Task Force that had major political overtones was about the Portola – and whether to put it in District 9 or 10. Supervisor Malia Cohen came to a meeting, and spoke in favor of putting it in District 10 – which led some to wonder if she wanted Potrero Hill removed from her district. Following that meeting, she failed to get endorsed by the Potrero Hill Democratic Club in her run for S.F. Democratic County Central Committee.

Potrero Hill has always been in District 10, and it’s always had a disproportionate influence – because its white progressives vote in higher numbers than working-class residents in Bayview Hunters Point or Portola. That’s why, since district elections (in the 1970’s and today), three of the four District 10 Supervisors have been from Potrero Hill – with Malia Cohen being the fourth. By losing over 6,000 people in Portola to District 9, Potrero Hill will have even greater influence in D10.

In addition, the Task Force added a small slice of the Mission – about 1,500 people – from District 6 into District 10. This is the part east of Bryant Street and north of 20th Street, which includes Franklin Square and the Safeway on 16th Street. Residents there live next to Potrero Hill, and will vote very much the same way.
It's funny, this near mythological influence that Potrero Hill supposedly has over D10.  In the 2010 supervisor election, Potrero Hill cast 5930 votes, while Bayview cast 8533.  Yes, the percentage of registered Potrero Hill voters who cast ballots is 63% compared to Bayview's 47%, but the raw numbers of votes cast that supposedly make Potrero Hill so powerful and influential simply aren't there.  Potrero Hill also split its votes last election, with the top vote-getters (yes, I'm only basing this on first-round votes) being all Potrero Hill residents Tony Kelly (1548) and Steve Moss (1029), with DeWitt Lacy coming in a relatively distant third (452).  In Bayview, Malia Cohen (1183) and Lynette Sweet (1152) were the top two vote-getters, with Marlene Tran (747) a relatively close third.  If there had been a single candidate for either group of voters - Bayview or Potrero Hill - to have gotten behind, it would have made that the powerhouse part of the district.

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