As the April 15 deadline for redistricting supervisorial districts approaches, many District 10 residents are adamant that Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, and Bayview should remain together. To separate them would be counter to historical ties between the communities, demographic patterns, and interests advocates insist. Yet, one proposed map, released last month, puts areas west of Kansas Street between 17th and 22nd streets into District 9.
Redistricting occurs every 10 years after federal census data reveals new population levels and geographic distributions. According to federal, state, and local laws – including the Federal Voting Rights Act – elective boundaries must have an equal number of inhabitants, with no more than a five percent variation “to prevent dividing or diluting the voting power of minorities and/or to keep recognized neighborhoods intact.”
The most recent census revealed that District 10’s population, 86,323 people, deviates by 8.65 percent from the average supervisorial district populace, 79,545. As a result, the District must be redrawn to bring the number of inhabitants closer to what’s required, a roughly 4,000 person reduction, if not more.
During a March Redistricting Task Force meeting, Potrero Hill Boosters President J.R. Eppler asserted that the way District 10 members travel on the 22-Fillmore bus line, from northwest Potrero into Dogpatch, ending at Mission Bay, demonstrates that these communities are connected, as exhibited by commute patterns.
Rob Passaro, a Texas Street resident, said the area defined by 16th Street to the north, Caesar Chavez to the south, Potrero Avenue to the west, and Highway 280 to the east, should be within one district, along with Dogpatch and Showplace Square.
“Our community is born from an industrial heritage that continues to exert itself in land use policies as modern, light industry and mixed-use development remediates polluted land and builds the physical and civic infrastructure already enjoyed by most parts of the City,” he said in a public comment. “We attend the same neighborhood public schools; ride the same transit lines; and travel the same few streets to leave the neighborhood and return home.”
He added that neighborhood groups often partner together to advance common causes.
“The Boosters, Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, Potrero-Dogpatch Merchants Association, and Potrero Hill Democratic Club have all worked together in service of the whole of the community,” he wrote. “The Green Benefit District is a particularly telling example, covering the northwest corner of Potrero Hill and Dogpatch to the east; two distinct areas nonetheless joined by their common need for open space and to remediate the blight of the freeways.”
Connecticut Street resident, Hannah Bascom, commented, “The Bayview, Potrero, Showplace Square, and Dogpatch form a solid community of interest with shared history and present-day issues stemming from neglect and industrial land uses. Although our demographics are diverse, our communities together face serious impacts from contaminated soil and poor air quality, massive growth, and limited investment in public infrastructure.”
She asserted that keeping the neighborhoods in the same district would bolster efforts to address common issues and achieve common goals.
“To divide Dogpatch from Potrero, or the north slope of Potrero from the south, imposes false boundaries that would seriously dilute our advocacy efforts,” she wrote.
De’Anthony Jones, a representative from MegaBlack SF, a coalition of Black leaders in community-led organizations, said it’s important for Bayview and Potrero Hill to be represented by the same supervisor to support advocacy efforts involving HOPE SF public housing sites, which’re located in both areas.
“We do feel like it’s important to keep District 10 together because there are a lot of advocacy connections and cultural connections as well,” he said.
“We firmly believe the Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and Bayview neighborhoods should be kept in the same district,” said Jennifer Doan, director of marketing communications at Veritable Vegetable, an organic produce distributor that’s been in operation for more than 45 years, 37 in Dogpatch. “The combined demographics from all three neighborhoods is a better representation of the demographics of the diverse workforce at Veritable Vegetable. Separating the neighborhoods may also lead to certain neighborhoods becoming more marginalized, while others have stronger representation as the demographics of each neighborhood change over time.”
Doan added that businesses in the area have similar needs as residents related to parking, access to public transportation, informal encampments, and public safety.
“Small businesses are just as much a part of the community as residents and it’s important to speak up and represent the industrial side of the district,” she said.
Redistricted maps shouldn’t look dramatically different than the status quo, according to Russel Morine, a Visitacion Valley resident who was born and raised in Bayview-Hunters Point. Moving entire neighborhoods out of a district is “just going to cause problems and no one is looking for that,” Morine said. “No one is looking to be dramatically changed.”
Morine and others have submitted their own maps to reduce District 10’s population without splitting up the neighborhoods, by, for instance, moving the area west of 101/San Bruno Avenue out of 10 and into 9. The hard physical barrier of the highway already acts as a separator so it makes sense to incorporate it into redistricting, according to Morine.
Image (top): Initial draft of District 10 boundaries. Courtesy of Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association