The Commission, an independent citizens’ panel, will be responsible for drawing and adjusting the boundaries of the City’s nine City Council districts to comply with local and federal laws and the results of the 2020 U.S. Census.
The City Charter calls for a volunteer panel of three retired judges to appoint the nine Commissioners and two alternates. To be eligible to join the panel, judges must have served in any of the following courts: the Superior Court of the State of California, an appellate court of the State of California, or a U.S. District Court located within California.
The City Attorney’s Office is responsible for finding judges willing to serve and submitting a list of their names to the City Clerk. The Clerk will draw names of judges from the list at random, using procedures in the City’s Municipal Code. The first three judges selected will be appointed to the panel, and the Clerk will draw the name of one additional judge to be designated as an alternate. The alternate will be appointed if another member is unable or unwilling to serve.
The Appointing Authority must be selected by late June 2020. The panel will receive Commissioner applications immediately upon the close of the Commissioner application period, on June 30, 2020.
The Appointing Authority must hold at least one, and up to two, public meetings before November 2020 to appoint the Commission members and alternates. The public meetings are to be held as promptly as possible to ensure appointments are timely made. Procedures are detailed in the Municipal Code.
The Appointing Authority also will be required to review and approve the proposed budget for the Commission, within 60 days after Commission members are appointed.
The Appointing Authority’s work would occur between June 30 and up to Dec. 31 depending on when Commissioners submit their budget for review. This work includes reviewing applications, holding public meetings to select Commissioners, and holding a public meeting to review the Commission’s proposed budget. Public hearings will be held downtown at the City Administration Building, and City staff will be available to assist the Appointing Authority with its administrative needs, such as the required noticing of its public meetings.
City Charter section 5.1 details the legal requirements regarding who may be appointed to serve on the Commission.
The Charter directs the Appointing Authority to appoint members who will give the Redistricting Commission geographic, social and ethnic diversity, and who, in the Appointing Authority’s judgment, have a high degree of competency to carry out the Commission’s responsibilities. The appointees are to include individuals with a demonstrated capacity to serve with impartiality in a nonpartisan role.
Each member of the Commission shall be registered to vote in the City of San Diego.
The Charter also directs the Appointing Authority to attempt to appoint one Commission member from each of the nine Council districts to the extent practicable, given other Charter requirements and considering the extent of the applicant pool and an individual’s qualifications to serve. The Appointing Authority shall also attempt to appoint Commission members who possess working knowledge of the geography and neighborhoods of the City of San Diego. Alternates are to be available to serve if a Commission member cannot serve or resigns.
Retired judges interested in serving on the Appointing Authority, or who would like more information, can contact Senior Deputy City Attorney Sharon Spivak in the Government Section of the City Attorney’s Office, at [email protected], or by calling 619-236-6220.