A Proposal to Redistrict California: San Diego

This is the last part of a proposal outlining one possible way to redistrict California.

This post will concentrate on the San Diego region, part of Southern California.

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San Diego

The population of San Diego is enough to support a bit more than four congressional districts.


CA-50 (Powder Blue):

Population – 57.1% white, 1.8% black, 27.5% Hispanic, 10.2% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 3.1% other

The communities north of the city San Diego proper are placed in CA-50. Both the beachside cities and inland areas are relatively wealthy, the inland a bit less so. Perhaps the greatest weakness with this district is that it doesn’t include Oceanside, which has enormous commonality with the coastal cities in the district.

CA-51 (Saddle Brown):

Population – 16.5% white, 8.5% black, 57.4% Hispanic, 14.6% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.7% other

Over-18 Population – 19.8% white, 52.9% Hispanic

CA-51 is the VRA district in San Diego, drawn to be Hispanic controlled. The city Chula Vista anchors the district, which is located on the Mexican border – next to the much larger Mexican city Tijuana.

CA-52 (Olive Drab):

Population – 64.6% white, 4.3% black, 19.8% Hispanic, 6.9% Asian, 0.8% Native American, 3.7% other

This district looks big, covering much more space than the other three districts combined. Don’t be fooled, however – most of that area is empty mountains and desert. The inland suburbs of San Diego are where the people actually live .

CA-52 (Gainsboro/White):

Population – 53.8% white, 4.8% black, 22.8% Hispanic, 14.5% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 3.6% other

This is basically San Diego city itself.

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Final Thoughts

As with Orange County, San Diego is easy to redistrict. The only flaw in this map is that Oceanside isn’t in CD-50, which it should be.

In general, the San Diego area has a strong division between coastal communities and more inland communities. Here there are two coastal-based districts (CA-51 and 53), one inland-based district (CA-52), and one coastal/inland hybrid (CA-50). It would be interesting to see a map with two purely inland congressional districts, although perhaps the population just isn’t there to do that.

And that’s all of California, folks.

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One Response to A Proposal to Redistrict California: San Diego

  1. Ed says:

    I’m just putting the finishing touches on my own redistricting exercise for California. I’ve found it that it is possible to draw two inland districts for the San Diego region.

    My main method in my own mapping was to respect city and county lines as much as possible. As it happens, the city of San Diego falls a little short of being able to contain two congressional districts. So I drew two districts, one for the northern part of San Diego (CA 53), and one for the southern part of the city and a few surrounding communities (CA 51).

    This makes it possible, almost inevitable, to put almost all the inland suburbs north and east of San Diego into one district (CA 50). The lines are somewhat squiggly, but that is because the district borders are formed by the boundaries of the city on the west, and mountains and canyons on the east. In fact the district would be a fairly compact assemblage of various white, well-to-do and middle class suburbs, with most of the squiggles formed by the canyons.

    The other inland district is the large area district (CA 52), covering all of Imperial County, the mountains in eastern San Diego County, plus Chula Vista and Escondido, which also turns out to have a large Mexican population. This would be the majority Latino district.

    The coastal suburbs and towns in the northwestern portion of the county were put in a district also containing the southern portion of Orange county (CA 49)

    I think the weakness with this idea is that no racial group dominates the district composed of southern San Diego city. Apparently racially polyglot districts are a big no no with mapmakers these days, including independent commissions.

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