Your input is incredibly important. The results of this process will significantly impact future policies that will affect your quality of life such as single-family zoning and housing density, homelessness, taxes, etc.
During redistricting, boundaries are redrawn so that each state or local district is substantially equal in population. At the local level, this process determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together for the purposes of electing city council and county supervisors.
Gerrymandering efforts designed to give one party or group an unfair advantage over another party or group are always an issue. This year is no exception.
On the county level, the Board of Supervisors, by a 3-2 vote, Susan Ellenberg, Cindy Chavez, and Otto Lee voting in favor, advanced three maps for consideration: the Yellow, Purple and EE 2.0 maps.
The “Yellow” “Unity” Map was submitted by South Bay Labor Council and Working Partnerships USA which many say would benefit their political goals while splitting up Communities of Interest in Almaden Valley, Evergreen Valley, Cambrian, Rose Garden, the Vietnamese Community and more. The San Jose Mercury News says, the Yellow map violates the California Election Code criteria governing the redistricting process. The criteria states that the county should “preserve the integrity of neighborhoods and local communities of interest, which are populations that share common social or economic interests that should be included within a single supervisorial district for purposes of effective and fair representation. Communities of interest do not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.”
This same group has also submitted a “Yellow” “Unity” map for the City redistricting process. There has been fierce neighborhood opposition to this map as it divides many established communities of interest. It would move over half of Willow Glen into two other districts. Residents worry that splitting neighborhoods such as Naglee Park, Japantown and Willow Glen, will dilute the area’s voice concerning issues such as homelessness, parking, property taxes and city resources.
The good news is that there are two maps that respect communities of interest and do not violate the California Election Code. They are the commission drawn D4 map and the Community Map which was proposed by a grassroots effort from residents in many neighborhoods across San Jose. The City of San Jose redistricting commission has not yet advanced a map to City Council. It will vote on Wednesday, November 17th at 6pm.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
CITY: Email City Clerk [email protected] and [email protected]
and/or Call into the San Jose Meeting on 11/17 at 6pm and tell them to advance the D4 and/or Community Map not the “Unity” map. Keep communities of interest together.
“Willow Glen is a community of interest, the neighborhood needs to stay together. Support the advocacy of WGNA. Please do not divide our neighborhood.”
COUNTY: Email the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors at:
Tell them to vote for the Equal and Equitable Map (EE 2.0) which would avoid dividing neighborhoods and keeps our communities together. Map EE 2.0 follows all best practices, established by the state, for creating County Supervisorial districts. Please do the right thing and vote for Map EE 2.0 to provide fair representation for all our communities in Santa Clara County.
Willow Glen Neighborhood Association letters submitted to the Commissioners:
WGNA Redistricting Letter 20211102
WGNA Redistricting Letter 20211028
WGNA Redistricting Letter 20211019
WGNA Redistricting Letter 20211009
Willow Glen is one of Santa Clara County’s oldest neighborhoods which until 1936 was its own incorporated town. Willow Glen residents have a long history of civic and cultural engagement, always striving to create a community built on friendship and kindness with their neighbors. Willow Glen is a welcoming and diverse community representing an inspiring number of ethnic and religious groups with origins from across the globe. Willow Glen is also home to a substantial LGBT population choosing Willow Glen for its sense of community and proximity to the LGBT community center in the same city council district. Willow Glen also has the oldest population – 70 plus – living alone in San Jose and we are focused on assisting our fellow elderly neighbors.
Willow Glen is not only a geographic area but an established, genuine, and well documented community of interest. A community of interest with shared values and experiences including that of commerce, family, history, institutional, religious, schools (private and public), social, youth sports leagues, volunteerism, and civic pride. These are all attributes every neighborhood in the county would hope to develop within its business districts and neighborhoods.