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City Council Selects District Map 114

Fullerton City Council held the third of four public hearings to receive public input and select a map for City Council Elections for the next 10 years at a special meeting on March 8. On a 3-2 vote (Jung, Whitaker, and Dunlap), the Council selected map 114. The majority of public speakers were from the Fullerton Redistricting Coalition, including Fullerton residents and organizations, who advocated for map 110, the map they had submitted but had not been recommended to the Council by the Redistricting Advisory Commission (RAC) on February 23.

Map 114 was recommended to Council by the RAC (5-2, Jaramillo and Vallejo opposed) along with “focus maps” 111 and 112 (6-1, Seminara opposed). Map 111 was submitted by this writer and was not discussed by Council. Maps 112 and 114 were created by demographer Dr. Justin Levitt. Map 112 was supported by a few speakers in place of map 110 because it maintained the horizontal District 3 (D3) that includes CSUF and Fullerton College (FC) like 110.

Map 114 is a re-work of map 108 submitted by community member Raymond Gandara and map 106 proposed by RAC member John Seminara (Councilperson Whitaker’s appointee). In 114, D3 is oriented vertically, following the 57 freeway, and includes CSUF but not Fullerton College (FC). Map 114 boundaries follow major arterial roads and, as Dr. Levitt noted, also has the highest population deviation, just within the 10% limit at 9.38%.

The first speaker, Mike Rodriguez, read an online petition written by Blandy Morales to bring back map 110. It was submitted to the City Council with 110 names paired with zip codes and occasional comments. The complaint opposed the Council’s decision in October to create an advisory rather than independent redistricting commission, the decision of the advisory commission last month to not advance map 110, despite it having the largest number of public comments submitted in its favor, and the separation of FC and CSUF students. The petition cited communities of interest considered when drawing map 110 that included Korean businesses between Commonwealth and Malvern in D1, AMEMSA and Muslim communities in D2, Latino communities in D4 and D5, “environmental justice interests” in D5, and “household income disparities in east Fullerton.”

Julia Gomez spoke via Zoom as a representative of the ACLU and submitted a letter on their behalf to the City Council in favor of map 110. In her statements and her letter, she suggested that the RAC may have intended to “purposefully disadvantage incumbents (Jesus Silva) or ensure that certain candidates (Sebourn) can be elected in the future” because map 114 would place Councilmembers Silva and Dunlap in D2 and Sebourn in D3 where Sebourn would not have to run against Silva to whom he lost the election for D3 in 2018.

Kayla Asato, representing OC Environmental Justice, said almost all maps have a Latino plurality Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) in D4 and D5, but map 110 had the most impact for renters and low-income and “housing-insecure” people in D3. She said that north of Bastanchury and along Associated Road there are more higher income residents who are different than those who live south of Dorothy Lane in “historic housing.”

In all, 10 speakers at the March 8 public hearing requested that the Council consider map 110, because D3 creates a district with a majority of residents who rent apartments or houses versus owning a home, are students, and people impacted by the schools.

RAC Chair Sebourn called in to explain that Map 114 “Didn’t seem to split communities of interest” and Map 110 “had issues” so they recommended 112 because it kept FC and CSUF together like 110 but was “better balanced.”

Another RAC member, Dr. Jody Vallejo, thanked Sebourn for his role as the commission chair, but then said she was “dismayed that a majority of (RAC) members rejected 110.” She recommended that the Council consider Map 112 because it is “closest to the map created by the community.”

Councilperson Silva asked Sebourn why the commission did not forward map 110 to the Council. Sebourn explained that D3 in map 110 is narrow, 3.6 miles long, and connects communities with “nothing in common.” He said keeping FC and CSUF in the same district is like keeping the airport and the transportation center in the same district.

Silva made a motion to select map 112 because it had received support from the community and the commission. Mayor Jung “encouraged” Silva to not compromise if he preferred map 110. Silva said he was respecting the decision of the commission and made no change to his motion. His motion was later seconded by Councilperson Zahra.

Councilperson Dunlap gave his opinion that those who spoke in favor of map 110 were “special interest groups,” and that the city was too small to “carve it up.” He said map 114 was the “most straightforward” map while some maps are the “definition of gerrymandering.” Dunlap made a motion to approve map 114.

Whitaker agreed that 114 is “compact and comprehensible” and admitted the boundaries he approved in 2016 were difficult to comprehend. He said the “key to map 114” is that the community of interest flanking the 57 freeway would otherwise be orphaned or stranded. He seconded Dunlap’s motion for 114.

Mayor Jung asked the demographer if maps 111, 112, and 114 all meet the State and federal guidelines. Then he asked for the Asian American Citizen Voting Age Population of D1 in maps 111, 112, and 114. Levitt responded that the numbers were 53%, 52%, and 56%, respectively. Jung immediately called for a vote and 114 was approved.

Ostensibly, the council may reconsider their current selection, map 114, and select a different “final map” at the fourth and final public hearing on March 29  at 6:30pm in the City Council Chamber. The calendar has a placeholder for a second reading of the ordinance establishing new voting districts on April 6 “if needed.”

Maps may still be submitted for consideration by Council. For map submission deadline, e-mail districtelections@cityoffullerton.com or call (714) 738-6350. All maps submitted by the public and created by the demographer can be viewed using the interactive web viewer available at City of Fullerton Redistricting 2021.

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20 replies »

  1. Well done. Map 114 is clearly the best map. The people crying for 110 and its bizarre D3 were sort of sad. “The Renters District” was rolled out. “The University District” was run up the flag pole. “The Historic Houses District” was given a shot. Whatever nonsense might stick to the wall. The unvarnished truth is that they should have just called it “The Keep Silva in Office District” and at least be honest.

  2. P.S, Sebourn’s explanation was lucid and logical. A lot more than can be said about Mr. Silva.

  3. David, nothing can stick when the process is clearly rigged. Sebourn drew himself a district that he can win and Don Tony gave him his blessing.

    PERHAOS this is _inevitable_ once there are districts but it remains amusing watching a City that would like to see itself Norman Rockwellish hues, pull ot the daggers to bring back “the natural order of things” when it could be threatened.

    • Poor, delusional Dennis. The commission members were required to promise that they wouldn’t run for election. If you knew your ass from your alb you’d know that, at least. Rigged? Does that apply to those two dozen drones trying to pretend District 3 meant anything other than keeping Silva in office?

      The “natural order of things?” Now that’s funny. Silva was gerrymandered INTO his current district, which of course is an abortion created by economic interests. He gets a two year hiatus to figure out if Fullerton needs a babbling buffoon to represent District 2 in 2024.

      If decently paved roads means Rockwellian to you, then I suggest it’s not amusing, it’s essential.

      Meantime, please do yourself a favor and stay in the shallow end.

  4. David from the article above:

    “Julia Gomez spoke via Zoom as a representative of the ACLU and submitted a letter on their behalf to the City Council in favor of map 110. In her statements and her letter, she suggested that the RAC may have intended to “purposefully disadvantage incumbents (Jesus Silva) or ensure that certain candidates (Sebourn) can be elected in the future” because map 114 would place Councilmembers Silva and Dunlap in D2 and Sebourn in D3 where Sebourn would not have to run against Silva to whom he lost the election for D3 in 2018. “

    • Has anyone asked Greg Sebourn if he intends to run for city council? Or if either Nick Dunlap or Jesus Silva even plan to run tor re-election? Maybe that question should be answered before making assumptions about motives.

      I’ve been a “card carrying” member of the ACLU in the past, and generally support their mission, but their representation in court to oppose the current map was pitifully inadequate a few years ago, so I wouldn’t hang your hat on anything the local office has to say in the process this time.

      • The ACLU person was woefully ignorant about Fullerton. She just rambled off the prescribed talking points. I just wish the advocates of the comical Map 110 could at lest be honest about their real motivation.

        It’s my understanding that the commission members are pledged not to run for CC in 2022 – meaning that even if Sebourn wanted to run again (I’m told he doesn’t) it would likely be against an incumbent – in 2026.

    • Gee, could she, and you, be wrong? I got a kick how the ACLU person knew NOTHING about Fullerton. The D3 in Map 110 MAKES NO DAMN SENSE – EXCEPT TO KEEP SILVA’S POLITICAL CAREER (SUCH AS IT IS) ALIVE. What utter hypocrisy your gang has demonstrated. Pharisees.

      • David,

        The only reason why you say that D3 in Map 110 makes no sense is because your patron Don Tony declared that he didn’t like that map.

        Map 110 like the previous district map simply put both of Fullerton’s College Campuses — CSUF and Fullerton College — into one district.

        This made sense to the previous Council that created that district, and made sense to the Community that created that map for consideration this time around. Many of the people who created that map spoke at both the last Redistricting Commission’s Meeting and then at the City Council.

        But this didn’t matter because Don Tony didn’t like that map for reasons that only he knows.

        And yes, the way the other members of the Redistricting Commission started falling over themselves to find excuses to ignore the people who came out to speak in favor of Map 110 after Don Tony declared himself opposed to it was honestly worthy of an SNL skit.

        And yes these meetings are video taped, look up the tape as it was authentically funny…

        Now the person from the ACLU speaking at the Fullerton City Council meeting and then the author of this article (two different people) noted that Map 114 (the one that Don Tony liked) is the map that would put the Redistricting Commission’s chair Sebourn alone in District 3 splicing out Silva (who beat Sebourn the last time).

        I suppose we’ll see if Sebourn runs. And until we see who is running for the new District 3, we’ll all be blowing air. But clearly “the ground is prepared for him.”

        This may be an unfortunate coincidence for him if he does not run, but it will certainly be a suspicious one if he does. So yes, I hope for his sake he does not run as the stench would be rather strong if he did. Sigh …

  5. “The only reason why you say that D3 in Map 110 makes no sense is because your patron Don Tony declared that he didn’t like that map.”

    Of course that’s an outright lie. I have given lots of cogent reasons why Map 114 is the best. You just don’t give a damn. But I’ll go ahead anyway, yo see if you can stick to facts instead of febrile fantasy. Map 114 draws cohesive districts that are compact and that keeps together communities of interest – most importantly the 57 Corridor.

    Map 110 D3 violates compactness, and despite the utter nonsense babbled by your kindred (disingenuous) draws together NO communities of interest. In fact it splits the area east of the 57 in two. The arguments (well not arguments but fact-free assertions) of a renters district, a historic district, or a college district were all so specious that they really don’t even merit rebuttal. Silva isn’t being “spliced out” whatever that means. He happens to live in a gerrymandered district that permitted him a free run for the City Council in 2018. Any decent map would cut off that slender tentacle that brought him into D3. Map 110.

    You need to quit slandering people you know nothing about – like me and Bushala – who, by the way, has done more for Fullerton than you ever will with your patronizing pontification and self-righteousness sermons.

    I’m done explaining things to you. You are not a person of good faith.

    • David, the Previous Council found keeping the City’s two colleges / universities together in a community of interest. You seem to prefer a freeway ;-).

      As for Bushala, last year then Mayor Whitaker interrupted a meeting on Fullerton meeting its RHNA goals — STOPPED THE PRESENTER MID SENTENCE — so that Bushala calling-in (late …) could give a plug for a shopping mall that he wants to build.

      Only _very special people_ have that kind of clout to shake up _a mayor_ like that.

      Call me what you want, I see what I see …

      • “the Previous Council found keeping the City’s two colleges / universities together in a community of interest. …” If you are trying to justify any aspect of any prospective new map based on what the Fullerton City Council chose as the map currently in use then your arguments are utterly bankrupt of credibility. The map currently in use is so devoid of any concern for maintaining communities of interest into districts that it would be illegal today under subsequently adopted state law.

        I don’t recall any of the council at that time trying to justify the map they chose on the basis of keeping FC and CSUF in the same district. Their overriding stated collective concern, aside from individual self-preservation, was to have all of the absurdly gerrymandered districts “touch” the downtown area, thereby robbing downtown residents of their own district. Democrats at that time had unified around Map 2B, which similarly, though not as drastically, sacrificed downtown for their own purposes.

        The so-called “coalition” backing 110 this time includes at least one prominent member who doesn’t even live in Fullerton. It’s a nakedly partisan group trying to rationalize a bad map for their own party. Perhaps Map 114 is the same for the Republicans, but at least it has some geographic and demographic logic to it.

  6. Dennis Kris your vision is spot on as usual. Nice to have a clear thinker in the discussion. And thank you for all the wonderful work you have done on trying to find solutions to the homeless issues in town.

  7. Matt – The public does not know if one map or another benefits one political party over another because the demographer will not divulge that data. To me, that alone signals bad underlying motives.

    I am not a democrat, I live downtown and I participated in the original districting meetings where we chose map 2B. In my subgroup, keeping the colleges together was a factor considered.Of course all our work was ignored in favor of the final “bar” map selected (and rumored at the time to be created behind closed doors by council member Fitzgerald). I do think it was created to disenfranchise downtown residents who had issues with the bars.

    • Sharon, I agree that the data should be public, but I suspect that the political parties can find out that data for themselves, or get a pretty good idea of what will advantage one party over another by looking at past election data.

      2B was a revised version of Map 2, which was created where and by whom? Was produced in one of the many community meetings?

      • I don’t know what 2B is but I know that Democrat activists got together to cook up a ridiculous, indefensible map to keep Sharon Quirk’s husband in a job – a job he needs to support his new job as a lobbyist. They won’t tell the truth. Not even the prevaricating priest who has heavenly aspirations. Jane’s map also cut out Silva. Did any of these “community activists” bitch about that?

  8. City of Fullerton is completely and totally broken. It’s time to vote out all the seat warmers. The people need to take back control or this city is going to hell in a hand basket. Let’s start by letting the people choose the mayor and not the council. It’s obviously not working anymore. I am looking for good strong people who want to run against these guys and primary them out. If we don’t we won’t hacve a city left.

  9. Map 2B was an amalgamation of the public workshops. The final map selected was the late received bar map said to have been created by Fitzgerald to disinfranchise downtown area dwellers pissed off by the consequences of the bar nightlife on their properties. That map was gerryrigged carving out a finger at the top so Sebourn could run against Silva. Silva had nothing to do with creating that map. There may be nothing wrong with map 114 but I chose map 110 because once again it was based on the most public participation. What new lobbyist job? Silva is still a middle school teacher isn’t he? Maybe Zenger – who doesn’t live in Fullerton can answer that question. Bushala has been fined numerous times for violations by the Fair Political Practices Commission. But no person is all bad – I would love to hear all the wonderful things he has done for Fullerton. Zenger – can you name any?

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