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Protesters Angry Over Redistricting Task Force Plan For San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) - Dozens rallied in San Francisco on Monday to protest the city's redistricting plan based on the latest census, which they say will leave out some communities.

As the city's Redistricting Task Force met Monday evening to approve its final draft, one of the last steps of the process, they listened to more public comment critical of the new borders.

"Throughout this process the voices that have been given more importance are coming from affluent, privileged communities and those coming from marginalized communities have been pushed to make the compromise," said Sana Sethi, the communications and civic engagement organizer for San Francisco Rising.

People speaking during the meeting and rallying earlier on the steps of City Hall, said the Task Force should either rescind the map or find a way to delay the process before their deadline later this week.

"I don't know how to proceed from here because we have completely lost the public's trust," said Task Force member Chasel Lee during the previous meeting on Sunday morning.

The Task Force met Saturday to review and vote on the draft that would reflect the major changes they wanted in this process. The city requires an updated map every decade with the latest census data. Each of the 11 districts are supposed to have similar populations so that there is fair representation across the city.

Over the past 10 years, some districts have seen significant increases in residents, requiring major adjustments to move people into different districts.

"This is the most democratic process any redistricting task force in the history of San Francisco has ever gone through," Task Force member Lily Ho said.

After meeting for around 20 hours, the Task Force approved their draft early Sunday morning after four members of the Task Force walked out leaving the remaining five who in favor of it. People in the hearing room at that hour yelled at the members, interrupting the meeting many times before another round of public comment began.

"You see the injustice here, you remained and you voted," one woman said early Sunday morning during that meeting's public comment period.

Ho said the map they approved is the result of seven months of work and hundreds of hours meeting as a group, listening to thousands of people testifying and emailing their perspectives.

"I feel confident that this task force has created a map with the most fair and equal representation for each district and for each San Franciscan," said Ho.

She believes it is the best outcome given the legal boundaries before the Task Force to follow state and federal requirements. During the meeting on Sunday, she explained this process has been hard and required difficult decisions. People at that same meeting said they would hold the Task Force members who voted for the map accountable in any future endeavors they pursued locally.

"Whatever you run for, and I have a long memory and I never going to forgive the people who made this happen because it's outrageous," another woman said during public comment on Sunday morning.

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