Does Malia Cohen want to dump Potrero Hill?

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Since the dawn of district elections in the 1970s, Potrero Hill and Bayview have been part of the same district. Of the four supervisors elected to represent that district -- Bob Gonzalez and Doris Ward the first time around, Sophie Maxwell and Malia Cohen after the return of district elections -- three have come from Potrero Hill. All three also won substantial votes from Bayview Hunters Point.

But now Sup. Cohen apparently wants to kick Potrero Hill out of District 10.

At the Redistricting Task Force meeting March 29, Cohen appeared in person, and during public comment said that she wanted to see the Portola district added to D10. That's a huge change -- under most of the proposals floating around, Portola would go into D9. Cohen did not directly address the obvious, inevitable impact of her suggestion, but it's clear that if Portola goes into D10, Potrero Hill will have to go somewhere else. That's simple math.

The immediate political impact would be to make D10 more conservative -- and stick more of the progressive Potrero voters into either D6 (which would then have to sluff off what -- more of the Mission into D9? The Tenderloin into D3? What a mess.)

The folks on Potrero Hill don't seem happy about this at all. Tony Kelly, a longtime hill activist (who ran against Cohen for supe last year) sent out the following:

With her comments last night, Supervisor Cohen took the side of the real estate industry, and against her constituents on Potrero Hill. The real estate industry has demanded this exact exchange of Portola for Potrero at every Task Force meeting since early January, as part of their plan to re-shape the Board of Supervisors. Neighborhood residents and organizations from Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola, and elsewhere have been speaking against it at the same meetings.

The real-estate industry wants, of course, to force as many progressives as possible into as few districts as possible, to try to make it easier to elect conservatives from D10, D11 and D1, to go with the moderate/conservative bloc already in D2, D4, and D8 -- and guess what? Six vote majority.

I've been trying all day to reach Cohen in her office and by cell. So far no response. I'll let you know if she calls me.

Comments

than urbane, affluent Potrero Hill and gritty, ghetto Bayview. It makes little sense to have them together. Potrero Hill logically and demographically fits better with SOMA or the hipper parts of the NE Mission.

Bayview is a "further out burb" and probably sits well with Portola.

If we have to have district elections at all, then let's at least make the districts homogenuous.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 30, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

based on racialist views, the elected rep's of the city should represent the citizens, not the narrow views of one racialist or class crazed group.

Posted by Steven Haaland Daly on Mar. 30, 2012 @ 5:47 pm
?

Have you ever been to the Bayview. I have spent almost 20 years as a Visiting Nurse all over this city, much of it in BVHP. I don't think you know what you are talking about.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 30, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

On the flip side you want to disenfranchise thousands of Chinese voters by sticking them in a white and Latino district really far away. The progressive jihad against the Chinese continues!

Posted by Unpleasant Guest on Mar. 30, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

Choosing district by race seems beyond dumb to me.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 30, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

Federal law requires ethnicity amongst other communities of interest to be given formal consideration and kept intact if possible during redistricting.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

Don't tell me now after all this sanctuary city non sense, it is scared of the fed now?

Posted by Steven Haaland Daly on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

He loves the Constitution and the Law except when he doesn't.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

If you don't like the law, organize to challenge the law.

Go ahead.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

There are always options.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2012 @ 8:36 am

Excellent nick. Gave me a good chuckle.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2012 @ 7:43 am

Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2012 @ 2:48 am

TR's statement about the "dawn of district elections in the 70s" is misleading. In the early 80s I lived on Potrero Hill and electoral districts had been dropped...it was "at large" again. Whatever the labels, PH was a truly "open-minded" creature of the Herb Caen Baghdad by the Bay.

However, there was this sprawling police district called "Potrero" comprising PH, 3rd, waterfront (think Prohibition), Bayview. Because of the high crime Bayview area, Potrero Hill had an unsavory reputation although crime on the hill was very low, even considering the projects on the SE face.

It seems time that Potrero Hill be divorced from Bayview....in ALL ways. Unfortunately, the Interstate system and freeways of the 50s had a tendency to isolate communities in all cities and PH seemed and still seems to be THE most isolated community of all in San Francsco (101 west, 280 east). There's no major retail there (we adapted, I regularly patronized Goat Hill, went to Cala in the Mission for groceries, 24th St for banking, barber; I even liked the Mariposa area where the failing BG is ensconced).

I agree with Guest above though the railroad yards separate PH from SOMA and 101 separates PH from the NE Mission. What, oh what, do we do with the wonderful, old, rural Potrero Hill with the most fabulous views of the City...Twin Peaks, eat your heart out. You can't see us but we can see you.

Posted by DanC on Mar. 30, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

I know Tony - live in his district. Nice guy. Smart guy. He thinks you guys are dumbasses, fyi. Completely serious here. Kind of like a person who outgrew his crowd but has nowhere else to fit in.

Anyway, point is, he lost his run for Supervisor. So.... your attempt to equate him with "folks on Potrero Hill" is total, total bullshit. He's one guy, who if anything, represents a minority.

If you're not into it anymore than retire. But this shit???

Posted by Longtime Lurker on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 12:10 am

So, the implication is that the Portola is more conservative than Potrero Hill, even though it, like the Bayview, is more working class?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 8:07 am

But as you wrote here, http://www.sfbg.com/2012/01/31/district-lines-community-alternative, D6's population has grown so part of it will have to go to another district. The obvious choice is to add the northern parts of the 'Loin to D3, to which it is adjacent, and which will help get Chiu get reelected.

Or is there a plan to turn Chiu out for someone more to the Bay Guardian's liking? If so, you'd think progressive TenderNobbers would be of use in that dubious endeavor.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 8:13 am

But as you wrote here, http://www.sfbg.com/2012/01/31/district-lines-community-alternative, D6's population has grown. Doesn't it make the most sense to slice off the northern part and add it to D3?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 8:15 am
?

In case there was any doubt, I was criticizing the usual ignorant 'guests', not you Tim.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 10:00 am

I don't know why one current Supervisor's opinion should affect the Redistricting for the entire City at all. South of Market needs to be kept together .... not even this slice of Mission Street east of 3rd Street should be pushed up to District 3. The reason is that the SFPD Southern Station, the SFFD station No. (?? - the one on Bluxome near Caltrain), and the transportation setup that endangers pedestrians and creates massive traffic congestion/air pollution are the big city service-related issues that affect SoMa (all of SoMa, regardless of if you live in a $650,000 high-rise condo in Rincon Hill or in an alley in West SoMa). Why would a Supervisor develop a good relationship with another police station or fire station that serves a sliver of his/her District? Why would there be concentration on getting a SW to NE bus line so that folks on the east side of SoMa can reach the grocery stores on the west side of SoMa without getting into their cars if, again, it would only benefit a small slice of their District?

To break up SoMa would be yet another offense to a part of town that provides a great economically and gets harmed the most by City Hall's indifference to its residents'.

Posted by Jamie Whitaker on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 10:25 am

And there is often no demographic logic in the districts. For instance, why is down-at-heel Lower Haight in with leafy, affluent Cole Valley - both in D5.

SOMA really isn't a cohesive neighborhood anyway. It's barely walkable and the street life isn't congruent. It's part industrial, part retail, part nightlife and residences are scattered about rather than lying in liveable clusters. Most people I know who live there drive everywhere.

Parts of SOMA are like Potrero, others are like the Mish, while others again are like downtown. It's a mess and a mush. If we can keep more cohesive neighborhoods together by splitting up SOMA, then so be it.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

The only geographic and demographic integrity Tim cares about is progressive (i.e., the candidate he and Bruce choose) voting power, anyway.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2012 @ 9:55 am

If you can, get to the Task Force meeting on Wednesday, and bring SOMA folks who want to keep SOMA together. If Portola is swapped for Potrero and Potrero goes to D6, SOMA has to get chopped up, and the most likely target is Transbay/Rincon.

Another reason that the Task Force shouldn't take the bait.

Posted by Tony Kelly on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

The Portola District has been divided into two districts for as long as I remember and is partly the reason it has never had any political clout. D10 reflects the hard working middle blue color ethics of the Portola. D9 invests all its energy in the Mission and Bernal Heights thus leaving the Portola once again without a voice. Supervisor Cohen is right. Its just a natural fit to swap the two districts. Protrero Hill belongs with SOMA. Its a natural fit!

Posted by Chuck on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

The Portola District has been divided into two districts for as long as I remember and is partly the reason it has never had any political clout. D10 reflects the hard working middle blue color ethics of the Portola. D9 invests all its energy in the Mission and Bernal Heights thus leaving the Portola once again without a voice. Supervisor Cohen is right. Its just a natural fit to swap the two districts. Protrero Hill belongs with SOMA. Its a natural fit!

Posted by Chuck on Mar. 31, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

All the asians should be in the same district?

Er, why?

SOMA can't be split up?

Why not?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2012 @ 8:37 am

Sup. Cohen lives in Potrero. Why would. She not want it in D10?

Posted by wghy on Apr. 01, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

I understand that, since her condo was repossessed, she does not live in the district.

Where does she live?

With her parents?

Posted by Sam on Apr. 04, 2012 @ 7:35 pm