Monday, October 27, 2008

4, 5, 7, 8, or 12?

Have you ever stopped to look at a map of your congressional district? I printed out a sample ballot today so I could mark it up and figure out who and what I’m voting for. When I looked up one of the local paper’s endorsements for Board of Supervisors, the paper described how the incumbent had lowered the violent crime rate in the district. It talked about how when he was first elected, the murder rate was high and the African-American population was near revolt. I had to stop and think… My neighborhood is one of the safest I’ve lived in since moving the Bay Area, and while certainly there is an African-American population, there’s probably more Asians in my neck of the woods. Could I have printed out a sample ballot for the wrong Board of Supervisors District?

I looked it up. Nope. It was right. Somehow I’m in the same Board of Supervisors District as the Haight and the low-income and highly African-American Western Addition. But just barely. You see for some reason the Irving Street business corridor is in District 5 instead of either of the Sunset Sup Districts, 4 or 7. But for almost the entire stretch of the corridor the boundary is defined by Parnassus and then Judah Streets, which would put me in District 7. Except that for the 5 blocks form 4th to 9th, it juts out one block further to Kirkham, putting me in District 5. Confused yet? I was.

Somehow since I moved to San Francisco in 2001 to the present, I’ve lived entirely in District 5 in spite of moving quite a distance away from a sketchy neighborhood on Fulton Street to a nice one in the Inner Sunset. When Tara lived around the corner from me, she was in District 7, while Susan (around the other corner) was in District 5.

Of course, none of this particularly matters given that I’m about to move to Berkeley, leaving me sorely tempted to screw San Francisco by voting wrong on all of the City measures and races. Which makes me wonder, if you have to live in a place for a certain time before you can vote in it, shouldn’t you also have to commit to living there for a certain amount of time afterwards? Or should I have lied and registered to vote in Berkeley before I actually moved there?

I hear you say “why would you want to leave SF when your Congressional Rep is Speaker of the House?” Somehow the Sunset neighborhoods of San Francisco are in the 12th Congressional District along with the Peninsula suburbs down to Redwood City. So she’s not my Rep. But she was when I lived on Fulton Street. In District 5. Where I still live. But then I lived in Congressional District 8. Now I live in 12.

Ah, the joys of democracy.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, well, when you move to Berkeley, your Rep will be the only one who voted AGAINST the war! Huzzah, Barbara Lee!!!!


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