Every ten years the nation redraws our electoral districts in response to the Census and changes, growth, and shrinkage in local communities. How districts are drawn has a significant impact on the ability of marginalized communities to be fairly represented and receive equitable outcomes, as oftentimes redistricting is used to exclude these communities from political power by denying marginalized groups the ability to elect officials who represent our issues with our best interest in mind.
In this way, LGBTQ people have been historically underrepresented in the halls of power and frequently denied access to key social institutions and support networks. Despite the rising acceptance of LGBTQ people, our community continues to fight for basic civil rights while experiencing rising violent hate crimes and legal discrimination that perpetuates disparities in our health and wellbeing. This year alone, more than half of state legislatures across the country are actively considering bills to restrict or eliminate basic civil rights for transgender people. The San Diego region represents the largest coalition of LGBTQ elected and appointed officials in the state of California and is a leader in the fight for equity nationally because of this representation.
Even so, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ people, and those of us whose lives reside at their intersection struggle to feel truly represented by our elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels – in part because our district lines, as currently drawn in districts throughout the nation, dilute the power and voice of LGBTQ BIPOC communities.
San Diego Pride supports fair and equitable redistricting which empowers LGBTQ, BIPOC, and other marginalized communities to be authentically represented. We urge local voters and residents to advocate for our shared values to the officials in charge of redistricting.
It is our responsibility and challenge to advocate for ourselves to these redistricting commissioners to give voters a fair and equitable voice in the halls of power and to resist the gerrymandering that upholds the cisgender, heterosexual, white status quo. How district lines are drawn will affect our lived experiences for the generations to come. By engaging in this process you can help our movement remain Resilient.
With Pride, Fernando Zweifach López Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs Executive Director San Diego Pride
Fernando Lopez is the Executive Director of San Diego Pride. Lopez’s years of LGBT advocacy, nonprofit management, public education, diversity consulting, media relations, guest lectures, and organizing have made them a consistent presence ensuring the struggles of the LGBT community are ever visible.