Over the last few years, our region has seen a rise in anti-LGBTQ violence and intimidation, much of which still goes unreported, and yet new data from the FBI shows hate crimes surged in 2020 to their highest levels in 12 years. None of us should be strangers to the ongoing struggles to combat anti-Black racism, anti-Latinx bias and xenophobia, missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, or the fight to stop Asian hate. Our movements are stronger when we stand in solidarity.
White supremacist values don’t always show up as graffiti or violence. Sometimes it takes the form of policy, infrastructure, and the literal shape of districts and boundaries for elected offices. All across the country and right here, right now, these boundary lines are being redrawn in ways that have the potential to allow marginalized communities to see ourselves and our priorities reflected by those in power, or be disenfranchised. We must remain vigilant and engaged in this process that will not only reshape these lines but will impact our daily lives by the policies and values determined by those people in power for the next decade.
While the city of San Diego’s proposed redistricting maps leave an LGBTQ empowerment seat intact, the current “Chair’s Map” disenfranchises communities of color and leaves in place long-standing anti-Semitic values as community organizer and advocate Aidan Lin points out in his recent piece in the Union-Tribune. The chair of the Redistricting Commission, Tom Hebrank, who designed his own map, ignoring community input stated, “I don’t think it’s going to probably vary radically.” Processes and statements like this dissuade community participation in our democracy.
There is still time to engage in redistricting. There is still time to empower LGBTQ and BIPOC communities. We are working together and must continue to do so. It is united in the face of white supremacy in all its forms that our movements will remain Resilient.
Fernando Zweifach López Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs Executive Director San Diego Pride
P.S. Here is how you can make your voice heard in these redistricting efforts:
Call to Action: Call in and ask that the commissioners approve the SD Communities Collaboration Map which does a better job of listening to public input and creates more equitable districts than the map drawn by the chair.
Call to Action: Submit public comment to demand that the Commission not split San Diego’s LGBTQ communities when drawing lines for State Assembly and State Senate districts. (See Equality California’s tweets here and here, for reference.)
Call to Action: Submit public comment asking that commissioners create an equitable map that empowers LGBTQ and BIPOC communities for the County Board of Supervisors.
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.