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News + PoliticsCity HallFinal, final, deadline for supes map is Thursday—unless it isn't

Final, final, deadline for supes map is Thursday—unless it isn’t

City attorney says Task Force has to approve lines; various others talk about lawsuits.

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The final lines for the Board of Supes might be drawn tomorrow night—or might not.

The SF Labor Council and other community groups might sue—or might not.

The Yimbys have already filed a suit, but might drop it–or they might not.

All of this depends on what the Task Force does at what could be its final meeting April 21.

A ‘healing map’ could be adopted tomorrow—or not

The City Attorney’s Office published an opinion April 19 discussing the deadlines—a move that’s a bit unusual, since the office typically provides confidential information about a matter that’s subject to litigation, and there’s already one suit filed, by the Housing Action Coalition, part of the Yimby movement.

The memo, which you can read here, says that

RDTF must adopt a new final draft map at its next meeting, scheduled for Thursday, April 21, 2022, under the current schedule proposed by the Clerk.

The opinion notes:

EC Section 21627.1(a)(2) requires two hearings to be held after the redistricting body has drawn a draft map and before its adoption as a final map. EC Section 21628(d)(1) requires that a draft map be posted online for at least three days before its final adoption. Also, as we have consistently advised the RDTF in public, after adopting a final draft map, the RDTF may make only technical changes before adopting the final map. Such technical changes include corrections or minor clean-up, but not substantive changes that reverse prior decisions voted on by the RDTF.

And the Department of Elections needs the final map by May 3 to do all the work that’s needed to process the November election.

So there are really only two ways this could go.

If Rev. Arnold Townsend, who chairs the committee and was the swing vote against the gerrymandered map, hasn’t changed his position, the Task Force can simply adopt the so-called “healing map,” which most of the hundreds of community activists who have been involved in this process can accept.

In fact, if Townsend were to say at the start of the noon meeting Thursday that he and four other members were planning to go in that direction, we might avoid another late-night session after hundreds of public speakers push the Task Force to side with the community, not with the Mayor’s Office and the real-estate industry.

Or, as the City Attorney’s Office notes, the Task Force could just scrap the healing map and start over:

As an alternative to adopting a modified Map 7, the RDTF may choose to further discuss or modify any prior map it considered at one of its earlier meetings and approve any such map at the conclusion of the April 21 meeting as a new final draft map.

But this is it, the memo says: there can’t be substantive changes after whatever the Task Force decides on Thursday.

It the older gerrymandered maps are approved, several organizations have said they might sue.

All of this will depend in part on the immense pressure from the Mayor’s office.

Interesting element of the opinion:

Generally, City officials are not legally prohibited from expressing their views or communicating with RDTF members. (An exception might apply for a particular official if the particular line drawing would affect that official’s own eligibility to run for elective office, in which instance that official may have a financial conflict of interest.) But to avoid any interference with the RDTF’s process, our Office continues to recommend that City officials refrain from any such expressions or communications, unless they are made publicly.

The communications from the Mayor’s Office and Mayor London Breed’s allies have not been made public. But anyone who still believes that there have not been “such expressions or communications” spent too much time on Hippie Hill celebrating 4/20 today.

The meeting starts at noon tomorrow.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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