Redistricting Plan Will Alter Geopolitical Landscape for Bernal

It’s been a decade, so the City is now finalizing a redistricting plan for our Supervisors that will likely have some interesting political implications for Bernal Heights.

The crux of the plan would revise boundaries of the current district by adding the northern half of The Mission and the southern half of  The Portola to our District 9, creating a contiguous band of awesomeness that stretches from McLaren Park to Rainbow Grocery — with Bernal Heights occupying the strategic highlands in the middle. The downside is that the Dominion of Bernalwood may lose some of our brothers and sisters from the Bernal Cut in the D9 reshuffle.

It’s all rather geeky and complicated, but fortunately the scribes at Beyond Chron have been paying attention:

The most controversial move – about whether to put Portola in District 9 or 10 – has been partisan, with moderates advocating for D10 and progressives pushing for D9. But at this point, a majority of Task Force members appear to want it in District 9 for a non-partisan reason: math. D10 and D11 must lose people, and D9 has to grow. Because everyone agrees we must make Portola “whole,” moving a neighborhood with 16,000 people into District 10 would require moving Potrero Hill out of D10 – causing a ripple effect at this late hour.

Last week, the Task Force made no major changes to the Draft Map – but instead had extensive debate about various district boundaries, balancing neighborhood unity with an attempt to “equalize” the numbers. Legally, all 11 districts must be within 5% of the population median (73,203 people.) And while the Draft Map has all eleven districts within that deviation, there’s a consensus among Task Force members to avoid too much “imbalance” – so tweaks have been, and will be, made.

So that’s why the entirety of The Portola is likely to join us here in glamorous District 9. But to make the population numbers work out, one part of Bernal Heights may be moved out of District 9 and into Glen Park’s District 8. Beyond Chron, again:

With Portola currently in District 9, the Task Force has focused on wanting to make the neighborhood “whole” by putting as much of it into D9. At the same time, they have tried to “re-unite” the Mission District – by moving up D9’s northern boundary with District 6, with the current Draft Map putting the boundary at 14th Street. As a result, D9 is dangerously close to being 5% above the median – currently at +4.7%.

So the Task Force has considered removing parts of District 9, and one logical place would be “Glen Bernal” – the neighborhood between Mission Street and San Jose Avenue, just north of the I-280 – by putting it in District 8. The Task Force did not do this last week, but competing priorities might make such a move inevitable.

I rode my bike down there this weekend, just to get a feel of the area. On Bosworth Street, I asked a resident what neighborhood he lived in – and he said, “Glen Park.” If we moved that area south of St. Mary’s Avenue into D8, it would shift 940 people. Moving everything south of Richland would move 1,560 people – but I don’t think anything north of Richland would be appropriate. People up there told me Bernal Heights ends at Mission Street, but that they have less in common with Glen Park.

The redistricting process is now in the final stretch, and most of the work will wrap-up this weekend:

The Redistricting Task Force meets tonight at 6:00 p.m. in Room 416 at City Hall, and again on April 11th at 6:00 p.m. in Room 416. The final meeting is on Saturday, April 14th at 10:00 a.m. in Room 400 – with a midnight of deadline of completing the map. For more details, check for updates here

Likewise, be sure to explore the interactive redistricting map to take a closer look at the proposed district boundaries.

11 thoughts on “Redistricting Plan Will Alter Geopolitical Landscape for Bernal

  1. GLEN BERNAL NO NOT COOL AT ALL. STOP THAT NOW, BEYOND CHRON. I realize that’s not the point of the post, but eeeeeew.

    Other than that, redistricting is always interesting and yes, geeky, which is why I don’t actually follow it that much until we get into statewide and federal congressional district gerrymandering. I think you mean the southern part of The Mission and the northern part of The Portola, though? I’m just glad that we have districts at all. Thanks, Prop G!

      • I totally just rejected that because of how it sounds (like “the” 280 in the same para) and hadn’t really come up with an alternative. (Bitch first! Figure things out later!) Mission Terrace doesn’t really apply to that side of the freeway, and St Mary’s Park is too clearly-defined to work here. I don’t love the idea of Glen Park bleeding over to that side of the freeway, but I’m not as against it as I am calling it G**n B****l. Some of the blocks (Marsilly, for example) kinda fit, for example. Since that sub-zone is in the shadow of the beautiful St. John the Evangelist church, maybe, I dunno, St. Bernal? 🙂

  2. Glen Park should remain in District 8, & St Mary’s Park should be moved into District 8. Portola/Excelsior/Mission Terrace into District 11. Still call it Bernalwood.

  3. What Beyond Chron called “Glen Bernal” is really the College Hill neighborhood of Bernal Heights. We mostly ID as Bernal, but so many Bernalwood denizens have snorted at our historically accurate claim that we College Hill residents have jokingly nicknamed our hood “Glernal.” And it’s particularly apt now that we’re part of Supervisor Wiener’s D8. Yep, we joined D8. Here’s the final map, settled over the weekend and published today:

    This boundary shift into D8 was consciously requested by several neighbors and the College Hill Neighborhood Association for a few reasons:
    1. Now we have 1 supervisor covering both halves of the Bernal Cut greenbelt path, the paved walking and biking trail that runs above both sides of San Jose Ave. On the Bernal side, it starts at St. Mary’s and climbs up and past College to Richland, Park, and Highland, and then back down to Appleton at Mission. It has great potential as a free community recreation resource (see our “Heal the Cut” efforts here:, but for years it’s been tough coordinating cleaning-and-greening efforts because it was split between both D8 and D9 (the trash and crap—literal crap—are mostly on our Bernal side of the path, but Glen Park residents have to look at it). Neighbors have enjoyed working with both Supervisor Wiener’s and Supervisor Campos’s offices and with DPW on clean-up efforts, but we look forward to the entire Cut falling within just one supervisor’s district.
    2. Now our D8 boundary at Mission St. better mirrors SFUSD’s “neighborhood school” boundary, which points College Hill kids who want a local English (instead of immersion) program to Glen Park Elementary instead of to nearby J. Serra Elementary (which was “redistricted” in September 2010 to soak up more kids in South Bernal). Here’s SFUSD’s Attendance Area map:

    Click to access final-elementary-attendance-areas-map.pdf

    3. Now South Bernal has 2 supervisors covering its streets and its denizens, and we like the thought of 2 supervisors (Supervisor Wiener and Supervisor Campos) caring about our corner of the city.

  4. “stretches from McLaren Park to Rainbow grocery”
    Now THERE is a winning description!

    As my dog is a frequent visitor to Bernal Hill, McLaren, & St Mary’s dog park, she approves this map.

  5. Pingback: Final Redistricting Plan Welcomed by Lost Tribe of College Hill | Bernalwood

  6. Pingback: Portola Planet Interviews Supervisor David Campos | Bernalwood

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