Redistricting is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to redraw San Francisco’s supervisor districts to create more fair, equitable representation in our local government.
The 2021–2022 redistricting cycle is here — and the League of Women Voters of San Francisco is already working to ensure our city has fair maps for the next decade. Our goals for local redistricting in San Francisco are to:
You, your neighbors, and your community can join us in working toward fair maps.
April 29 – Redistricting is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to redraw our supervisor districts. Discover how you and your community can participate in the redistricting process.
Redistricting is the process of redrawing political boundaries to determine how communities are represented in government. Districts are redrawn every 10 years at the local, state, and federal levels in order to adjust for population changes revealed by the U.S. Census.
In San Francisco, the 2021–2022 local redistricting process focuses on the Board of Supervisors district map. There are 11 supervisor districts in the city. If you live in San Francisco, you live in a supervisor district — look up your current district.
Redistricting affects political power. In San Francisco, redistricting determines who will appear on your ballot and what parts of the city they will represent. Redistricting can affect your community's ability to elect a supervisor who represents your interests and responds to your needs. By participating in local redistricting, you, your neighbors, and your community can have a voice in San Francisco's democracy.
Redistricting is vulnerable to gerrymandering, which is the manipulation of the redistricting process to draw district maps that don't represent the community. Sometimes gerrymandering is done to give an unfair advantage to one political party, group, candidate, or incumbent. Sometimes gerrymandering is done to reduce the voting power of people based on their race, ethnicity, culture, language, sexual orientation, economic status, interest group, or other factors. Gerrymandering puts political factors ahead of community interests.
A fair map will reflect the diversity of our community. It will be the result of an open, transparent redistricting process with plenty of opportunities for people (like you) to give input. The redistricting process will have a specific timeline, clear steps, and accountability. A fair map will include substantially equal population in districts, geographic continuity, and protection from diluting the voting power of a racial or linguistic minority. A fair map will also preserve what are called communities of interest and will keep recognized neighborhoods intact. Learn more about the League of Women Voters positions on redistricting.
A community of interest is a group of people who live in a compact area and have something in common, who would benefit from being in the same district. They could have shared culture, history, languages, experiences, identity, housing, recreation options, transportation access, environmental concerns, or other bond that brings them together. You and others in your area can define your community of interest in your own way. Relationship with a political party, candidate, or incumbent cannot be considered a community of interest.
There is no definition of community of interest in the San Francisco Charter. The California Constitution defines a community of interest as "a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation."
A government body called the Redistricting Task Force will lead the local redistricting process. The Board of Supervisors must convene the Redistricting Task Force if the Census* reveals San Francisco's supervisor districts do not meet certain legal requirements, including being roughly equal in population. The Redistricting Task Force must present the new district map to the Board of Supervisors by April 15, 2022, and the new lines will be effective for the November 2022 election. The Board of Supervisors may not change the map. This and more is required by San Francisco Charter section 13.110(d).
* Because of significant 2020 Census delays, it is unclear when the San Francisco Redistricting Task Force will convene in 2021.
The Redistricting Task Force will work with government staff and outside consultants to determine how the supervisor district lines should be redrawn so the districts comply with various legal requirements. The Redistricting Task Force may make adjustments to district lines based on community input.
The Redistricting Task Force will have nine members. The Elections Commission, the Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor will each appoint three members. The ordinance convening the previous 2011–2012 Redistricting Task Force stated members were to be "broadly representative of the communities of interest, neighborhoods, and diversity in ethnicity, race, age, gender, and sexual orientation," though that is not a requirement in the San Francisco Charter.
Before the Redistricting Task Force convenes, you can learn about local redistricting, share information with your neighbors, observe an Elections Commission meeting, and contact your supervisor. San Francisco residents can apply to be a member of the Redistricting Task Force. You can also come to a LWVSF event or volunteer with us.
After the Redistricting Task Force convenes, you and others in your community can attend its public meetings to share your ideas and feedback. You can speak up in support of a more fair, equitable, transparent, and accessible local redistricting process. You will probably have an opportunity to draw your own proposed district map and share it with the Redistricting Task Force.
Updated April 6, 2021.
LWV of California provides information on redistricting efforts within the state and resources for local redistricting efforts.
LWV of the U.S. runs a redistricting program focused on creating fair political maps nationwide.