Allan Acevedo | Political Spectrum
Local community activist Linda Perine demanded a correction from me regarding a pervious comment I made in this column about City Council candidate Barry Pollard.
It took Perine a few heated minutes to get to her point, but a point she did make.
I was under the impression, as were many, that the District Four council race set to take place this spring would be the newly redrawn District Four created by the San Diego Redistricting Commission, after the 2010 census. In fact, Pollard and all candidates are actually running to finish the remainder of former Councilmember Tony Young’s term, and therefore will be running from the “old” District Four boundaries established after the 2000 census.
While the winner will represent the new District Four, the voters and candidates must come from the old district. So when I stated Pollard’s involvement in the creation of the council boundaries that he was running for could be perceived as self-serving, they are in this instance not.
However, I will caveat this by stating I do have the impression that Pollard was planning to run for the District Four seat whenever it opened up. Had Young stayed at his post and Pollard run in 2014, I would very firmly believe that it could be perceived as self-serving to have worked actively to create a district boundary line that you intended to run for.
Twice Californians have made it clear they do not believe people should be able to pick their own constituents. Proposition 11 in 2008 and Proposition 20 in 2010 took away the power from the Senate, Assembly, Board of Equalization and Congress to draw their own boundaries. Call me crazy, but I don’t see the difference between an aspiring politician and a sitting politician when it comes to trying to influence who will be in a district you plan to run to represent.
While on the subject of district boundary lines – a riveting topic I know – I also must note that I am not sure if Myrtle Cole will be eligible to run for the District Four council seat. In an email she sent from her work account, she openly addressed the fact that she did not live within the proper, pre-2011 redistricted boundary lines.
She has been a long time resident of Rolando/Redwood Village, which was added to the council district after the 2010 census. To get around this “technicality” of not living in the district, Cole said she had moved and was renting in Paradise Hills.
It is also unclear when Cole filed her changed voter registration form for her new address, and if she will meet the 30-day residency requirement as mandated by the City Charter. On Tuesday, Jan. 8 when the City Council voted to set the date of the special election, Cole argued that if they could not use the new District Four boundary lines for candidates, then she would urge them to choose a later date to ensure she would qualify to have her name on the ballot, regardless of the cost.
I am disappointed and sickened that Cole would specifically ask the City Council to hold the special election on March 26 rather than have it be in conjunction with the March 12 special election taking place for State Senate, just so that she could run for Council. That is a $100,000 selfish request, and I hope the residents of District Four know who promoted that additional expense just to promote herself.
—Allan Acevedo is co-founder and president emeritus of Stonewall Young Democrats of San Diego. He has worked on multiple political campaigns and served on numerous boards including the San Diego Democratic Club, California Young Democrats, Gay-Straight Alliant Network and Equality California PAC. Follow @allanacevedo on Twitter.