The Redistricting Commission held a special meeting on Saturday after Thursday’s meeting which saw many residents attend extended into Friday morning.
“Everybody is out here because the Independent Redistricting Commission is taking an eleventh-hour attempt to basically divide our community in half,” Chaldean Community Advocate Vince Kattoula said.
The redrawn map keeps El Cajon in District 2, but removes communities like Rancho San Diego.
“Under the U.S. Constitution one person one vote so you want to have any changes in population over the last 10 years resulting in adjustments to the lines so you still have as much as possible relatively equal populations in each district,” San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission Chair David Bame said.
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Some East County Residents believe the new maps diminishes power within the community.
“Our voice will be diminished, most of our community lives between El Cajon and Rancho almost 25,000 [people are] in El Cajon and the rest are in Jamul and other parts of East County, we don’t want to be divided,” President of Chaldean Community Council Noori Barka said.
To avoid weakening communities redistricting often aims to create districts with equal population, protect minority voting rights and preserve communities of interest.
Chaldean Community Advocates at Saturday’s meeting said they will continue to fight for a map they believe serves their community’s interests.
“We have a legal counsel that has been on our team for the last week since we got word about all of this – we are prepared to explore all legal remedies and take this up in court,” Kattoula said.