Every 10 years the city of San Francisco goes through a redistricting process, in which all 805,000 residents must be split up into 11 evenly distributed districts determined by the city Redistricting Task Force. Japantown is currently located within District 5, which includes the Fillmore and Western Addition. On a preliminary proposed map released by the San Francisco Redistricting Task Force, Japantown was placed in District 2, which includes the Marina and Pacific Heights. Japantown community advocates were initially concerned that removing Japantown from District 5 would separate Japantown from its historical ties with the Fillmore and Western Addition, and would also diminish the voice of the Japantown community amongst the concerns of existing interests within District 2.
Thanks to input from members of the Japantown community at a recent public Redistricting Task Force meeting, the proposed northern boundary of District 5 was moved further north to Pine street, thus keeping most of Japantown in District 5. Unfortunately, the new border still excludes prominent Japantown community institutions, including the Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC) building. Concerned members of District 5 are pushing for the adoption of a map reflecting the needs of District 5’s communities, which further modifies the Redistricting Task Force’s proposed map by also including in District 5 all of Japantown, Westside Courts Public Housing, Hamilton Recreation Center, Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, Chibi-Chan Preschool and the Western Addition Public Library. The public has until March 29th, 2012 to submit proposed district maps and recommendations to the Redistricting Taskforce before they finalize their maps of the new city supervisorial districts on April 15, 2012.
JCYC provides programs for the youth and future leaders of the Japantown community. Given the importance of JCYC to Japantown’s future, it is all the more important that we keep this valuable institution included in District 5 with the rest of Japantown. Retaining additional community institutions and resources such as the Hamilton Recreation Center, Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, Chibi-Chan Preschool and the Western Addition Public Library gives the residents of District 5 a greater ability to control local resources and serve the needs of their community. Please support the efforts of the Japantown community to keep all of Japantown within District 5.
- San Francisco Redistricting Task Force
I am a member and supporter of the San Francisco Japantown community. I am concerned that the current (February 23) proposed District 5 map still excludes areas that are essential to the Japantown-Fillmore community. On the north, the District 5 boundary does not extend up to California Street, and thus separates the Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC), the Nichiren Buddhist Church and the St. Benedict/St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, all on Pine Street between Octavia and Buchanan, from the rest of Japantown. In particular, because JCYC provides important programs for the youth and future leaders of Japantown, it is vitally important that this valuable institution is included in District 5with the rest of Japantown. On the west, we commend the Task Force for including Hamilton Recreation Center, Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, and the Western Addition Public Library in District 5, but it is also vitally important to me that the District 5 map be further redrawn to include other essential community institutions and resources, the Westside Courts housing residents between Baker and Broderick, who have long been part of the District 5 Fillmore community, and Chibi-Chan Preschool, a JCYC program serving to introduce our youngest members and their families to the Japantown community. I urge the Task Force to adopt a District 5 map that does not divide Japantown into separate districts and one that will keep the vital institutions listed above within District 5.
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