Keeping the Tenderloin and SoMa Together
I’m asking my family and friends to take immediate action to stop the task force from splitting up the TL/SoMa neighborhoods
You’ve probably heard a lot about redistricting and gerrymandering at the federal level, but did you know that it also can have a huge impact on the local level, as well? (Thank you to Tim Redmond over at 48hills for all of the updates: In a stunning late-night move, Redistricting Task Force switches to map community opposes.)
The San Francisco Redistricting Task Force (many of the members, who have been appointed by Mayor London Breed) is in the process of drawing new district maps. The current favored proposal carves up two vital LGBTQIA+ communities in SF — SoMa and the Tenderloin — which will inevitably break up the power of these minority communities. This move also diminishes our collective voice and voting power in all local elections. This new map also splits up progressive votes and paves the way for a more conservative SF Board of Supervisors.
In other cities and counties across the country, redistricting commissions often need at least two to three months to hear public input on draft maps before being finalized. The Redistricting Task Force has given itself less than five weeks to see these changes to fruition. Not only is this not enough time to do that job well, but it also appears that in the rush to get it done, the task force is making it harder for LGBTQIA+ folks to elect community representation. I’m especially irritated that the task force originally voted 8–1 in favor of a change to Map 4-D on Saturday. night. Then late Tuesday evening, the task force changed course — without public comment or honoring any sort of input from San Franciscans. (So… I would like to know what beverage was being served at 3 a.m. during this meeting.)
You can see for yourself what the newly proposed district map looks like here.
I’m asking my family and friends to take immediate action at this time to stop the task force from splitting up the SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods. Because should they be successful in these changes, vulnerable, disenfranchised communities will be further fragmented.
How You Can Participate in Voicing Your Opinion on These Changes
You can give feedback on the changes you want made to draft map 4-B at the next Redistricting Task Force meeting on Wednesday, April 6, 5:30 p.m.
City Hall, Room 416 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place San Francisco, CA 94102
Remote access via video conference watch:
Public Comment Call-In
1 (415) 655–0001
Meeting ID: 2486 912 0805 # # (Press *3 to enter the speaker line)
Sample Public Comment Talking Points
You should feel free to speak from your heart about why you believe the Tenderloin and SoMa should stay together. Many of you have personal experiences in both neighborhoods that link them and know why these two neighborhoods should continue to be kept together. However, feel free to use these talking points, copy them, and then edit them to make your own to tell your own story. Try not to just read the talking points verbatim so we don’t hear the same thing over and over again. Personalize them if you can! But if you can’t, that’s OK too. Every public comment will help, and here are a few formats to help guide you below:
Hello, my name is__________:
I’m from the TL/SOMA community and have lived in SF for X years
We must move forward with map 4-D
We have to keep West SOMA, Central SOMA, and the Tenderloin whole and together
Please do not carve up the SOMA LGBTQ cultural district and split up historical assets like The Eagle and Eagle Plaza from Mr. S Leather, Oasis from the Powerhouse, or Wicked Grounds
Keep the Western Boundary at Van Ness and Division
The Southern Boundary must be Townsend
We cannot split up our LGBTQ communities, cultural assets, and important nightlife corridors like 11th St and Folsom Street
Splitting up the TL & West and Central SOMA splits up several communities of interest: Black, Latino, Arab, API, Filipino, and LGBTQ
Splitting up the TL & West and Central SOMA also unnecessarily splits up renters and people living in affordable housing
If D6 must be reduced further, consider keeping Treasure Island in D3, putting the hub in D5, or dividing up those communities that have yet to be established
Also, Keeping Russian Hill whole and in D2 would also help solve many issues
Pulling apart communities of interest and cutting up neighborhoods and communities that have existed for over 50 years, violates the law
Please keep the most vulnerable communities whole, don’t take away the little power they have in being heard
Keep the Tenderloin, West SOMA, and Central SOMA whole and together
Here are some samples:
- Good afternoon, my name is _____ and I am calling to ask the Redistricting Taskforce to keep the Tenderloin and SoMa together in District 6. The Tenderloin and SoMa are both neighborhoods with great importance to the LGBT community. Historically many LGBT bars and venues have existed in both neighborhoods, and even today, many LGBT people currently live, work, and go out here in the Tenderloin and SoMa. This is especially true for our more working-class and low-income community members who may not be able to afford to live in the Castro. It is really important that our community not be split up, that we preserve the historic link between the Tenderloin and SoMa, and make sure that the LGBTQ community’s voice remains united. We ask that you please move forward with Map 4D and please keep the Tenderloin and West and Central SoMa together. Thank you.
- Good afternoon, my name is_____ and I am calling to ask the Redistricting Taskforce to please make sure that SoMa and the TL do not get split up. The Tenderloin and SoMa have a lot of similarities and a history of working together as a community. What impacts the TL impacts SoMa and vice versa. Many of the issues we face are the same, from high-density housing, a lack of access to greenspace, issues related to poverty and displacement, quality of life issues, and also a shared history of nightlife, arts, and culture. Splitting up these two neighborhoods would split up many communities of interest including the LGBTQ, African American, Filipino, Arab, South East Asian, Chinese, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. Please do not tear these communities apart by splitting up the TL & West and Central SoMa. We ask that you please move forward with Map 4D and please keep the Tenderloin and West and Central SoMa together. Thank you.
- Hello, my name is_____ and I am calling to support keeping the Tenderloin and SoMa together. We absolutely cannot split up the Tenderloin and SpM. These two neighborhoods make up the heart of the city, and by splitting them up, we are ripping these communities in half. The LGBTQ, African American, Filipino, Arab, South East Asian, Chinese, Latinx, and Indigenous communities are all concentrated in these two neighborhoods and need representation in our local government. We shouldn’t be splitting these communities up, but making sure that we keep them together so that their voices can be heard. We ask that you please move forward with Map 4D and please keep the Tenderloin and West and Central SoMa together. Thank you.
- Hello, my name is _____ and I am calling to oppose splitting up the TL and SoMa. These two neighborhoods belong together. Anyone who walks the streets of the Tenderloin and SoMa can see that they are linked. Market st is not a boundary that separates our communities here. We share many of the same issues and constituencies, and splitting us up weakens our collective voice and power. Splitting up the Tenderloin and SoMa will do real harm to our community and is completely unnecessary. We know that District 6 needs to shrink, but we have to keep the cultural integrity of the district intact, and we have to protect the votes of the special interest communities that live here including the LGBTQ, African American, Filipino, Arab, South East Asian, Chinese, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. We ask that you please move forward with Map 4D and please keep the Tenderloin and West and Central SoMa together. Thank you.
- Good afternoon, my name is_______ and I am here to ask you to please keep the TL and SoMa together. Our communities are in danger of being split up. SoMa and the TL are two neighborhoods that hold special meaning for the LGBTQ community. We have both the SoMa Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District and the Transgender Cultural District located in these two neighborhoods. Splitting them up and cutting the Trans District in half will be extremely harmful to our communities. It will undermine all the work we have done so far to build and protect our spaces, and weaken our collective power. Please consider this when finalizing the redistricting map, and we ask that you please move forward with Map 4D, and please keep the Tenderloin and West and Central SoMa together. . Thank you.
Email San Francisco Redistricting Task Force Directly
You can also send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, and feel free to use this letter template I created below:
My name is __________. I’m from the TL/SoMa community and have lived in San Francisco for _ years. As a resident of SF, I am concerned with the San Francisco Redistricting Task Force’s proposed district map 4-B, which divides the historic SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods.
A vote to move forward with map 4-B divides West and Central SoMa and the Tenderloin, negatively impacting several voting communities of interest: Black, Latino, Arab, API/Filipino, and LGBTQIA+. It also carves up the SoMa LGBTQ cultural district, placing historical assets like The Eagle and Eagle Plaza, Mr. S Leather, Oasis nightclub, the Powerhouse bar, and Wicked Grounds into different districts. Splitting up these two neighborhoods diminishes their voices in our local elections, leaving them disempowered and putting them and their needs in danger of de-prioritization and displacement.
I believe we should not split up our LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities and their cultural assets, and important LGBTQIA+ nightlife corridors like 11th St & Folsom St. Instead, I urge you to adopt and move forward with map 4-D, which keeps West SoMa, Central SoMa, and the Tenderloin whole and together. I ask that you keep the western boundary at Van Ness and Division and the southern boundary at Townsend St. If District 6 must be reduced further, consider keeping Treasure Island in District 3, putting the hub in District 5, or dividing up those communities that have yet to be established. Also, Keeping Russian Hill whole and in District 2 would help solve many issues.
Pulling apart communities of interest and cutting up neighborhoods and communities that have existed for over 50 years violates the law and does not reflect the values we San Franciscans treasure. Please keep the most vulnerable communities whole, don’t take away the little power they have in being heard. Keep the Tenderloin, West SoMa, and Central SoMa whole and together.
I urge you to take action today to help stop the Tenderloin and SoMa from being completely gutted by redistricting. The Redistricting Task Force is ignoring their promise to move forward with a community map that would keep people of color, low-income, and LGBTQIA+ communities together.