Cities Community Oceanside

Map selected for Oceanside district elections

OCEANSIDE — The City Council selected a map for district elections on June 21. The vote was unanimous, but only two of the four council members favored the map.

The selected Community of Interest map splits the coast into two different districts and keeps the community of North Valley in one district.

Councilman Jerry Kern said his yes vote for the Communities of Interest map was to ensure a map was adopted. “I don’t think these things are perfect,” Kern said.

Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery had strong concerns about not keeping the coastal area together, but voted for the Community of Interest map that splits the coastal downtown and South Oceanside into separate districts.

The majority of public speakers at the meeting favored the Community of Interest Map because it keeps like neighborhoods together. The map puts Eastside Capistrano, Airport, Townsite, Loma Alta and Oceana in one district. South Oceanside, Fire Mountain, MiraCosta, Tri-City, Lake and Ocean Hills are a second district. North Valley, Morro Hills and Guajome make up a third district. And Ivey Ranch, Rancho Del Oro, San Luis Rey and Peacock Hills comprise a fourth district.

Oceanside resident Jamie Figueroa, who serves on the North County Gang Commission, said it is important to keep the communities of Eastside, Crown Heights and Deep Valley together in order to have a City Council representative who understands and addresses area gang violence.

“The tragedies of gang violence are not seen unless you feel it day to day, a representative can address it effectively if they live there,” Figueroa said.

The three maps shared on June 21 were developed at community outreach meetings led by Q2 Data and Research. All maps divided the city into four City Council voting districts of equal population and met necessary criteria.

At the fifth and final outreach meeting May 30, the goal was to select one map from two options, which had been narrowed down as final selections during earlier meetings.

The majority of public speakers at the fifth meeting asked that the coast be kept in one district, which was not represented on either of the two final maps. Due to the large number of supporters, the Shoreline Intact map was created at the meeting.

On June 21 few speakers supported the Shoreline Intact map. Some spoke against it, and said coastal downtown and South Oceanside have different interests, and they would like to see two representatives for the coastal area. Lowery pointed out his frustration and the lack of support.

Also not selected was the Neighborhoods map, which split the community of North Valley in two different districts, and did the same to the community of Rancho Del Oro.

Council members said the selected map will set voting districts for two election seasons, then the official census count will provide a new count of residents and an opportunity to redraw the map.

The City Council will vote to adopt the voting district map and an election calendar at a special meeting July 25.