Report: Demographic Changes Will Impact SD City Council District Elections
Demographic Changes Will Impact San Diego City Council District Elections, Future Policymaking
SAN DIEGO – Demographic changes and neighborhood-level concerns are likely to impact San Diego City Council District elections and future policymaking at City Hall. Those are the major findings of a new study published today by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR).
On August 25, 2011, the City of San Diego Redistricting Commission adopted new boundary lines for City Council Districts, while also adding a ninth Council seat. NUSIPR used GIS and database software to analyze demographic and government data available from the City of San Diego, SANDAG, and the United States Census Bureau.
NUISPR’s research suggested four key findings:
- There are wide demographic differences between the Districts. From the number of families, to senior citizens, to military veterans, Council Districts differ greatly. If “all politics is local,” candidates competing in District-based elections are more likely to find electoral success if they understand the unique demographic profile of their constituents and their concerns.
- Though San Diego is becoming more diverse, its Caucasian population remains a dominant electoral factor. While the number of Caucasian residents shrank over the past decade, and reflect less than half of the citywide population, they remain a large majority of the electorate. It is unlikely that issues involving race and ethnicity will significantly increase in importance at City Hall.
- San Diego’s aging population will become an increasingly important constituency. The overall senior population outpaced citywide growth over the past decade. As this trend is projected to continue for the next few decades, senior issues will increasingly take center stage at City Hall.
- Children in San Diego have unequal access to parks, libraries and recreation centers. Districts with larger populations of children under 18 years of age generally have fewer city facilities and less park acreage per child than Districts with smaller numbers of adolescents. While cuts to popular city programs have been commonplace, elected officials must consider new solutions to provide San Diego youth equal access to neighborhood facilities.
“Understanding how San Diego is changing is key to good policymaking, and a successful political campaign,” remarked the report’s author Vince Vasquez, Senior Policy Analyst at NUSIPR. “No matter who wins on Election Day, City Hall must prepare to address new issues that will require long-term planning and consensus-building.”
The full version of the City Council District study can be found at the NUSIPR website here.
About the National University System Institute for Policy Research
Based in San Diego, the National University System Institute for Policy Research, (NUSIPR) is a non-partisan organization that formulates and promotes high quality economic, policy, and public opinion research so as to improve the quality of life enjoyed by the region’s citizens.