USD Students Host Forum on Redistricting in Chula Vista


Every 10 years, the Census releases population data that demonstrates how populations and demographics have shifted in cities, counties, and states. Therefore, redistricting is needed to “re-draw” the lines of districts to provide better balanced representation. This year, in an unprecedented process, the lines for the state of California are being drawn by a commission of citizens, rather than incumbents and elected officials. Being able to elect a candidate of your choice is directly tied to redistricting.

Students from the Ethnic Studies Department at the “University of San Diego,” with support from the Office of Community Service Learning and in partnership with the community organization “Justice Overcoming Boundaries” (JOB) are hosting a two hour forum to educate, engage, and motivate around the issue of redistricting, why it is important, the basics of the process, and why it affects every single person in the community. “One person, one vote,” in redistricting is necessary to achieve substantial equality of population in the districts. The Goal is equal representation. Presenters will also speak to how California came to the creation of a state redistricting commission, and how it is an act of social justice. Common Cause and League of Women Voters will also be in attendance to address Chula Vista’s unique redistricting.

Uniquely, Chula Vista is a large city of 244,000 people, but consistently remains one district, with only at-large elections. It is important to discuss whether this is fair for the residents of Chula Vista, whether these at-large elections dilute the voice of local neighborhoods and communities, and what could be done about it. Representatives of Common Cause and League of Women Voters will be addressing this issue and what it means right now for allocation of resources and equal representation for underrepresented minorities and disenfranchised communities in Chula Vista.

Students will be presenting on how redistricting affects issues of education, healthcare, nutrition and food justice and the criminal justice system. By highlighting these specific topics, the students will demonstrate how every individual is affected by redistricting and why everyone should care and take action in this process.

The forum will be engaging, interactive, and include opportunities for everyone to interact and define their “community of interest” and how they would draw the lines. This period of interaction will provide the participants with a period of reflection on what is important to them in their communities and how redistricting really deeply affects them. Redistricting is just as important as voting because it choses who and what people will be voting for. And, residents should ensure that lines are drawn to reflect the true diversity of their community, and that they have equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. At the conclusion of the forum, there will be an opportunity for individuals to register to vote.

WHAT: An educational forum on the importance of redistricting and how it affects every single member of the community. Now that the 2010 Census data has been released, the district lines are being re-drawn at the City, County, and State levels. Community members will also be educated on how important it is to ensure that their voice and the voice of their community count in this process.

WHEN: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 11 a.m.—2 p.m.
11 a.m.—1 p.m. – Duration of Forum
1 p.m.—2 p.m. – Reception 
WHERE: Community Congregational Church Social Hall in downtown Chula Vista: 276 F St., Chula Vista, CA, 91910
Free parking available on Church Ave. and Del Mar Ave., on the south side of the Church.

WHO: This forum is being hosted by students in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of San Diego and Justice Overcoming Boundaries (JOB), a countywide-interfaith community organization.

WHY: Redistricting and community participation in its process is imperative to democracy. However, redistricting— the re-drawing of districts people, live, work, and play in— is often glossed over in public importance and attention. Therefore this forum is being hosted in the community, particularly outreaching to low-income, underrepresented minority and disenfranchised communities, so they can more strongly take a stand in the process.

VISUALS: Video clips, maps, interactive activities

SPEAKERS: Dr. Alberto Pulido, Jeannie Brown, Students of the University of San Diego, Kendell Tylee, Norma Chavez-Peterson; bilingual English-Spanish translation services provided

For further information on the forum taking place at Community Congregational Church, contact JOB Community Organizer Kendell Tylee at (619) 677-7330 or

This action is being hosted by Justice Overcoming Boundaries (JOB), a countywide-interfaith community organization, and the University of San Diego Ethnic Studies students, a group motivated to educate the public on the importance of social justice issues in their local communities.

For more information on redistricting:    

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.