Politics

UCSD Students Petition To Leave District 1

Written by: Nathaniel Mannor

The Golden State stays true to its name when it comes to prices as California is one of the most expensive states to live in here in the USA. California also houses the priciest cities in the country, including our home of San Diego, with a median home value of $754,900. That also means not everyone can afford the luxury lifestyle we enjoy as a new generation learns for themselves.

UCSD students have petitioned the San Diego Redistricting Commission to leave District 1 and join District 6. Their reasons ranged from transportation, demographic differences, leisure time, but most importantly is housing. “I’m really hoping to see more housing matters decided with student interests in mind, which would come as a result of increased representation from better-drawn district lines,” Bradley Liu wrote in a letter to the Redistricting Commission. Students also report heading to Convoy, Miramar, and Mira Mesa due to lower prices for restaurants and other hangouts.

Each District must have roughly the same population, with the target number at 153,878, and District 1 has 166,534 people. On the contrary, District 6 has 1,400 fewer people than the target goal, so if UCSD did join the 6th District, that could even help the population. But there are darker issues at play.

Aidan Lin, associate vice president of the Associated Students of UC San Diego’s Office of Local Affairs, voiced his concern about a “lack of representation.” For example, though residents aged 20-29 make up 26% of the population, he is the only member of his subcommittee. He also stated that in a 2019 survey, over three-quarters of respondents were white despite them making up only half the population.

Cynthia Suero-Gabler, a member of the Asian Pacific American Coalition board, explained that she supports moving UCSD to the 6th District to increase the Asian population. She stated, “That we have a district that celebrates our cultural diversity and amplifies our voices.”

The picture painted by Lin and Suero-Gabler is incomplete. They say those elder people are overrepresented on local boards and in city-wide surveys. Yet can they prove that city officials target people based on their age and race, or is this just a coincidental disparate outcome? Too often, people provide statistics that break down racial lines, such as recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine and victims of domestic violence. As usual, people inadvertently draw conjectures that “prove” the myth of systemic racism. But correlation does not equal causation. Also, it shouldn’t matter how many people of a certain race live in one area. While it’s nice to socialize with people who look like us, it’s vital to seek out different individuals to expand our worldview. And if you hold race as the be-all-end-all factor in your decision making, that is identical to the philosophy of the infamous alt-right


So whenever you are confronted with disparate outcomes by race, sex, or age, as yourself, what are the underlying reasons why these outcomes appear before jumping to the left’s favorite answer, institutional racism.

 

Photo from: Adriana Heldiz