The 2010 Census data came out and the good news, from my perspective, is the population of San Jose is not one million people but instead 945,942. However, I am told there is under-counting as some residents do not want to be counted. Our population growth rate has slowed to 5.7 percent as opposed to 37 percent in the 1970’s. The average people per household city wide is 3.14, however the average number of people per household in District 5 is 4.5.
This census data will be used by the Redistricting Advisory Commission to make suggestions to the City Council on how the council district boundaries should be redrawn. Each Councilmember appointed a district resident to the commission and the Mayor appointed the chair. The goal is to have the Council districts relatively even in population by plus or minus 5 percent. The commission may take major boundaries into consideration like freeways or railroad lines, as well as non-physical boundaries like school attendance areas. The commission is having a public meeting tonight (March 14) at 6:30pm at City Hall to the discuss the data.
The council district populations as of the 2010 Census are as follows:
District 1: 88,645
District 2: 92,314
District 3: 93,896
District 4: 102,976
District 5: 90,863
District 6: 100,236
District 7: 97,868
District 8: 101,108
District 9: 88,853
District 10: 89,183
Council District 1,9 and 10 will expand boundaries to gain population while districts 4,6 and 8 will contract to lose population. For example, District 4 would need to shed an area that contains 3,652 residents while District 1 needs to expand the district to gain 1,219 residents. Whether it is expansion or contraction some residents will get a new councilperson. I have found for some residents this is a big deal and for others it does not matter. Would it matter to you?
The 2010 Census also tracks data on race and uses terms like White and Hispanic. District 9 had the highest White population. While District 4 had the highest Asian population and District 5 the highest Hispanic population. Districts 2 and 6 tied for the highest African American population.
Should the redistricting commission recommend that Council district boundaries are changed to achieve nearly equal distribution by race?
Mayor Reed came out with the Budget Message for the Council on Friday, March 11. If you want to read more than what can be covered by the media follow that link.
The Mayor’s budget message is quite serious in the challenges we face. As we look at the devastation in Japan I believe it is important to not drain our limited financial reserves in case of a natural disaster in San Jose.