Santa Clara Councilmember’s Redistricting Concerns At Odds With Track Record

As California preps to lose one congressional seat by 2022, one Santa Clara councilmember is proactively trying to ensure her city won’t get switched out.

Kathy Watanabe requested city elected officials discuss writing to the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission, the 14-member nonpartisan committee in charge of scratching out new district boundary lines as they assign the state’s more than 39 million residents federal representation.

Ahead of a July 6 council meeting, Watanabe argued Santa Clara should stay snuggled alongside CA17’s suburbs—Cupertino, Fremont, Milpitas, Newark, Sunnyvale and portions of San Jose—because it is “home to the largest Asian American Pacific Islander population of any Congressional district in the United States, which is something we should support maintaining and be proud of.”

That beaming tone about the Mission City’s minority populations doesn’t exactly pair well with Watanabe’s council track record.

Despite boasting about her blended Asian American family, the two-term councilor stubbornly (and unsuccessfully) fought a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit—twice—arguing minority voters weren’t disadvantaged by the city’s previous at-large system, going so far as to separate herself from a fellow councilmember’s apology to Santa Clarans denied fair representation.

Watanabe also caught flack in 2018 for concerns that soccer games attract a “different crowd” than American football, and her March 2021 refusal to hand the mic to the city’s only Korean American council member at a #StopAsianHate event ended with her censure.

It’s not exactly clear why a different district would prove problematic, as CA17’s U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna aligned with District 19 Rep. Zoe Lofgren in 98% of House votes in 2019-20. Lofgren represents residents in San Martin, Morgan Hill and portions of Gilroy, San Jose and unincorporated Santa Clara County.

But as Khanna has historically endorsed Watanabe, City Hall insiders have only one guess as to why Watanabe crafted the odd letter: political fealty.

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7 Comments

  1. Watanabe is a full blown racist and a hypocrite. She works for Khanna.

    Watanabe is rude to all minorities and insists she have a moment when she is a minority person walking so she can walk thr other way

  2. San Jose Inside and “The Fly” what a joke! Watanabe and Gillmor are the only two on the Santa Clara City Council that actually care and due the right thing for all the citizens of Santa Clara. The other five, Jain, Park, Becker, Chahal and Hardy are just bought and paid for shills of the 49ers, just like this rag of a blog.

  3. Okay Robert Haugh,
    We’ve all had enough of your tripe.
    Is the reason you don’t post your name is because you’re going to trail for sexual assault? And no one cares to hear what you have to say?
    This 49er narrative is worn out just like your credibility as a “writer”.
    Get your life together.

  4. 1. arguing minority voters weren’t disadvantaged by the city’s previous at-large system +
    2. soccer games attract a “different crowd” than American football +
    3. refusal to hand the mic to the city’s only Korean American = ???

    Even if these opinions and behaviors have been reported accurately here (which would be surprising), to insinuate the sum total has any significant meaning is absurd. This story is a hit piece, plain and simple, one that informs readers of nothing other than the author’s bias.

  5. The cult group is back.

    Is Myers still pushing cider vinegar for covid?

  6. WOW!

    So many here just trying to claim that the reporters here are somehow “biased”, and just name call instead of providing any EVIDENCE to establish their OPINIONS have any REASON behind it?

    PLEASE PROVIDE PROOF OF THIS STATEMENT? SO FAR YOU ARE PROVING YOURSELF TO BE GUILTY OF THE OLD SAYING:

    “Before Putting Mouth in Gear, Ensure Brain Is Engaged”

    ALL THE REST IS JUST YOU’RE RANTING AND RAVING.

    IN FACT AGAIN YOU ARE SHOWING EXACTLY WHAT CARL SAGAN FEARED WHEN HE WROTE HIS BOOK “THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD”, PUBLISHED IN 1995. HE SUGGESTED THE FOLLOWING “BALONEY DETECTION KIT”:

    Sagan presents a set of tools for skeptical thinking that he calls the “baloney detection kit”.[3][4]:210[5] Skeptical thinking consists both of constructing a reasoned argument and recognizing a fallacious or fraudulent one. In order to identify a fallacious argument, Sagan suggests employing such tools as independent confirmation of facts, debate, development of different hypotheses, quantification, the use of Occam’s razor, and the possibility of falsification. Sagan’s “baloney detection kit” also provides tools for detecting “the most common fallacies of logic and rhetoric”, such as argument from authority and statistics of small numbers. Through these tools, Sagan argues the benefits of a critical mind and the self-correcting nature of science can take place.

    Sagan provides a total of nine tools in this kit.

    There must be confirmation of the facts given when possible. (WHERE IS YOUR?)

    Encourage debate on the evidence from all points of view.(YOU PROVIDE NO DEBATE, JUST EITHER AGREE OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES)

    Realize that an argument from authority is not always reliable. Sagan supports this by telling us that ‘authorities” have made mistakes in the past and they will again in the future.(SO FAR NO EVIDENCE PRESENTED TO EITHER MY INFORMATION OR OTHERS AS TO THE INNACUARACY OF THE REASONING AND CONCLUSIONS, ONLY PERSONAL ATTACKS)

    Consider more than one hypothesis. Sagan adds to this by telling us that we must think of the argument from all angles and think all the ways it can be explained or disproved. The hypothesis that then still hasn’t been disproved has a much higher chance of being correct.(BUT YOU PROVIDE NO OTHER HYPOTHESIS, ONLY A CONCLUSION OR A PERSONAL ATTACK)

    Try your best to not purely stick to a hypothesis that is your own and become biased. Sagan tells us to compare our own hypothesis with others to see if we can find reasons to reject our own hypothesis.(YOU HAVE REJECTED EVEN CONSIDERATION OF THIS IDEA, PERHAPS BECAUSE IT WILL FAIL MISEARBLY)

    Quantify. Sagan tells us that if whatever we are trying to explain has numerical value or quantitative data related to it, then we’ll be much more able to compete against other hypotheses.(NOT APPLICABLE HERE, BUT IT MEANS YOU BETTER FOR OTHER TOPICS THAT DEAL WITH QUANTIFIABLE DATA)

    If there is a chain of argument, every link in that chain must be correct.(THIS IS WHERE SO MUCH OF THE INTERNET FALLS APART CIRCULAR VALIDATION BY A LIMITED AND SELECTED RESOURCES THAT EXAGGERATE OR OVERSTEP ANY POSSIBLY VALID HYPTOHESIS)

    The use of Occam’s razor, which tells us to choose the hypothesis that is simpler and requires the least amount of assumptions.(SO MANY ASSUMPTIONS MADE BY NOT EVEN DOING ANY RESEARCH AT ALL EXCPET ON FACE VALUE THAT IN MOST CASES TURNS OUT TO BE A MISINTERPRETATION OF THEINFORMATION)

    Ask if a given hypothesis can be falsified. Sagan tells us that if a hypothesis cannot be tested or falsified then it is not worth considering. With the use of this “baloney detection kit”(AS FAR AS SO MUCH WRITTEN HERE, YOUR CONCLUSIONS ARE NOT TESTED AND CAN BE PROVEN FALSIFIED)

    I WILL CONSIDER DEMONTRATING THE LOGICAL FALLACIES IN A LATER POST.

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