East Bay population shift to shake up BART districts

Mike Koozmin/The ExaminerBART's board of directors will review proposed changes to the nine representative districts affected by population shifts recorded in the 2010 census.

Mike Koozmin/The ExaminerBART's board of directors will review proposed changes to the nine representative districts affected by population shifts recorded in the 2010 census.

Population growth in the East Bay is shifting BART voting districts away from San Francisco, but board members from The City said the new alignments won’t have a major impact in the next elections.

BART is one of just three transit agencies in the country to have a publicly elected board of directors. Today that body will review proposed changes to the nine representative districts affected by population shifts recorded in the 2010 census.

The biggest changes will come in districts 2 and 5, portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties represented by directors John McPartland and Joel Keller.

Because population growth in those sprawling eastern districts has been so steady, both will have to be pared down, which could lead to a ripple effect where districts will be redrawn in a manner that shifts toward the
southeast.

San Francisco has three BART districts, but District 7 — represented by Lynette Sweet — contains only a sliver of the eastern portion of The City, with the rest of her district comprising East Bay cities such as Richmond and Berkeley. With BART districts shifting southeast, the East Bay portion of District 7 could expand, meaning the San Francisco portion will shrink.

Sweet, a San Francisco resident, said the redistricting won’t have a huge impact in her 2012 election campaign. Five directors, including Sweet and fellow San Francisco representative Tom Radulovich, will have to defend their seats next year.

Like Sweet, Radulovich said the proposed redistricting in San Francisco isn’t significant enough to merit major strategic changes for the election. He said he was actually surprised that population shifts in the East Bay weren’t greater.

However, it’s clear that more people are relocating to suburban towns in the East Bay. Bob Franklin, BART’s board chair who also is up for re-election next year, said the current trends could eventually result in San Francisco being represented by just two districts.

“San Francisco’s population just doesn’t grow as fast as Alameda and Contra Costa counties,” said Franklin. “As a result, we’ll continue to see a shift east in the districts.”

Today’s special board meeting on the redistricting changes will only be a discussion for the agency’s board. They’re expected to vote on approving the proposed redesigns at a meeting in December.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

BARTBay Area NewsLocalSan Francisco

Just Posted

ose Pak and Willie Brown at an event in 2014. 
Rose Pak and Willie Brown at an event in 2014.
Willie and Rose: An alliance for the ages

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

San Francisco supervisors are considering plans to replace trash cans — a “Renaissance” garbage can is pictured on Market Street — with pricey, unnecessary upgrades. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco must end ridiculous and expensive quest for ‘pretty’ trash cans

SF’s unique and pricey garbage bins a dream of disgraced former Public Works director

Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski is pictured at bat on July 29 against the Dodgers at Oracle Park; the teams are in the top spots in their league as the season closes. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
With playoff positions on the line, old rivalries get new life

Giants cruised through season, Dodgers not far behind

Golden Gate Park visitors may take a survey about options regarding private car access on John F. Kennedy Drive, which has been the subject of controversy during the pandemic.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Your chance to weigh in: Should JFK remain closed to cars?

Host of mobility improvements for Golden Gate Park proposed

Drivers gathered to urge voters to reject an initiative that would exempt Uber, Lyft, and other gig economy companies from state labor laws, in San Francisco in October 2020. (Jim Wilson/New York Times)
What’s the role of unions in the 21st century?

As membership declines in California, economic inequality increases

Most Read