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October 28, 2021



What a mess. How do we NOT DO THIS?


I agree. All options for the Lyon Hoag/Victoria Park area disastrous.

Cathy Baylock

I have studied all three maps and I am mystified. I actually took the time to submit a map, dividing the city roughly along elementary school boundaries when we had only five schools. The three maps presented don't reflecting anything I submitted, so I guess I wasted two hours trying to make the numbers balance. I thought the school boundaries were a good idea since they are contiguous and include families from both higher density neighborhoods as well as single family residential creating a balanced "community of interest". From what I can tell, the highly paid consultant probably used some sort of software program with the only lithmus test being race. So very sad and divisive. Lastly, maps A and C have the east side voters chucked together from the southern border to the northern border. Not clear on what the "community of interest" is here other than bay winds.

Jennifer Pfaff

In 1914, Burlingame's Mayor McGregor "made a strong speech objecting to the appellation: 'East Side', as generally applied to that portion of the city along the bay shore.

In 2010 Burlingame's Mayor Cathy Baylock made a similar speech when this city was threatened by the construction of an enormous wall separating East and Westside Burlingame along the railroad right of way--an early component of High Speed Rail, (better known as HS Boondoggle).

Her quote went like this:

"There's no wrong side of the tracks in Burlingame and we want to keep it that way!"


This plan is made to enable 25 year-old progressives to win government seats.


I’m still trying to process all of this information and I hope nobody takes this in a negative way but I was looking at how the city broke down each district by ethnicity and I don’t see white. What exactly do they mean by the category “other.” What ethnic groups does “other”comprise? Just wondering. Maybe it was the consultant group that did it this way.
As a comparison, I recently had an appointment at UCSF in the city and when I filled out my paperwork they asked what is my ethnicity and there were 12 different categories including white. Make no mistake, I very much want a diverse Burlingame. I was just interested in how people are categorized by the consulting group.

Paloma Ave

Our politically correct society is nauseating.


I will reiterate a suggestion I made months ago when this topic first came up.

Each B'game voter is about to have his/her voice diminished by 80%. You have 5 votes now and will soon only have 1 vote.

My suggestion is that the Council add two "at-large" seats to the body thereby bringing the Council to 7 members. 5 district and 2 city-wide seats. That would only diminish each of our voting powers by 40% instead of 80%.

If the hack lawyer from Malibu who needs his phone to find Burlingame wants to sue us, let him. That is my feedback.


The on-going discussions will continue on December 6th at 7pm Zoom time. You can get the details here: http://cms6.revize.com/revize/burlingamecity/departments/city_clerk/district_elections/index.php

The first three proposals have been standardized a bit with the districts lettered in the same areas to make it easier to compare and contrast and the same with the colors.

The discussions to date have yielded a fourth proposed map that you can review here:


The bulk of the change from the one I posted above is on the East side.


Here is the latest from the city newsletter:

At its December 6, 2021 meeting, the City Council selected Draft Map D for the City’s future district elections. Redistricting Partners, the City’s consultants, drew this map after reviewing community input at the November 1st hearing on the initial three draft maps.

The City Council will formally adopt Draft Map D at their January 3, 2022 meeting via an ordinance that also transitions the City to district elections and sets the order for which districts will be on the ballot in 2022, and which will be on the ballot in 2024.

The City’s next election is scheduled for November 2022. Because Mayor O’Brien Keighran, Vice Mayor Ortiz, and Councilmember Brownrigg are all up for election in 2022, staff is recommending that the Council put the two districts that these three Councilmembers live in on the ballot in 2022: Districts C and D. Additionally, staff is proposing putting District B on the November 2022 ballot. District B encompasses Lyon Hoag, Burlingables, and Burlingame Gardens. To run for one of these three Council seats on the November 2022 ballot, you will need to live in the district that is up for election: Districts B, C, and D.

Staff is further recommending that the Council place Districts A and E, where Councilmember Beach and Councilmember Colson live on the ballot in November 2024 as that election lines up with the end of their at-large terms.

To review Draft Map D and determine which district you live in, go to: https://redistrictingpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Burlingame-Draft-Plan-D-2.html
I have updated the original post to show Map D above. The D-to-C border is Ray Park, with Devereaux in D and Adeline in C. The C-to-E boundary is Sanchez. The E-to-A boundary is Fairfield and Palm Dr. The A-to-B boundary is California. And the E-to-B boundary is Broadway.

The new guy

Dear Editor

Is there a link you can provide for either the city or county clerk that informs the public when a candidate has filed to run in a district election for Burlingame?


New Guy, welcome to the party. You can reach the city clerk, Meaghan Hassel-Shearer, at [email protected].

I haven't seen the details on filing dates etc., but I recall the three seat cycle is first, so Ortiz, Brownrigg and O'Brian are up and there is an "open seat" so to speak on the East Side (District E shown above that may be slightly different than shown above).


Here's a reminder from the 1/11/22 Daily Journal article that I missed the first time around:

The first round of elections using the chosen map — “draft map D” — will take place November this year, with councilmembers for districts 1, 3 and 5 selected. Councilmember Ann O’Brien Keighran and Vice Mayor Michael Brownrigg both reside in district 3, meaning they will likely run against each other if they choose. Ortiz resides in District 1, and no councilmember resides in District 5. District 2, where Councilmember Emily Beach lives, and District 4, where Councilmember Donna Colson lives, will be up in 2024.
So November 8th is Districts 1, 3 and 5. All odd.


Now that the forced-district election fiasco has arrived in EssEff, the Comicle is taking note. Check out this lawyer catfight with taxpayers caught in the middle:

A long-running feud between a Bay Area attorney and a rival lawyer in Southern California is spilling over into San Francisco politics, potentially triggering huge changes to the city’s public school system — and underscoring flaws in a powerful state law that often allows private attorneys to shape public policy.

Scott Rafferty of Walnut Creek and Kevin Shenkman of Malibu have never liked each other, to say the least. Both specialize in suing cities, school boards and other government agencies under the California Voting Rights Act, which seeks to ensure that racial and ethnic minorities are fairly represented in local government.

In December, the Chronicle published an investigative series on the CVRA, finding that the law is achieving mixed results, sometimes leaving minority voters and candidates worse off than before and shifting millions in taxpayer money to a small group of plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The law allows attorneys to collect fees when they win or settle a case, and these incentives have produced an explosion of lawsuits and demand letters that are transforming the way Californians vote. Shenkman and a handful of his colleagues have earned $15 million in the past decade. He has sued or threatened to sue at least 175 local jurisdictions throughout California. Meanwhile, Rafferty has targeted 30 local agencies, mostly in the Bay Area.
Here's a tidbit of insight from the guy who WROTE the law that begs the question of why did B'game just roll over?
According to the text of the law and court precedents, plaintiffs in CVRA cases must prove two things. One, they have to demonstrate a pattern of “racially polarized voting” — different racial groups voting as blocs in at-large elections. Two, they need to show that those elections “dilute” the influence of minority voters and that an alternative system such as districts or ranked-choice voting would correct the problem.

“If there’s no racially polarized voting, and there’s no analysis, there’s no case,” Rubin said. “We’ve gotta protect the sanctity of this law, too. It’s a very important law. We don’t want it to be trashed by people who are misusing it.”


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