East County redistricting plan stirs uproar in Chaldean community

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RANCHO SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A proposed redistricting plan is causing an uproar in the East County as community members say the proposed maps are unfairly drawn.

Hundreds of community members voiced their concerns against the redistricting commission about splitting up the East County communities of El Cajon and Rancho San Diego.

It is a largely Chaldean community that says they want stick together. Many in the largely conservative, rural and Chaldean community of El Cajon and Rancho San Diego are concerned about being split apart.

“We’re not going to be split up to meet special interests groups needs and wants,” Chaldean Community Advocate Vincent Kattoula said.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission held a special meeting to redraft the proposed map after hundreds of Chaldean community members raised the alarm.

“This will be a gerrymander of the Chaldean vote,” Kattoula said. “We are breaking up a voice that has found unity in East County.”

But the Commission released a statement saying in part:

“The Commission takes very seriously its mandate to create fair and equitable maps in a transparent manner. The idea that any district was created with partisan bias is just blatantly absurd.”

Kattoula says the commission voted after the meeting to redraft the map to keep El Cajon in district two, but move Rancho San Diego to District Four. He says the move still tears his community apart. 

“The Chaldean community is a little disappointed that the commission still decided to break up a community and divide it in half,” Kattoula said.

Kattoula says the Chaldean community here will explore all legal options going forward. The commission is expect to meet and vote on the new map on Tuesday.

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