Opinion: Gardenland/Northgate Opposes Redistricting Split

Publisher’s note: At last week’s city council meeting, an idea was floated to redraw District 2 to extend to Northgate Boulevard, rather than at the Natomas East Main Drainage Canal. Gardenland/Northgate resident George Azar responds to the suggestion on behalf of the Gardenland/Northgate Neighborhood Association.

**UPDATE: Redistricting plan approved at City Council tonight did not include splitting Gardenland/Northgate.**


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Gardenland/Northgate is one of the oldest communities established in Sacramento. We are unique in Sacramento in that our families and friends have lived here for generations. When the Natomas building moratorium was lifted and South Natomas and North Natomas was built out, we maintained and even strengthened our Gardenland/Northgate community because of the strong ties binding us together – one of which is having a significant percentage of Latino residents. We are proud of our roots and of the community culture we have developed.

We recognize the intent of the proposed changes is to address the desires of Sacramento’s general Latino community to be better represented on our City Council through the redistricting effort.  However, as we look at the proposed changes, we feel strongly that they not only do not accomplish the stated objective but, in our opinion, they further dilute the Latino community’s influence and representation. To split up Northgate and Gardenland into two separate council districts for a mere 1% increase in Latino population in any one of the two districts represents a tremendous step backward for Latinos in our community.
A very large and close-knit core of residents whose families have lived in the area for many generations enhances life in the neighborhoods.
Our website has always emphasized the closeness of our residents. It states: Gardendland/Northgate Neighborhood is:  “A very large and close-knit core of residents whose families have lived in the area for many generations enhances life in the neighborhoods. This vanguard of residents maintains a lively social atmosphere in the neighborhoods, as well as an ongoing commitment and dedication to the community.” Our organization extends to Truxel Road on the west,  Interstate 80 on the north, East Main Drainage Canal on the east and Garden Highway on the south. These have been our boundaries since GNNA was established except for the west boundary, which was expanded from Northgate Park to Truxel Road at the request of residents nearly three years ago.
Keeping our neighborhood community intact is our No. 1 objective. Splitting up a long-established Latino neighborhood does not address the desire of the broader Latino community to have representation on Council. Therefore, GNNA is adamantly opposed to splitting our community into two separate council districts and we urge you to drop the proposed changes that would split up the Gardenland/Northgate community.
George Azar is President of Gardenland/Northgate Neighborhood Association.

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