LA City Council approves draft redistribution card

Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted to approve a draft of political boundaries for its 15 members, making major changes to Councilor Nithya Raman’s Hollywood Hills district, while retaining both USC and Exposition Park in the district represented by Councilor Curren Price.

On a 12-2 vote, council members approved a map containing many of the changes recommended by a civic commission last month. But they revised the commission’s plan for the San Fernando Valley and moved to ensure that districts represented by councilors Nury Martinez, Bob Blumenfield and Paul Krekorian largely remain as they are.

Council draft map will be subject to two state hearings – one Wednesday, the other on 23 November – before returning to the vote on 1 December. On that day, the council will have an executive order to put the changes into effect.

On Tuesday, the most controversial issue involved Exposition Park, an area of ​​southern Los Angeles that houses institutions such as the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Banc of California Stadium and the California African American Museum.

Ten years ago, the council – then led by Councilor Herb Wesson – approved a redistribution map that moved Exposition Park and nearby USC out of the 8th District, which is now represented by Councilor Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

Harris-Dawson, whose district has the city’s largest concentration of voting-age black residents, asked his colleagues to restore Exposition Park to his district. That would mean pulling Exposition Park out of the district represented by Councilman Curren Price.

Only three councilors voted yes – Harris-Dawson, Raman and Mike Bonin. After the meeting, Harris-Dawson called the council’s decision “a parody” and said he intends to continue fighting for Exposition Park.

The 8th District, he said, needs assets like Exposition Park to bring benefits to local communities and serve as a catalyst for economic development.

“I will continue to appeal to the conscience of my colleagues,” he said in an interview. “I think there’s more I can do to dramatize the importance of this issue and how deep it feels in Black Los Angeles.”

Price, for his part, said he was pleased with the result, describing Exposition Park and USC as crucial to his district, which stretches from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles south to 95th Street. The district, which occupies neighborhoods at the eastern end of southern Los Angeles, is strongly Latino and is considered the poorest in the city.

“People [in the district] has a vested interest in Expo Park. We have done a lot of work there, created new jobs, ”he said. “So it’s an economic engine.”

The city redraws its district boundaries once a year after the release of U.S. census data. By law, each district must have roughly the same population – in LA, about 260,000 people per capita. district. The card must comply with the Federal Voting Rights Act, which ensures opportunities for black and Latino political representation.

Tuesday’s vote came about a year after city leaders formed a 21-member civic commission to draw a new set of lines. The Commission’s proposal met several objectives, such as ensuring that 5.7 districts are located in the valley and that Koreatown has a single representative on the council.

The commission’s proposal provoked an outcry from many of the valley’s community groups and neighborhood councils, which said it left too many residents with a new council member and moved important economic assets from one district to another.

Martinez, the chairman of the council, pushed for a “hybrid” card to address these concerns. According to the council’s plan, her district would reclaim Van Nuys Airport and the Sepulveda Basin recreation area; Blumenfield would get back Canoga Park and Winnetka; and Krekorian would be assured that his district would remain in the eastern valley, occupying neighborhoods like North Hollywood.

The largest group of changes were imposed in Raman district, which lost Hancock Park, Miracle Mile, La Brea Park and part of Mid-City. In turn, her district pushed itself deeper into the valley and reached as far west as Reseda.

Raman on Tuesday succeeded in persuading the council to restore small parts of her district, including part of Silver Lake and Hollywood. Nevertheless, she voted no on the overall map.

Richard Close, president of Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn., Which is based in Raman district, said his group is happy with the new boundaries. Close said the plan met the goals of his organization: to keep Sherman Oaks in a single district, a district that has about two-thirds of its population based in the valley.

These numbers will make it easier to elect a sixth councilor to live in the valley in the future, he said.

“Based on our population, [the Valley] should have 5.68% Valley districts, “he said.” And this map gives us that percentage. “

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