By MARGARET SHUTTLEWORTH | City News Service
The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to hold its last state-required public hearing on Tuesday, Nov.23, on proposed new boundaries for the 15 city council districts, which must be passed in time to take effect Jan.1.
The midday hearing is the later of the two, and at the first hearing on November 10, several residents called to weigh in on the draft map, which can be viewed at https://bit.ly/3oPELT4.
Those who missed the first hearing can submit public comments by dialing 669-254-5252 with meeting ID 160 535 8466, then pressing #. Participants will then press # again when prompted to enter the participant ID. They will then press * 9 to ask to speak.
The council is expected to vote on adopting a final map on December 1.
During the first public hearing, council received several calls from residents of the San Fernando Valley opposing the proposed map to divide the neighborhoods of Studio City and Reseda between two different council districts, with Studio City being divided between Council Districts 2 and 4, and Reseda divided into Council Districts 3 and 4.
“I don’t know why you divide the communities in the valley if they have similar interests and similar demographics, they go to similar stores and businesses. Why split Studio City, why split Reseda? Keep them all together, ”said a caller who identified himself as Kenneth.
Studio City Ward Council Vice Chairman Scott Mandell urged City Councilor Paul Krekorian to introduce a map amendment that would give City Council 2 all of Studio City.
“We want to stay whole, we want to stay in the same council district with the same council member we voted for,” Mandell said.
Other residents who called for the meeting hailed the unification of their neighborhoods under one municipal district, particularly Koreatown and Hollywood.
Eunice Song, executive director of the Korean-American Coalition and a member of the Koreatown Redistribution Task Force, said she supports the map for its unification of Koreatown under the District 10 Council, for which community members have been pleading for a long time.
Several people have called to oppose the map for not referring the fairground and USC to Council District 8, where both were located until the redistribution process ten years ago, when they been transferred to council district 9.
“Now is the time to right the wrong done 10 years ago and deliver justice,” said a member of the Community Coalition.
On November 9, council brought forward the map project, after a week in which board members made significant changes to a map originally drafted by a civilian redistribution commission. City council chairman Nury Martinez blasted the commission’s original map, saying the changes it proposed for city districts “have confused and alienated thousands of people.”
On November 2, council members introduced dozens of amendments to the commission’s draft map, followed by further changes introduced on Friday by the city council’s ad hoc redistribution committee.
Councilor Marqueece Harris-Dawson – who represents District Council 8 and had attempted to return assets to her district – and Councilor Nithya Raman were the only two council members to vote against moving the map project forward on November 9.
Raman’s office said that even with changes to the map to return part of Council 4 district to the councilor who was elected in November 2020, Raman still loses around 40% of his voters under the proposal. current.
The significant changes made by the à la carte council recommended by the Civil Commission came amid calls from many – including from the commission itself – to change city policy in the future to allow a body fully independent of managing the redistribution process.
In the commission’s recommendations submitted to city council, she called for an independent body to redraw the borders in 2031.
“This commission over the past year has confirmed that the quasi-independent nature of the advisory commission is simply not working,” commission chairman Fred Ali told board members. “It is time for an independent, rather than advisory, commission to take responsibility for redistributing for the good of our city.
The Redistricting Commission uses US Census data to update city districts, with each council member representing approximately 260,000 people.
Ali told council members on November 2 that 15,000 people provided comments during the process, but he noted challenges in the process, including the COVID-19 pandemic, census data delayed by five months and a “historical undercoverage of some communities” within it. The data.
Martinez said the commission’s map reflected an undercount it attributed to the Trump administration’s unsuccessful attempt to add a citizenship question to the census and the former president’s confusing messages about the deadline for the census.
“The numbers for Los Angeles are just not accurate. Look around, we haven’t gotten whiter and we haven’t gotten richer. It’s not the Los Angeles that I see around me, ”Martinez said.