LA City Council holds final public hearing on draft map for reclassification – Daily News

By MARGARET SHUTTLEWORTH | City news service

The Los Angeles City Council will hold its final state-required public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 23 on proposed new boundaries for the city’s 15 council districts, which must be approved in time to take effect Jan. 1.

The afternoon hearing is the last of two, and during the first hearing on November 10, several residents called to give their views on the concept map, which can be viewed at https://bit.ly/3oPELT4.

People who missed the first hearing can make a public comment by calling 669-254-5252 Meeting ID No. 160 535 8466 and then pressing #. Participants will then press # again when prompted for the participant ID. They will then press *9 to request the floor.

The council is expected to vote on December 1 to approve a final map.

During its first public hearing, the council received several calls from San Fernando Valley residents opposing the proposed map dividing the Studio City and Reseda neighborhoods between two different council districts, dividing Studio City into Districts 2 and 4 and Reseda. divided into Council Districts 3 and 4.

“I don’t know why you split up valley communities if they have similar interests and similar demographics, 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.

Scott Mandell, vice president of the Studio City Neighborhood Council, urged Councilor Paul Krekorian to make a change to the map that would give Council District 2 the entirety of Studio City.

“We want to stay whole, we want to stay in the same council district with the same councilor we voted for,” Mandell said.

Other residents who attended the meeting praised the unification of their neighborhoods under one council district, specifically Koreatown and Hollywood.

Nury Martinez, LA City Council President (photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Eunice Song, executive director of the Korean American Coalition and member of the Koreatown Redistricting Task Force, said she supported the map for the unification of Koreatown under Council District 10, which community members have long advocated.

Several people called for opposition to the map for failing to return Exposition Park and USC to Council District 8, where both had been located until the reclassification process ten years ago, when they were moved to Council District 9.

“Now is the time to undo and do justice to the damage done ten years ago,” said a Community Coalition member.

The council put forward the draft map on Nov. 9, after a week in which councilors made significant adjustments to a map originally prepared by a civilian reclassification committee. City Council chairman Nury Martinez had destroyed the commission’s original map, saying the changes it proposed for the district districts “confused and alienated thousands.”

On Nov. 2, councilors made dozens of changes to the commission’s draft map, followed by more changes made on Friday by the Ad Hoc City Council Realignment Committee.

City Councilor Marqueece Harris-Dawson (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Councilor Marqueece Harris-Dawson – who represents Council District 8 and had attempted to return assets to his district – and Councilor Nithya Raman were the only two councilors to vote against moving the draft map forward on Nov. 9.

Raman’s office said that even with changes to the map to return some of Council District 4 to the councilwoman elected in November 2020, Raman is still losing about 40% of her voters under the current proposal.

Nithya Raman, Los Angeles City Councilor (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The city’s major changes to the map recommended by the citizens’ commission came about after calls from many – including the commission itself – to change city policies in the future so that a fully independent body can handle the reclassification process.

In the committee’s advice to the city council, she called for an independent body to redraw the borders by 2031.

“This committee over the past year has confirmed that the quasi-independent nature of the advisory committee just doesn’t work,” committee chairman Fred Ali told councillors. “It’s time for an independent, rather than an advisory, committee to take responsibility for the redesign in the interest of our city.”

The Redistricting Commission uses data from the US Census to update the city’s districts, with each council member representing about 260,000 people.

Ali told councilors on Nov. 2 that 15,000 people offered comments during the trial, but he noted challenges during the trial, including the COVID-19 pandemic, census data delayed by five months, and a “historic undercount of certain communities” within that process. . data.

Martinez said the commission’s map reflected an undercount she attributed to the Trump administration’s failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the census and the former president’s confusing messages about the census deadline.

“The Los Angeles numbers just don’t add up. Look around you, we didn’t get whiter and we didn’t get richer. This is not the Los Angeles I see around me,” Martinez said.

Leave a Comment