Draft Redistricting Map Takes Everyone by Surprise

When the Los Angeles Times released the first peek at the city Redistricting Commission’s draft map of new city council districts just before this afternoon’s Commission meeting, many Greater Wilshire residents were happy to learn that the pleas of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council and many area residents had been heeded:  the Greater Wilshire area is reunited within one city council district in the draft map.

The surprise, however, was which district the area has been united in — Paul Koretz’s 5th District.

Currently, the vast majority of the Greater Wilshire area is (and has been for many, many years) in Council Member Tom La Bonge’s 4th District, while the SE corner has been in Herb Wesson’s 10th District, and only a small corner the northwest part of the area was in CD5.  Most residents had assumed that if the Greater Wilshire area were pulled back into one district, it would be the 4th or the 10th…not the 5th.  So today’s map release was a bit of an eye-opener.

Residents apparently weren’t the only ones taken aback.  Mr. La Bonge issued a press release even before the end of the Commission meeting, stating that “I’m very disappointed in the draft-map released by the Redistricting Commission…This draft redistricting map weakens the political representation of the Santa Monica Mountains, fractures the community of Hollywood among three Council districts and dissolves the historic core of Council District 4 – the greater Wilshire area, including the Miracle Mile, Larchmont Village, Windsor Square, Pan Pacific Park and Park La Brea.”

It’s important to note, however, that the map released today is just a draft, and modifications will be hotly debated.  One Commissioner, Helen Kim, even presented an alternate map for consideration at today’s meeting, with very different boundaries, but the commission did not release it for public comment.

The Redistricting Commission will now hold a second round of seven public hearings, to collect feedback on the draft map.  The first of these meetings will take place in our own backyard, on Wednesday, February 1, 6:30 p.m., at the Ebell of Los Angeles (743 S. Lucerne).  So if you’d like to weigh in on our area’s shift to the 5th District, please plan to attend.

After the seven meetings, on February 22, the Commission will vote on a final map to send to the City Council for approval…and on February 29 it will have its final formal meeting.  The City is required to adopt a final redistricting plan by July of this year.

Read City Maven: Divided Redistricting Commission

See the LA Times interactive map.

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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