Unhappy with the proposed map redrawing city council boundaries by its own appointed 21-member commission, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez Oct. 26 introduced a motion to create a new Ad Hoc Redistricting committee, essentially tossing out much of the commission’s work and restarting the process.
“It’s clear that too many voices across the city have yet to be heard and we have an immovable deadline,” Martinez said. “We cannot reasonably move forward with a map that raises concerns for so many marginalized communities when this will be so influential in the lives of all Angelenos for the next decade. If we’re looking to build a stronger, more equitable Los Angeles, we need a map that reflects that.”
The commission voted last week 15–6 to finalize the map, after meeting for nearly a year, including a hearing where more than 10,000 Angelenos provided public comment on various map iterations along the way.
The final recommended map, however, reshaped several key districts in the city, including Paul Krekorian’s District 2 and Nithya Raman’s District 4.
The commission proposed an entirely new district for the west San Fernando Valley, which Krekorian or Raman would oversee, but left that final decision up to the city council, which must approve the new map of its districts prior to implementation Jan. 1.
Raman and Krekorian seconded Martinez’s motion to create an Ad Hoc Redistricting Commission.
Raman and Krekorian argued previously that the commission-approved map was unfair to their current constituents who voted them into office.
“Last week the LA City Redistricting Commission moved forward with a proposed map that effectively ‘erases’ our district in its current form,” Raman wrote on Twitter earlier this month.
Krekorian has also said if he or Raman is transferred to a new district, “[some] neighborhoods will go seven years without a chance to vote for their own representative.”
“This is outrageous,” he said, also earlier this month. “If this plan is not amended to ensure that the people of Los Angeles have a fair opportunity to elect councilmembers of their own choosing, the public will demand to know whose political interests some of these commissioners are actually serving.”
Redistricting Commission Chair Fred Ali has defended the commission’s work.
“From the outset, the commission made a commitment to transparency and equity. The assertion that this map concentrates poverty in certain communities is patently false,” Ali said. “In the final adoption of the map, the commission took great care to ensure that traditionally disadvantaged districts included critical economic assets.”
He said it wasn’t the commission’s job to “protect elected officials, their jobs or their political futures.”
The new district lines are expected to be set by January 2022.
City News Service contributed to this report