The battle over LA's City Council districts is in full swing--the Daily News reports that, ahead of a self-imposed February deadline, the City Council's Redistricting Commission is considering several suggestions from the public that would smack of common sense in any other city. The most common suggestions for the future district boundaries are "a sixth council district in the San Fernando Valley, a single council district that includes all of Koreatown, to reduce the number of districts that span the Santa Monica Mountains and make sure Little Tokyo's council district remains intact."
The current configurations create problems, especially as you move further east or north in the city. Ktown, for instance, is split into four council districts, which makes it hard for constituents to get accountability from any of the four councilmembers who represent the area. Gerrymandering creates a different problem in the Valley, where a few districts cross the Santa Monica Mountains, meaning that a councilmember is required to to represent the vastly different priorities of, say, Hancock Park and North Hollywood (that would be CD4, currently repped by Tom LaBonge).
The Committee is expected to produce recommendations for new council district configurations to the City Council by February 22, all while maintaining a target of 252,841 residents in each district, established by the most recent census and required by law. Meanwhile, the Redistricting Commission held a news conference recently to "urge more participation from Asian and Pacific Islander Americans ahead of meetings in Chinatown and East Hollywood, where Chinese, Thai, Filipino, Vietnamese and Korean Americans have concentrated populations."
The suggestions in front of the Redistricting Commission seem so basic, it got us thinking about the current map, which is so full of twists and turns that it'd be a natural fit as M. Night Shyamalan's next project. In honor of the thankless job in front of the Commission, the gallery above offers some of the craziest examples of the head-scratching gerrymandering that currently defines the political boundaries of the city.
· L.A. City Council redistricting panel urged to create a sixth Valley district, unite Koreatown [Daily News]