Black Lines Matter: The Fight Over Redistricting Lines in Los Angeles – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

This map outlines the district boundaries recommended by the redistribution commission. (laccrc2021.org)

Council Districts (CDs) 8, 9, and 10 experienced minimal changes in the final draft map to be submitted to the Los Angeles City Council by the Redistricting Commission.

According to some black observers, these lines have significant implications for southern Los Angeles and African Americans living and running businesses in the city of Los Angeles. With a decline in Los Angeles’ black population, many people are convinced that it is crucial that the lines are drawn to keep African American representation as close and united as possible.

This aspect increases in importance in the light of critical factors such as representation and resources, especially within CDs 8, 9 and 10, as these council seats are re-elected in the coming years.

In the opinion of many African American voters, Black Lines Matter plays and in order to preserve seats and influence in Los Angeles, these lines play a more influential role in the everyday life of black society than most people are aware of.

CD 8 draft card (laccrc2021.org)

After months of meetings, discussions, and public testimony from more than 12,000 LA residents, the 21-member body adopted the graphic version of the new boundaries of the city’s 15 CDs on October 21st. The card, along with the Commission’s final report, will be submitted to the City Council on 29 October.

The actions conclude the role of the Commission in the redistribution process, which requires that the boundaries of the City Council District (CD) be adjusted after the end of each census. According to the LA city charter, each district must be approximately equal in population size, consisting of about 260,000 people based on data from the 2020 census.

With most African Americans living on CDs 8, 9 and 10, the black redistributors – Pastor Edward Anderson, Charisse Bremond-Weaver and Valerie Lynne Shaw – made a concerted effort to ensure that the concerns expressed by black society in those areas were addressed.

CD 9 draft map (laccrc2021.org)

Anderson, pastor of McCarty Memorial Christian Church, was CD 10 nominee; Bremond-Weaver, President / CEO of Brotherhood Crusade, was the mayor’s chosen; and Shaw, a California Community College System governor and former public works commissioner, was the CD 8 representative.

In determining the final map, the Commission weighed the discrepancy between financial assets in CD 8 and 9, deciding to place USC in CD 9, represented by Councilmember Curren Price, and locating Exposition Park in CD 8, represented by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. For decades, USC, Exposition Park, and Leimert Park were placed on CD 8, but in the 2011 redistribution process, Exposition Park and the USC campus were moved to CD 9, and most of Leimert Park was placed on CD 10.

Currently, the issue of CD 10 representation has been a major concern for many South Los Angeles residents since councilor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was elected to the post, was suspended by the city council after the U.S. Department of Justice indicted him on bribery charges. .

Voters ask: “Who will fight and defend the lines of the 10th district? ”Many people, like Pastor William Smart, conclude that CD 10 is vulnerable without any voice at the table to defend or accept how the redistribution lines have been drawn.

“When the city council starts discussing a redistribution plan, it seems to me as a resident of the 10th city council district that this is hypocrisy. They have just suspended the representative of the 10th, Councilor Mark Ridley Thomas. There seem to be hidden agendas and a serious discrepancy that the very strong voice that is knowing through this process has now been sincerely eliminated from this process and we in the 10th do not have a voice that will stand and fight for us. We want and need Mark Ridley-Thomas at the table fighting for our district, ”said Smart, who is also president of SCLC in Southern California.

Jacqueline DuPont-Walker, a CD 10 resident and MTA commissioner, expressed a similar view, saying: “When the redistribution goes to the city council, a vacant 10th council seat would be a violation of the Voting Rights Act, and thus a denial of our civilians. Our councilor must be reinstated immediately to his duly elected post. “

Los Angeles is not the only community with valid concerns about redistribution and the ability to create concentrations of poverty in certain CDs without making economic assets available to balance the impact on LA’s most vulnerable residents. City Council President Nury Martinez was equally critical and concerned about the lines drawn for her San Fernando Valley district.

“While some areas kept their assets and neighborhoods intact, poverty was concentrated in other communities that have already suffered under disinvestment and neglect for generations,” Martinez said.

In a follow-up statement reported by the LA Times, Martinez’s spokeswoman said the council president described two districts – her own, which include such areas as Van Nuys, and a proposed district that includes Winnetka and other West Valley neighborhoods.

CD 10 draft map (laccrc2021.org)

“What [City] The council does, after this is up to the council, ”said Commissioner Carlos Moreno, a retired judge appointed by city attorney Mike Feuer, who is running for mayor. “But I think no one can really question that we have individually and collectively done our best.”

Despite complaints about the final draft of the card, Commission President Fred Ali defended the card, saying the commission “is very proud to send the approved card … to the City Council for review. Our work has been informed by census data, the Federal Voting Rights Act and countless hours of public testimony.

“In the final adoption of the map, the commission took great care to ensure that traditionally disadvantaged districts included critical economic assets,” Ali said, adding that it was not the commission’s job “to protect elected officials, their jobs or their political future. “

The next steps in the process require the city council to hold public hearings as well as make changes to the map before adopting the final boundaries of the 15 boroughs, which take effect on January 1st.

Visit laccrc2021.org to learn more or review the redistribution timeline.

guard post Executive Editor Danny Bakewell, Jr. and City News Service contrfollowed this report.

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