By Edwin Folven, 3/01/2012
Commission Makes Some Last Minute Adjustments
The Los Angeles City Council will begin its deliberations over the proposed redistricting maps on Friday, when the council’s Rules and Election Committee holds the first hearing at city hall on the new boundaries.
There will also be three public hearings held on March 5, 6 and 7 to allow for additional input. The deadline for revisions is March 8, and the full city council is expected to review the new boundaries on March 16.
Ed Johnson, press deputy to City Council President Herb Wesson, 10th District, said the council president is eager to begin the evaluation process, and added that Wesson is not making any comments on the new maps until the deliberations occur.
The Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission released the final proposed maps on Feb. 24 after the commission voted on last-minute adjustments on Feb. 22. No major changes were made to the 4th or 5th Districts in the Miracle Mile and Hancock Park areas, although the eastern boundary of the 4th District will now be Western Avenue. Currently the 4th District extends east several blocks past Western Avenue between Melrose Avenue and 6th Street, but the commission set the boundary at Western to place the Koreatown area primarily within one council district.
The biggest changes to the 4th and 5th Districts last Wednesday were made in the northern portions that extend into the San Fernando Valley. The 4th District will retain the Toluca Lake area, and will now also include Sherman Oaks, which is currently in the 5th District. The 5th District will now include all of Encino, west of the San Diego (405) Freeway.
Commissioner Jackie Dupont-Walker, said the adjustments were largely made to honor the boundaries of neighborhood councils, while also keeping the population of each district around 252,000. In addition to keeping Koreatown in one district, the boundary was drawn along Western Avenue to recognize the boundary between the Greater Wilshire and Wilshire Center-Koreatown Neighborhood Councils.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge, 4th District, said he is happy with the final proposed maps, and said he is eager to get started with the council deliberations.
“The map reflects most of the desires of the community leadership and the neighborhood council leadership. There was some adjustment, but it reflects 98 percent of what everybody wants,” LaBonge said. “Now it goes to the council, and we will gather more public input and make whatever adjustments are necessary.”
Councilmember Paul Koretz, 5th District, said he does not believe there will be any more major changes to the boundaries in the local area.
“The redistricting process is not completely over, and though we are fast approaching a conclusion to that once-a-decade process, we still await the final decision. That said, I’m delighted that, according to the most recent redistricting maps, I will continue to represent so many people and communities that I’ve been honored to serve during my first two-and-a-half years as councilmember. That is especially true of the areas served by your newspaper, which make up a vast part of the 5th District. Right now, that part of the 5th District seems likely to stay virtually unchanged,” Koretz said.
The first Rules and Election Committee hearing is scheduled for March 2 at 8:30 a.m. at Los Angeles City Hall, Room 1060, 200 N. Spring St. The public hearings are scheduled for March 5 at 4 p.m. at the Harbor Commission Board Room in San Pedro, 425 S. Palos Verde St.; March 6 at 4 p.m. in the Van Nuys Council Chambers, Van Nuys City Hall, 14410 Sylvan St.; and on March 7 at 4 p.m. at Los Angeles City Hall, John Ferraro Council Chambers, 200 N. Spring St. For information, visit www.lacity.org.