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Council committee to hold redistricting hearings

Cynthia E. Griffin- | 2/29/2012, 5 p.m.

Now that the Los Angeles City Redistricting Commission has submitted its final renditions of proposed new L.A. City Council district maps to that body's Rules, Elections, and Intergovernment Relations Committee, a series of hearings will begin tomorrow to allow the public to once more voice their opinions and thoughts of the maps.

This first hearing will be held at 8:30 a.m. at Los Angeles City Hall in the Council chambers, 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles.

The next meetings will be held Monday at 4 p.m. in the San Pedro Municipal building, 638 Beacon St., San Pedro; Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Van Nuys Civic Center in the Council chambers, 14410 Sylvan St., Van Nuys; and Wednesday at 4 p.m. back downtown in Council chambers.
March 8 is the deadline for Council members to submit their proposed revisions to the map, and there is one last hearing March 16 at 8:30 a.m. in Council chambers, just before the regular rules committee meeting.

The committee plans to vote on final proposals at the March 16 meeting and then send the item on to the full Council.

At the final meeting of the redistricting commission, councilmembers Bernard Parks and Jan Perry continued voicing their concerns about the way the body redrew district boundaries. They also questioned the motivation of the commissioners for moving around African American residents in their respective districts.

"I heard comments and saw emails that you were moving people into Council District 8 solely on the basis of race," said Parks, who went on to note that such a move was illegal, unless a study had shown that racially polarized voting was evident.

Racially polarized voting means there is insignificant cases of citizens voting across racial lines to elect a candidate.

Perry, who also pushed for a voter study on racially polarized voting, additionally voiced concerns that African Americans were illegally moved out of the 9th District in order to make it majority Latino.

She, like Parks, also felt that the commission-approved new boundaries created districts that were economic resource poor.

Both councilmembers indicated that legal action might be a potential step if some changes were not made, and Perry also stressed that she would be in the forefront of leading the charge to hold those who had appointed the commissioners accountable for these actions.

Nash Baker contributed to this story.