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County files appeal over redrawing of districts

City News Service | 5/18/2018, midnight

Los Angeles County filed an appeal this week seeking to stop a new state law from taking effect that officials say would undercut the right of county residents to govern themselves.

The appeal follows a unanimous vote by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to take legal action to prevent implementation of Senate Bill 958. Under the new law, Los Angeles County would be one of only two counties in the state required to create a 14-person commission charged with re-drawing the five supervisorial district boundaries following the U.S. Census, which is conducted every 10 years.

Voters in all other California counties enjoy a broad range of options regarding how to conduct supervisorial redistricting, Los Angeles County officials say. The legislation was approved in 2016 and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Los Angeles County sued in 2017, saying it was important to protect the right of Los Angeles County voters to maintain local control over redistricting. Under the law, the commission must be in place by Dec. 31, 2020.

“There is no justification for the state to create a broad range of options for how to accomplish redistricting in other counties, but to single out Los Angeles County and take away the power of its electorate to decide for themselves the best method for redistricting,'' said Laura Brill, an attorney representing Los Angeles County.

“Like the other counties in the state, the people of L.A. County must have the ability to decide how to govern themselves,'' she said. “Most state legislators do not live in or represent Los Angeles County.''