A parade of residents from different parts of the city tried their best Saturday during a hearing at West Angeles Church of God in Christ to convince members of the L.A. City Redistricting Commission to redraw the council district boundary lines to suit their community needs.
Most talked about the need to keep communities of interest together, and those from Watts pointed out how the proposed draft map would deprive them of even the minimal potential resources they had to improve their community.
Now it’s a matter of waiting to see which suggestions were made and approved at the commission’s meeting Wednesday night.
Those adjustments will be reflected in the final proposed map, expected to be available by Saturday on the city’s website (http://redistricting2011.lacity.org/LACITY/defaut.html).
The commission is then expected to make a final decision on the new district lines at its Feb. 22 meeting. (There is also a possibility that the final vote could happen Feb. 29).
Whatever the case, the proposed final maps must be sent to the L.A. City Council no later than March 1. The Council then has until July 1 to approve the new boundary lines.
Among the more contentious proposals addressed at Saturday’s hearing was the separation of Baldwin Vista from Council District 8, the inclusion of half of Westchester in the 8th District and the break-up of five communities of interest in the Baldwin Hills area.
Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry, who said she has been frustrated with the whole redistricting process, also made an appearance before the commissioners and urged them not to put USC in the 9th District.
“It doesn’t make sense to take one asset from one community and put in another,” pointed out Perry, who has been extremely vocal about what is happening with the 9th District.
Tim Watkins of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee called the move to put Watts into the 9th “a slap in the face. Leave us in Council District 15. We prefer not to be in Council District 9, who can’t afford us and in with our foster parent in Council District 15, who doesn’t want us. Let us be in isolation, and we’ll find our own solutions.”
Another speaker, echoing the common theme of the hearing talked about the split up of the three-block ‘Little Ethiopia’ community into two districts. She too, urged the commission to keep the community intact.