Council redistricting outrages council members

imageA commission appointed by the LA City Council prepared the redrawn maps to account for population changes since the last census. But the changes have outraged some councilpeople.

Bill Rosendahl represents District 11, which currently encompasses the west side, including LAX. His colleague, Bernard Parks, represents District 8, which includes Crenshaw and Leimert Park over to USC.

At a news conference, both councilmen criticized the proposal that would let Rosendahl keep LAX but would give Westchester to Parks.

“How dare they take people away from the issues that matter so much to them? It’s an insult to democracy at its best,” Rosendahl said.

Councilman Parks was quick to criticize what he calls closed-door meetings where the maps were drawn.

“We were asked well before the commission was created whether we want Westchester and the airport. And we said, ‘no, it doesn’t fit our community.’ How are people in City Hall talking about maps before the commission was created, and who’s creating maps outside of the commission?” he said.

Rosendahl drafted a petition against the redistricting proposal that has garnered more than 2,000 signatures.

One Westchester resident, William Roberts, says the plan would break up a community with similar interests. He says LAX and nearby Loyola Marymount University affect Westchester residents like him.

“We share the burdens and benefits of LAX, we share the burdens and benefits of having students in our community who rent from homeowners here,” he said. “When there are problems, we want to go to one councilperson and have them worked out that way instead of having an opposing situation where you have two city council people representing the same area.”

Calls placed to the Office of Redistricting were not immediately returned.

Bernard C. Parks invites you to be heard

imageThe long and complex process to redistrict LA will take one more step forward today when it releases its first draft map of the new districts.

Created in 2000 to break the cycle of corruption and special interests when maps were drawn by the LA City Council, a Citizen’s Commission has been hosting meetings to gather public comments on what this decade’s districts should look like. After a meeting held in the Eighth District had one of the largest turnouts in the city, the message was clear that most in that district liked it the way it was and wanted no changes.

In an email blast sent from his office, councilmember Bernard C. Parks has extended another request to the public to speak up and be heard. When the map is unveiled this afternoon (watch for it here), he wants you to be there to talk to the Commission about it.He has arranged to have the meeting held in Van Nuys live-streamed to a chamber at Los Angeles City Hall, which will be open for the public to watch and speak to the Commission.

The Commission’s meeting will be held today 4:00 pm at:

Van Nuys City Hall
14410 Sylvan Street
Van Nuys, CA 91401

The live video feed will be held the same time at:

Los Angeles City Hall
John Ferraro Council Chamber
200 N. Spring Street.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

If you’re unable to attend either the live meeting or the live video meeting, Parks urges you to get involved in other ways. There’s a Facebook page for the event, you can tweet your comments to @BernardCParks, or send an email to [email protected].