Multi-racial coalition urges redistricting commission not to segregate community

Leaders Call On the Commission to Rise Above Racial Segregation

LOS ANGELES – Much of the discussion following this year’s redistricting process has focused on racial divisions, but at least one multi-racial coalition of leaders – located in the 33rd Congressional District – is demanding that the Redistricting Commission promote diversity, not segregation.  “Our community has a 30-year history of coming together across racial lines to find solutions for our common challenges,” exclaimed Gloria Walton, Executive Director of S.C.O.P.E “Latinos, Whites, Asian Pacific Americans, and African-Americans, have worked together for over a generation to elect progressive leaders who meet our needs.  Breaking this district up along color-lines would take our country and community in the wrong direction.”

WHAT: Unity Press Conference to Promote Diverse Congressional Districts
WHO: Leaders from Community Organizations – Korean Resource Center, S.C.O.P.E., CHIRLA, The Honorable Diane Watson, and other diverse community organizations & leaders from across the 33rd Congressional District
WHERE: Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) – 5931 West 18th St, Los Angeles, CA 90035 – A high-achieving school that represents the success & diversity of the 33rd Congressional District
WHEN: Monday, July 25, 10:00 A.M.

Indeed, the 33rd Congressional District is one of the most diverse districts in the State – it is one of only four in California that has at least 10% representation from across four racial groups.  The District’s boundaries stretch from Culver City in the West, through Mid-Wilshire to parts of Koreatown in the East, and South through Baldwin Hills to capture chunks of South L.A.  The current Representative for the district, Karen Bass, is African-American, as have been the previous two congressmembers – the Honorable Diane Watson and Julian Dixon.

“What we have in this district represents California.” said Dae Joong Yoon, Executive Director of the Korean Resource Center “Asian Pacific Americans are a part of the 33rd District and we share common concerns that cross racial lines, issues like public safety, access to quality health care, effective transportation, and the desire for more green space and public parks.  We would be sorely disappointed if the Commission decides to separate us from our neighbors.”

The coalition of leaders say they were spurred to speak-up by map “visualizations” released by the Redistricting Commission that propose radically shifting the make-up of their district.

“I don’t know what they’re thinking.” said Daniel Henrickson, a business owner from Culver City “If you look at some of their maps, supposedly I have more in common with white people 20 miles to the North in Topanga Canyon, than my African American neighbors two miles to the East in Baldwin Hills.  They must only be looking at skin color.  I thought we had moved passed that type of thinking, but some people seem bent on bringing us back to the 1950’s.”