Let the redistricting fun begin

council-districts-draft-2012.jpgThe secret City Council district maps drawn by City Hall's handpicked commission were released publicly today, revealing whose ox is being gored. As she pretty much foreshadowed, councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jan Perry was prominent among the gored. Her 9th district lost its base in Downtown and moved south. "Flat-out politics," she told Alice Walton. She keeps Staples Center and AEG's proposed football stadium, but they would be separated from most of Downtown, which would become Councilman Jose Huizar's turf. Westchester would be separated from Los Angeles International Airport. On the smart side: Paul Koretz' 5th district would no longer straddle the Westside, Mulhollandland and the Valley; in fact, only one district would continue to leave the Valley and overlap into the rest of the city.

But that one is a real laugher.

white+horse+inn+lao.jpgThe ugliest district — perhaps in city history — has to be Tom La Bonge's new 4th district. He's upset at losing areas such as Larchmont and Miracle Mile. But it's hard to imagine two less-related LA intersections than Sunset Boulevard/Benton Way in Silver Lake and Roscoe/White Oak in Northridge. Yes, under these maps, they are somehow in the same district. Someone from the suburban West Valley — an area now represented by Mitchell Englander — could be elected to represent urban Silver Lake, and vice versa. "It makes no sense," said Jill Banks Barad, chairwoman of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils.

Wilshire Boulevard? Its length of ten miles or so within the city would pass through districts 14, 1, 10, 5 and 11.

Arturo Vargas, chairman of the redistricting commission, calls the maps "a work in progress," and one member of the commission, David Roberti, disavowed the work. "Quite frankly, I am embarrassed to be associated with this product," he said.

The LA Times data desk put together a nifty side-by-side comparison of the current districts and the new map. And a demographic table, showing that LaBonge's 4th would become the whitest district in the city by far, at 67 percent. Perry's 9th would become the most Latino district, at 75 percent, and six other districts would be majority Latino. Bernard Parks' 8th would lose blacks but remain the most African American district.

City Maven's quick summation of the changes:

  • West Hills will move from the Third District to the Twelfth
  • Sunland-Tujunga will move from the Second District to the Seventh
  • The Sixth District picks up Foothill Trails and Shadow Hills
  • The Second District will pick up all of Studio City and Toluca Lake, which were previously part of the Fourth District
  • Lake Balboa, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Bel-Air and the Hollywood/Highland complex move into the Fourth District
  • The Fifth District loses its Valley neighborhoods, picking up Mid-City West, South Robertson and Greater Wilshire
  • LAX will remain in the Eleventh District but part of Westchester moves to the Eighth District
  • Koreatown will remain in the Tenth District
  • Atwater Village, Glassesll Park, Rampart, Hollywood and Rampart remain in the Thirteenth District
  • The First District picks up most of Highland Park

Get a look at the citywide map after the jump.


Sign on former White Horse Inn at White Oak Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard: LA Observed

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