Now that the City Council has voted to adopt the new lines, what's next? When can we expect you to be our Councilman in NoHo? Thanks!
Mintzy Greg, North Hollywood
As it is mandated to do every decade by the City Charter, the Council recently voted to change the district lines of all 15 of its districts. Now that the Council has approved boundaries for each district, I will be representing a new variation of Council District 2 by July 1.
By way of background, this redistricting process is required because each Census establishes shifts in the population of the City and its many communities, and all of the districts are required to maintain an approximately equal number of residents.
The Council's vote followed months of deliberations and dozens of public meetings by an independent 21-member citizens' Redistricting Commission, which prepared draft district maps based on feedback the Commission elicited from as many stakeholders as possible.
The process is impacted by many important legal principles, including an emphasis on respecting "communities of interest" and geographical barriers and avoiding disenfranchising groups protected under the Voting Rights Act and similar laws. At our meeting, as you may know, the Council voted 13 to 2 to adopt the Commission’s recommendations, with some modifications. As a result, all 15 Councilmembers will now represent districts that are somewhat different than the ones that elected them.
Obviously, changes such as these necessarily cause discomfort and difficulty as each member and our constituents adjust to the new districts. And, the process itself invariably must be an unpleasant one in which many neighborhoods, demographic groups, stakeholders and councilmembers will not be completely satisfied - either with the outcome or how it was reached. I believe that reforms in this process must be made, and I expect to be discussing ideas for improvements in the coming months.
That said, when all was said and done, the new Council District 2 largely reflects the will of many throughout the Valley. One of the sentiments most consistently expressed by residents was the strong desire to unite communities that have too frequently been arbitrarily divided. Under the new maps approved by the Council, citywide, the number of neighborhood councils united within a single council rather than divided will be three times what it is now. In CD2, I currently represent portions of nine divided neighborhood councils, and only two are united wholly within my district.
Under the new lines, five communities will be united within CD2. The new CD2 also mirrors the will of so many who fought for a more compact and commonsense-shaped district. The existing boundaries of the district were among the most illogically gerrymandered in the city, but the new district lines reflect a far more sensible shape that encompasses related neighborhoods.
Sadly for me, those changes also mean that I will lose the honor of representing several communities that I care very deeply about, including Sunland-Tujunga, La Tuna Canyon, Lakeview Terrace, Shadow Hills and Sherman Oaks. All of these communities are places that my staff and I have worked very hard to serve to the best of our ability, and we will always cherish the relationships we have built with the residents and neighborhood leaders and institutions in those areas.
Personally, I will very much miss serving as the councilmember representing those neighborhoods, but I will always remain mindful of their issues and concerns and will continue to be committed to serving their interests. On the positive side, CD2 will now welcome all of North Hollywood, and virtually all of Studio City and Valley Village. These communities had long been badly divided across council lines, and it will be my privilege to serve as their sole representative.
Among other things, CD2 will now include the entire NoHo Arts District, as well as portions of the historic Campo de Cahuenga and the Universal City Metro station.
Start to finish, this was an often messy process that had the unfortunate effect of dividing neighbors, communities and some of my colleagues. In a city as large and diverse as Los Angeles, we were bound to have disagreements. But, where we were able to find common ground, we did.
The City Attorney is currently drafting the actual ordinance to enact the new maps, which must go into effect by July 1.
I will keep you posted on developments, but in the meantime, please continue to contact me if you have any questions or thoughts to share on this or any other subject.
Have a question for Councilmember Paul Krekorian? Email AskPaul@lacity.org today!