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LA City Council friction over redistricting boundaries

January 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
There's anger from some members of the Los Angeles City Council over a new redistricting plan. The proposed boundaries are generating a lot of criticism.

Toluca Lake is part of City Councilman Tom LaBonge's 4th District.

Most of downtown Los Angeles is in Councilwoman Jan Perry's 9th District.

If this proposed new redistricting map becomes law, everything changes for the two council members and their 13 colleagues.

LaBonge's 4th District would suddenly reach across the 405 Freeway to parts of the Valley, costing him neighborhoods he's worked in for more than 10 years.

"The function of the commission is to listen to the people, and I don't know if they listened to the people as it's been drafted," said LaBonge.

It also affects the schools he's worked to nurture.

"That's a matter of years that you develop these relationships. That all disappears if you have a new district," said LaBonge.

Federal law requires redistricting every 10 years to reflect any major shifts in the number and location of people and their minority representation.

Perry represents the downtown area but now would lose it if the new 9th District is approved. Downtown is cut out of much of her district. Hers could be the most drastically affected district if the redistricting commission's map is approved.

Perry says the commission proposing the new boundaries didn't act in the open and had a political agenda, though she was not specific.

"It severs South Los Angeles from some of the major revenue generators in downtown Los Angeles, and it cuts the district in two and the southern part of the district will not continue to thrive if it is not connected to downtown Los Angeles," said Perry.

The new council districts still have a long rough journey ahead of them. The city council doesn't get them until March. Final approval isn't required until July. A lot can happen between now and then.


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