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 'A PROMISE IS A PROMISE'

Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

Remaking Yugoslavia … er, Los Angeles

PERSPECTIVE - The Los Angeles City Redistricting Commission [here]  has turned back the calendar.

Instead of recognizing natural boundaries and common community interests in redrawing council district borders, the members seem intent on creating a modern-day version of Yugoslavia.
I attended the latest round of redistricting hearings last night at Walter Reed Middle School in Studio City. Around 300 people turned out, some carrying signs or wearing t-shirts bearing messages suggesting support of community solidarity.

The hearing was delayed due to the late arrival of a few commission members. 160 speaker cards were submitted; I stayed through over half of the comments.  By the time I left, only five speakers had commented in favor of the draft plan.

My primary concern was the division of my neighborhood of Valley Village between CD2 and CD4.  A small slice of its western edge was arbitrarily and inexplicably thrown into the sprawling mass of CD4.  Our board members and stakeholders emphasized the need to keep our compact community together, especially when the boundaries include well-defined physical barriers such as the 170 and 101 freeways and the Tujunga Wash.  The whole of Valley Village is also covered under its own specific plan.

My own remarks took the issue further.  I expressed a preference that the whole of Valley Village remain in CD2 and not be assigned to CD4 in the final map.

●●●●●
(NOTE: The Commission will meet Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Council Chambers to vote on adjustments to the ‘Draft’ Redistricting Map. (Agenda) Here are the lists of proposed adjustments.
One might wonder why that should make a difference, assuming we were undivided.

The proposed footprint of CD4 is an ugly rash across what is as close to being the geographic center of the city as any district.  As I told the commissioners, the boundaries make as much sense as the ones that created Yugoslavia after World War 1. The European powers somehow thought you could unite long-time cultural rivals into a cohesive nation-state that spanned the region from the Austrian border almost to Turkey.  It took a dictator to hold the country together after the Second World War.

CD4 as defined by the Commission is not the Balkans, but the demographics and interests are as varied as you will find anywhere in the city. The district has a leg that extends well into the northwest Valley and the overall boundaries stretch through the Cahuenga Pass all the way to Silver Lake. It also has a gerrymandered  “appendage” (as one person euphemistically described it) that dangles into Hollywood, an obvious accommodation to one or two city council members.

Although we are all Angelenos, residents of the city have always closely associated themselves with their local or regional  communities of interest.  That’s not going to change, and that’s a good thing.  

Local pride is healthy and adds benign quirkiness to the social strata in our sprawling metro area.

Diluted communities deliver muted messages to City Hall.  Public safety and environmental concerns in particular vary widely from one part of the city to another.  It is important that our elected officials receive clear, unified advice from the residents and focus on those concerns. It’s tough enough for city council members to devote time to broad issues such as the budget.  Trying to balance too many competing and unique needs within their own districts will only mean less quality time to address grassroots issues.

So now the Commission has to amend the maps.

Unfortunately, the current draft has a poison pill - CD4.

The district’s  massive landscape is adjacent to eight others.  Any change to CD4 will impact almost all of the eight, creating a ripple effect throughout the city.  The redistricting process may have to go back to square one.

This whole controversy could have been avoided if the elected officials had put aside selfish interests in selecting commission members, or had emphasized to them the importance of respecting neighborhood council boundaries.

It was another example of City Hall failing to accept neighborhood councils as integral components in the life of Los Angeles.

(Paul Hatfield is a CPA and serves as Treasurer for the Neighborhood Council Valley Village.  He blogs at Village to Village, contributes to CityWatch and can be reached at:  phinnoho@aol.com)
–cw

Tags: Paul Hatfield, Los Angeles Redistricting, redistricting, Council District Two, Council District Fur, CD4, CD2, redistricting map







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 13
Pub: Feb 14, 2012

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