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LOS ANGELES Tuesday, July 28th 2015 10:43

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Thoroughly Modern Bob – Coming to a Legislature Near You!

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE-Thoroughly Modern Millie was a Tony Award winner. State Senator Bob Hertzberg is rolling out his own sequel. The only problem is the production cost. Actually, the real problem is we will be the ones bankrolling it if Bob gets the green light. It is the most expensive tax scam concocted, more than California HSR. I’m talking…

Elite Girls School Has Brentwood Up in Arms … Over Traffic

John Schwada
INSIDE LA-Hairdresser Mikell Powell is walking her two dogs in Brentwood along Sunset Boulevard just across the street from the Archer School for Girls (photo left). “I’m opposed to anything that would make driving on Sunset here anymore hellish than it already is,” Powell says as her dogs tug on their leashes. No question: there’s a 1.2 mile…

Homeless LA: Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

Mike Bonin
WHO WE ARE-In recent years, Los Angeles has seen more progress in combating homelessness than it ever has – yet the problem is still getting worse. Since 2011, the region has housed more than 23,000 people – a record number even by national standards. Yet homelessness is on the rise. Encampments are proliferating in our neighborhoods throughout…

Can LA Afford Another Olympics?

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Boston bailed on hosting the 2024 Olympics when Mayor Martin Walsh refused to sign a host city contract with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) that would have put Beantown (and possibly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on the hook for any cost overruns associated with this 17 day extravaganza. But Walsh’s refusal to…

The Petty Hypocrisy of Mandatory Ethics Training

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-As a member of a neighborhood council board, I am required by state law to do 2 hours of ethics training every 2 years. Elected officials such as members of the City Council are also required to take this training. The curious thing about our California ethics rules is that they prohibit the small stuff while looking the other way…

Los Angeles: Brown lives Matter!

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-According to the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years in LA County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police. Of the 23 people fatally shot by law enforcement in the county this year, 14 were Latino. The Times raises an…

Grading the LA Times: Mike Feuer’s B+ Leaves Something Out

Noel Weiss
OTHER VOICES-Reading the LA Times’ Report Card grade of B+ for City Attorney Mike Feuer, it was good to see at least a 'hat-tip' to the issue of whether the City Attorney really is the “attorney for the people.” But their conclusion seems to be that he is not, and I believe that is wrong. Exactly who does the City Attorney represent? Certainly, he…

Beverly Hills Pounds Final Nail in Bike Lanes Coffin

Mark Elliot
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-If you expected that Beverly Hills might install bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard when reconstructing it next year, you will be sorely disappointed to know that City Council just pounded the final nail into the bike lanes coffin. City Council split on the Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to expand…

Helter Skelter, Murder and the Looming Race War

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-In one of our last conversations before his death earlier this year, author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lamented that while he had successfully imprisoned Charles Manson, he feared he had only made a dent in the threat of an apocalyptic race war that the mass murderer had hoped to ignite. “Madness and mad men,” said Bugliosi,…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Joey has hope for the pope in Philly.




Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth
Sat Aug 01, 2015 @12:00AM
Fifth Annual Veterans Summer Celebration & Picnic
Sat Aug 08, 2015 @12:00PM - 04:00PM
9TH ANNUAL VENICE COMMUNITY BBQ & POTLUCK PICNIC


You’re gonna cry! Kids sing to teacher with cancer

Scarrrry! The Flying Gun

Kid Stuff! Full of chuckles


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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