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Pirates at the Port (of Los Angeles)

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The growth of the Port of Los Angeles and its ability to maintain and create good paying jobs and its market share of imported cargo are under siege by external market forces as well as the demand by the San Pedro and Wilmington communities to finance $400 million of public benefits over the next ten years. The Harbor Department, one…

Why I Support 'No Gays Allowed'

C.J. Prince
GUEST WORDS-Last week, a Tennessee retailer made headlines when he took the whole we-won't-bake-cakes-for-gay-weddings thing to the next level. In response to last week's Supreme Court marriage ruling, Jeff Amyx, owner of Amyx Hardware, taped a "No Gays Allowed" sign to his storefront window. Amyx, who is also a Baptist minister, explained to WATE…

Never on Sunday

Paul Hatfield
GREEK VOTE, A PERSPECTIVE-According to the lyrics from the memorable theme to Never on Sunday (enjoy the trailer), it is OK to kiss in Greece except for Sunday. However, on this past Sunday, July 5th, Greek voters invited the EU to kiss them. I need not mention the part of the anatomy, though. Contrary to some extreme views, this does not mean the…

LA Transpo Slowed to a Crawl by Outdated and Ignored Laws

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-Reform of the City Charter or its Bylaws is almost certainly in order, but it's no secret that the City of LA … for all its hype about being for "sustainable living" and being "environmentally-friendly" … is burdened by a host of either outdated laws (which encourage inappropriate overdevelopment) or ignored laws (which are…

You’ll Never Guess Why I love Los Angeles

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-I remember the first time I went on a vacation outside of Mexico. We went to Los Angeles when I was 6 years old. I didn’t have to wonder why my dad choose Los Angeles, he knew I wanted to go to Disneyland and meet Mickey Mouse. That first trip we took that summer made me fell in love with this City. Los Angeles has everything a…

Unsolicited Advice for New LA Councilmember David Ryu

Joe Linton
GUEST COMMENTARY-Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. Photo via ryuforcouncil.com It’s July. That means a new budget year for government agencies, where there is some turnover: some new faces, new officers, and new committees. LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is the new chair of the Metro Board of Directors, replacing LA Mayor Eric…

LA Working on Plan to Plaster the City with Digital Billboards

Adrian Glick Kudler
GUEST WORDS-People in Los Angeles love digital billboards!! We can't get enough of them! Give us more!!! Oh, thank god, the LA City Council is ON IT. Lawsuits have tragically darkened so many of those blinky, flashy ads, but yesterday the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee voted to bring them back big time. They want to…

The Persuaders: California Hospital Association

Bill Raden
CAPITAL AND MAIN SPECIAL REPORT-The nurses who showed up at state Senator Richard Pan’s Capitol office in May were furious. They had been assured by Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento, that he would be on their side when it came time to vote on Senate Bill 346, a charity care measure aimed at providing transparency to the state’s currently murky…

Vacations are a Necessity…Not a Luxury

Denyse Selesnick
Since most of the readers of CityWatch are “high achievers” you have undoubtedly faced the situation where you feel you can’t afford to take a vacation right now because of a million different reasons. Many of these boil down to one…without your presence things will fall apart. Really, they are just excuses … not reasons! Getting away from your…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


One More Time! Grateful Dead say goodbye.

USA World Cup Soccer win … sealed with a kiss

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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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