Mon, Feb

Instead of Race Cards and Power Plays, Just Expand the Board of Supes


RESOLVING THE BOUNDARY BATTLE - White people.  Black people.  Latino people.  We all should be represented.  We all need looking after.   But last weekend, after reading Zev Yaroslavsky’s apparently over-my-dead-body plea to keep his district intact, something bothered me.

I didn’t think much about it at first, but when I read the words again in CityWatch on Tuesday (“Seriously Crossing the Line,” August 23, 2011), it became clear.  Yaroslavsky crossed the line.

I should note that I am a proud resident of Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s district, and I agree on the need to keep the heart of our district intact.  From Hollywood to Beverly Hills to West LA, and over the hill to Encino, Sherman Oaks and Studio City, our communities have much in common and should remain a single district.

That said, it’s a gross overstatement for Yaroslavsky to suggest that all two million of us in the district would live or die without the others.  These districts are so large there’s no way our interests could always be aligned.  

For example, with respect to the Expo light-rail line, many in West Los Angeles would differ with Santa Monica on the route and termination point.  (Hey, some of us would actually like to the see the line end in the city of Los Angeles, for one thing!)  We also often differ on development projects that straddle the two cities.  

The same is true in parts of the Valley.  On some issues, for instance, North Hollywood, Toluca Lake and surrounding neighborhoods have more in common with Burbank than their neighbors to the south and west.

The fact that supervisorial districts are so large also explains why the Board of Supes has made of mortals kings and queens who reign for life.  Plain and simple, the districts are too big.

Expanding the Board to seven members (or even nine) would solve both problems: We’d get even better service, and various communities of interest could be appropriately represented.

The proposed alternative maps for our district are indeed non-starters, but the only option isn’t Hobson’s choice.  The solution is so simple that only Mafia dons masquerading as Supes would pretend it doesn’t exist.  Just expand the Board.

(Cary Brazeman, a CityWatch contributor, is a neighborhood council board member and founder of LA Neighbors United. Contact him at [email protected] or through www.LAneighbors.org .) Graphic credit: WitnessLA.com -cw

Tags: Crossing the Line, Board of Supervisors, Board of Supes, Zev Yaroslavsky, Hollywood, West LA, Beverly Hills, Encino, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Expo Light Rail,

Vol 9 Issue 68
Pub: Aug 26, 2011