URBAN PERSPECTIVE - Local leaders from South Los Angeles are strategizing to determine the best course of action regarding the redistricting maps that City Council will be voting on Friday, March 16th at 10 am.
South Los Angeles neighborhood councils, community leaders, advocacy organizations, and residents have rejected the new city council district maps citing that the proposed maps redline Council Districts 8 and 9 from economic opportunities and development, will increase poverty and blight within the heart of the African American community, and represent an abuse of power.
The maps to City Council moves the communities of Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Village and the Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Mall out of District 8 and into District 10, which includes neighborhoods north of the 10 Freeway and replaces them with a portion of Westchester. Additionally, the maps move USC out of the 8th and into the 9th.
For District 9, the maps move the district’s northern border down to Washington Blvd and moves Little Tokyo, Skid Row and the surrounding Financial Districts into Council District 14.
The redlining of South LA from critical economic assets gravely impacts the influence and economic rights of residents who have the potential of losing the few businesses that have been economic engines and catalyst for jobs and services to the area.
Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Mall and Marlton Square are key retail centers that are pivotal to economic development opportunities and receive its largest market base from those residents east of Crenshaw Boulevard. Furthermore, the separation of USC from the surrounding areas threatens their voice in concerns related to the university’s expansion and involvement in economic opportunities.
Members of the South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils are preparing resolutions and community impact statements opposing the maps and are urging the council to put USC, the Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Mall, and their surrounding neighborhoods back in District 8 and put the downtown financial district, historical districts, and Skid Row back in District 9.
In an effort to demonstrate the community’s outcry, coalition leaders are consulting with civil rights attorneys, gathering petition signatures from local residents to present to City Council, and have plans to hold a press conference (date to be determined) to announce specific plans to prevent City Council from taking action.
The outcry doesn’t stop there. The coalition has vowed to engage residents to take their displeasure to the polls come election time. And, they are giving those seeking their vote notice that this issue will affect their decision-making and future support.
For the group, the redlining of South LA is not about Councilman Bernard Parks, Councilwoman Jan Perry, or Councilman Herb Wesson; it’s about the future destiny of the stakeholders in the South LA community who have once again been slighted as the 20th anniversary of the LA Civil Unrest approaches.
(Janet Denise Kelly is a CityWatch featured contributor. She offers more than a decade of accomplishments in the housing and nonprofit sector. Janet brings valuable insight in the areas of community and economic development. Additionally, she brings knowledge regarding the leadership and management challenges faced by large and small nonprofits that are struggling or growing organizations. She blogs at jdkellyenterprises.org and can be reached at: [email protected]) -cw
Tags: Janet Denise Kelly, South LA, redlining, redistricting, 8th District, 9th District
Vol 10 Issue 22
Pub: Mar 16, 2012