At the first session of a two-part meeting that began last night, the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission revealed and discussed a set of four possible redistricting plans for the Los Angeles City Council. The new maps were presented by Paul Mitchell, representing the city’s redistricting consulting firm, Redistricting Partners. Mitchell explained that the proposals are based on the extensive public input received by the city so far (see here, here, here, and here), as well as new census and population data, and guidelines set by the Voting Rights Act to protect the votes and voices of specific communities. And there were also more specific guidelines developed by subcommittees of commissioners working on plans for different parts of the city. For example, in a memo from the ad hoc committee addressing council districts in Region 3 of the city, which contains our general Greater Wilshire area, those more specific principles included (in no particular order):
- Unify Koreatown into one district in a way that it allows the neighborhood to have effective and fair representation, ultimately allowing the community to have a candidate of choice
- Keep beach cities together
- Unite the neighborhoods surrounding Beverly Hills
- Address the population deviation from the ideal target average in both CDs 11 and 5 at the Inter-Regional Ad Hoc meeting
- Unify Palms into a single district
- Have at least one district connect to the Valley over the hill
- Give consideration to unifying as much of Tarzana, Encino and Sherman Oaks as feasible
- Reduce the split of Neighborhood Councils and other well-established communities of interest
Throughout the redistricting process so far, there have been a couple of key points raised in our general Greater Wilshire area. First, the official position of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (along with many other neighborhood councils throughout the city) is that it would like to see the full GWNC area united in a single city council district. (Currently, the area lies mostly within CD4, with a small section in the northwest corner of the GWNC area represented by CD 5.)
But even more, and more vigorously, discussed at all of the recent redistricting hearings so far has been the issue of whether the Koreatown area (which is now split among several city council districts) could be united within a single district…and – if so – what the boundaries of that area would be. A group calling itself the Koreatown Redistricting Taskforce, which has conducted an extensive petition effort, is requesting that the boundaries used to define “Koreatown” run roughly from 11th Street on the south to Beverly Blvd. on the north, and Vermont Ave. on the east to Wilton Place on the west. But this definition conflicts with the city’s official western boundary of Koreatown, at Western Ave., and could result in several historic neighborhoods on the GWNC’s eastern border, between Wilton and Western, being split off into a different city council district from most of the rest of Greater Wilshire.
And the draft redistricting maps presented at last night’s meeting seemed to lean heavily in favor of the KRT-suggested boundaries (largely based on the LA times Mapping Project), rather than the city- and GWNC-defined boundaries. (Although there was some discussion of which definitions should be used.)
And it’s also worth noting that none of the four proposed maps would unite all GWNC-area neighborhoods a single city council district. In fact, three of the four proposals would split the GWNC area among three city council districts, and one would split it among two districts (if Koreatown remains defined as above).
Here’s a closer look at the details of each of the four redistricting schemes proposed by the Redistricting Partners consulting group at last night’s meeting, and how each one would treat our general Greater Wilshire area:
In general, Plan A1 would keep much of the current Greater Wilshire area in a single city council district, as shown in the full district and detail views below.
But there would be two notable exceptions. The first would be moving the neighborhoods bewteen Wilton and Western, from Wilshire to Beverly (Western Wilton, Ridgewood Wilton-St. Andrews Square, and Oakwood Maplewood St. Andrews), into an adjacent district with Koreatown, as shown below…
And the second would be moving the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods south of Wilshire (Sycamore Square, Brookside, Fremont Place, Windsor Village, Wilshire Park, and Country Club Heights) into a district with other neighborhoods to the south, as shown here:
Like Plan A1, Plan B2 would also divide the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods into three different city council districts, but it would do it a bit differently, as shown below. First, neighborhoods north of Wilshire and west of Rossmore would be included in a larger district with many neigborhoods to the west and southwest, which contain many of the city’s most heavily Jewish neighborhoods.
Next in Plan B2, Greater Wilshire neighborhoods north of Wilshire and east of Wilton would be placed into a district with Koreatown and other areas to the east and northeast:
And third, Greater Wilshire neighborhoods south of Wilshire would be placed into a district with Mid-City neighborhoods to the south:
According to Mitchell, Plan C2 is the one developed specifically to hew most closely to established neighborhood council boundaries throughout the city, so it’s no surprise that this map is the one that keeps the most of the Greater Wilshire area together in a single proposed council district…and it’s the only one that unites most of the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods between Wilshire and Olympic with other Greater Wilshire neighborhoods north of Wilshire.
There would still be a few parts of the current Greater Wilshire area moved to a second district, however, including the neighborhoods north of Wilshire between Wilton and Western…and, in this case, parts of the Wilshire Park area between Crenshaw and Wilton, south of Wilshire, and the Country Club Heights area between Wilton and Western, south of Wilshire.
Finally, Plan D1 would function much like Plan A1 for Greater Wilshire, with much of the area united in one Council district…
But with neighborhoods between Wilton and Western, and Wilshire and Beverly, in a different district with much of Koreatown in a district stretching northeast up to Eagle Rock:
…and neighborhoods south of Wilshire grouped with Mid-City neighborhoods to the south in a third district.
Part two of the preliminary mapping meeting will be held tonight, starting at 5 p.m., on Zoom. To join in, just click this link: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1615454787?pwd=MHJRWW10WHN1b0dmR29zMXMvMldkdz09#success
As with the first half of the meeting last night, public comments will be taken for a limited time at the beginning of the meeting. Only people who did not speak at last night’s meeting will be allowed to speak at this meeting. Also, be aware that there will be far more people who would like to comment than there will be time for comments, so if you would like to speak, make sure you join the meeting as soon as it starts, and raise your hand or dial in with a request to speak (instructions are provided in the meeting agenda) as soon as you can when the meeting begins.
Meeting documents (including the full set of maps being reviewed) are available here.
After tonight’s meeting, the Redistricting Commission will discuss the four preliminary maps further, and make adjustments based on this week’s comments and discussions. Then, over the next week, they will narrow the draft maps from four to one. That single draft map will be presented at another meeting on Wednesday, September 29, at 6 p.m., via the same Zoom link. The agenda for that meeting is available here.
Video of last night’s meeting is now available here.
[This article was updated after its initial publication to clarify the position of the Wilshire Park neighborhood in Plan C2.]