Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

City Council Redistricting Commission Moves Draft Plan K2.5 Forward to Public Input Phase

City Council Draft Redistricting Plan K2.5, which will be advanced to the next stage of the development process. (Note that this plan unites all of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council area in CD 5, as shown above. The Mid City West Neighborhood Council and Miracle Mile Residential Association do still have some small splits in their areas, which they are lobbying to remedy.)


After five hours of public comments and commissioner debate last night, the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission reached its goal of deciding which of all the draft maps presented so far in its draft mapping process would be forwarded to the next phase of consideration.

Going into this meeting, it was clear that the two leading contenders were the two most recent maps – Draft Plan K2, and Draft Plan L (see our previous summaries of both plans) – and the question last night was whether the committee would select just one of these maps or both for consideration in the next stage of the review process.  In the end, after listening to more public testimony, discussing the relative merits and demerits of each map, and discussing the relative widsom of picking a single map vs. moving forward with both maps, the single map won out, and Draft Plan K2 (further revised and re-released as Draft Plan K2.5) was selected to move forward to a series of four public hearings in October.


A Public Process


In his opening remarks at last night’s meeting, Commission Chair Fred Ali recounted how the commission has, from the beginning of this process, based its work on a clearly stated set of core values and publicly-adopted protocols, public input via email and an online mapping tool, and mapping work done largely during public meetings — all of which differs significantly from the last time city council districts were redrawn, in 2011, before tools like Zoom and the Districtr mapping tool were available.

Ali’s remarks were made in direct response to stories in the  LA Times and LA Magazine yesterday, which focused largely on how two current City Council Members, Nithya Raman and Paul Krikorian, could see their districts significantly rearranged if Draft Plan K2 were adopted.  Ali said, however, that the commission does not focus on how drawing district lines might advantage or disadvantage current council members, and that inconvenience to current representatives is “somewhat inherent in the process.”  Instead of thinking about specific Councilmembers, Ali said, the Commission relies on “centering data” in the process, and using established neighborhoods, Neighborhood Councils, specific communities of interest, and various natural boundaries as the primary tools for drawing the proposed new city council districts.


Turning Letter Names into District Numbers


Also during Ali’s introduction to the meeting, he finally put numbers to the newly outlined districts on the draft plans being discussed.  Prior to this, the specific districts were referred to with letters on the maps, to help keep the focus on boundaries and not on the districts’ current configurations.  When Ali did assign the district numbers last night, most of them were roughly analogous to the current districts in each part of the city…with the exception of Districts 2 and 4, which Draft Plan K2.5 reconfigures so significantly that their numbers are tentatively assigned as “District 4 or 2” and “District 2 or 4” on the current maps.


Public Comment


In the public comment section of last night’s meeting, 22 people spoke in strong support of Draft Plan K2, which grants a number of community requests, including keeping the Greater Wilshire are united and moving it to CD 5 with other communities of interest to the west, uniting the Koreatown area in a single district (10), keeping the Westside Neighborhood Council and Laurel Canyon neighborhoods united, uniting many of the city’s largely Jewish communities in CD 5, keeping many historically African American communities united in CD 10, creating five districts fully located in the San Fernando Valley, creating just one district that bridges both sides of the Hollywood Hills, and using Mulholland Drive as a natural dividing line between Valley and non-Valley districts.

At the same time, at least 15 speakers expressed equally strong support for Draft Plan L, which would unite more Asian-American and renter-majority communities, and which would also place a united Koreatown in “District 4 or 2” instead of District 10.

Meanwhile, a small number of speakers advocated for moving forward with both maps, to invite further public feedback before the commissioners make a final choice between them.

Also during public comments, several issues that previous mapping sessions left unresolved were once again raised by members of the public.  These included:

  • Unifying the Lincoln Heights neighborhood with its neighbors Boyle Heights and El Sereno in CD 14
  • Restoring cultural assets and economic engines (such as USC, Exposition Park, the new soccer stadium, and parts of downtown) that were removed from Districts 8 and/or 9 in the last round of redistricting in 2011
  • Splitting both Elysian Park and the Silverlake reservoir between two council districts (to help share development and maintenance efforts)
  • Keeping Little Tokyo, Olvera Street, and Union Station together in District 14
  • Including Angeleno Heights with its neighbor Echo Park in CD 13
  • Deciding which district Watts should be placed in
  • Uniting several key Asian-American communities including Thai Town and Historic Filipinotown in the same district, and preferably in the same district as Koreatown


Commissioner Comments


During its own discussions last night, the commission looked first at Draft Plan K2.5, then at Draft Plan L, and then discussed whether to advance both or just one of these maps to the next stage of the development process.

Beginning the Draft Plan K2.5 discussion, Commissioner Dennis Cagna, appointed by CD 2, took issue with way in which several Valley districts, especially “2 or 4” and “4 or 2,” were created, and the fact that despite the commission’s mission to unite as many NC areas as possible, several Valley-area NCs are now split in Draft Plan K2.5. The commission’s Executive Director, Frank Cardenas, who drew the first version of Draft Plan K and previously explained how he laid out the districts in the Valley, said one force affecting the district bridging both sides of the hills was the need to rotate districts 13, 1, and 14 counterclockwise slightly to make up for population undercounts in those areas, which then required the bridge district (“4 or 2”) to also move north and west to pick up the population it needed.

At this point,  Commissioner Alexandra Suh, appointed by CD 4 and who originally suggested the publicly submitted map that became Draft Plan L, said she is only now starting to realize that the commission’s early work, done while divided into smaller regional subcommittees, eventually resulted in map plans that started with the outer edges of the city and led to the more central areas – like “2 or 4” in the Valley, and “4 or 2” bridging the Hills – simply being squeezed into whatever shapes shapes and territory were left over after districts along the city’s outer borders were defined.  Suh strongly urged her fellow commissioners to forward with both Draft Plans K2.5 and L in  the next phase of discussion and development…while several other commissioners expressed their strong support for moving forward only with Draft Plan K2, which they said was the product of long, careful and very public work by the commission, while Draft Plan L was a very late entry in the discussion, and thus not yet fully examined or discussed with the same kind of detail and disclosure.

In the end, though, keeping the focus just on Draft Plan K2.5 for the moment, the commission voted unanimously to forward that plan on to the next phase of discussion and development.

Moving on to a more specific discussion of Draft Plan L, the newness of the plan was raised again, though Cardenas noted that the map was properly submitted through the public mapping process, is a legitimate entry according to the commission’s own rules, and does follow several of the commission’s goals and principles, including population balance across districts, adherence to the “not too much change, not too fast” ideal, keeping an ideal number of districts in the San Fernando Valley, and acknowledging the voice of renters as a growing and increasingly important “community of interest.”

Other commissioners, however, noted that while Draft Plan L does unites some key renter populations, as well as Koreatown and other Asian American communities, as praised by many individuals during public comments,  it also splits up many Jewish and African American communities that are much more united in Draft Plan K2.5.

Eventually, the discussion turned from the specifics of Draft Plan L to the question of advancing just one or two maps to the next stage of development, with several commissioners arguing that allowing the public further input on the advantages and disadvantages of each map could result in a single stronger map at the end of the process…while others argued that adjusting neighborhood-by-neighborhood details on two different maps at once would cause unnecessary confusion and complications, for both the public and the commissioners themselves — an unwelcome situation with a late October deadline looming for their work.

In the end, commissioner Cagna moved that Draft Plan L also be forwarded to the next stage of the public review process, along with Draft Plan K2.5, as previously voted…but that suggestion was headed off by a motion by commissioner Richard Polanco to table Cagna’s motion…and the motion to table the Draft Plan L vote was approved, effectively killing that plan.

After that, Commissioner Rocky Delgadillo moved that only Draft Plan K 2.5 be advanced to the public review process, and his motion passed with a majority of commissioners in favor.  Also, in addition to advancing Draft Plan K2, the commissioners included in their vote a suggestion to publish a list of still-unresolved issues (see the list above for several of the items) on which the public will be specifically invited to comment at the next round of public meetings.


Next Steps


The next phase of the redistricting process begins this coming week, with a series of four meetings at which Draft Plan K2.5, along with the list of the commissioners’ still-open issues, will be presented to the public for comments and further refinements.  The meetings will again be held via Zoom, and the dates and times are:

Wednesdays, October 6 and 13 – 6 p.m.
Saturdays, October 9 and 16 – 10 a.m.

After those meetings, the Commission will prepare its final map to send to the City Council at the end of October, and then the Council will begin its own review and revision process.  The City Council must adopt its final map in December, and the new districts will go into effect in January.

For even more information, the video of last night’s meeting is now available here.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

Related Articles


  1. Plan K 2.5 leaves several more areas of GWNC out of the new District 5 besides the ones mentioned in your article. South Hollywood Neighborhood Association (SOHO) is one of them. SOHO has been moved into District 13, as has the area between SOHO and West Hollywood. The entire GWNC should be in one council district!

  2. Thank you Elizabeth for this comprehensive coverage of the redistricting process.
    Question: If the current version is adopted, who would be our councilperson?
    And, on a related note, does the revised draft require Nithya to relocate her home to her new, redefined district?

    • If Draft Plan K2.5 is adopted as currently shown, the full Greater Wilshire area would be in Council District 5, which means that – as of January, 2022 – the city council person for the Greater Wilshire area would be Paul Koretz. Note, though, that Koretz is termed out next year, and a new council person will be elected to replace him in 2022. I believe that if Nithya Raman’s district boundaries are moved away from the neighborhood where she currently lives, she would have to relocate within the new boundaries to remain eligible to hold the seat.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }