During a four-hour meeting on Wednesday night, the LA County Citizens Redistricting Commission narrowed its choices of maps for newly re-drawn Supervisorial Districts from three to two, with revisions in this round based on input from two commission subcommittees working to incorporate public feedback into each of the maps.
Heading into the Wednesday meeting, the Commission had been focusing on three possible maps, known as B3, F2 and G1, that had evolved from the commissioners’ own deliberations and public input at their meetings. The commission was also unofficially studying two publicly submitted maps, OP 081 and OP 091, which were mentioned frequently by stakeholders during public comment sessions.
With the commission’s December 15 deadline drawing ever nearer, however, the goal on Wednesday was to narrow down those choices as much as possible. And after reviewing the suggestions of the two working groups on the B and F series maps, the commission voted to advance just the committees’ two new revised maps, now known as B4 and F3, shown below, for further consideration.
During presentations before the vote, representatives of the two working groups explained what they tried to accomplish in each of the new maps The group working on the “B” map said it attempted to incorporate several details from the previous “G” series map, and – in response to numerous public comments – moved the city of Carson, and the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus, from Supervisorial District 4 to SD 2. They also moved Temple City from SD 1 to SD 5, to unite it in the same district as Arcadia, as residents had requested. And several Whittier-area communities were moved to SD 4, while Culver City and parts of Mid-City Los Angeles were moved into SD 2.
Representatives of the group that made the modifications to the “F” map said that, among other changes, they extended SD 2 west all the way to the ocean, to incorporate LAX and its adjacent communities into that district, and also to keep SD 3 from stretching all the way from the San Fernando Valley to the beach communities, a detail in the previous map F2 that many residents of both areas had protested.
Interestingly, after this round of revisions, the two new maps now seem to have more in common than they do differences, something Commission Co-Chair Carolyn Williams commented on later in the meeting. “It’s amazing that the two different groups came up with maps that are so similar,” Williams said. It shows, she said, that the maps are based “not just on what we think is best for [stakeholders], but this is what we have heard you say and these are the maps that we’ve drawn in response.”
The stakeholder focus of the commissioners’ deliberation process, which is clearly much different in character from the very politically-charged atmosphere of the recent Los Angeles City Council redistricting process, is likely largely due to the fact that while the County redistricting commissioners were appointed by an independent lottery process, and neither appointed by nor accountable to any of the currently elected County Supervisors, the city council redistricting commissioners were appointed by, and consulted regularly with, sitting City Council members. As a result, the commissioners in the City Council redistricting process fought hard to represent specific interests of the council members (as seen particularly in the fight between CDs 8 and 9 over economic assets in south Los Angeles, and whether or not it was OK to significantly move the borders of CD 4 away from the voters that recently elected Nithya Raman to represent that district).
The County redistricting commissioners have stated in both of their last two meetings that they are still taking a mostly big picture view of which communities belong in which districts, and they are not yet ready to deal with the more micro details of how district borders will fall on a street-by-street or block-to-block basis. For those who are interested, however, here is how our local Greater Wilshire area would be situated in the proposed new B4 and F3 maps (district numbers are shown in red, as are the approximate borders of the area represented by the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council):
In a round-robin commentary on the two new maps after they were presented, five of the 14 commissioners expressed at least a slight preference for map B4, while five others said they preferred map F3. One other commissioner said she still prefers map OP 081, and one said he likes some details of B4, and some details of F3, but doesn’t have an overall preference yet.
After the discussion, the commissioners voted with only one vote in opposition to move maps G4 and F3 ahead for further consideration. They also voted to officially remove the previously considered Map G from further individual consideration. And a motion to elevate map OP 081 for further consideration failed, leaving G4 and F3 as the two maps still in contention.
The Commission’s next meeting will be held today, Friday, December 10, starting at 1 p.m., via Zoom. Further meetings are tentatively scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, December 11, starting at 9 a.m., Sunday, December 12, starting at 3 p.m., and Wednesday, December 15, starting at 5:00 p.m. The commission is expected to make its final map choice on Sunday, and then take final votes on both the map and the report summarizing the redistricting process on Wednesday. And unlike the City Council redistricting process, during which the Council itself got to do its own round of mapping after the redistricting commission finished its work, the County redistricting commission gets the final word on this process, so what comes out at the end on December 15 will be the final product.
Public comments will be taken at the meetings, but may also be submitted in writing at https://publiccomment.redistricting.lacounty.gov/