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

Redistricting Commission Approves Draft Map to Send to City Council

Draft Plan K 2.5 Final – the redistricting map that will be forwarded from the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission to the City Council for its input in the next phase of the city council redistricting process. (Click image for interactive map.)


After several months of intense effort, the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission voted by a margin of 15-6 last night to approve its “Final” version of redistricting Draft Plan K 2.5 and forward it to the City Council.

The vote came at the end of a three-hour meeting, which was the shortest of nine public input and map-drawing meetings just this month.  It brings to a close the current stage in the long-distance redistricting relay, running since July, and after one more meeting next week, at which the Commission will approve its final report, it will hand off the baton to the City Council for its final stage – approving new council districts by the legal deadline later this year.

Before the vote last night, the commission heard one last round of public testimony, and then voted to make four last small changes to its draft map:

  • Uniting both sides of Los Feliz’s Vermont Ave. business district in CD “2-or-4”
  • Adjusting the western border of Little Ethiopia by a block to fully unite it in CD 10
  • Fixing an unintentional split of the Sunset Square HPOZ area
  • Moving part of the Warner Center area from CD 3 to CD 4-or-2, to help maximize economic assets in the less-advantaged district

Then, before the big vote, chairman Fred Ali gave the commissioners time to express their thoughts on both the final map and the process through which it was created.

Almost all who spoke during this session were quick to note that the map is “not perfect,” but listed both positives and negatives about their overall efforts.

Among the positive accomplishments listed by commissioners before the vote were:

  • Uniting Koreatown in a single city council district
  • Keeping most of the Mid City West and Greater Wilshire areas united in CD 5
  • Uniting much of the Jewish community in CD 5
  • Making a hard but probably just decision on the CD 8 and 9 assets
  • Creating new Latino-majority districts in the Valley
  • Uniting more Neighborhood Council districts than in the last round of redistricting 10 years ago
  • Adhering to overall mandates for population levels in each district and across the city as a whole
  • Adhering to requirements of the Voting Rights Act for representation of Black and Latino voters

And what still rankled many commissioners in preparing to vote were:

  • The radically new districts “2-or-4” and “4-or-2,” and the disconnects they create between the current representatives of Districts 2 and 4 (Paul Krikorian and Nithya Raman) and the voters who elected them
  • The lack of a decision on which of those districts would, in the end, be 2 and which would be 4
  • Still unresolved issues about racial and economic equity in several Valley districts, including the fact that the new District 3 could be close to 74% white
  • Still unanswered pleas or expressions of dissatisfaction from several other communities (e.g. Los Feliz and Angelino Heights) about which district they would like to be located or united in

Many commissioners said that while they felt they made much progress on these unresolved issues, especially in the last couple of weeks, most also said they were also sorry they don’t have another month or more to continue working toward better solutions.  And in the end, the vote of each commissioner seemed to come down to whether they felt the commission’s good work outweighed its unfinished business and/or unsatisfactory decisions so far, or whether too much was still left undone.

But while the yes votes carried the night, the six commissioners voting no expressed strong disappointment.  Five of the six- Denis Cagna (representing CD 2), Natalie Freidberg (CD 13), Jackie Goldberg (CD 4), Susan Minato (CD 9), and Rachel Torres (CD 6) – represent districts in which major issues were never settled to unanimous consent, and where they and significant numbers of stakeholders were left unsatisfied. The sixth dissenter, Nam Le (CD 15), represents the district at the southern-most tip of the city, which did not have major unresolved issues after the mapping process, but he expressed support for the concerns of the others,  especially regarding Districts 2-or-4 and 4-or2.

Despite the final division of the vote, however, it was also interesting to note that in the pre-vote comments, the great majority of the commissioners, including those voting both for and against the final map, had broad praise for their fellow commissioners, and for commission chair Fred Ali, who generally provided a confident, calm center throughout the difficult negotiating process.  Regardless of whether or not they had always agreed on difficult issues, most commissioners praised their colleagues’ civility, diversity, and commitment throughout the process.

In general, Commissioner Carlos Moreno also likened the experience to comments recently made by President Joe Biden, saying that while we all seek perfection, what we are really engaged in is a process of perfecting, within the confines of law, culture, politics and other factors.  And Commissioner Susan Minato noted that she had particularly taken to heart some welcoming advice by fellow Commissioner Elissa Barrett, who had advised her to be “tough on issues” and “soft on people,” which she she said most of the commissioners had also done very well.

As noted above, there will be one last meeting of the commission next Thursday, October 28 (6 p.m., via Zoom), to finalize its report to the City Council. And then, as the CD 10 commissioner, the Rev. Edward L. Anderson, said near the end of the last night’s meeting, the baton is passed. “We ran our leg,” Anderson said.  “Pray that the City Council runs its leg now.”


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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.

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