Don's Blog

Aug 5, 2011

Redistricting: We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet

Redistricting

Next Tuesday, County redistricting comes before the Board of Supervisors for our review.

I know that many of you have been very active throughout this process, attending the Boundary Review Committee meetings and sending in over 1,000 letters, which had a tremendous impact. However, we must keep the momentum going, as we head into the final phase of review.

After the BRC reviewed 19 plans, we’re basically down to two. The BRC approved Plan A2 and is submitting it to the Board. Another plan, Plan S1, will also likely be addressed.

You’ll be hearing a lot about these plans and the differences are enormous:

Under Plan A2, only about 150,000 residents county-wide would be shifted to a new Supervisorial District. Here in the Fourth, we would absorb the city of Santa Fe Springs, and the unincorporated areas of South Whittier and the remainder of Rowland Heights. This is the least disruptive plan, and respects the wishes of the people we serve. If there’s one thing made clear by the public testimony at the BRC and in the many letters and emails we’ve received, it’s that our residents want to preserve the current district boundaries as much as possible.

Plan S1 is dramatically different – it would shift over 1 million people into or out of the Fourth district alone, and displace nearly 3½ million people across the County. Geographically, communities from Marina del Rey through Long Beach would be moved out of the Fourth district.

The stated purpose of Plan S1 is to create a second Latino district. Let me be very clear about this: Los Angeles County is the most racially diverse County in the nation, and I am proud to represent a district that currently has a majority Latino population, as well as Asians, Whites, African-Americans and several other minority populations. In fact, under the A2 Plan I support, the Latino population would grow to over 42% of our residents. I’m also proud of all that we have been able to accomplish for the various geographies and demographics that make up our district.

Next Tuesday, August 9th, the Board begins our formal review. We must reach an agreement, or the responsibility for drawing the boundaries will go to the three County-wide elected officials, the Sheriff, District Attorney and Assessor, which is something all of us want to avoid.

The path forward will require the word of the season – compromise! I know that the supporters of Plan S1 will be very vocal and may threaten a lawsuit. I am asking for your active participation once again – please come down to the Board meeting on August 9th at 11:00a.m. Your voices were heard loud and clear at the BRC meetings – now the Board of Supervisors needs to hear the same message: Don’t split communities that have shared the same interests, services and representation for over 20 years. It’s been working just fine!

As always, thank you so much for your support!