La City Council Committee Backs Independent Redistricting Proposal
The movement for independent redistricting in Los Angeles has taken a couple of steps forward due to an endorsement from an LA City Council committee.
Although independent redistricting was shown support at the meeting, the push to increase the size of the council has stalled.
Currently, LA City Councilmembers have the final say in drawing their district borders. This often leads to politicians drawing district boundaries that will politically favor them to keep power.
While the call for an independent redistricting commission was always prominent, it increased in popularity following the leaked tape of three city council members in 2022. The leaked audio tape exposed the council members discussing redistricting, and specifically how they can use it to benefit a certain group of people.
As a result, the call for independent redistricting has significantly grown in the City of Los Angeles.
On the heels of the first anniversary of the leaked audio tape that resulted in former Council President Nury Martinez resigning, the LA City Council has recommended that the city of Los Angeles use an independent commission for redistricting.
Next, the proposal will go to the full council for review and to determine whether it should be placed on the 2024 ballot.
If the council does not approve the proposal, it will likely be the last chance for redistricting for a while. Although state lawmakers approved two separate bills that would require LA to form an independent redistricting commission, Governor Newsom vetoed it over budgetary concerns.
In the committee’s proposal, the independent commission will have 16 voting members and four alternates to decide district lines. However, the council will be asking for public comments on the matter before drafting a finalized proposal.
City Council Expansion
While independent redistricting took several steps forward, the push for the city council to expand has stalled.
The last time the Los Angeles City Council expanded was nearly a century ago when it was increased from nine to fifteen members, where it remains today. Although voters had a chance to increase the size to over 20 members in 1999, they rejected it. However, many believe the outcome would be different if the vote took place today.
While councilmembers such as President Krekorian, Raman, and Hutt all publicly support council expansion, others including Blumenfield and Hernandez want the conversation tabled until there is further analysis on how it will change things.
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