Independent Redistricting to Go on 2024 Ballot
The Los Angeles City Council has approved a proposal that would place independent redistricting on the 2024 ballot.
This comes just weeks after a council committee expressed support for the idea in an October meeting.
Currently, Los Angeles 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.
While politicians in the region have gone back and forth on whether they want to adopt it, the council will now leave it up to the voters.
If passed by voters, an independent redistricting commission will be established that will consist of sixteen members and four alternates. Members of the commission will serve a ten-year term, which is the length when redistricting happens currently.
Following their tenure, commission members will be prohibited from running for elected office in district boundaries they drew.
City Council Expansion
While independent redistricting will officially be on the ballot, the push for the city council to expand hasn’t reached that point just yet.
The last time the Los Angeles City Council expanded was nearly a century ago when it was increased from nine to fifteen, 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 council members such as President Krekorian, Raman, and Hutt all publicly support council expansion, others including Blumenfield and Hernandez believe the conversation should be tabled until there is further analysis on how it will change things.
If the council does decide to expand, it would also land on the ballot as it would require changing the city charter.
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