Redistricting Los Angeles City
What makes Los Angeles community districting unique?
The L.A. City Council Redistricting Advisory Commission has been formed to support the city’s 2021 redistricting process. The City of Los Angeles’s redistricting commission is only advisory, and its members are directly appointed by elected officials. While moving towards a truly independent redistricting process would require a charter change, there are several potential changes that can be made that can make L.A. City’s redistricting process fairer, more transparent, and inspire greater trust from LA communities beginning with centering community voices and ensuring meaningful opportunities for participation. We must mobilize massive participation among the greatest possible number of people to pressure local lawmakers to draw fair districts.
Who runs for office and is subsequently elected can depend largely on how district lines are drawn. Across the nation, including jurisdictions like the City of Los Angeles, this power has historically been placed in the hands of legislators. While incumbent legislators should draw district boundaries in ways that best serve and protect the interests of the communities they represent, this is often not the case. Research shows that when politicians have the authority to redraw maps, it impacts the quality of representation communities receive as incumbents are more likely to draw self-serving maps than those that best reflects the needs of communities. This creates a system where politicians choose their voters instead of voters choosing their representatives. Consider the often-cited case during the 2011 redistricting cycle where Downtown LA was packed into one district as part of a larger quid pro quo corruption scheme, which has come under renewed focus in light of recent investigations.
2021 Los Angeles City Redistricting
The L.A. City Council Redistricting Advisory Commission has been formed to support the city’s 2021 redistricting process. Commissioners will be submitting recommendations to L.A. City Council Members on proposed district boundaries. Because the city’s redistricting process has been historically mired with controversy and allegations of back-door deals and gerrymandering, it is critical to center community involvement to uplift the voices of traditionally marginalized communities. The 2021 process provides a unique opportunity for meaningful and impactful community participation using a multiracial solidarity approach.
In response, racial equity advocates are strategizing how to best meet the representation needs of Black, indigenous, and people of color that have been marginalized, cracked, and packed during previous county redistricting processes.
To facilitate city level community districting engagement, the People’s Bloc was established by Community Coalition and Advancement Project California. The People’s Bloc is multiracial table dedicated to the inclusion of everyday residents, conducting public education, and proposing solutions to the redistricting process that promote the political voice, representation, and access to resources of historically underrepresented groups. To get involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Los Angeles community districting
Discover how redistricting in the City of Los Angeles is unique and find resources to help shape our future.
You can get involved by (1) sharing your personal story about why accurate representation matters to your community, and (2) joining People’s Bloc organizing efforts to engage the community in the statewide and/or local redistricting processes.
Submit Information on Your Community
The Los Angeles City Redistricting Commission needs to hear from you to make sense of the new census data they will use for their districting efforts. Data alone does not provide the full picture of what it is like in your community and of the many communities of interests (COIs) that exist. And so, your community’s story will help commissioners interpret census data and guide their drawing of district maps. You can submit public testimony and/or maps to the CCRC via:
Get Involved with the People’s Bloc
There’s power in numbers, so connecting with local organizations to advocate for more equitable districts, partnering with multiple community groups, and sharing collective testimony will enhance your ability to keep your communities together. Plus, local organizations can help share informational resources and support the development of testimony. To learn more please contact email@example.com.
The Los Angeles City Redistricting Commission will be setting up community hearings across regions to hear public testimony about communities of interests and how lines should be drawn to keep them together. Given the pandemic, it is anticipated that hearings will be held virtually until it is safe to meet in person.
Once the commission hears initial public testimony, they will release their first set of draft maps and communities will have 14 days to submit public comments about the drafts. The commission will then take all public testimony into account to adjust and finalize the maps they will submit to the L.A. City Council. Once the maps have been approved by the council, they are certified and submitted to the county elections official, along with a report explaining how these maps meet the required legal criteria.
We need your attendance at these hearings! The districts we draw this year will shape our lives and our communities for the next decade. When we draw the map, we choose what hospitals, schools and resources are funded in our neighborhoods.
Those uninterested in a fair and transparent process have succeeded in advancing their aims not by proving persuasive but by removing community districting from the public domain, rendering it an obscure and technocratic process while conducting it behind closed doors. Additionally, COVID-19 further altered the landscape and created emergencies leading to many unmet critical needs. Many of the hardest hit communities who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic were communities of color and low-income, poor people who have traditionally been excluded from this process. COVID widened the gaps and disparities resulting in critical communities being even further removed from this process.
Our task, therefore, is to make this a process our base can enthusiastically, energetically, and relentlessly reclaim for our communities. This messaging guidance is designed to reach and mobilize people who would like to become or are in some way already active in their communities or engaged with their neighbors, but who are unfamiliar with this issue and who otherwise might not be politically active.
Redistricting Equity Indicators are data that have been selected by the People’s Bloc to support our goals of moving towards a more equitable Los Angeles by creating districts that ensure people of color and low-income, poor communities are able to elect candidates of choice.
Equity Indicators can be used to support:
- Community conversations around multiple ways to define communities of interest (COI).
- Identification of common social or cultural interests or progressive policy goals across neighborhoods.
- Assessment of proposed districts regarding their potential to maximize opportunities for low income and people of color to advance progressive policies that benefit them.
The Redistricting Equity Index combines equity indicators to highlight areas where progressive-minded low-income BIPOC reside.
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