Five Los Angeles City Council members signed on to a motion Tuesday calling for a ballot measure that would increase the number of council districts in Los Angeles to come before voters in 2024.
The motion, introduced by Acting Council President Mitch O’Farrell, comes as the council is embroiled in scandal. Three members are facing calls to resign following their participation in an October 2021 conversation that included racial slurs and discussions over how to redraw district boundaries in their favor.
Council members Nithya Raman, Paul Krekorian, Curren Price and Paul Koretz seconded the motion.
O’Farrell’s motion also calls for a report outlining an immediate redistricting process if the ballot initiative passes.
“Los Angeles is at a crisis moment and Angelenos’ confidence in the structure of their government has been shaken,” O’Farrell said. “Over the last few days, as we process and deal with the fallout from the audio recordings of several council members, we must not lose sight of the fact that the leaked conversation revolved around the redistricting process. Ensuring fair, equitable, accountable representation in Los Angeles is a must, now more than ever.”
Los Angeles’ population has grown from 1.2 million people in 1929 to 4 million Tuesday, but the number of council districts has stayed at 15 since 1925.
The proposed new number of council seats would depend on the city’s population growth, according to the motion.
“This council should reflect and represent the residents that we serve,” O’Farrell said.
The number of council seats can only be adjusted via a charter amendment approved by the voters because it is set by the city charter.