Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said Monday as part of his mayoral campaign that the Los Angeles City Council should be doubled in size, with each council member receiving half of their $223,829 salary.
“By cutting council districts in half, council members will be much closer to the communities they serve and know those communities more intimately. Residents will compete less for their elected representative’s time,” Feuer said in an opinion piece on the online publishing platform Medium.
“This proposal will improve the quality of our lives by empowering neighborhoods and giving them council members who respond rapidly to their concerns over everything from homelessness to public safety to traffic gridlock. It would be much harder for members to evade accountability to the residents they serve.”
Feuer added that having smaller districts could create a more diverse City Council, as neighborhoods like Koreatown could elect their own representative.
While Los Angeles has a population of nearly 4 million people, it only has 15 council members. New York, with about double Los Angeles’ population, has 51 council members; and Chicago, which has a population of 2.7 million, has a City Council with 50 aldermen.
Feuer also called for the city’s redistricting commission to be independent, instead of having commissioners chosen by elected officials.
“As we’ve seen at the state level where this model is followed, with independence comes less interest in issues that have little to do with what matters to voters, like where the incumbent might live,” Feuer said.
The Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission is currently redrawing the district’s borders, which happens every 10 years in Los Angeles following the release of the U.S. census. The commission held 17 public meetings, and on Monday and Tuesday afternoons is scheduled to publicly draw the draft district map. People can join the meeting at bit.ly/LACCRCZoom.