One day after the Los Angeles City Council approved new borders for the city’s 15 council districts, two council members Wednesday introduced a motion to start the process for a ballot measure in November 2022 for voters to consider establishing an independent redistricting commission to handle the process in 2031.
“In Los Angeles, the redistricting process that was created during the charter reform of 1999 has proven to be hopelessly flawed. First and foremost, the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission is not independent of the City Council,” the motion, introduced by Councilwoman Nithya Raman and Councilman Paul Krekorian, states.
The commission itself also recommended the City Council create an independent commission to handle redistricting in the future.
“This commission over the last year confirmed that the quasi-independent nature of the advisory commission simply does not work,” commission Chairman Fred Ali told council members. “It’s time for an independent, rather than advisory, commission to assume responsibility for redistricting for the good of our city.”
Raman and Krekorian were the two council members at risk of being most impacted by the commission’s draft map that was sent to the City Council before undergoing further revisions and finally being adopted on Tuesday.
The commission finalized its recommendations on Oct. 21 but did not designate which district would be Krekorian’s and which would be Raman’s. Under the recommendations, one of them would have ended up with entirely new constituents.
The commission worked on its recommendations for a year, using data from the U.S. Census to update the city’s districts, with each council member getting about 260,000 people to represent.
When it reached the council for its portion of the redistricting process, council members introduced dozens of changes to the borders, creating a hybrid map that was advanced out of the council’s Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee.
The map, which restored much of Raman and Krekorian’s districts, then underwent two state-required public hearings in November before passing the City Council 13-0 on Tuesday.
Raman and Krekorian’s motion, if adopted by the City Council, would instruct the Chief Legislative Analyst to work with the City Attorney and other city departments on a report to bring to council within 90 days with options for a November 2022 ballot measure to amend the City Charter to create an independent redistricting commission.