LA Panel Approves City Maps Against Raman, Krekorian

The Citizens Commission tasked with creating new political borders in Los Angeles finalized their map of the city council on Thursday but declined to say which areas Paul Krekorian and Nithya Raman should represent.

The proposed map, which will be presented to the council late next week, would significantly redesign the Krekorian and Raman districts.

The committee of 21 left it to the council to decide which of the two should represent a new district for the western San Fernando Valley, which would include Winnetka, Reseda and other neighborhoods. The other would be assigned to a borough that includes the Hollywood Hills, Griffith Park, North Hollywood, and other areas.

The card was accepted with 15-6 votes.

Krekorian, who was re-elected for his third and final term last year, currently represents the 2nd District of the eastern San Fernando Valley.

Raman, who took office in December, represents the 4th district that stretches from Hancock Park to Silver Lake and north to Sherman Oaks.

It is not yet clear to what extent the Council will attempt to revise the Commission proposal.

Hours after the vote, Raman said the card had “unacceptable injustices and needs to be changed”. Krekorian has repeatedly promised to revise the proposal over the past few weeks.

During Thursday’s deliberations, Commissioner Jackie Goldberg said the decision not to label the two districts had made it difficult for voters in those areas to weigh the redistribution proposal.

Goldberg, who voted against the card, rejected the idea that Raman could be reassigned to an entirely new West Valley district a year after taking office.

“There is no precedent for removing 100% of the electorate from a council member in their first term,” said Goldberg, a former councilor who sits on the LA school committee and was appointed to the commission by Raman.

Other commissioners pointed out that several of the Valley’s neighborhood councils had taken a stand against the map.

“The valley is in turmoil,” said Commissioner Rachel Torres, who was appointed by Council President Nury Martinez and who also voted against the card.

Commissioner Richard Katz denied this idea, saying that the plan that will be presented to the council would achieve an important goal: to place five counties and the vast majority of a sixth in the valley.

“We’ve been doing things on the Valley agenda for a very long time,” said Katz, who voted for the card.

Proponents of the Commission’s proposal argued that it would achieve several other political goals: to place Koreatown in a single borough, to allow black or Latino representation in certain parts of the city, and to give strong Westside Jewish quarters in a single borough consolidate.

“What the Council does after that is up to the Council,” said Commissioner Carlos Moreno, a City Atty-appointed retired judge. Mike Feuer, who is running for mayor. “But I think nobody can really question that each of us and together did our best.”

The city redraws its county lines every 10 years after receiving data from the decade-long US census.

Upon receiving this information, city leaders must approve maps that give each district roughly equal population and protect the voting rights of certain groups, including black, Latin American, and Asian-American residents.

The Council’s card must be approved in time for it to take effect on January 1st.

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