New card could cost Raman 40% of their LA ward

A Los Angeles City Council committee on Friday prepared a new map of the city council’s 15 boroughs that would make significant changes to the Hollywood Hills borough represented by Councilor Nithya Raman.

With a 6-1 vote, the ad hoc redistribution committee recommended that Raman’s district extend from Silver Lake to the west of the San Fernando Valley and include parts of Encino and Reseda.

Raman cast the only dissenting vote, saying that her district was going through far more drastic changes than any other. She said the proposal would cause her district to lose about 40% of its voters – and was the end product of an “openly politicized process” that left many residents in the dark.

“This outcome was not inevitable, and it was only thanks to the advocacy of our constituents that we were able to keep so much [the district] like us, ”she said in a statement.

Raman had asked her colleagues at the beginning of the meeting to create an alternate map developed by her office that would have allowed her to get more of Hollywood and the Park La Brea area. None of her colleagues agreed to her proposal, and the proposal was not put to the vote.

Under the committee’s proposal, Raman’s borough would lose neighborhoods such as Hancock Park, Miracle Mile, Park La Brea, Toluca Lake and parts of Mid-City and the Hollywood apartments. She would keep Sherman Oaks, Los Feliz, the Hollywood Hills, and part of Silver Lake.

Raman’s district would also take over part of Studio City. Raman, who has been in office for nearly a year, said in a statement she was “overjoyed” to meet her new constituents. “You can expect me at your door in the New Year!” She said.

Los Angeles redraws its political boundaries every 10 years after the US census data is published. To comply with the law, each district must have roughly the same number of voters.

The committee’s proposal goes to the city council on Tuesday. Public hearings on the plan will take place on Wednesday 23 November, followed by a vote in the Council on December 1 according to a schedule made available to the committee.

For weeks, Raman and City Councilor Paul Krekorian had been fighting against a redistribution proposal by a 21-person citizen commission that would have forced one of them to represent a clearly redrawn district and the other to take over an area that was 100% new to them. Both had argued that such drastic changes would deprive their voters of the right to vote.

Under the new proposal, Krekorian would see much of his East Valley district remain the same, with all or part of North Hollywood, Valley Village, and Valley Glen retained. In turn, Alderman Bob Blumenfield would keep much of his West Valley district, including Woodland Hills, Canoga Park and Tarzana.

The council committee’s redistribution proposal is based partly on the plan drawn up by the Citizens’ Commission and partly on a map submitted by a Latino labor organization last month.

The committee’s “hybrid” plan would leave three districts in South Los Angeles, a coastal district represented by Councilor Mike Bonin, and a port district represented by Councilor Joe Buscaino, largely unchanged.

The committee voted 6-1 on Friday to reject the commission’s recommendation to locate Exposition Park, including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, in the district represented by Councilor Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

Harris-Dawson and Councilor Curren Price have been arguing over the fate of Exposition Park and neighboring USC for weeks. If the council approves the committee’s action, Exposition Park would remain in the Price District.

Council President Nury Martinez, chairman of the council committee, said the new map made “necessary changes” to the commission’s redistribution proposal while meeting certain goals, such as keeping Koreatown in a single district.

Martinez said the hybrid card included some of the changes Raman requested. She also argued that the alternative proposal put forward by Raman “divided the Jewish community”.

“We did our best to keep the communities intact,” Martinez said.

An adviser in Raman’s office denied this claim, saying the alternate card was actually intended to hold Jewish communities together. The alternative map, spokeswoman Stella Stahl said, would have linked Encino, one of the city’s largest Jewish communities, to other Jewish neighborhoods south of the Hollywood Hills.

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