Commission finalizes map of LA County supervisors, creating second predominantly Latino district

A Citizen Redistribution Commission on Wednesday approved a map for the Los Angeles County Oversight Board that will create a second Latin American majority district while maintaining a concentration of black voters in southern LA and bringing more together Asian American voters.

The new predominantly Latin neighborhood was formed removing wealthy seaside towns, including Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, from the 4th Arrondissement and replacing them with heavily Latino communities.

For the first time, the LA County redistribution was in the hands of a 14-member Citizens Commission, created by the state legislature in 2016 with the goal of giving Latino and Asian residents better representation.

Previously, supervisors, sometimes referred to as the “five little kings” because of their unglamorous but powerful jobs in a county of more than 10 million people, drew the boundaries of their own districts after the decennial national census.

The card creates a new political reality for supervisors with the loss of loyal voters and new voters in court. This will come into force Thusday.

Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn to See Biggest Change under the new card.

The wealthy seaside towns she represented will go to Supervisor Holly Mitchell’s 2nd District, joining the coastal areas of Marina del Rey to Redondo Beach with parts of Mid-Wilshire and southern LA.

Hahn will now represent the second predominantly Latino district, with the addition of heavily Latino communities including South Gate, Huntington Park and Lynwood, which were previously in the 1st or 2nd Boroughs.

“My job is to represent the residents of the Fourth District and not only to ensure that their voices and interests are heard, but also to provide them with the resources they need and deserve from the county, and that’s what I plan to do, “Hahn said in a statement Tuesday.

Latino representation on the board has long been an issue in a county made up of 49% Latinos, 26% Whites, 15% Asians, and 9% Blacks.

The first Latino supervisor, Gloria Molina, was elected in 1991 after a lawsuit alleging that supervisors had gerrymandered district lines to prevent the growing Latino population from gaining power.

Hilda L. Solis, who is Latino, took over from Molina as supervisor of the 1st arrondissement, which will remain predominantly Latino despite the loss of some Latino voters.

Mitchell is black and the other three supervisors are white. Mitchell’s 2nd District was previously represented by Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is black.

Under the new map, the 2nd arrondissement will maintain roughly the same percentage of black voters – around 29% – as before, much of southern LA and towns such as Compton and Inglewood remaining within its boundaries.

Still, advocates have raised concerns that adding predominantly white communities, including Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, to Borough 2 would make it harder for black politicians to win the seat.

Since the last redistribution in 2010, the percentage of Latino voters in the 2nd arrondissement grew up from 32% to 41%, with black voters dropping from 38% to 30%.

These are “the hardest choices we’re making right now, in terms of what to do with it. [districts] 2 and 4, ”commission co-chair Daniel M. Mayeda said at a meeting on Sunday.

Mitchell said in a statement Tuesday that she appreciates the hard work of the commission and will not comment on the map until it is finalized.

“They took a lot of contributions from the community, and that was important and necessary to make sure the process worked,” said Mitchell, who was elected in 2020 after the Ridley-Thomas announcement.

The new card will reduce the percentage of Latino voters in the 1st district of Solis to 52% from 62%.

Solis will win over Asian American voters, with Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights and Diamond Bar leaving the 4th District to join the Asian-majority towns of Monterey Park and Rosemead, which she already represents.

This will bring the percentage of Asian voters in Solis district to almost 27% – highest of all districts in at least two decades.

LA County has never had an Asian-American supervisor, in part because Asian voters are concentrated in areas such as the San Gabriel Valley, central LA, and South Bay which are far apart geographically.

In a statement, Solis said goodbye to communities in Southeast Los Angeles that will be leaving his district.

“I have had the honor to connect with a riding that has experienced decades of underinvestment in an effort to drive regional and systemic change and close the equity gaps that have unfairly plagued SELA for so long.” , she said.

She also said she would immediately know the needs of her new constituents.

“I look forward to serving the new iteration of the First District, which will include communities in the San Gabriel Valley with a growing AAPI population – whom I have had the honor to represent in the past as state legislator. and Congressman – as well as the Eastside and Northeastern LA.

According to the new map, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s 3rd District would lose some world-famous cultural venues – the Hollywood Bowl, the LA County Museum of Art, the Ford, the La Brea Tar Pits and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures – at 2nd or 5th arrondissements.

Kuehl is not running for re-election, but she and her predecessor Zev Yaroslavsky have allocated millions to improving the sites.

Commissioner David A. Holtzman, a public health professional and advocate for electoral reform, said it made sense to link Burbank, a heavy studio, already in the 5th arrondissement, with other entertainment centers and media. He had previously advocated for the addition of Hollywood to the district, but was “rejected,” he said at Sunday’s meeting.

In a written comment to the commission, Kuehl denounced the withdrawal of cultural venues from her neighborhood, despite being “staunch defenders of the arts” and her staff.

“Redistribution is always a difficult and disruptive process, but this roundtable has been truly disappointing with the final map completely emptying the hearts of what has been the third district by the eleventh hour without leaving time to comment or review. “Kuehl said. .

Some rather conservative 5th District communities, notably Chatsworth and Porter Ranch, will join the 3rd District, which includes the liberal enclaves of Santa Monica and West Hollywood.

“I am disappointed that the preliminary redistribution map removed communities in the northwestern San Fernando Valley from my district, despite strong public support,” said 5th District supervisor Kathryn Barger, the only Republican. to the all-female board of directors. “But I welcome the opportunity to represent and get to know the communities newly added to the Fifth District.”

Constituency commissioners, who were chosen to reflect the demographics of the county, are unpaid volunteers and do not have the right to communicate with supervisors or their close associates.

Federal Voting Rights Act requires that constituency boundaries be drawn so that racial and ethnic groups have a fair chance to elect a candidate of their choice.

Over the past year, Commissioners have held more than a dozen public hearings, reviewing 3,800 written public comments and nearly 600 oral submissions.

They narrowed down the proposed cards to three – all of which created a second district with a Latin American majority – before selecting a card on Sunday that was approved by the final vote on Wednesday.

About Margaret L. Portillo

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