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Downtown-Area Meetings for City Council Redistricting Kick off Saturday

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, December 08, 2011, at 08:21AM
Council Map blogdowntown

Los Angeles' City Charter requires Council Districts to be "geographically compact," but the politics of redistricting has left borders tangled.

Between now and July 2012, the lines that split Los Angeles into its 15 council districts must be redrawn to "contain, as nearly as practicable, equal portions of the total population of the City."

That should be a simple process, right? Just take the Census Bureau's count of 3,792,621, divide it by 15, and draw lines that place 252,841 people in each district.

In reality, though, the politicized process is never quite that easy. This Saturday, public meetings get underway to introduce those who live in the three Downtown-area districts to the redistricting process and to collect input on how the boundaries should change.

A 21-member citizen panel gets the first crack at the redistricting process, after which the councilmembers will get their own chance to lobby for changes before passing the new maps.

Of course, that lobbying may already be happening. Councilwoman Jan Perry accused her fellow members of drawing maps behind closed doors when she resigned from her council leadership post last month.

According to data that blogdowntown computed back when the Census data was released in March, Perry's district currently contains 261,470 people and will need to shrink by nearly nine thousand to meet the City Charter's requirements.

Perry's 9th district is the first of the Downtown seats to have its public meeting, which will take place this Saturday, December 10, from 11am to 2pm (Santee Educational Complex -- 1921 S. Maple Avenue). A meeting in Councilman Jose Huizar's 14th district will have its meeting on Tuesday, December 13, from 6:30-9:30pm (Boyle Heights Senior Center -- 2839 E. 3rd Street). The meeting for Councilman Ed Reyes' 1st district will take place on Saturday, January 7, from 11am to 2pm (St. Peter's Italian Catholic Church -- 1039 N. Broadway).

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