One Scary Redistricting Proposal: Splitting Pacific Palisades into Different Voting Districts

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If new districting is approved for Pacific Palisades, people on one side of Sunset will be in a different district than residents on the other side.

Pacific Palisades is currently in L.A. City Council District 11, represented by Mike Bonin; L.A. County District 3, represented by Sheila Kuehl; in State Assembly District 50, represented by Richard Bloom; and Congressional District 33, represented by Congressman Ted Lieu.

Redistricting, which happens every 10 years, could change those alignments. In several scenarios, Pacific Palisades would be split along Sunset, with residents above Sunset voting in one assembly and Congressional district and those below Sunset voting in two different races.

On October 29, the Pacific Palisade Community Council sent a letter to the California State Redistricting Commission, objecting to any plan that divides the Palisades.

“Simply put: dividing Pacific Palisades between areas north and south of Sunset for purposes of representation in Congress and the State Assembly makes no sense and is contrary to the interests of Palisades residents.”

Citing the lack of relationships to communities in the San Fernando Valley, the PPCC wrote: “We are aligned with the Community of Brentwood, with whom we share the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan,” pointing out that this encompasses residents north and south of Sunset and that topography and concerns related about wildfire evacuations are similar.

Pacific Palisades also fronts the Pacific Ocean and is aligned with other beach communities, especially in protecting the health of Santa Monica Bay and sharing PCH from Santa Monica to Malibu.

“For all those reasons, we respectfully urge the State Redistricting Commission to redraw the proposed lines for the Congressional and Assembly districts representing Pacific Palisades, so that our community will not be divided in its representation.

The current Council District 11 boundaries would remain the same.

As for Los Angeles County, this is the first time that the Board of Supervisors is not responsible for its redistricting. Instead, four maps have come from three sources: the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, The People’s Bloc, and Brian Stecher, a member of the country’s residents redistricting committee.

The county’s five supervisorial districts must be 1) geographically connected, 2) be drawn to minimize division of cities, neighborhoods or communities of interest, 3) not be gerrymandered, and 4) include about two million people each.

Pacific Palisades would have the same supervisor, but most likely the current third district will be changed. (Visit: redistricting-lacounty.hub.arcgis.com/).

Regarding state and federal districts, California residents voted in 2008 and 2010 to give redistricting to an independent commission. In that document, the following was stated: 1) districts must be of nearly equal population, 2) districts must comply with the Voting Rights Act, 3) districts must be drawn contiguously, so that all parts of the district are connected to each other, 4) districts must minimize the division of cities, counties, neighborhoods and communities of interest to the extent possible, 5) districts should be geographically compact, so that nearby areas of population are not bypassed for more distant populations, and 6) Where practicable, districts should be nested (be made up of complete and adjacent districts for another elected office).

A 14-member commission is charged with redrawing the boundaries of the California State Senate, State Assembly. The commission consists of five Republicans, five Democrats and four not affiliated with either party. The members were selected, first by applying and then through independent auditors who determined the 120 most qualified. After interviews, the field was narrowed in half.

The California legislature could remove 24 names from the list – eight from each sub pool. The names remaining were drawn randomly from the sub pools. The eight were the first commissioners and then they selected the final six members of the commission.

With the loss of population, California will have one less seat in the U.S. House of Representatives (52 seats), so the districts need to be redrawn.

Go to wedrawthelinesca.org, click on “data” and then visualizations and type in Pacific Palisades. The PPCC is urging residents to give feedback to the committee at this site, arguing that splitting Sunset “divides us,” and “ultimately it is not beneficial to Pacific Palisades.”

One member said, “It would seem weird to have two different people representing us.”

Input is allowed, and draft district maps will be released no later than November 15. There will then be additional public input meetings. No later than December 27, the final maps must be certified by the Secretary of State.

The maps show the line separating one proposed district from another (yellow VAD Westside and red VAD Eventumali) is Sunset Boulevard.

This entry was posted in City/Councilman Mike Bonin, Community, Pacific Palisades Community Council. Bookmark the permalink.

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