The Arroyo Seco Guide to Redistricting
The major story that emerges regarding political redistricting in Northeast Los Angeles may not lie as much in who represents what area (not to imply that’s not important), as it does in how the process reflects the changing nature of our communities in the early 21st century. Latino representation remains important. But we are also seeing a dramatic local increase in Asian American influence, and mapping to join Asian American communities together in large measure drove what out new districts look like. Further, Armenian Americans and Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered residents have arrived as recognized local communities of interest.
As important as the number of communities of interest is the fact that those communities have not, as many observers expected, treated one another as competitors. Rather, there have been serious efforts to map and work together—a trend that may craft the coming 10 years of political life.
There will be fewer politicians representing Northeast L.A, according to maps set to be approved this morning by the voter-approved Redistricting Commission.
At the State level, almost all of NELA will be within one Senate and Assembly District. The exception is Atwater Village, which is split.
At the Federal level, things changed considerably at the last moment as commissioners struggled with Voter Rights Act compliance.
Most of NELA will be within one district—with some important exceptions:
• Atwater Village and Elysian Valley are on a peninsula that extends down into the NELA district, but will not be not be part of it.
• The line runs down San Fernando Road. El Rio de Los Angeles Park will be in a different district from its Cypress Park and Glassell Park users.
• And the Los Angeles River will be separated from much of Northeast L.A. This applies only at the Federal level, but comes at a time when Washington is putting new resources into river revitalization (see the news brief in the current Arroyo Seco Journal.)
The Northeast L.A. congressional district won’t go as far south as reported in our guide. At the last minute, a turn west was made at Boyle Heights/East L.A. to take in Downtown through Pico Union.
It isn’t over. The final vote on the mapping will take place in mid-August. This will be followed by legal challenges—potentially quite a barrage of them.
The full guide to who’s coming, who’s leaving and what it all means is online in the Arroyo Seco Journal. http://www.myebook.com/index.php?option=ebook&id=90491