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Race, Ethnicity, Class and Hipness — How (NOT) to Draw City Council Districts

EDITOR’S NOTE: Anger over City Hall’s puppet Redistricting Commission’s draft maps has inflamed long-simmering resentments all over town over how communities of interest have been ignored deliberately as part of the political machine’s divide-and-conquer strategy. On Saturday, about 50 residents of the Foothill communities – Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills,
Lake View Terrace, La Tuna Canyon, and Sun Valley — held an emergency meeting to plan how to fight being pulled from CD 2 (Krekorian) and divided up into CD 6 and CD 7 (Cardenas and Alarcon). These are dangerous people when they come together as they did in defeating corporate giant Home Depot’s scheme to change the small town western feel of their community. Curiously, the LA Times’ story Sunday on the redistricting controversy focused on CD4 (LaBonge) and seems to suggest that voting rights laws protecting race, ethnicity and communities of interest should also recognize keeping cool people together and not put them with “ugh, the Valley” types. You know like people who are Silver Lake hipsters should “have nothing to do with the flats in the Valley.” Or as Tom LaBonge, who would get Studio City, Sherman Oaks and Encino, put it:
“The only common thread here is the Canadian geese that
migrate from the Encino Reservoir to the Silver Lake Reservoir.” No insult intended, you can be sure. The Foothill activists are meeting again Tuesday night at the North Valley City Hall at 7 p.m. T
omi Lyn Bowling offers this account the passions that have been reawakened by City Hall’s redistricting dirty trick:

Sleeper Has Awakened


They came from all kinds of backgrounds
with birthplaces all over the world. They have different religions, different
politics, and are individually different in so many ways.

So who would have ever thought that so much
diversity would melt away to become the common ground of fighting off a
corporate giant in what has become the hometown of so many passionate
individuals in Sunland-Tujunga.

But melt away diversity did.

United in a force unlike anything ever before
in the city of Los Angeles these people fought, and won! Victories had seemed
to come somewhat easy to this small rural mountain draped community as one by
one the land-use victories added up.

But it was the fight with mega corporate
giant Home Depot that the community is most well known for.

Fast forward to seven years later and this
once united community like so many others in LA had gone on with life and each
individual that once stood shoulder to shoulder had all but forgetten their
unity. Or had they?

It was a cold December 2011 day when whispers
began to fill the air that a change was looming. Off in their own individual
worlds barely an eyebrow was raised. Then January came and the change rose it’s
ugly head; the map that proposed to rip this formiddable community apart at the
seams. \

Like a well rehearsed orchestra these soulful
people dropped their individuality, forgot the squabbles, pushed aside their
personal lives and took their place shoulder to shoulder once again in
opposition to the maps proposed by the Redistricting Commission threatening the
last vestage of rural life in Los Angeles.

Vowing to protect that last rural corner of
this big city the awe inspiring community stands tall, strong, and united once
again, unwilling to allow the rules and their community voices to be ignored.

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12 Responses to Race, Ethnicity, Class and Hipness — How (NOT) to Draw City Council Districts

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ron, Does the group really feel that anybody on
    that bunch of redistricting commission members
    understood what they were saying? There were about 40 at the West Hills meeting earlier this month and and I don’t think tey cared except that we NOT BLAME THEM. What??? According to the map that just appearred, my side wanted to be in District 3 but instead they have lopped
    off zone 3 at Valley Circle Blvd, and those bewildered West Hills residents are in District 12. And I still say good morning to the coyotes and racoons (big animals) who find a way into my back yard.

  2. abby diamond says:

    Yeah, we agree that the Commissioners aren’t listening. We made plenty of public comment about how we want our neighborhoods to stay together as CD2, as communities of interest. They are splitting us into two different districts, which will dilute our impact and prevent us from constituting a majority of voters who are active and dedicated to preserving open space, equestrian, and agricultural zoning. The other CMs are commenting but we haven’t heard a peep from our Councilman, Paul Krekorian, CD2.

  3. anonymous says:

    Maybe I watch too much TV. Think that was the intention. Splitting you up and water down your power. Kind of like what the mayor has been systematically doing to the NCs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Attended Redistricting Commission meeting on 01/03/12 when the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association (SOHA) presented its “vision” for redistricting. However, SOHA’s redistricting map is not available for public review. WHY?
    Malfeasance-insider-influence-manipulation corrupting the redistricting process?
    Open public participation? Transparency?
    To add more red-lining to the irrational redistricting work-in-progress, VAN NUYS,
    officially in the SOUTH VALLEY PLANNING AREA and part of the VAN NUYS-SHERMAN OAKS COMMUNITY PLAN, is freakishly joined with the Sunland-Tujunga area in the far North-East near La Crescenta and Deukmejian Wilderness Park.
    Our Van Nuys-COI is being red-lined into an unnatural relationship with CD #6, unnatural and doomed to be destructive, dysfunctional and unhealthy for our COI.
    CD #2 Councilman Krekorian is our Van Nuys-COI’s best representation.
    Time to follow the plan of action of both MALDEF and SOHA; get lawyered-up.

  5. Anonymous says:

    i went to the chinese new year parade this wee kend and Zev, Jan and Wendy were in the parade riding in convertibles,when each went by i yelled at them, told them how corrupt and useless they are. i got my kids and friends to boo as loudly as possible too. A lady said you are ruining the parade. I told her if she knew anything she would boo too. i felt great all weekend, and highly recommend this to all

  6. david r2b says:

    Question: what’s most important to the current Mayor, the City Council and maybe even the future Mayors, Controllers and City Attorney’s sitting around the Spring Street Horse Shoe:
    Power & Control ! How do you obtain that P & C? Easy: you minimize your opponents influence.
    What’s the easiest approach to doing this without waking your enemy and doing it somewhat legally:
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
    Divide and Conquer (derived from the Latin saying Divide et impera) may refer to:
    • Divide and rule, in politics, sociology and economics, a strategy to gain or maintain power
    • Defeat in detail, in warfare, a tactical maneuver to efficiently deal with a numerous opponent.
    Neighborhood Councils & Closely Related Communities (whether by location and/or nationality/religion/race) are P & C’s enemies. By dividing & conquering and lessening their influence P & C’s power increases.
    Thank Goodness voting Citizens (mostly) only pay attention to how big their flat screen is or how is Kobe and the Lakers doing. Hey that’s an idea; Los Angeles needs a football team. I’m sure one of our undisclosed Rulers will tell us exactly where and help us convince the taxpayers it won’t cost you a dime.
    We the P & C were able to get another term of office: remember Proposition R: Ethics, Ethics, Ethics and we want another Four (4) Years in Office. 15 Yeas! Stupid voters, P & C didn’t tell them that the Ethics items didn’t even require a citizen vote. The council could have passed those themselves.
    Shhhhhhh . . . quiet please.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Anon at 1:36pm, very true, very serious.
    SOHA’s vice-president, Matt Epstein, has been a Commissioner on the South Valley Area Planning Commission many times, also major player in real estate in Sherman Oaks-Studio City-Encino area. Would allow SOHA group exceptional access, influence and power. The fact that SOHA requested their map “vision” for redistricting not be public information would suggest there is something SOHA wishes to keep secret.
    And yes, a manner of “red-lining” is being practiced under the guise of redistricting.

  8. Tujungan says:

    Back door dealing, back stabbing, power grabbing. The few win and we, the citizens lose.
    We in Sunland Tujunga are wondering why Councilman Krekorian, who we voted in to office, is silent.
    Guess he got the District he wanted. Did he sell his soul to the devil to accomplish this?

  9. Anonymous says:

    01/20/12 at 1:36pm and 4:27pm anon comments:
    Red-lining is illegal even when practiced by appointee-advisory commissioners.
    Get lawyered-up.

  10. Anonymous says:

    You are watching Krekorian become “one of them” at City Hall. Soon the transformation will be complete and he will dictate to his District just like all of the other “Little Kings” in each of the Council Districts.

  11. Wayne from Encino says:

    “L.A. as too many Liberals and no representation for the People paying all the taxes AND THE L.A. TIMES IS SLOWLY GOING OUT OF BUSINESS AND TAKING L.A. RIGHT DOWN WITH IT!!!”
    Tim Conway Jr. Show: 7-10pm Mon-fri 640am KFI.
    If you’re trapped in this Liberal Gulag we call L.A. THEN YOU’VE GOT TO BECOME A PAIN IN THE ASS FOR THE DOWNTOWN RATS—SHOW UP THESE MEETINGS AND FILL OUT A SPEAKERS CARD AND GIVE THEM YOUR 2 MINUTES OF DISGUEST! As for Krookorian—he was EVIL 10 years before CD2 ever heard of him!
    He’s the guy who decided to let the prisoners descend on L.A. County jails and voted Yes IN sacramento FOR EVERY TAX INCREASE POSSIBLE. He’s already called the decorators for Trutanich’s office! But…he HATES Studio City and the Sherman Oaks Homeowner’s Ass’n and wants them OUT OF CD2.

  12. Brilliant, truthful instructions. Danke!

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