For the first time in the history of the City of Los Angeles, we now have a plan for drawing our City Council districts through a process in which the Council itself will play no part whatsoever.
The Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) has published their official report on the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on City Governance. The Committee looked at the selection processes used by the State, the County, and by some neighboring cities, and adopted something similar, with safeguards to make the commission as representative as possible and to insulate it from political interference.
- The process is to be administered by the City Clerk's office. Interested volunteers can apply to become redistricting commissioners, but applications will not be accepted from elected officials, their family members, their staff, candidates, lobbyists, or political consultants. The Ethics Commission will screen applicants for any possible conflict of interest.
- The remaining applicants will be sorted into eight large geographic areas of the City, all roughly equal in population. Applicants will be chosen from each of these areas at random, like a lottery.
- The first eight commissioners will be responsible for picking eight others from the same citywide pool of applicants, to balance the diversity of the Commission, taking race, gender, age, income, and other factors into account.
- The commissioners will be tasked with drawing City Council districts that are roughly equal in size, based on the latest census data and fully complying with the U.S Constitution, the Constitution of the State of California, and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.
- The most significant of those legal requirements is that no recognizable group, such as a race or ethnicity may be arbitrarily divided into multiple districts to dilute their opportunity for representation.
These recommendations will go to the full City Council for consideration next month. When approved, the proposal will appear, as a proposed Amendment to the City Charter, on the General Election ballot in November 2024.
(Don't be alarmed if the first page is blank. Just scroll down. it's all there!)