The Ad Hoc Committee on Governance Reform, created and chaired by City Council President Paul Krekorian, is meeting outside of City Hall to take public comment on governance reform from community members across the City. Recently, the Committee met at Exposition Park in South L.A., and at the Van Nuys City Hall.
At Exposition Park a lively and well-attended meeting took up the issue of increasing the number of Council Districts to reduce the size of individual districts. Many points of view were heard, from neighborhood groups such as Gramercy Block Club, the Baldwin Hills Homeowners’ Association and the Empowerment Congress West Neighborhood Council, to coalitions and organizations such as AAPI Equity Alliance, Alliance for a Better Community, the California Black Power Network, California Native Vote Project, Catalyst California, CDTech, Common Cause, Community Coalition, Community Action Network, Inner City Struggle, L.A. Voice, and the Our L.A. Coalition.
Opinions ranged from those who wanted the number of districts to remain the same, to those who wanted twice the current number of districts, or even more, to arguments for multi-seat districts with proportional representation. Most participants favored increasing the number of districts but were undecided about an exact number. Research and analysis of this issue will continue to move forward as policy recommendations are refined.
A subsequent meeting in Van Nuys explored possible methods for selecting redistricting commissioners. Committee members and members of the public alike expressed strong interest in ensuring that the commissioners, however they are chosen, represent the true diversity of Los Angeles and are entirely shielded from influence by elected officials.
Upcoming meetings of the committee will be held in Cheviot Hills and at City Hall. By September 1, the committee will finalize a proposal for the 2024 ballot that will reform the City Charter and create a truly independent redistricting process devoid of political influence.