Members of the Los Angeles City Council voted this week to move forward with a final redefinition map for the Los Angeles Unified School Board, ahead of a meeting next Wednesday where council must formally approve an ordinance to adopt the map. expected to give.
The 12-0 vote came at the end of Tuesday, November 23, a public hearing about LAUSD’s redistribution map, the second such hearing this month by the city council. Despite some members of the public urging elected officials to go back to the drawing board, there was no discussion by council members before the vote.
In recent weeks, residents of the San Fernando Valley in Encino, Reseda, and Woodland Hills have objected to dividing their communities between two school board districts, while residents of Southeast LA have complained that the map in question is gerrymandered and flimsy. Having that works against them. To choose someone from their community to represent them.
Reseda Neighborhood Council Secretary Jamie York, speaking for himself, said during a November 10 hearing that it didn’t make sense to keep some of the San Fernando Valley students in District 4, who were residents of LA’s west side. also represents communities such as Bel-Air and Pacific Palisades. Communities in the valley and in West LA are divided by the Santa Monica Mountains.
Rather, residents of Encino, Reseda and Woodland Hills insist that they be grouped entirely in District 3 with the rest of the West Valley. District 4 is currently represented by Board Vice President Nick Melvoin while board member Scott Schmerelson represents District 3.
York said that speaking with residents of Woodland Hills, who had previously divided their community between the two districts, the conclusion was that it did not benefit the students.
“What’s happening is that the children of the Valley that are part of District 4 are basically ignored,” York said. “It’s not useful and it’s not good for the kids.”
In District 5, residents of Southeast LA such as Huntington Park, Maywood and South Gate said the proposed map would continue to deprive voters in their communities, who for the past decade have been stuck in the same district as people in Northeast LA, with whom They have very little in common.
And because there has been more turnout than the Northeast, residents of the Southeast said they were unable to elect a candidate from their community to ensure that their voices were heard.
Southeast LA resident Cynthia said, “The map that is being proposed is not fair and not fair, and it very clearly links our communities with communities that are not at all like ours, where we live.” , 40 minutes drive from there. Gonzalez.
“My daughter, who is a junior in high school, no one in her community has represented her on the board, and my 9-year-old daughter — if you follow this map — never will,” she said. said.
District 5 is currently represented by Board Member Jackie Goldberg, who is the Northeast LA . lives in
City officials representing the southeastern communities of Bell, Cudahi, Huntington Park, Maywood, South Gate and Vernon recently sent a joint letter to LA council members, shared with the LA Daily News, in which they It was urged not to adopt a Garrimand map. Because they are separate cities with their own councils, these communities do not have an elected official representing them on the LA city council.
“It is unjustified that Southeast communities have no voice in the redistribution process, even though LAUSD continues to overtake the City of Los Angeles and the Southeast cities for which we represent,” he wrote. “Instead, we must rely on the City of Los Angeles to make the right decisions for our constituents. Therefore, as elected officials, we ask you in good faith to make the right decisions and to equitable Board District 5. “
Meanwhile, residents and community organizers in East LA recently spoke out during public comments, saying it supported the map for the first time in the communities of Boyle Heights, unincorporated East LA, El Sereno, City Terrace and Lincoln Heights. Will unite under one board. District.
During the redistribution process, residents of East and Southeast LA and members of the community—who come from or represent largely working-class, immigrant families and who otherwise share much in common—have to face each other. has been pitched against because they advocated different map configurations. Which benefits their communities the most.
The council is expected to formally adopt final redistribution maps for both the city and LAUSD on Wednesday.