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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Politics changes shape in LA County as final maps for Congress, Legislature, State Senate are released

As the once every decade process nears its conclusion, final maps approved on Monday, December 20, redraw the boundaries for California’s elected seats in Sacramento and Washington, DC.

The maps opened the door to a rising Los Angeles County Democratic political star amid a generational shift among the region’s elected leaders. He also dented the Republican favorite’s chances in one of the hottest contests in the country.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia speaks at a news conference as US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh visits the Port of Los Angeles with port leaders and local unions from LA and Long Beach in San Pedro on Tuesday, November 30 Discussed efforts to reduce supply chain issues. , 2021. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

The 14-member State Independent Citizens Redistribution Commission posted its final maps on Monday, December 20, and after hours of public comment, the commissioners unanimously approved them before the December 27 deadline. They will be ready for public review for the next three days and the commission will certify them on December 26.

On December 27, he will be handed over to the California Secretary of State’s office.

The maps did little to loosen the Democrats’ stronghold over the state and federal districts of LA County.

But they bring strong changes in a county that, according to Census 2020, has lost its population, and which also lost a congressional seat due to a statewide population decline.

Assuming that the final maps have stalled, Sacramento and DC . Thousands of people will have new representatives

Most immediately, the maps have already prompted change in the Long Beach area, where Rep. Alan Lowenthal announced last week that he would not be running for re-election.

Politics changes shape in LA County as final maps for Congress, Legislature, State Senate are released
Lucille Royble-Allard District 40 . Congress women for

This week she was joined by Rep. Lucille Royble-Allard, 80, who sent a message to her constituents that she too would step down at the end of her current term.

The current seat of Löwenthal was expected to be transformed into the territory of Roybal-Allard – creating a new district. But now, it is clear that neither will be competing for that position.

His departure appeared to clear the way for Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. He announced the race for the new Congress seat last week. At first, it appeared that he might face the prospect of competing with a fellow Democrat – Roybal-Allard – for the seat. but not now.

As the Redistribution Commission reviewed its final maps on Monday, Roybal—Allard the first Mexican American woman ever elected to Congress—issued word that she would not return for a new term.

“… the time has come for me to spend more time with my family. Therefore, I have decided not to contest again,” she told her constituents in a statement.

The newly redrawn seat, if approved, would connect Southeast LA communities such as Downey, Bell, and the sprinkling of the Belmont Shore to the south at the north end of the park.

For Garcia, the new scenario could open a clear path for Congress.

Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College, said the scuffle represents a major generational shift in the party, as Congressional House of Representatives assesses the prospect of losing a Democratic majority during the midterm elections next year.

Lowenthal’s retirement is also significant in that “for whatever real reason, it is making room for the next generation,” said Jaime Regalado, professor emeritus of political science at Cal State Los Angeles.

Politics changes shape in LA County as final maps for Congress, Legislature, State Senate are released
Congressman Alan Lowenthal speaks at Long Beach City College on the final day of the campaign against the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday, September 13, 2021 in Long Beach. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Meanwhile, Mike Garcia, R-Saugas, has secured his place among a growing generation of Republican House members in recent years. But the final maps posted on Monday pushed a significant portion of his GOP support – especially Simi Valley – to a neighboring district to the west.

The maps prompted a sharp reaction from Garcia, who won last year’s highly competitive race for the 25th Congressional District against Democratic challenger Christy Smith.

Politics changes shape in LA County as final maps for Congress, Legislature, State Senate are released
Congressman Mike Garcia was present to speak during a Veterans Day event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Andy Holzman)

The current district of García includes Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Saugus and Lancaster.

“The commission has shown that they were not acting independently when they moved all Democratic office bearers to secure seats, making five of the 11 Republican districts more vulnerable,” Garcia said, but I know we can’t do this. Will win in the new district.” Statement.

García said: “While I am saddened to lose the residents of Simi Valley – who showed their tremendous amount of support to have me as their member of Congress during the redistribution process – and the Reagan Library, I am pleased to represent Granada Hills. I am so happy, which city is where I was born. It is also great to welcome more people to the Antelope Valley community in the 25th district.”

Either way, Garcia said he is confident he will win re-election in 2022.

Smith, who was trying to oust Garcia in a rematch, welcomed the new map, emphasizing the closeness of the final race.

“Last year, just 333 votes separated me and my opponent in the race for the closest Congress in the country,” he said in a statement. “With these updated maps, I am even more confident that we will turn this seat next November and defeat Mike Garcia, who voted against the interests of this community and at every turn in line with the extremist wing of his party. Is.”

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Dave Wasserman, senior editor at Cook’s Political Reporter, listed Garcia as one of the few California congressmen who face tough reelection fights. Others on that list included fellow Republican Tom McClintock, based near Sacramento.

Local party leaders said the LA county maps were generally good news for Democrats. But there were some changes.

On the assembly side, much of the San Fernando Valley was divided into three districts.

Politics changes shape in LA County as final maps for Congress, Legislature, State Senate are released
Assemblywoman Luz Rivas speaks during the announcement that CORE (Community Organized Relief Efforts) and LA Works will receive money from California to expand their volunteer outreach during a press conference in San Fernando Recreation Park on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 , where CORE and Carbon Health have developed COVID-19 tests and vaccines. (Photo by Sarah Reingwirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Luz Rivas and Jesse Gabriel, members of the Valley Assembly, seem to have avoided pitting each other.

But the newly created AD44 assembly at the eastern end of the valley appears to relocate members Laura Friedman and Adrien Nazarian to the same district, which includes Burbank, North Hollywood, Valley Village and Sherman Oaks.

The commissioners noted that one goal in the San Fernando Valley was to heed the voices of public commentators not to allow districts to roam south of Mulholland – and to keep the valley and its communities of interest as “perfect” as possible.

A statewide independent commission system was established by voters through Proposition 11 in 2008. The idea was to encourage good government reform and take election regulation out of the hands of self-interested elected officials.

Of paramount interest in this process has been the public input of communities – groups united by common policy concerns. Public input was collected from all corners of the area.

The commissioners were guided by the Voting Rights Act and the need to create fair districts and equitable districts. Actually.

Despite that commission’s independence from the Legislature, there was no way to please everyone. There were still winners and losers in those communities of interests.

On Monday night, some public commentators condemned the maps, including the Armenian American community, who cried out divisions in the traditional communities of interest. Others condemned the split of communities in the Antelope Valley and the northwest San Fernando Valley.

At the state senate level, where the commission is tasked with creating districts with 1 million people, state Sen. Susan Rubio’s sprawling San Gabriel Valley District 22 has lost several Asian-American communities, including San Gabriel, Alhambra, Monterey Park, Rosemead and. Arcadia.

Those communities would include Pasadena, Glendale, Altadena in District 25 of State Sen. Anthony Portantino.

Politics changes shape in LA County as final maps for Congress, Legislature, State Senate are released
Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) speaks during the Covid Facts Forum and Candlelight Vigil at Azusa City Hall on Saturday, June 26, 2021 in Azusa, Calif. (Photo: Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

The District of Rubio would extend eastward into Pomona and San Bernardino County, where it would include Ontario and Chino.

Observers said the inclusion of the heavily Asian American West San Gabriel Valley community in District 25 could be a boon to potential AAPI candidates.

Each district has an index called “Civil Voting Age Population Percentage”, which measures the percentage of a particular ethnic group – Black, White, AAPI, Latino – in that district. In the reconstituted 25th, Asians get a CVAP of 30.3%, which is considered quite high.

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