City Council redistricting leaves Valley College unclear in its representative
Either Paul Krekorian or Nithya Raman will represent Valley Glen upon approval of map.
By Matthew Royer, Political News Editor
Valley College has been left up in the air as Los Angeles finishes up the 2020-2021 city council redistricting process.
After rounds of deliberation, community meetings and argumentation that lasted weeks, the LA City Council has received their new map of districts which will represent the city for the next ten years. While the districts still have to be certified by the council and Mayor Eric Garcetti, the results come after the redistricting commission compiled what they felt were the fairest possible allotment of neighborhoods per district. Valley Glen, currently represented by Councilmember Paul Krekorian, was drawn into a district currently titled “02 or 04,” which leaves residents of the neighborhood and Valley students unsure whether Krekorian will remain their councilmember or if newcomer to city hall Nithya Raman will take over its representation.
The district is titled “02 or 04” due to redistricting leading to a new San Fernando Valley-based section being designed by the commission. The development takes three previous districts held by Krekorian, Raman and Bob Blumenfield, and divies up communities based on certain factors, including racial diversity, income, small businesses and socioeconomic backgrounds of individuals living in the districts.
After the redistricting process took the three districts and reallocated them, Raman voiced her frustrations.
“Not providing clarity regarding which district is which has real consequences,” wrote Raman on Twitter. “Our constituents are being left in the dark on how to engage on this high stakes issue.”
Krekorian displayed similar complaints to the LA Times.
“What should have been an opportunity for public engagement has instead become a sad exercise in backroom deal-making,” said Krekorian.
Both Krekorian and Raman were elected to their seats on the city council last year, the former reelected to serve his eleventh year in the position. If approved by the council, the map would place both of them in similar, but different districts than the ones that elected them. There is also a possibility they could be placed in completely different districts leaving constituents with new representatives to the body.
The discussion over districts did not just stay in the Valley. In the city, redistricting led to a tightly contested set of votes setting the groundwork for which district USC would be placed into. The commission moved to place the university park based school into Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s district on Oct. 18, but the next day, the Trojans were sent back to Curren Price’s district by vote of 11-9.
Redistricting occurs every ten years after the U.S. Census is certified. Council districts must be realigned based on shifts in demographics across the city. While the city council is the first to be redesigned, the California state legislatures and congressional districts will also be redrawn by year-end.
The city council is set to vote on the new map by Oct. 29, according to the LA Times’ David Zahniser on Twitter, who covers city hall.