Backlash mounts over West San Fernando Valley district – Spectrum News 1

LOS ANGELES — To explain the outrage over Los Angeles’ newly proposed west San Fernando Valley City Council District, Teresa Cedeno invited Spectrum News 1 on a tour that started in her Canoga Park neighborhood, which has no sidewalks.

“We really need more resources invested in our community to bring it up,” she said.


What You Need To Know

  • The new West Valley district, ambiguously called “4-or-2,” contains Canoga Park, Winnetka, Reseda and Lake Balboa

  • LA’s Redistricting Commission declined to decide who should represent District “4-or-2,” leaving it up between two Council members Paul Krekorian or Nithya Raman

  • The City Council will have a chance to change the map before the new borders go into effect Jan. 1

  • Krekorian called the process “fundamentally flawed”

The new West Valley district, ambiguously called “4-or-2,” contains Canoga Park, Winnetka, Reseda and Lake Balboa. The majority would be Latino, but rather than empowering her community, Cedeno is upset that the 21-member Redistricting Commission carved out important landmarks such as the Warner Center and instead placed them in District 3, a primarily white district to the south.

“It’s segregation, right? Put all the poor people and low-income people together and just give them scraps,” Cedeno said. “Meanwhile, those that have a lot of resources can continue to accumulate resources.”

LA’s 21-member Redistricting Commission declined to decide who should represent “4-or-2,” leaving it up between two council members who don’t live there: Paul Krekorian or Nithya Raman. The other would represent Hollywood Hills, North Hollywood, Valley Glenn and parts of Los Feliz.

While Canoga Park voters last voted for Council in 2017, under the proposed map, Cedeno wouldn’t go to the polls again until 2024, a seven-year span between votes.

“The idea of leaving over a quarter of a million people in a district that won’t have a chance to vote for over seven years, is outrageously anti-democratic,” said Krekorian, who is prepared to throw out the map and start from scratch.

The City Council will have a chance to change the map before the new borders go into effect Jan. 1.

“I am entirely prepared to do that,” Krekorian said. “I think this process has been an embarrassment.”

In a statement Thursday, the Commission’s chair defended the map in a statement.

“We conducted a process that secured the civic participation of over 12,000 Angelenos who submitted both spoken and written testimony, and for the first time in the City’s history drew the map boundaries in full view of the public – not in the back rooms of City Hall,” Fred Ali said. “It wasn’t our job to protect elected officials, their jobs, or their political futures.”

In the final map, Cedeno was happy to see the commission at least placed her alma matter Pierce College in the new West Valley district.

“Those are the populations that are going to be attending here,” she said.

After all, what use is having power if you don’t have a say where you live.