I am appalled by the Redistricting Draft maps released on January 25th as much as the recent goings-on at City Hall. If I could, I would run an Impeach Them All campaign, directed at everyone who chopped up my Council District. They would be ousted with their greedy forks and knives. Transparency? Hah! Bus ride through the Council Districts to fully understand what every resident and "communities of interest" spoke about at 15 Redistricting Hearings? I think the city rented a bus and drove everyone to a Starbucks, where they all had a great laugh at our taxpaying expense.
I live in Council District 8 -- for the time being. If I have my way, that's where I will remain. I may get to keep Leimert Park Village, but the Leimert Park residents won't. What?!?!?! That's just what CD 8 residents asked for -- to be separated from their Cultural Mecca. Good grief. Council District 9... Wow. Little Tokyo lopped off and Watts looped in. Does anyone see any economic health out of that drawing? And good luck on keeping that LAX expansion in check with Westchester becoming CD 8's southwestern corner.
When driving South from the 10 down La Brea, what do you see? It's not exactly the prettiest route. La Brea is pot-holed, there is graffiti. Closer to home, there is illegal dumping along the Baldwin Village retaining wall, the alley separating Don Ricardo and Jim Gilliam Park is often littered and rarely cleaned.
Driving South from the 10 down La Brea to the alley? That's CD 10.
What I, personally, need everyone to consider when looking at the new map where CD 10 has gobbled land up to the Baldwin Hills Estates boundaries is all CD 10 did was remove that neighborhood's middle-class neighbors in Baldwin Vista, Village Green, Crenshaw Manor, and Leimert Park. The portion of Baldwin Village inside CD 10 almost matches current boundaries.
I want Baldwin Village to be more prosperous. And, with the proposed Kaiser facility at Marlton Square, improvements at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, and the Senior residency on Buckingham Road, we should see even greater improvements as families move into the area's apartment homes. The enemy of Baldwin Hills view-rific property values are not the residents of Baldwin Village, but the slum lords who maintain inferior housing and CD 10's Pico Boulevard favoritism.
The next decade will see tremendous changes in historic Baldwin HIlls/West Adams/Leimert Park. The area's affordability and Culver City adjacency -- in addition to two light rail lines -- will make the area more attractive to everyone. USC's renewal will tendril west, as will the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza/Marlton Square renovations. "The Area Formerly Known As the Jungle" is just a distraction to divide a neighborhood from standing with Leimert Park on an equitable and fair Crenshaw/LAX rail and alongside Baldwin Vista to keep the Kenneth Hahn Park and PXP's Inglewood Oil Fields in check.
None of us can afford to be misled by what we see today. We must stay focused on the future we want to shape! We are *all* the residents of the Baldwin Hills. We need to unite. Let's Occupy 8.
Attend the local Redistricting Hearing on Saturday February 11, 2012. 11 a.m. West Angeles Church of God in Christ, 3045 South Crenshaw Boulevard.