This is Councilmember Parks' News Letter release - Re: Redistricting Hearing

Dear Constituent,
I'm pissed, and, you should be to.
I'm sure many of you have never heard me use such strong language, as Fox 11's Hal Eisner noted when I spoke to him last night outside of the Redistricting Commission meeting, but sometimes it's necessary in order to convey the magnitude and seriousness of a situation.
The City of Los Angeles has a population of 3.8 million, who are represented on a City Council of only 15 members. That means each member represents and advocates for about 250,000 people, or a population roughly equivalent to Orlando, FL, Norfolk, VA or Baton Rouge, LA. Los Angeles is also one of the most diverse cities in the world with  a population containing numerous races, ethnicities, nationalities, languages, religions, and income levels. This makes it even more imperative that the once-a-decade process of drawing the geographic boundaries for the city council districts be inclusive, fair, transparent and in compliance with the law.
Unfortunately, it has been just the opposite.
From the failure to select an impartial Executive Director, to holding secret sub-committee meetings where maps were drawn outside the public's view, to blatant gerrymandering of districts based solely on race (and in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965), to an arrogant disregard for wishes of residents expressed during public comment, this process has been a farce from day one, intended only to give the illusion that the public has any say in the outcome.
Of course, I'm not exactly unbiased, since I represent, along with Councilwoman Jan Perry, one of the two districts the Commission strategically drew to include only the poorest of the poor, and exclude any thriving business centers or economic engines that a Councilmember could leverage to improve the plight of those that live in desperation.
I encourage you to read what the Los Angeles Times, Downtown News, LA Weekly, KCET, former Daily News editor Ron Kaye, have written about the process.
The final meeting of the redistricting commission will take place next Wednesday, February 29th - 4PM, at Van Nuys City Hall,14410 Sylvan Street, Van Nuys, CA 9140. I encourage you to attend, even though the Commission has shown you - the public - such disregard and demonstrated an unwillingness to listen. It will help bolseter the case of any future lawsuits that challenge this obviously flawed process.
After the Commission finalizes their proposal next week, their recommendations will then be sent to the City Council for modification and/or approval.
While the Commissioners were appointed, Councilmembers were elected, and it's up to you the voter to hold them accountable. Each councilmember will have to go on record and show - through their vote - where they stand, and whether or not they are willing to rubber-stamp the Commission's actions, condemning South LA -  in the words of my colleague Councilwoman Jan Perry - to "economic apartheid."
Make sure you stay up to date with all the latest developments on my webpage
www.bernardparks.com or twitter @BernardCParks and on Facebook at Facebook.com/CouncilmemberParks and Facebook.com/BernardCParks.

Thank you for your continued interest in the Great Eighth!

Respectfully,

BERNARD C. PARKS Councilmember

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