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Opinion: LAUSD Redistricting Commission Needs to Hear From You

Despite hundreds of thousands of people included in District 4, Commissioner Lindsey Horvath says few West Hollywood residents have offered their feedback on the new district boundaries.

How and where districts are drawn can shape communities' abilities to elect the representatives of their choice. Districts must be made as equal in population as possible and practicable so that communities have equal access to political representation.

Every 10 years, districts are redrawn to account for population changes. A special commission made up of elected board members of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is tasked with advising the Los Angeles City Council on the creation and adoption of a redistricting plan.

Fifteen people are appointed to the Commission: four by the Mayor of Los Angeles, four by the Los Angeles City Council President, and one by each of the seven LAUSD board members. I was appointed by former City Council President Eric Garcetti to serve on this Commission.

Factors that the Commission must consider when drawing the lines include the protection of communities of interest and the Voting Rights Act of 1965—federal legislation that outlaws discriminatory voting practices used to disenfranchise voters based on race or color. Communities of interest are geographically connected populations that share common social and economic interests.

To ensure that the Commission is meeting these and other legal requirements, there have been noticed meetings and public hearings that include testimony from the public for the Commission's consideration when drawing the lines.

Currently, the City of West Hollywood is included in District 4. However, District 4 does not contain all of the schools serving the City of West Hollywood. As a result, city officials, parents and students may need to work with two different board members to address concerns they have within LAUSD and their children's schools.

Based on feedback from the community, the expressed goal of the West Hollywood City Council was to unify all of the LAUSD schools serving West Hollywood into one District through the redistricting process. This goal is something for which I have advocated - and continue to advocate - for as a Commissioner.

On Feb. 7, a public hearing for District 4 was held to provide members of the community with an opportunity to address Commissioners before draft maps were drawn and circulated. Despite having hundreds of thousands of people included in the District, only four members of the public chose to provide comment on the process at this meeting, none of whom lived within the City of West Hollywood.

The Commission has since approved three maps for circulation. Each map is intended to spark discussion and elicit feedback from communities on the best ways to draw the boundaries. Maps A & B would divide schools serving West Hollywood between the newly-drawn Districts 4 and 5.

The map proposed by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Education Fund & Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) would divide schools serving West Hollywood between the newly-drawn Districts 1 and 4.

On Feb. 15, I proposed a motion to request a 30-day extension for the LAUSD redistricting process in order to allow ample time for additional input from the community. Despite receiving the support of 50 percent of the 14 voting Commissioners, the motion did not pass, which means that final maps must be completed within two weeks to submit to the Los Angeles City Council.

As a result, the final regional public hearing for Districts 1 and 4 is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. at Hamilton High School. The final regional public hearing for District 5 is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. at Hollenbeck Middle School Auditorium.

These public hearings are intended to focus on testimony regarding specific Districts; however, all comments will be heard and entered into the record. The Commission will then meet on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. in the LAUSD Board Room downtown to determine a final draft map to submit to the Los Angeles City Council for approval. A final map must be submitted by March 1, as required by
Los Angeles City Ordinance.

I encourage the residents to share your opinions with the Commission to ensure that your voice is heard. You can submit testimony to the Commission through the website - http://redistricting2011.lacity.org/ - or by emailing redistricting.LAUSD@lacity.org  - or calling 213-473-5961. You can also draw your own maps to submit to the Commission through the Advancement Project's website - www.redrawlausd.org.

—Lindsey Horvath, LAUSD Redistricting Commissioner

Wendy February 20, 2012 at 03:41 AM
I don't give a crap about demographics. I will say it again. LAUSD only spends money where Latinos live. They take the dollars from the where the white populations live and give nothing in return. They give nothing to West Hollywood other than rearanging some old chairs in schools built years ago. You need to wake up and quit drinking the coolaid. They spare no expense where the latinos live. They have new schools going up every so many blocks with new pools. Latinos run LAUSD and Latinos get the new schools. That's how it works. People take care of their own first. If you do not think so try moving into a Latino neighborhood and find out how fast you ejected. The cops will even be mad at you. They do not put back in the white communities. Those schools have not been updated in over 40 years. They get by because people like yourself are afraid to call it like it is. Latinos run Los Angeles and LAUSD. Part of the reason rents are going up in West Hollywood is because white families have been run out of other parts of Los Angeles. The Gay community looks pretty good to them. They are not going to get their tires cut and kids beat up. All of the adult education has turned to English ESL on the west side for the most part. Go look at any Night classes listed and I dare you to find anything that pertains to Americans who live in the area. Try to find any Technical schools run by LAUSD in Hollywood or the West Side.
MarkD February 20, 2012 at 08:19 AM
You're a sad, bitter, out of touch, racist woman. I pity you and pray for you. "I don't give a crap about demographics." No, you don't. You never let actual facts crowd your bigoted opinions.
Wendy February 20, 2012 at 06:04 PM
No you are the racist. Your a self hating far out left wing loon. LAUSD does not build any new schools in the west side or anywhere where white people live. LAUSD is tribal. At least I am not a wimp and can speak out for unfairness. Demographics don't mean crap. Demographics are for liars. That does not justify stealing from the west side and reinvesting all in the east side. White people cannot even send their kids to public school anymore. Those are the real demographics. The only one out of touch is you and those who have been brainwashed to expect less. Pity and Pray for yourself first. Your facts suck. During the civil war they had house servants who were against the field workers getting freedom. You are sort of a house servant for LAUSD. In your world white American students should always be secondary choice in learning behind illegal alien family students and get whatever leftover bones they throw at you. That is the justification behind your demographics and why the west side has the crappiest schools in the district. I ran into a guy like you the other day. He told me that there was no such thing as an illegal alien. I pulled out a pocket dictionary and showed it to him. He told me that the dictionary was wrong. Are you the same person?
MarkD February 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Amazing... You just continue to prove my point over and over. You're a bigot and a racist. And you clearly hate it when people identify you for what you know yourself to be. You must really, really dislike yourself intensely. My pity and my prayers on you.
Ali February 21, 2012 at 01:21 AM
HAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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