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Who will represent you on the LA County Board of Supervisors? With new maps, answer getting closer – Daily News

Los Angeles County is a step closer to a final map of its projected political boundaries after the county’s redistricting commission on Thursday, Oct. 28, approved the final four proposed efforts, in draft form, to redraw supervisorial districts based on the latest Census data.

At stake with a new county map are areas that the five current and future County supervisors represent for the next 10 years, voting power in those areas and resources that have traditionally gone to them. Communities — including cities and key neighborhoods of interest among them — could remain whole or be divided between the county’s five districts, based on how boundaries are redrawn.

No matter what, each district has to be redrawn to ensure that close to 2 million people are in each, a daunting task for a redistricting citizen’s redistricting commission that hasn’t done this before — in this county more populous than some states.

All told, the varying visions have sparked concern about preserving some areas, while also ensuring that others are not isolated geographically or racially, or grouped with communities that they have nothing in common with.

Whittled from the several submitted, the four finalist maps come from three sources: MALDEF (The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), The People’s Bloc and from Brian Stecher, a member of the county’s citizen’s redistricting commission, which will by Dec. 15 have to settle on a final map.

In some cases, the maps the commission approved on Thursday split up the San Fernando Valley, parts of which would be represented by different supervisors. Others do not split it up.

Others propose carving the San Gabriel Valley into three pieces. Another keeps it in two.

Long Beach could be split under the proposals, and Pomona could join Long Beach under one configuration.

Under MALDEF’s map, Latinos — who under the 2020 Census, now represent  38.82% of the county’s eligible voters — gain majority voting power in two districts: District 1, currently represented by Hilda Solis, and District 3, currently represented by Sheila Kuehl.

Maldef says its map keeps East San Gabriel Valley communities “whole” in District 1 while allowing for Asian communties of interest on the West SanGabriel Valley and Hacienda Heights to Diamond Bar to be together in District 5. Meanwhile, it keeps Gateway cities — such as Whittier, Pico Rivera and Montebello — along the I-605 “united.”

District 1 would also encompass a swatch of northwest Long Beach, splitting the city between it and District 4.  District 4 would run up the coast, through Palos Verdes, El Segundo  and Santa Monica and into the San Fernando Valley, west of the 405.  East of the 405 in the San Fernando Valley would be in District 3, with District 5 including parts of Glendale and Burbank.

MALDEF said its plan “unites Latinos in LA County in a compact, reasonable manner, while respecting current Black opportunity and giving the Asian community a strong influence (or coalition) district.”

The proposed maps can be seen at https://redistricting-lacounty.hub.arcgis.com/.

The People’s Bloc, a coalition of groups working for fair redistricting in the county and the city of L.A., proposed splitting the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys into three. The proposed map won praise from the East L.A.  advocates, who are urging commissioners to keep Eastside communities together.

Diego Rodriguez, COO of Alma Community Services, said “the proposed map ensures equitable representation four marginalized communities,” adding that the area shares common historical bonds and resources. That history has borne the brunt of poverty, gentrification and racial injustice, which in the wake of the pandemic, communities in the area want to emerge from the process united.

But in putting together the puzzle pieces, experts note that there are winners and losers to the process.

Henry Fung, himself a mapmaker, was wary of some of the community splitting.

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