One Citizen Perspective of Northeast Redistricting Commission Hearing
There was a special Redistricting Commission meeting on Monday Feburary 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm. hosted at , Thorne Hall.
After completing my 2 and 1/2 mile walk around the Occidental Track I made my way towards Thorne Hall. I entered the location and was instructed by a female seated behind a table in the lobby area to sign in on a sign in sheet. I asked this female unnamed female if this was mandatory and was initially told yes. I then asked this same female how could signing my name be mandatory after all this was a community meeting opened to the public . The female then corrected herself and stated that she had made an error and asked if I would please sign in on the sign in sheet. I then asked a male individual standing near by if he was part the Redistricting Committee ? He stated that he was and that he helped in making the arrangements to host this Commission meeting at Occidental College. I then asked him how much his committee had paid for the use of Thorne Hall and he stated that they obtained the use of Thorne Hall at zero cost.
I then made my way into the Hall itself and found myself a seat. It was already a quarter past the hour and I was somewhat taken back that so few people were in attendance. I did recognize a couple of members of the Highland Park Historical Society and the President ( camera in hand ) and other members of the Northeast Los Angeles Democratic Club and a hand full of folks from the and Mt. Washington area. Oh lets not forget some business owners from York Blvd. Association. The biggest group in attendance by far was Councilman Jose Huizar's staff members. They were all out in force and the way they kept getting up and down from their seats, walking around one, would wonder if they had some type of medical problem?
Prior to the formal start of this hearing each Commission member present ( at least three members were late ) introduced themselves and told all who appointed them to this Commission. Lo and Behold each had been appointed by a Los Angeles City elected official. One Asian female went as far as to state incorrectly I might add that she was appointed by State Controller Wendy Gruel.
Once the public was invited up to address the Commission I observed that several of the Commission members were more in tuned to their cell phone ,blackberries etc. In fact three different members of the community at several times told the Commissioners that the area known as Glassell Park was currently being represented by 3 different city council members. Yet at least 3 Commissioners continued to ask question as to which council district represented the Glassell Park area? I asked myself who are these Commission members, what are their backgrounds and if any of them graduated from high school ?
I would be amiss if I failed to point out the following , the female resident from Glassell Park - Mount Washington area who read from a script and used various adjectives legal terminology that were not only used inappropriately ( time and place ) but that unless one attended law school, obtained a degree in Criminal Justice few would understand what this female individual was trying to say. Then we have one male individual who told the Commissioners that what was used to determine the new Redistricting was nothing more than GERRYMANDERING . And then we heard from the Dr. from El Sereno who truthfully stated to my understanding that one of the main reasons the Highland Park area was being removed from the new Redistricting CD 14 was to allow the current Councilman from CD 14 to continue to receive financial support from the downtown Los Angeles area.
Now if anyone is interested in my opinion , here it is. CD 14 to cover the following areas, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Garvanza , Mount Washington , El Sereno, Lincoln Heights and Boyle Heights and that is all folks. Give all of the downtown area to Jan Perry council district and give all of Glassell park and Atwater Village to one council district.
Here to are a couple of my concerns. Why did Occidental College show favoritism in allowing the Redistricting Committee to rent Thorne Hall at a discounted rate? As per Andrew Westhall Executive Director of Redistricting Commission at such a discounted fee of $ 500.00. As per. Mr Westhall he made the right telephone calls and knew the right people. What does that say for other community groups that want to rent Thorne Hall ? Now I have no personal objections to people selling political bumper stickers but I do object to the sales of political bumper stickers at this community event.