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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

One Citizen Perspective of Northeast Redistricting Commission Hearing

Sparse attendance for Northeast LA Redistricting Commission Hearing at Occidental College. Photo by Tom Topping.
** Blogger's note: A small crowd but the usual activists were in attendance Monday evening at Occidental College's Thorne Hall for the Northeast LA stop of the "Redistricting LA in Backrooms Commission". Boulevard Sentinel's Tom Topping reports on the evening proceedings. In addition, we bring you the observations of the meeting via longtime Northeast LA resident and retire Parole Officer Caroline Aguirre. Beware! Caroline tells it as she sees it---Scott Johnson

Long time 14 th. District Resident comments.

There was a special Redistricting Commission meeting on Monday Feburary 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm. hosted at Occidental College , 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 Glassell Park 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?
Jose Huizar was also in attendance and once this meeting was under way he Huizar took to the microphone  and for more than ten minutes spoke to the seated commission members  for whatever reason only he knows. After all people in attendance were not there to hear Jose brag about his accomplishments they were there to hear the Commission members and then to air and address their own positions on the new proposed Redistricting map.

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.


I invited several Occidental College students to this community event and the comments made by those who attended was what a waste of time. All made mention of the fact that the Commission members must have been sleeping during the public comment period.

Once agin we saw Los Angeles Politics at it's low level.

Caroline Aguirre

Your thoughts ..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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3 Comments:

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

I went to the redistricting sham of a circus, at L.A. city hall, 2/8/12 (6:30pm meeting).

A line of 100 out the door, waiting to get in, with SEIU shirts.

Couldn't get into chambers, it was filled with so many city hall related people. I wonder if the 100 people in line, even knew what they were there for. Kinda like being an extra from Central Casting for TV show audience members.

And, I was glad to see a big group of Koreans show up, since I know they are very unhappy with the direction of the redistricting.

(PRICE IS RIGHT SOUNDER): Whomp, whomp, whomp, whomp...deflated, WHOOOOMP: When I was leaving, after not being able to get into chambers, cause it was filled with city hall, bussed in plants: I SAW THE BIG GROUP OF KOREANS, waiting outside...WITH A KNOWN CITY HALL LOBBYIST that ZD has seen on the other side of the rops, too many times.

So perhaps, the SHADY side, has city hall crony show up with a bunch of Koreans, who say, "WE LIKE WESSSON'S PLAN!" (Wesson rolls with the shady mob crew vs Perry/Parks/Community.)

I've gone to hundreds of council meetings, but I've never seen an orchestrated Ringling Bros circus, like this. A MERE CHARADE TO SAY, "LOOK!!! WE TOOK PUBLIC COMMENT AND LISTENED!"

February 08, 2012 11:57 PM  

Blogger g said:

THIS ALL GOES ON BEHIND THE BACKS OF 99% OF THE PUBLIC. THE POINT IS THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO KNOW WHAT IT WILL MEAN DOWN THE ROAD WHEN THEIR RIGHTS ARE STOLEN BY THEIR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES ON THIS COUNCIL. THE STATE ASSEMBLY IS PLAYING SIMILAR GAMES. THIS IS WHY THE PUBLIC NEEDS A LARGER VOICE AND A MEANS OF REACHING OTHERS. WE HAVE SEEN EFFORTS IN EGYPT AND LIBYA TO CREATE THIS PEOPLE NETWORK IT,S NEEDED MORE THAN EVER.

February 09, 2012 4:40 PM  

Blogger hbkim said:

Caroline, you say that "One Asian female went as far as to state incorrectly I might add that she was appointed by State Controller Wendy Gruel." Your statement is incorrect. Commissioner Helen Kim identified herself as being "appointed by City Controller Wendy Greuel." See Feb. 6 Transcript, p. 5, lines 16-17. Please correct your article.

February 11, 2012 7:45 AM  

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