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LAUSD redistricting commission forwards map to LA City Council

Detail of new LAUSD map
Detail of new LAUSD map

The recommended 2012 map for redistricted LAUSD board boundaries was approved by commissioners Wednesday night and heads to the L.A. City Clerk's office today.

The 15-member volunteer commissioners approved the final report for the recommended map at what was their last meeting as a commission, with a 12 to 3 vote. Commissioners Mark Lewis, Jimmie Woods Gray and Dermot Givens voted no.  

All three no-voting commissioners have expressed unease at the process under which the Redistricting Commission came to the final map. Woods Gray has said she was concerned about inadequate public outreach and involvement, and also the fact that the selected map does not accurately reflect the commission's work.

The recommended map was drawn by city-contracted technical director Paul Mitchell, who took input from the public and commissioners to revise a draft map submitted by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials.

On Thursday, NALEO said in a statement that it was disappointed by the final recommended map, which "limited the Latino community's access to fair representation in the electoral process."

The organization urged the L.A. City Council to carefully examine the map and make necessary corrections. Technically the City Council can redraw the map or resubmit an entirely new map if it wants to.

The MALDEF/NALEO map worked to create three strong Latino voter districts. The final recommended map from the commission does that, said the commission's executive director Doug Wance. Wance said the commission looked at citizen voting age in the areas, not necessarily already high-propensity Latino voter areas.

The map now will go to L.A. City Council where their Rules, Eelctions and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee will review it, hold public hearings and ultimately forward it to the council for a final vote, Wance said. He said he expected the final vote would occur by the end of March. The new boundaries would go into effect July 1, Wance said.

"Ultimately the commissioners had an unenviable job," Wance said. "You've got neighborhood councils, neighborhoods, self-identified communities of interests, school feeder patterns, other community organizations, and just city boundaries. All these different artificial lines that have been drawn, and if you...try to draw the perfect lines so you didn't cut across any of them, it's impossible...

"You're never going to make everyone happy, and you're never going to make everything perfect."

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).