By Ted AYALA
From far and wide, they came to the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration – some 800 people altogether. From the South Bay, Palmdale, East Los Angeles, and everywhere in between. Crowds gathered in stormy debate over the proposed plans to redistrict Los Angeles County.
Supervisors Gloria Molina and Mark Ridley-Thomas propose redistricting that would reflect Hispanics’ growing voting clout and population in the county – and potentially allowing the appointment of another Hispanic on the board of supervisors. Hispanics are now the largest single ethnic group in the county, making up 48% of its population.
Los Angeles County District 5, where the Crescenta Valley is located, would see the loss of North Hollywood, Monrovia and Rosemead to neighboring districts in Molina’s plan. Ridley-Thomas’ plan would cede West Covina and Claremont to neighboring District 1. In opposition to their plans is Supervisor Don Knabe’s redistricting plan, which would have District 5 ceding only West Covina.
Supervisor Mike Antonovich, through his representatives, has voiced his opposition to the Molina and Ridley-Thomas plans.
“Supervisor Antonovich believes that it’s in the community’s best interests to keep the district together along geographical, not demographical, boundaries,” said the supervisor’s assistant chief deputy Lori Glasgow. “He doesn’t believe in gerrymandering for the sake of political goals. Geographical boundaries must be respected.”
Final voting on the county’s redistricting is to take place on Sept. 27.