Last week, I found out that L.A. County is planning to redraw district lines. Several of the proposals move Crescenta Valley into another district, away from Supervisor Antonovich’s 5th district. Other proposals split Glendale into two districts, or split Altadena away from La Cañada and La Crescenta. Below is the letter I wrote (as an individual) to the boundary review committee; by the time you read this, there will only be two opportunities left to be heard at public hearing, and no opportunity to offer your own proposal.
First it is imperative that all of the unincorporated areas along the San Gabriel Mountains remain in the 5th District. They share Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff resources and are familiar with Supervisor Antonovich and his office. Supervisor Antonovich was the first to publicly question the U.S. Forest Service response to the Station Fire which devastated our area. His office is familiar with our communities, and any changes would be counter-productive, requiring years to come up to speed on community issues. The impact of splitting lines within incorporated cities is much less than the impact of splitting up unincorporated areas that rely on the county for all our government services.
Secondly, I would like to formally protest the extreme lack of notification within my community to this entire process. There was no notice or stories in our local paper. No press release was sent to them, no notice was given to our local Crescenta Valley Town Council even though your website specifically mentions communications to local town councils as part of its planned outreach!
There were no local meetings held in Altadena, Crescenta Valley or Glendale areas, although there were two meetings held in the far north of the fifth district area (Castaic, Lancaster and Covina). Place the locations of meetings held on a map and see how centrally located they were.
The only reason I can think to keep an entire community in the dark is political. Personally, I feel the redistricting committee has failed to live up to the expectation of not only the supervisors, but its residents as well. The County of Los Angeles has a duty to inform its residents, and the Supervisors certainly have an expectation that reasonable efforts will be taken to inform their constituents prior to any redistricting efforts. Instead, the community is slowly learning of these efforts only days before the public hearing on July 6th. Redistricting plans were due on May 27th, but none are from the Crescenta Valley area, as none of us were even aware of the redistricting efforts underway.
This has placed our entire community in a disadvantage as we are now not allowed to create a plan for county consideration, to participate in public meetings, to spread the word and encourage participation from our citizens. This bias against our community puts us at an extreme disadvantage in this process.
The entire redistricting process is designed to ensure compliance with the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. That amendment is designed to ensure fairness in how a government treats its people. None of this feels very fair to me.
Editor’s Note: Steve Goldsworthy is a member of the CV Town Council.