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Crenshaw Family YMCA

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In a 2011 politically-motivated attack on CD8 via the last redistricting process, almost ALL of its main economic engines were removed. It’s constituents have faced continuing serious socio-economic challenges since. CD8 is the only remaining majority black voter district in the city. It was raided, has some of the lowest employment figures in the city, and is absolutely last in tax base amongst districts.


Now, via the current redistricting, is the opportunity to reverse the wrong of the last process, providing greater opportunity, services, and equity for the CD8 community. In order to redistrict equitably, the process must provide CD8 with a reasonable allocation of the city’s economic engines. Those which were a part of the district for decades. The most practical and fair solution, is to return USC and Exposition Park, which were taken, to CD8.


While these two assets were taken by CD9, it also has key assets such as the Convention Center, Staples Center, L.A. Live, and the Ritz-Carlton complex. CD8’s singular asset of any significance is the decayed Crenshaw Mall. The imbalance is clear, and even moreso when comparing other districts. Should CD9 need to receive an accompanying boost, it can receive return of some downtown assets taken from it, adjacent to its existing grouping. The downtown district (14) is extremely asset heavy having been loaded via political favoritism toward a now indicted Councilmember.


At the VERY LEAST, a compromise must be made regarding USC and Expo Park. The independent redistricting commission first voted to return both assets to CD8. This accommodated the request of the Neighborhood Council which contains these assets, to be consolidated together in CD8. After a political play, that decision was reversed in favor of an alleged compromise. Were there actually to be a compromise, the fair one would return the larger asset USC to CD8, leaving Expo in CD9. Yet in the Redistricting Commission’s final report, they moved Expo Park to CD8 and left USC for CD9.


Shockingly, when beginning to finalize the process, the City Council Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee, which unfairly includes the Councilmembers from CD9 & CD14, took action to eliminate even the mediocre compromise in the Redistricting Commission map. Retracting Expo Park back to CD9, again proposing to leave CD8 with only the Crenshaw Mall. This is clearly contrary to the results of a yearlong Commission process, and politically motivated. It is a repeat of the systemic disadvantage repeatedly applied to this community. Actions such as this are a large part of why the community is as challenged as it is now.


To leave the only black-majority district without assets, via a Council action that retracts the one small concession of returning Expo Park, is a clear indication that equity is NOT a primary concern in the process. The action has civil rights implications and must be corrected. Assets must be returned to CD8 to provide the community with reasonable opportunity and fair districting.


John Gonzales

Baldwin Hills Estates

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