Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors rejects new initiative process

Op-Ed: Fair and independent redistricting? Los Angeles County does it already.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, meeting in a hotel ballroom in Burbank, discussed a long-standing initiative process for redistricting, in which the group that controls the board, which is dominated by candidates from one party, would decide which districts should be created. The board has done this more than 30 years ago, when it created districts in an attempt to prevent gerrymandering.

Los Angeles County has been through the same process before — back in the 1970s — and it has not produced gerrymandered districts.

In a Los Angeles Times report, Supervisor Don Knabe, R-Van Nuys, said he and other supervisors did not support any new initiative process.

“I understand that this countywide initiative process is being proposed as a means to reduce the power of the Board of Supervisors and we do not see that as being a good way to do it,” Knabe said. “We certainly do not support an initiative process which restricts the ability of people to be heard.”

Knabe said the idea of the new initiative system was “too much of a leap.” The board is working with the city of Los Angeles and the county Registrar of Voters on a new redistricting system, which would require a new redistricting initiative. “We’ve heard many concerns about the process… It’s premature,” said Knabe. “We are not ready to commit to this yet. But, we don’t think it’s a good idea.”

That system, as conceived by the Registrar of Voters, would be a hybrid of the district-making process that has been going on for years and the process used by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors uses what is called the legislative redistricting method.

In the legislative redistricting process, the Board of Supervisors creates districts from a map already drawn.

In the second method, the county Registrar of Voters creates districts using the same method used for drawing the district boundaries for the Los Angeles County

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