Organize with your community and make your voices heard during this citywide reform process!
Check out talking points as well as instructions for leaving public comment or calling into public hearings!
Join Fair Rep LA in demanding an Independent Redistricting Commission and City Council Expansion!
An Independent Redistricting Commission would be composed of city residents, without the influence of appointment by City Council.
This could be done in a couple of different ways:
Some qualified city applicants could be randomly selected, with that group choosing the remaining commissioners from the qualified applicant pool to ensure a geographic representation of communities throughout the City. - Quickly convenes an Independent Commission
Or, City residents could qualify regionally for a ballot, and be elected to the commission by a vote of the public. - More involved & time intensive
Robust public input is a vital component of an equitable Redistricting Commission. To ensure Angelenos are able to participate, several commission meetings should be scheduled on weekends or in the evenings. It is also important to involve communities with lower levels of civic engagement, for example by locating some hearings in the City Districts with the lowest turnout during the previous election cycle. Additionally, while the Brown Act requires at least 72 hours notice prior to all public meetings, and the California Elections Code requires 5 days notice in advance of a public hearing in most cases. scheduling redistricting hearings with at least two full weeks notice would allow time for community organizations to foster civic engagement and build turnout.
One additional reform measure closely linked to an Independent Redistricting Commission - and suggested by the CLA - is the creation of a City Data Bureau, which would be tasked with providing the data and tools necessary to support commission decisions. Angelenos could benefit from the data transparency offered by such a Data Bureau as a whole, and a main advantage would be the permanency of such a department. Rather than data being assembled during the creation of the Independent Redistricting Commission, the City Data Bureau would be around to compile accurate socioeconomic and geographic data, both for future Commissions and the public.
CITY COUNCIL EXPANSION
The size of the Los Angeles City Council will have remained fixed at 15 members for exactly a century when a relevant charter amendment moves before the voters of Los Angeles in 2024. Since 1920, the population of the City has grown from 577,000 to nearly 4 million, with each Councilmember now representing 264,885 residents, rather than the original ~38,000. With Los Angeles growing into the second largest city in the country from the 10th most populous city during the 20's, the ratio of Los Angeles Councilmembers to the city's population is now the largest of any city in the US. Fair Rep LA strongly urges Angelenos to consider City Council Expansion.
To keep in mind:
Potential council expansion options could include a mixture of single-member and either at-large or multi-member districts. A few at-large districts could provide voices on the council that represent the city as a whole in addition to specific geographic districts. Meanwhile, multi-member districts might allow allow more populous communities of interest to remain together while maintaining a equal representation amid a larger city council size.
A City Council Expansion Charter Amendment could expand the city council to a new fixed size, or Angelenos could choose to tie the size of the council directly to the City's population. A new fixed size council, including potential multi-member districts, could be tailored to geographic considerations and current community boundaries. Linking council size to city population, on the other hand, could create a simple and automatic mechanism for future council expansion. Such a system would accommodate rapid population growth, particularly when it is not evenly distributed among current communities.
Another important aspect of Council Expansion to consider is the effect on the City budget. Councilmembers are well compensated for their duties, and each has a sizeable staff as well as a discretionary budget for their district. While it is possible to divide the current council's staff budget among an expanded council size, this would limit the potential of support personnel to engage with constituents and provide robust aid to the council. Thus, while other budgetary needs may be more pliable and accommodating to a greater number of smaller districts, maintaining the current staffing levels would allow future district representatives and their staff to more frequently and directly engage with their constituents and their needs.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Check out our Community Events page to stay informed on upcoming public hearings related to Charter Reform. The city may only provide a few days notice, but we will keep the page as up to date as possible! Make sure to also follow our social media pages (Instagram, Twitter & Facebook) to stay on top of upcoming meetings as well as Fair Rep LA coalition-hosted community events!
Another great way to get involved in this charter reform process is through your local Neighborhood Council. Many Neighborhood Councils have already submitted a Community Impact Statement (CIS) in support of either Independent Redistricting or City Council Expansion, or both! By coordinating with your local Neighborhood Council, you can make sure your community's voice is represented in the charter reform processes. Find out how to identify your Neighborhood Council!
In addition to calling in or coming to one of the public hearings on charter reform, you can submit a written public comment! The link will take you to the public comment section of Council File 22-1196-S1 - which references creating a 2024 Charter Amendment and includes the recent CLA's report. We've listed some potential talking points above, but make sure to explain why City Council Expansion and/or Independent Redistricting are important to YOU and YOUR COMMUNITY, as well as what aspects of these potential representational reforms you'd like to see Los Angeles adopt.