Los Angeles City Atti. Mike Foyer announced on Monday that he will speed up his timetable for doubling the size of the city council, saying he wants the ballot vote next year rather than 2024.
Feuer, who is running for mayor, said he has decided to act more aggressively on his proposal in the wake of the ongoing debate over the city’s efforts to reshape its council’s 15 boroughs.
A 21-citizen commission made up of political appointees presented its proposed neighborhood redistribution map to the city council on Friday. In its report, the commission called for an increase in the number of municipal districts and stated that in the future, the process of redistribution of districts in the city should be taken out of the control of the council and should be truly independent.
Feuer said it would take about 320,000 valid voter signatures to qualify to vote in November 2022 to amend the city’s charter and increase the size of the council. According to him, these signatures will need to be provided in mid-June.
“It will take an army of volunteers across Los Angeles to change the status quo,” he said. “But this is a key topic – the status quo doesn’t work for us in Los Angeles.”
Feuer made his announcement a day before the council begins to consider the commission’s plan for the redistribution of districts, which has received support from local groups in some parts of the city and strong criticism in others.
Supporters of the proposed map say it will achieve several key goals, such as ensuring that the city has 5.7 municipal districts entirely within the San Fernando Valley, reflecting the region’s population; locating the Koreatown within a single municipal area; and maintaining representation of blacks and Hispanics in key areas of the city.
Opponents of the commission’s proposed map say it has caused unrest in the Valley, and is pushing for significant changes in the areas represented by Bob Blumenfield, Paul Crecorian and Nitya Raman. In a few blocks, voters who voted for these politicians will find themselves with a new councilor.
In September, Feuer announced that he plans to push for an electoral measure in 2024 to double the number of municipal districts, as well as halve the salaries of councilors. At the time, he argued that Angelenosa would be better served by a larger number of councilors.
Standing outside City Hall on Monday, Feuer said he would instead begin collecting signatures in the next few months.
If such a measure is taken next year, the city will begin a new process of redistributing districts to change the boundaries of a larger group of municipal districts. The ballot measure will ensure that the process is completely independent without the participation of the council or politicians, Feuer said.
Council constituency boundaries “should not be based on the personal interests of politicians,” he said. “This is a recipe for behind-the-scenes deals.”