Despite two black Los Angeles council members' accusation that the city’s Redistricting Commission violated the federal Voting Rights Act, the city council approved the new political lines, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Council members Jan Perry and Bernard C. Parks argued that race -- which can be taken into account in redistricting, but not more than any other issue -- was the commission’s biggest factor when redrawing political lines. Perry and Parks are primarily upset over the proposed removal of certain neighborhoods from their districts -- Parks lost three primarily black neighborhoods to Council President Herb Wesson, who is also black and appointed the redistricting commissioner; while Perry lost an ethnically diverse neighborhood to another council member, according to the Times.
The city council voted 13-2 on Friday to approve all proposed redistricting changes, with Perry and Parks the only two dissenters.
This isn’t the first time controversy over race-based redistricting has plagued the city, and black advocates aren’t the only to call foul during this redistricting process. L.A.’s Korean American and Latino advocates have also denounced the proposed lines as unfair and unfavorable to their constituents.
In the 1980s, a Latino-heavy district was created after claims that their political power had been weakened, the paper reports.