Who Killed Koreatown?

Monday, August 11, 2014

While I am lazy and just getting to reading some emails, I wanted to make sure and post this up on the redistricting of Koreatown - and while I can't claim to know all of the ins and outs - I pass on to you:

Redistricting is conducted once every ten years after the census and district lines are redrawn to reflect the changes in the population. In California, hearings are held throughout the state and KAC spoke at various public hearings to the State Redistricting Commission to ensure that Koreatown was kept in a single district on all levels to keep the special language needs and interests of the Koreatown residents intact. Thanks to assistance from the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Redistricting (CAPAFR) and KAC’s active participation in the State Redistricting process, Koreatown was kept whole in five State Assembly districts, two State Senate districts, and two Federal House of Representatives districts, respectively. Los Angeles County kept Koreatown whole after the 2000 redistricting process and fortunately, Koreatown remained in a single County Supervisorial District after the 2011 redistricting process.

The Korean American community benefited from being kept whole pursuant to the LAPD Olympic Station boundaries for the Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly and County districts. However, the Los Angeles City Redistricting Commission was riddled with highly irregular actions, starting with a lack of transparency during the redistricting process.

By splitting Koreatown into two districts, the City denied the Koreatown community the ability to vote collectively for a single City Council representative who would represent the community’s unique interests. The community still lacks many things, including public green space, government-funded senior centers, low income housing and road maintenance.

Five Koreatown residents sued the City of Los Angeles after thousands of requests to put Koreatown into one district were ignored. Two prestigious law firms, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow P.C. represent the Koreatown plaintiffs. A second lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs in City Council Districts 8, 9, and 10.

The City Redistricting issue is far from over and the litigation is likely to last several years. KAC will ensure that the Korean American voice is not ignored, and will continue to monitor the progress for the redistricting lawsuits.

Read more here.