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No L.A. voice in redistricting

November 16, 2010 |  8:00 am

When a 14-member citizens commission meets next year to redraw legislative district boundaries for California, it will not include any resident from the biggest city in the state, Los Angeles.

The list of 36 finalists being considered for the commission includes two residents each from Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland but none who lives in Los Angeles, which does not please L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others.

"The mayor is obviously concerned that no one from the city of Los Angeles — the largest city in the state of California — is on the commission, as it should be a balanced representation of the state population,'' said Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the mayor.

Although the city has more than 10% of the state's population, two L.A. residents who were in the running to serve on the panel have been eliminated from consideration by legislative leaders.

Lawmakers have pared the list of contenders from 60 to 36 people, and the first eight commission members will be selected in a random drawing conducted by the state auditor's office Thursday. Those members will then pick the other six members of the panel. The commission was approved by state voters in 2008 and will redraw the legislative districts next year based on the latest census data.

The list of finalists was pared down by the four Democratic and Republican leaders of the state Senate and Assembly, including Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles). Each was allowed to veto six names, but they lumped together their individual decisions so that it won't be known which members vetoed the two L.A. applicants.

Perez declined to say who axed any chance for L.A. representatives to serve on the panel.

"The speaker is disappointed there are no applicants from the city of Los Angeles who will be serving on the redistricting commission,'' said Shannon Murphy, a spokeswoman for Perez. "There were only two applicants from the city of Los Angeles in the pool provided to legislative leaders by the Bureau of State Audits and none from the parts of Los Angeles the speaker represents."

The list of finalists does include residents of other L.A. County cities, including two from Santa Monica and one each from Culver City, Arcadia, Palmdale, Signal Hill, Inglewood, Claremont and San Gabriel.

Although he does not live in L.A., finalist M. Andre Parvenu of Culver City knows the bigger city well. He is a zoning analyst for the Los Angeles Planning Department.

Parvenu's boss, Mayor Villaraigosa, will cooperate with the panel, Hamilton said.

"Despite the lack of representation from the city of Los Angeles, the mayor looks forward to working with the new commission to ensure their success," she said.

-- Patrick McGreevy

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