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Wesson Sets Redistricting Hearing Schedule

The city council president announced the hearings will be held in quick succession, further angering some of his city council colleagues who say their voices and the voices of their constituents have not been heard.

City Council President Herb Wesson today released a schedule for three public hearings to gather input on new council district boundaries recommended by the 21-member Redistricting Commission.

The City Council's Rules & Elections Committee, which is chaired by Wesson, will hold an initial hearing on Friday, followed by public hearings on March 5 in San Pedro, March 6 in Van Nuys and March 7 downtown.

The schedule calls for the full City Council to hold a final hearing on the maps on March 16.

"This review process includes opportunities for council members to propose revisions to the maps submitted by the redistricting commissions," Wesson wrote in a letter to City Clerk June Lagmay. "Expeditious adoption of any district changes is necessary to allow the City Attorney and Bureau of Engineering to prepare the final technical documents and ordinances necessary to implement any adopted changes in a timely manner."

The commission last week approved new council district boundaries that angered some neighborhood and community groups, including some in Koreatown, Westchester and Toluca Lake.

City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who has been highly critical of the Redistricting Commission, called the schedule compressed and said "it will not allow the public to participate at the commission level."

Perry introduced a motion last week asking for a more robust public hearing process than the one proposed by Wesson, including public input time scheduled for each council district and a "racially polarized voting analysis."

"I'm extremely concerned that my motion will not see the light of day," Perry said.

Perry and Councilman Bernard Parks, who lost lucrative parts of their districts and had their homes cut out of their current districts, have threatened legal action to block the new maps from going into effect.

The new maps gave the lion's share of Perry's downtown district to Councilman Jose Huizar and moved Baldwin Hills from Parks' district to Wesson's. The commission also moved the University of Southern California out of Parks' district into Perry's.

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