In January, residents from Koreatown to Highland park filled St. Peter's Italian Catholic Church in Chinatown to make a plea--.
For many of those residents--whose ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods have been divided among multiple Los Angeles City Council Districts for decades--those pleas appeared to have gone unanswered when the Redistricting Commission released their .
Though the maps mostly unite Highland Park, Mount Washington remains divided between three council Districts--1, 13 and 14.
The neighborhood of Garvanza is also split from the rest of Highland Park, serving as a link between Eagle Rock and the booming Dowtown District.
With Dowtown's population increasing to about 51,000--up from about 36,000 in 2000-- in the most recent census, Huizar has targeted the area as a "community of interest."
The result, for many Northeast Los Angeles residents, are proposed city council boundaries that leave them feeling no less divided than they were before.
"The Garvanza area, which we represent on the neighborhood council, is split up from us," said Member Rick Marquez. "The rule is that all the council district's have to be connected, so all the council districts look funky. I was aiming for having all the Northeast connected and represented by one council district."
Huizar also told Patch that he also felt it "made more sense" for Highland Park and Mount Washington to be united under a single council district.
"I support making communities whole under one Council District wherever possible," Huizar said. "Under the proposed maps, all the northeast communities are whole with the exception of Mount Washington and Highland Park. I'd be interested to hear what the residents of Highland Park and Mount Washington have to say about that. I think it makes more sense to have them both under one Council District."
However, speaking at a recent redistricting hearing at Occidental College, Huizar voiced his support for the proposed maps.
MALDEF, APALC Propose Alternate Maps
Both the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the Asian Pacific American Legal Counsel (APALC) have drafted maps that appear to respond to those pleas for unity by bringing together both predominantly Asian and Latino neighborhoods into their own respective council districts.
In MALDEF's proposed map, Northeast Los Angels would be represented by Council District 13, with Northeast neighborhoods from Atwater Village to El Sereno all being represented by the same district.
Council District 1 would span from Lincoln Heights in the East to Echo Park and Elysian Heights in the North and Pico Union in the Southwest.
Councilman Huizar's Council District 14 would retain Boyle Heights while taking on all of united Dowtown.
Though the APALC's map focuses on unifying Asian American communities, it would also result in a mostly unified Northeast Los Angeles.
The map would span from Eagle Rock in the Northeast to Little Tokyo in the Southwest, and would include Atwater Villagge in the Northwest and Boyle Heights in the Southeast. Portions of Echo Park and Dowtown would also be included.
Both maps claim to respond to city imperatives that all districts be equivalent in population of voting age citizens.
The Redistricting Commission must finalize its proposed maps by March 1, which will be voted on by the City Council in July. The new maps will then be put to use in the 2013 elections. The Commissioners will hold another public input hearing on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Walter Reed Middle School at 4525 Irvine Avenue in Studio City.