Last Night @ City Council is a weekly report on the goings on of Long Beach’s City Council by Forthe.Org. This weeks features contributions from The Sprawl Chief-Editor Joe Brizzolara. Matters discussed include: proposed Charter Amendments that could dramatically alter Long Beach’s electoral process (the creation of a Citizens Commission charged with redistricting and an end to a term limits exemption for write-in candidates) and Water Department; an appropriation of funds to combat homelessness; and debate concerning the browning of the city’s green spaces.
The Council last night held the first of three special meetings required to get five mayor-proposed amendments of the city charter on the November ballot.
The first amendment proposes to establish a Citizens Redistricting Commission in order to address long-running gerrymandering of council district boundaries. Under the current system, city staff develops new district maps, which then go before the council for approval.
If passed, the new amendment would create a commission of citizens who would be charged with redrawing districts that would replace the current ones in 2021. The districts would have to be geographically compact, utilize natural boundaries, and keep neighborhoods intact.
The city’s Cambodian community has been both a main target of discrimination in redistricting, and a leader in the fight for it, as was acknowledged last night by the mayor and the public… Read More