City Council rejects new district maps | News

PALMDALE — City Council on Wednesday rejected the recommended maps of new council member districts by the council-appointed redistricting advisory commission, returning them to the commission for further recommendations to be considered within the next two weeks.

The vote was 4 to 1 to reject both cards, with Council member Juan Carrillo dissenting.

The 11-member Redistricting Advisory Commission was established by the Council to recommend new district boundaries using 2020 census data and following redistricting guidelines established in state and federal laws.

With the Board’s rejection of its recommendation, the Commission will need to meet within seven days to refine its recommendation, based on the reasons given by the Board for the rejection. New maps must be published for seven days before the Council can consider them.

The two maps discussed by the Council on Wednesday were one created by a coalition of Latin American organizations called ALVA and the other submitted by the public. Both were reviewed by the city’s consultant, NDC, and met the necessary criteria.

Pro Tem Mayor Richard Loa moved to reject both recommended maps.

The ALVA map, in particular, fell short of the requirement to be compact, he said, with District 3 running north to south, with a small ribbon connecting the two sections to the south of the district. factory 42.

He also argued that he failed to meet the community adjacency requirement, separating Antelope Valley Country Club from housing east of Division Street.

“It seems to me that there was an intention that is not driven by the desire to keep communities together, but rather by the pursuit of a political agenda,” Loa said, adding that he thinks this shows partisan discrimination by placing two incumbent Council members in a district. .

Loa added that he felt the two recommended maps were drawn to target certain Council members to be removed, and that those supporting the ALVA map “belong to the same political party and are trying to eliminate an adversary, a political opponent.” .

It appears the ALVA map would place Loa and council member Austin Bishop in District 2, although Loa’s comments focused on himself and District 4 council member Juan Carrillo as two Latino members of the advice. Loa said the recommended maps would compromise that representation.

Carrillo, who made a superseding motion to accept the ALVA map, which died for lack of a second, noted that the two maps create three of the four districts with a majority Latino population, which he said would create a tie. chances of having a Latino elected. .

Carrillo said the rejection of the maps is disrespectful to the Commission and the community that participated in the process, a sentiment that was echoed by some members of the public who spoke after the vote.

Public comments received on Wednesday and at earlier public hearings were overwhelmingly in favor of the ALVA card.

Mayor Steve Hofbauer said the demographics of the proposed maps are not that different from the current map.

The Council was concerned that the Commission had recommended two maps, instead of the four that had originally been selected during their deliberations on January 20. During this meeting, the commissioners voted to reduce the recommendation to the two that were presented on Wednesday.

“I think there was a good faith effort to produce four maps by the Commission, and that was thwarted,” Loa said.

The resolution that created the Commission did not specify how many maps can be presented to Council for review, City Attorney Christopher Beck said.

The two maps ultimately recommended to the Board were chosen from 11, which included those submitted by the public and those drafted by the consultant NDC.

Map 208 designates the west side of the city, essentially from West 10th Street, as District 2, and the far east as District 4. It creates a compact District 3 in the most populated east-central area of ​​the city ​​and District 1 extends from Columbia Road (M Avenue) to the Pearblossom Freeway between Districts 2 and 3.

This map has the most evenly divided population among those considered, with a 0.05% difference between the largest and smallest districts, according to analysis provided by consultant NDC.

Map 208 has three districts with majority Hispanic populations of voting age, with only District 2 having less than half at 33%. For the city as a whole, 52% of the voting-age citizen population is Hispanic, according to 2020 census data provided by NDC.

The second map recommended by the Commission is that produced by the Community organization ALVA. This map is somewhat similar to 208, except that District 1 is compacted between approximately Rancho Vista Boulevard (Avenue P) and the Pearblossom Freeway and approximately 10th Street West and 20th Street East. District 2 is the west side of the city, District 3 extends from Columbia Way past the Pearblossom Freeway, and District 4 is the east side of the city beginning at approximately East 40th Street.

This map shows a difference of 2.84% between the largest and smallest arrondissements. The federal requirement is a deviation of less than 10%; the two recommended cards meet this requirement well.

The current district map, with the latest population figures, still meets that requirement, with an 8.09% discrepancy, said consultant Kristen Parks.

The demographic distribution of the voting-age citizen population using existing constituencies is almost the same as for Map 208.

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