By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Meanwhile, back in reality, one can only marvel at Alarcon’s agile expediency: Alarcon’s hit piece against Katz was aimed clearly at Latinos, but the earlier hit piece, accusing the firefighter of racism, was targeted toward blacks (12 percent of the district’s registered voters). It was a rare three-cushion racial-polarity shot.
Still, poetic justice could prevail the next time Landslide Alarcon runs for office — possibly for Congress against incumbent Representative Howard Berman. I imagine that an entirely accurate accounting of state Senator Alarcon’s personal life — including and subsequent to his post-inaugural breakup with loyal wife Corina — would provide a good deal of last-minute impetus for a number of undecided voters.
Broadening the Ethnic Franchise
In June, Los Angeles gets to vote on the new city charter.
Whatever low proportion of the citizenry comes out also will vote on expanding the City Council from 15 to 21, or even 25, members. If 25 seats wins, the theory goes, greater Pacoima will have a chance to get a council district of its own. So will the central Asian areas, and so, for that matter, will the perennially, tragically and famously underrepresented enclave of Watts, now a mute appendage of Republican Rudy Svorinich’s San Pedro–based 15th District.
Candidate Barbara Perkins, unsurprisingly, backs the 25-seat proposal. A lot of people don’t. The usual argument against more representation in these parts is that adding more politicians won’t solve any problems. That’s indeed a pithy argument, but carry that to its logical conclusion and we should be pushing for fewer elected officials or no representative government whatsoever.
That reasoning, however, may carry the day, Los Angeles being a city that has long believed Less Is More when it comes to local government. But if voters decide that they want the added representation that 66 percent more council members can offer, it might also encourage the overdue expansion of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors — each of whose five members now represents 2 million county residents.
The latest proposal comes forward some seven years after voters defeated an earlier expansion plan. The current try is supported by state Senator Richard Polanco, who wants state legislators to put the measure on a future local ballot. The specific plan itself is the brainchild of Alan Clayton of the Los Angeles County Chicano Employees Association. Perhaps the loudest knock against this proposal is that it would provide a new, non-term-limited seat on the Board of Supervisors for sponsor Polanco, who’ll be termed out of his Senate seat in a couple of years.
Clayton says this isn’t true. Polanco’s current power base, he argues, is the current and future 1st District, which now elects Gloria Molina. The new east L.A. County district he proposes (along with another new district, serving the San Fernando Valley) "stretches from East Los Angeles to Whittier and extends to Azusa." He adds that "Polanco would have to move to run there."
Polanco aside, this plan would re-ordain the political balance on a county board that is officially nonpartisan. Clayton says his plan would produce four liberal seats, one moderate seat, and leave conservatives with the two seats they have now. With that distribution, the board’s long history as a largely conservative force would be over.