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Eric Garcetti Backs Second Latino Supervisor's Seat, Drawing Contrast With Zev Yaroslavsky

Zev Yaroslavsky and Eric Garcetti

Zev Yaroslavsky and Eric Garcetti

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors will be fighting over redistricting all day today. About 850 people have signed up to speak, and it's already gotten heated.

One of the speakers was Councilman Eric Garcetti, who came over from City Hall to endorse a second Latino supervisorial district.

Garcetti is now at odds with Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, and that could have implications for the race for L.A. mayor.


Yaroslavsky is already in hot water with Latinos for opposing the creation of a second Latino seat. He has clearly calculated that he couldn't endorse a new Latino district at the expense of his own district and his own constituents.

Unlike Yaroslavsky, Garcetti didn't have to weigh in on this. But he represents a largely Latino council district, and Latino activists have made this a top issue. So Garcetti came out in support of a new Latino seat. In doing so, he cited his grandfather's experience being denied access to a public pool. Redistricting, Garcetti said, is "about letting everybody into that pool."

Surely that will help Garcetti with Latinos, and with organized labor. But it won't win him many friends in the San Fernando Valley -- or at least, not in the white parts of the Valley. Valley leaders have been denouncing the second Latino seat all day, saying that map would carve up their community and dilute their power.

If the mayor's race is a chess match, the pieces are starting to come off the board. Yaroslavsky has hurt himself with Latinos, because he has to defend his Valley base. And Garcetti has hurt himself in the Valley, because he has to defend his Latino base.

More to come.