Letters to the Editor: A new L.A. council district map that makes sense? Yes please.
A recent (and rather long) editorial by Dan Walters in the Los Angeles Times (April 27) about the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ new districting plan for Los Angeles County gives me a lot of hope.
Walters, a veteran city editor in Los Angeles whose newspaper has been instrumental in the development of a city that feels like an open, friendly community, rightly points out that the map is consistent with the county’s new, compact, dense and sustainable Vision and Values plan (which I’m happy to endorse wholeheartedly) and that this will better serve our city’s current and future needs.
The editor’s argument makes sense to me for three reasons.
First, in the case of the Los Angeles Times, the area covered by their map is far larger (the county’s total area is nearly 1,300 square miles), than the area covered by the county-wide map. While the L.A. Times has a large number of well-established L.A. families, there are no people, businesses, churches, businesses or cultural institutions in a single block in either map. To the contrary, in the county map, the only businesses that you find are those that exist in the Los Angeles-Long Beach corridor, with two exceptions: a strip mall and two supermarkets. In the Los Angeles Times area, there are dozens of shops and small businesses, some of which don’t even exist in the county map.
Second, as a newspaper editor, I’ve seen maps created by editors whose primary interest is not in the map’s accuracy. One of the very first maps I was given as an editor was produced by a Chicago newspaper, a large-scale map of the city that included every storefront. The editors who created this map saw it as a problem. They