GUEST COMMENTARY - Where was US Representative Karen Bass and other Black elected officials and activists in 2012 during the disastrous redistricting of Los Angeles’ council districts?
Beverly Hills Civil Rights Attorney Leo Terrell sent out California Public Records’ Requests to City Councilmembers, including Herb Wesson (former City Council President), former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and former City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, asking for all forms of communications surrounding the 2012 re-districting. Attorney Terrell filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles to obtain information how Herb Wesson, Jose Huizar and other council members unlawfully used race to redraw maps for council districts 8,9 and10 which disenfranchised minorities.
Koreatown residents also filed a federal lawsuit surrounding the possible illegal redrawing of their council district.
Herb Wesson (photo above) diluted the Black voting bloc in CD8 & 9 to build up the Black voting bloc in his council district 10.
These federal lawsuits have been in our federal courts for several years.
One of the major outcomes of this questionable re-districting was that councilwoman Jan Perry of CD9 lost a large part of her downtown Los Angeles area which became part of CD14. As a result, the door was opened for corruption by Jose Huizar and associates in CD 14.
Prior to this, Los Angeles Mayor elect Antonio Villaraigosa's goal was to remake the downtown area of Los Angeles into a Manhattan. He was responsible for the shuttering of low-income hotels and housing downtown thus escalating the homeless population in skid row and other areas of LA. It was Villaraigosa who first made contact with those rich developers to transform the downtown Los Angeles housing market for the rich and high-end wage earners and shut out our low wage earners, thus eliminating low affordable housing in most of the city.
Our current Mayor, Eric Garcetti, has done little to curtail the homeless problem. In fact, some of his decisions have contributed to the increase of our homeless population. Remember, Garcetti promised to house ten thousand homeless veterans within one year. He failed to accomplish this.
A new City Council President, Paul Krekorian, was elected and motions were made to address and establish new guidelines surrounding the re-districting of council districts. A positive move forward which should have taken place years ago.
It was suggested that we do away with our business as usual of ‘Pay to Play’ in LA once and for all! Also, add additional council districts to better represent our increasing and diverse population.
My response to those who leaked a recording from the secret redistricting meeting with councilmembers Martinez, De Leon, and Cedillo and the racist comments from Nury Martinez, I say “Thank You”. Now all can see what many of us already knew about the attitudes of our Latino elected officials, especially Kevin de Leon. I am very happy that someone released the recording.
We heard first-hand how our elected Latinos leaders want complete control over our city government at any cost, legal or not. There are many elected members of the Latino Caucus who believe that since the majority of the population within the state of California and the city of Los Angeles is Latino/Hispanic, they should be in complete control of all of the Los Angeles Council Districts. This is just crazy. All residents regardless of color of skin or nationality should have equal representation.
Another area which needs to be addressed is how much money was donated by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to the campaigns of those individuals seeking re-election? Let’s take a good look. Who was the Chief of Staff of Ron Herrera ? He was the first to resign his position with the LA County Federation of Labor Union. Does Herb Wesson’s son ring a bell? He is currently married to a staff member of Nury Martinez. What kind of a relationship does current California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo have with Ron Herrera? One of Maria Elena Durazo's sons is the current president of the Northeast Democratic Club.
Remember when Wendy Carrillo received thousands of dollars from SEIU? SEIU sued to fire Special Needs adults from their jobs at a state medical facility in Stockton because they did not fill out a state mandated application form. State Assembly women Carrillo sided with the SEIU union and many of the Special Needs employees were fired. Carrillo received thousands of dollars from the SEIU union for her political campaigns. Now SEIU is also protesting in front of the Los Angeles City Hall. How many thousands of dollars did the LA County Federation of Labor donate to Kevin de Leon's campaign? How much money did they contribute to Karen Bass’ Mayoral Campaign?
Maybe it is time to place a cap on how much money unions and lobbyist groups can donate to an individual seeking a political office. Example in point: Council members endorse the construction of a major development which results that only union workers can be hired by the construction firms.
It is now time to ask Karen Bass and other elected officials to immediately return all of their donated campaign monies from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and SEIU Unions.
Each and every Los Angeles resident must their part to bring back respectability, honesty and integrity to our once great city.
(Caroline Aguirre is a retired 24-year State of California law enforcement officer, LAPD family member, community activist and Neighborhood Watch captain. Aguirre is a CityWatch contributor.) This article was edited for CityWatch by Jim Hampton.