Eastside residents reviewed cards this month that could mean big changes for school board members Monica Garcia and Jackie Goldberg as well as their constituents.
The Los Angeles School Board, like other government entities, is reviewing its political boundaries as part of the redistribution. It’s an exercise that takes place every ten years to account for demographic changes reflected in the most recent US census.
The law on the balancing of constituencies
Members of the LAUSD Redistribution Commission have been tasked with creating member districts of school boards that have roughly the same population while keeping communities with similar interests together and addressing several other issues, the president said. the commission, Luis Sanchez.
Based on the latest census data, the LAUSD Redistribution Commission earlier this month released three draft maps for the public to consider and comment on on the proposed boundary changes. These maps will include potential changes to the Eastside school districts, where District 2 is represented by Garcia and District 5 by Goldberg.
The commission is expected to select one of those three card projects on Wednesday, Oct. 20, which will go to LA city council for adoption, Sanchez said. This map will be subject to more public review and possible modifications, but a final version is expected to be adopted by the end of the year.
Three cards to consider
Of the three card projects, Map 2 (pictured above) calls for some adjustments but looks a lot like what districts are doing now, said Luis Sanchez, chair of the LAUSD Redistribution Commission.
It is Map 1A (pictured above) that contains the most changes, with Garcia and Goldberg swapping multiple quarters.
According to Map 1A, Garcia District 2 would lose Downtown LA, South LA, Pico-Union, and Westlake, but would gain all unincorporated East LA as well as other neighborhoods now represented by Goldberg in District 5; including Atwater Village, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Glassell Park and parts of Hollywood.
Meanwhile, Goldberg District 5 would take over Downtown, plus South LA, Pico-Union and Westlake.
Map 1B looks like 1A (pictured above) but moves Los Feliz and Silver Lake from District 5 to District 2 while Koreatown has been moved from District 2 to District 5.
Setting new boundaries has become even more difficult given the population and demographic changes experienced in the Eastside.
The two districts have lost 70,000 residents combined since the 2010 census, Sanchez said. However, the downtown population has exploded over the past decade.
“They are a real community of interest now because the downtown area now has around 100,000” residents, said Sanchez.
“We will find out”
Board member Jackie Goldberg said that when looking at the map projects she preferred Map 2 because it would keep the district more or less as it is now.
“Personally, I urge people to keep (the card) the same until I’m gone,” Goldberg said. “But it’s for very personal reasons.”
Keeping the district as it is would allow Goldberg to maintain the working relationships that she and her staff have established with each of the school communities in her district. But, if she ends up with a completely redesigned neighborhood, Goldberg said she and her staff will adapt.
“If we get new schools, we’ll find out,” she said.
Garcia, who hasn’t voiced a preference for any of the cards, said she learned a long time ago that redistribution was hard work and hard to make everyone happy.
“There is always a decision that is made, and we will have someone who thinks it should have been different,” she said.