As Democrats and Republicans nationally fight over gerrymandering, a turf battle between two Black Los Angeles city councilmen ended on Tuesday when the city decided on its new, local voting map.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the latest chapter of the once-per-decade process of redrawing the map featured a fight between Councilmen Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson. Unlike the national fights where Republicans are trying to pack districts and redraw lines to disenfranchise nonwhite voters, the LA redistricting fight was more about land than political ideology. Harris-Dawson’s South LA district includes neighborhoods that were the backdrop for just about all 90s & 2000s era West Coast hip-hop and is LA’s only majority-black council district, and he says the community needed a boost in its tax base.
From the Los Angeles Times
Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson has pushed without success in recent weeks to have Exposition Park — which includes the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Banc of California Stadium and the California African American Museum — moved out of Price’s district and into his own. On social media, Harris-Dawson said his district lacks major economic assets, describing the issue as a matter of “Black equity, representation and fairness.”
In the same social media post, Harris-Dawson said that LA City Council had voted in the past on issues of racial and social justice, and impolored that the redistricting vote was a similar issue.
“Leaving the only low-income, voting-rights-act district without any significant economic assets isn’t equitable or fair,” he wrote.
Some of the land at issue was previously in Harris-Dawson’s district until that was changed a decade ago, the last time redistricting came around. But it won’t be going back anytime soon. Despite his protests, Harris-Dawson ultimately voted with the rest of the council, unanimously locking in LA’s voting map for another 10 years.