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Redistricting Commission Didn’t Realize La Palma is in Orange County

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 19, 2012

38th Congressional District with La Palma Circled in BlueI will first note that I did vote for both Prop 11 (which created the California Citizens Redistricting Commission) and Prop 20 (which extended the Commission’s jurisdiction to Congressional districts).  I do still believe the commission is a better way to redistrict than having the Legislature do it.  However, that doesn’t mean the commission is perfect, and I do believe we should point out their mistakes.

Unbelievably, the Redistricting Commission did not realize that the City of La Palma is in Orange County.  They placed La Palma in the 38th Congressional District, which is represented by Linda Sanchez.  Yes, the Redistricting Commission added another Sanchez sister to the OC Congressional delegation.  Every other city in CD-38 is in LA County.

However, my statement that the Redistricting Commission didn’t realize La Palma is in Orange County isn’t because of the reasons above.  It’s because of the paragraph describing CD-38 in the commission’s final report:

CD 38 includes the Los Angeles County cities and communities of South El Monte, Cerritos, Artesia, Whittier, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, La Mirada, East La Mirado, Montebello, Santa Fe Springs, La Palma, Hawaiian Gardens and divides the cities of Bellflower and Lakewood to comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and to achieve population equality. These cities share the major transportation corridors of the Interstate 5 and Interstate 605 freeways, with their corresponding traffic and environmental concerns. The district is characterized by shared commercial, economic, educational, and public safety issues among these cities. In this district, South El Monte is whole.

Yes, the  commission included La Palma in its list of “Los Angeles County cities and communities” in CD-38.  (I’m also sure the people of “East La Mirada” appreciate being called “East La Mirado” in the report.)

How big is La Palma?  It has 15,568 people.  I recognize that some districts do need to cross county lines, but was La Palma really the way to go on that?  Couldn’t 15,568 people be moved from the LA County part of CD-47 to CD-38 and then have La Palma move from CD-38 to CD-47?  CD-47 is 58% LA County and 42% Orange County, so my La Palma switch would simply make CD-47’s composition 56% LA County and 44% Orange County while CD-38 would then be exclusively LA County, instead of 98% LA County and 2% Orange County.  (The switch also would have had little effect on either district’s party registration.)

It seems that Linda Sanchez acquired an Orange County city and joined the OC Congressional delegation due to an error by the Redistricting Commission.

(Again, I do believe the Redistricting Commission has been a net gain for California, but they’re not perfect, and we should point out their mistakes.)

4 Responses to “Redistricting Commission Didn’t Realize La Palma is in Orange County”

  1. No GOP Fan said

    No, the ReDistricting Commission was rigged with closed Democrats and was a disaster. It will cause the Democrats to soon gain a two thirds majority on both sides of the Legislature which means taxes and a threat to Prop. 13.

    Wake up.

    • met00 said

      What is the Prop 13 threat? As a lifelong Democrat I had just arrived in CA as a young man when Prop 13 was passed in 1978. I remember the ads. Those two nice old people losing their homes because they couldn’t pay taxes. Yep, the terrible “State” was going to take away retired peoples homes unless “we the people” did something to stop it.

      I came to CA back then for a promised job, but also because CA had the best education system in the country (one of the best in the world). It was a portion of those taxes that paid to make it so. A good portion of those taxes.

      So, after 40 years what did we learn from this?

      Well first we learned that when you take the money out of the State that best in the country education system has turned into one of the most expensive (based on my income I would pay less to send my kids to Harvard than to a UC school) and that we are doing far worse at preparing OUR kids for higher education and better careers.

      “But those nice old retired people got to keep their homes!” you say.

      Actually, according to Prop 13 there are only TWO events that cause a re-assessment of a property. The first is if the property changes ownership. Then the property’s value is assessed to the price of the sale. The other is if additional square feet of space are added to the property.

      Now, when a homeowner sell their house, the new owner gets the new tax rate. And when a homeowner adds a 300 sq ft room to the home, they too see their taxes get adjusted.

      But when was the last time you saw a new floor added to a skyscraper? And when the corporation that owns that skyscraper sells the building, they don’t actually sell the building, they sell the stock of the corporation that owns the building as it’s sole asset.

      In other words, all those nice tall building that got covered in 1978 by Prop 13 in Downtown LA, SF, SD,Century City, etc. Well they have seen their tax bills go up by 2% a year. On the other hand, rents in those building have not been capped at 2% a year. So those have risen MUCH faster.

      The end result is that the corporations that own those properties are paying a fraction of what they owe in taxes on those properties, while at the same time making a far much larger portion of their NET profits as a total percentage of income.

      So, because of these two glaring loopholes billions have been stripped from the best education system in the US to make it an also-ran that is failing the people of the State of California and have been put into the pockets of these exceptionally wealthy landowners (who send their kids to nice private schools rather than the public schools that they raped the funds from).

      Who in the world would have thought of such an evil plan? Well, if you go back and look at just who funded Howard Jarvis guess who put up all the money for Prop 13? If you guessed it was the corporate landowners of commercial property, well you guessed right. You see, it was never about grandma and grandpa losing their homes, that was the bait to get the suckers to bite at the hook. The real deal was that there was never anyway to adjust the taxes on those nice big money making machines that dot the skyline.

      35 years of a loophole rip-off, maybe it’s time we did change Prop-13 to only cover unimproved land (no structures) or land with less than 20,000 square feet on it. Grandma and Grandpa would still be covered (so would the farmers), but those large corporations wouldn’t have their loopholes anymore. And if that was done, with 80% of the new revenue being used only for Education (K-12 and the JC/CSU/UC systems) we might just be able to afford to send our kids to college in CA again (rather than Harvard) and we may just be able to spend more per head than North Dakota (they spend more, and their COL is far lower, so those $’s go much further which could explain why their graduation rates are so much better).

      Prop-13 isn’t about Democrats verses Republicans, it’s about large corporate landowners of commercial property verses the people of the State of CA, and for 35 years they have been the winners and we (and our kids) have been the losers. Maybe it’s time to get rid of the loopholes.

  2. First, in reply to the comment, no the Commission wasn’t rigged. It was also as transparent as any public body I’ve ever seen. Take a look at their website and dive into the archives. You can even see the testimony where Diamond Bar and Chino Hills captured North Orange County to satisfy their thirst for Republican voters, with their agents claiming (to exaggerate just a little) that the Brea Mall was the center of their civic life.

    Now, Chris: despite that typo, the Commission did know where La Palma is — they just dealt with it strangely. At the Redistricting hearing in Santa Ana, where I testified, South Asians pushed for the commission to include Cerritos (from LA County) with Cypress and La Palma (from OC), along with perhaps Artesia, to form a South Asian “community of interest.” Back when OC was part of LA County, they explained, these three communities were practically triplets anyway; it was just dividing the line at (more or less) the San Gabriel River that pulled them apart.

    At one point, it looked like the Commission might do that — although after the counteroffensive at the Fullerton hearing to undo the rotten treatment of the Latino Community of Interest, that plan fell apart. The solution: Cerritos is separate from La Palma and Cypress in the Assembly and Senate districts (with most of Buena Park being moved out of OC for the State Senate), but Cypress is separated from the others (although in a district that is tied very much to Long Beach in LA County) for Congress. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but this sort of compromise appears “all over the map,” as the saying goes, in the Commission’s work.

  3. [...] a matter of fact Chris Nguyen wrote a post that claims the California Redistricting Commission forgot that La Palma was part of Orange [...]

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