Redistricting Federal Lawsuit Filed

In February, Attorney Leo Terrell, representing residents in the 8th, 9th and 10th districts, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the outcome of the recent redistricting process.

He has also combined his lawsuit with the federal lawsuit brought by 5 Koreatown resident's upset over Council President Wessons controversial and possibly illegal handling of the redistricting process. Koreatown, tired of being a cash cow for CD10 Councilmembers campaign coffers, had wanted out of District 10 and unification and alignment with Eric Garcetti's district which contains Thai Town and Historic Filipinotown.

On Thursday March 22, Attorney Terrell sent out California Public Records Act requests to Wesson, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, each City Council member, and other government leaders - in an effort to find smoking gun evidence.

The lawsuit claims the redrawn boundaries benefited Council President Herb Wesson by strengthening the black voting block. Terrel claims it was meant to “ensure a guaranteed re-election” for Wesson who should be termed out but will be running for a 4th term claiming he only did a partial term when he initially took over the remainder of Councilmember Ludlow’s district. “Shame on this city when minorities disenfranchise minorities" Terrell an African American, recently told City Council. The plaintiffs live in the Hyde Park, Baldwin Hills, Florence, Gramercy Park, Leimert Park and Koreatown neighborhoods.

“We represent residents who don’t want to be political pawns,” Terrell said.

 

In the August 2012 issue of the Neighborhood News, we reported on a presentation Councilman Wesson gave at the Baptists Ministers Conference. (click on Eye on Wesson on our website) Councilmembers Jan Perry and Bernard Parks districts suffered the loss. Ministers from those communities demanded an explanation. Despite previous denials from the Councilman that he had anything to do with the redistricting decision, he strangely decided to come clean to the Ministers. Admissions like “I did the very best I could with what I had and I was able to protect the most important asset that we as black people have and that’s to make sure that a minimum of two of the council people will be black for the next 30 years. To make sure that in one area we as a people have a fighting chance.” and other statements effectively handed ammunition to those getting ready to sue the city. Making decisions about redistricting based on race alone is against the rules. Another statement he made that may come back to haunt him during the lawsuit are “So I did the best I could to retain assets for all of the districts. One person. Alone. Every member came to me to discuss what they wanted except for representatives from two districts.”

Councilmember Wesson went on to tell the ministers, “Now folks, it is what it is. The council has voted on this for the last time. There may be a court challenge and the court will decide. It’s time to move on”.

Time has moved on to the lawsuits and a court decision.

To read our previous reports on this issue - go to our website and click on Eye On Wesson.

 

 

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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