| Redistricting Town Hall Recap |
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last night, at Ramona Park, we hosted a very important Town Hall meeting for North Long Beach residents to discuss the upcoming redistricting process.
More than 50 North Long Beach residents showed up and participated in an exercise to draw the new boundaries of our district. I am pleased to report the results of that meeting.
As you may already know, every five years, our city goes through a process of determining whether or not it is necessary to participate in a redistricting process.
Redistricting is important, because it allows us to ensure that all residents have equal representation, and that every one person is given one vote under the law. When districts are overpopulated, it means that each vote does not weigh the same as a district with less people. Therefore, dense communities should have smaller districts and more representation.
In our case, according to 2010 Census, the 9th District has grown approximately 1,362 people in the last ten years. This means that we need to make our district a little bit smaller in order to be in line with other districts.
More specifically, our district needs to shrink to no more than 53,930 residents, and consequently 1166 residents will become represented by Council District 8.
As you see on the chart below, the average household size has grown from 3.6% to 3.74%. We have fewer households but more people in the district - less families, but larger families. There are fewer children, but more adults in the district, meaning many of our youth from ten years ago have grown up and stayed home or in the area. This chart also shows approximately, 865 vacant homes in the district. This is up almost 17% from the last census. This is likely due to the foreclosure and economic crisis that still affects our community.
All of this tells us the story of the residents who live here in the 9th District. Either, it is the young adult who didn't have access to college and opportunities, and was forced to live at home, or the family who is making ends meet by renting out a room to a family member or a neighbor.
To us, this means that it is very important that we engage this diverse and growing community to ensure that communities of interest are maintained and kept whole throughout this redistricting process.
That is why at the last city council meeting, I made a motion to bring all the districts within the range of +/- 5%, while making the least changes necessary to keep the district and the neighborhoods intact. This motion was supported unanimously by the city council.
Last night, you sent a very clear message. The overwhelming majority of the residents agreed that it made the most sense to bring the district into balance by "cleaning up" South Street - maintaining the South Street border by straightening it up on the far east and far west sides of the district.
Thus, as the neighborhood map below shows, it would move the neighborhood surrounding "Pops" Davenport, south of South st., which includes the "Friendly Village" community, into the 8th District.
This move would ensure that no community of interest or neighborhood association is split, and that the Deforest Park, Houghton Park, St. Francis and Grant neighborhoods remain wholly in 9th district, while the "Pop's" Davenport neighborhood would be wholly in the 8th District.
But it doesn't stop there. I need North Long Beach residents to provide input throughout the entire process to ensure that we are protecting our neighborhoods and making as little an impact as possible.
That's why I am inviting you to attend the next Long Beach City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 7, as the first district map concepts are presented to the City Council, to declare that "South Street Makes Sense."
Thank You For Participation,