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Bernardi, Wachs Lead Resistance to Remap

September 09, 1986|STEPHANIE CHAVEZ and RICHARD SIMON | Times Staff Writers

Two Los Angeles City Council members from the San Fernando Valley on Monday urged groups in Lake View Terrace and Sylmar to step up their protests to Mayor Tom Bradley about a proposed redistricting plan that would carve up a Valley council district.

Councilmen Ernani Bernardi and Joel Wachs told those at the rallies, more than 100 people at each, to show up tonight at a council hearing in Pacoima on the controversial plan.

"You have to be emphatic," Wachs said. "You get there first, and get the seats."

Earlier Monday, representatives of a San Fernando Valley senior-citizens group called on a federal judge to take over the job of redistricting.

Doubts Council's Ability

"I don't think the City Council is capable of doing a proper job," Harold Lurie, 76, said at a Los Angeles Press Club news conference.

He added: "I feel that they're doing such a rotten job for this city that they should all be kicked out on their ear. Period."

Lurie, representing the 30,000-member Federation of Senior Citizen Clubs of the San Fernando Valley, was reacting to the latest redistricting proposal, which would extend four council districts represented by non-Valley residents into the Valley.

U. S. District Court Judge James M. Ideman, who has been presiding over the redistricting, declined to comment on Lurie's call for the courts to redraw council boundaries.

No Welcome Task

Asst. City Atty. Shelley I. Rosenfield said, however, "It would be a task the judge would neither relish or, in our opinion, perform."

She said that Ideman, during a court hearing Monday at which he rejected a Korean challenge to the earlier redistricting plan, "made it quite clear . . . he very much looked to the city to resolve their problems."

The latest redistricting plan, which comes before the council for a final vote Wednesday, was drawn up by Councilmen John Ferraro and Michael Woo, and drastically carves up the East Valley council districts in order to avert a clash between them.

The two councilmen found themselves in the same Hollywood-Wilshire district when the council approved a redistricting plan July 31 in response to a federal lawsuit. The suit sought to increase the council's Latino representation.

The latest plan would eliminate what is now the northeast Valley's 1st District, which was represented by the late Councilman Howard Finn, and divide that territory between Bernardi and Wachs. Parts of Wachs' district, in turn, would be assigned to Ferraro and Woo, who would have their own districts.

Would Lose Backers

Bernardi and Wachs have been the most fervent opponents of the Ferraro-Woo plan because it would cost them areas in which they have enjoyed strong political support.

At both rallies Monday evening, the two councilmen predicted that the plan will be approved by the full council Wednesday. Bernardi called Mayor Bradley "our last hope."

The council hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Hubert H. Humphrey Memorial Park on Filmore Street in Pacoima.

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