The Los Angeles City Council today voted to override Mayor Tom Bradley's veto of a redistricting plan bitterly opposed by San Fernando Valley residents. However, although the new council district lines become effective immediately, the issue may not be settled.
One councilman said he will lead a drive to place an initiative before voters to repeal the plan.
The council vote was 11 to 3, one more than the 10 required to override the mayor's veto. Voting no were council members Ernani Bernardi, Joy Picus and Joel Wachs, all of whom represent the Valley.
After the vote, Bernardi blamed Bradley for not applying enough pressure on the council to defeat the plan. "I believe the mayor didn't try hard enough," Bernardi said. Bernardi, a veteran councilman who has led successful initiative drives in the past, vowed to see that a citywide vote to repeal the plan takes place.
Will Seek 69,000 Signatures
He said he will try to gather 69,000 signatures to qualify the measure for a vote next April.
Councilman Gilbert W. Lindsay, who is close to Bradley, said neither the mayor nor anyone in the mayor's office had spoken to him until he received a phone call from the mayor in the chamber just minutes before the vote. Lindsay refused to say what the mayor told him in the brief conversation. Lindsay voted for the plan.
Deputy Mayor Tom Houston said Bradley contacted as many council members as he could in the short time available. He also disputed the contention that the rare override of a Bradley veto was a major defeat for the mayor.
"This was a rather unusual situation," Houston said. "They're voting their own political future. You have much less influence on a vote like this."
Wachs Eyes Legal Challenge
Wachs said he will meet with his attorneys next week to explore legal challenges to the plan.
"The people out there are angry," Wachs said. "The mayor made it very clear: He said that in all of his years in politics he had never seen a more outraged constituency. I think you've just seen the beginning."
Bernardi and Wachs have been the most fervent opponents of the remapping--the latest of three the council has voted on in recent months. This version takes away areas where Bernardi and Wachs have enjoyed strong support and puts them in largely new districts.
It has also angered Valley residents because it does away with the northeast Valley's 1st District and splits the territory between Bernardi, who will represent Pacoima and Sylmar, and Wachs, who picks up Sunland-Tujunga.
Drawn by Ferraro and Woo
The plan was drawn up by Councilmen John Ferraro and Michael Woo, who made their move after the death of Councilman Howard Finn last month left the 1st District without a representative. Under a redistricting plan adopted in July, Ferraro and Woo wound up in the same Hollywood-Wilshire district and likely opponents in an election next year.
Under the new plan, Ferraro and Woo will go back to representing separate districts, which preserve their political bases of Hancock Park and Hollywood, respectively.