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City Council Redistricting

October 05, 1986

Your editorial (Sept. 25), "City Mandering," is certainly correct in condemning the self-serving greedy actions of our City Council members, but your solution to increase their numbers would only aggravate the situation.

The root of the problem is not the effort of the council members to preserve their jobs at all costs, but the misguided attempt to provide special districts for minorities.

Ever since we moved away from the principle of merit "toward racial preference," in the name of civil rights, it was inevitable that the current mishmash of racial political conflicts would result.

An example of the failure of the whole process of racial selection on the basis of presumed civil rights is the impending fight over the district being vacated by Councilman David Cunningham.

His district has a 44% black population, and Cunningham said that "any effort to slice into his 10th District . . . would be fiercely opposed." Raymond Johnson Jr., president of the Los Angeles National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, agreed.

Granted that the rights of the 44% blacks should be protected, what of the rights of the 56% of the district who are not black? Are they not entitled to representation on the City Council?

The Koreans, who are a significant and growing minority, wanted a district that would represent them, but their wishes were dismissed by the court as not in conformity with the Civil Rights Act.

Latinos are usually considered to be a homogeneous group, but this is not true. For example, there are significant cultural and other differences between the Mexicans and Salvadorans.

No division of councilmanic districts based on race can ever be fairly determined. We have forgotten that power in a democratic society should not be based on class, color, race, previous condition of servitude or national origin, but on such qualities as ability, merit and service.

In their zeal to eliminate racism, the self-designated civil libertarians have so bedeviled the political process that they have inadvertently made racism an official doctrine.


Marina del Rey

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