fbpx
Thursday, August 13, 2020

A Map Is a Mirror

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

No one said redistricting is fun. But this once-a-decade political ritual does provide a mirror to how much leverage a community has, or lacks.

In the case of the proposed map for the Los Angeles City Council, this time the mirror says what many in our community are still reluctant to admit: That Jewish action has shifted to the San Fernando Valley.

We should have caught on long ago, but “city Jew” is still one of the great myths that dies hard. In 1992, the Westside seat then represented by Congressman Mel Levine merged with Long Beach, for a loss of one of three Jewish seats in the House of Representatives.

Perhaps now, with the potential loss of one of three Westside seats in City Hall and the creation of a new seat in the central/eastern Valley, it is finally time to take seriously the dominance of Jewish life over the hill.

It’s not that Jews are declining on the Westside — Jews still represent 10 percent of total city population, as well as 30 percent of the registered voters citywide. But the latest census is historic for declaring that the Westward expansion, which began in 1918 when Jews first left Boyle Heights to start Mishkon Tephilo on Main Street in Venice, has been outpaced by the northwest drift.

In a city of explosive ethnic growth, and competing geographic interests, not growing isn’t good enough. Gone forever are the days when Jewish representatives occupied seven of 15 council seats.

That’s why the Los Angeles Redistricting Commission merged Districts 6 and 11, now represented by, respectively, Ruth Galanter and Cindy Miscikowski.

And, of course, it hurts. Every redistricting session is a shark fight, a search for meat. This time, sadly, it looks like Galanter, who was on the wrong side of the battle in which Alex Padilla became council president, is vulnerable.

(Her loss is not a foregone conclusion. She’s fighting the peculiarities of redistricting, by which Galanter serves out her remaining year by representing the new Valley district, people who did not vote for her.)

But Galanter aside, the Westside and the Valley must come to terms with changing Los Angeles realities. Any new Valley city would be predominantly both Jewish and Latino. These two groups are the lynchpin of secession: they will provide the “yes” or “no” upon which the new city will rise or fall.

In the new Los Angeles map, Latinos will comprise fully 47 percent of the registered voters in five districts, all in the Valley or the East side.

The Jewish population in the Valley is the future — it has grown 25 percent over two decades.

The new as yet unnumbered district “B,” includes Encino, Valley Glen, North Hollywood and all non-Latinos east to Tujunga. The creation of this new Valley seat silenced even those on the Westside who most wanted to cry foul.

In conversations with Westside activists this week, I heard a reluctance to accuse the commission of ethnic bad faith: one and all are coming to terms with demographic reality, much as it hurts.

The character of this new “Jewish district” is unclear. It went sizably for Jimmy Hahn for mayor, but so did much of the Jewish vote. And it voted for Mike Feuer for city attorney (against the winner, Rocky Delgadillo) in almost the same majority as did voters in the combined District 11-6.

I don’t necessarily recommend reading the proposed map instead of watching reruns of “The Sopranos,” but there is a certain symmetry to the way the commission accomplished its task.

Raphael Sonenschein, an expert in Los Angeles black-Jewish relations, headed the city charter commission the set the tone for the remapping process. He tells me that the charter added the requirement that wherever possible neighborhood boundaries must be respected.

“That’s the biggest change,” he said. “Place and race matter.”

“Place and race” means that most districts are either in the city or the Valley, no longer the long strips that crossing Mulholland that made the Valley feel ignored. As a result, the new map mirrors the current Jewish political reality: that the Jewish community is now a collection of communities. We live in neighborhoods and feel connected to each other.

Ron Turovsky represented Councilmember Jack Weiss on the redistricting panel.

“Time and again we heard Jewish representatives talk about the importance of the community staying together,” Turovsky told me.

As a result, District 5 has what might be called an enhanced Jewish presence, with the addition of Carthay Circle as well as Westwood, Pico-Robertson and Beverlywood.

In the newly merged 11-6, Galanter’s Venice Jewish community once made me think of New York’s Greenwich Village, with its left-radical leanings. Today, it seems an even fit with Miscikowski’s District 11, the silk-stocking elite.

Time changes many things.

The Redistricting Commission holds public hearings this
Monday Feb. 11 in Woodland Hills and Wednesday in West Los Angeles. For
information visit www.lacitydistricts.org; call the
hotline: (213) 473-4595; or e-mail: [email protected] .

Previous articleOn Hertzberg’s Horizon
Next article7 Days In Arts

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Jacob Poushter: On The Global God Divide

Shmuel Rosner and Pew researcher Jacob Poushter discuss his latest study, which raises the question: is belief in God necessary for good morals? Jacob Poushter...

Beanie Feldstein Set to Play ‘Harriet the Spy’

She will voice the curious 11-year-old title character in “Harriet the Spy,” for Apple TV+

Nazis Who Killed Children Ran German Children’s Homes After the War, Report Finds

The report states that torture, abuse and malnourishment were commonplace at these homes.

‘Shtisel’s’ Michael Aloni to Star in ‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem’

Aloni will next lead the cast in Yes TV’s adaptation of “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” a multi-generational, historical story.

Tiffany Haddish, Howie Mandel, Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried to Take Part in Lucille Ball Virtual Festival

The National Comedy Center’s annual Lucille Ball Festival goes virtual this year, with many MOTs among the artists taking part.

Sorry, Not Sorry: How Do We Forgive and Evolve in an Age of Cancel Culture?

Cancel culture is based on the heartless assertion that people can’t and won’t ever change. In Judaism, we learn the opposite.

‘Modern Kosher’ Offers a Taste of Jewish Cuisine’s Evolution

The book is so inventive and inviting that it has a shelf life that will extend far beyond our present circumstances.

Nick Cannon, ADL Call for Unity Between Black and Jewish Communities in Joint Op-Ed

"When Blacks and Jews fight one another, racists rejoice and bigots celebrate, even as the silent majority among our people mourn."

Israel’s Hadassah Hospital ‘a Partner’ in Development of Russian Coronavirus Vaccine, Director Says

"They’re doing fine work, they work differently to us and we adapt our methods to them.”

Black Jewish Cantorial and Rabbinical Students Share Their Experiences of Racism in the Community

“I expected my Jewish family to stand up for me and that’s not what happened. I just want our community to not be complacent."

Culture

Beanie Feldstein Set to Play ‘Harriet the Spy’

She will voice the curious 11-year-old title character in “Harriet the Spy,” for Apple TV+

‘Shtisel’s’ Michael Aloni to Star in ‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem’

Aloni will next lead the cast in Yes TV’s adaptation of “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” a multi-generational, historical story.

Tiffany Haddish, Howie Mandel, Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried to Take Part in Lucille Ball Virtual Festival

The National Comedy Center’s annual Lucille Ball Festival goes virtual this year, with many MOTs among the artists taking part.

‘Modern Kosher’ Offers a Taste of Jewish Cuisine’s Evolution

The book is so inventive and inviting that it has a shelf life that will extend far beyond our present circumstances.

Black Jewish Cantorial and Rabbinical Students Share Their Experiences of Racism in the Community

“I expected my Jewish family to stand up for me and that’s not what happened. I just want our community to not be complacent."

Latest Articles
Latest

Jacob Poushter: On The Global God Divide

Shmuel Rosner and Pew researcher Jacob Poushter discuss his latest study, which raises the question: is belief in God necessary for good morals? Jacob Poushter...

Beanie Feldstein Set to Play ‘Harriet the Spy’

She will voice the curious 11-year-old title character in “Harriet the Spy,” for Apple TV+

Nazis Who Killed Children Ran German Children’s Homes After the War, Report Finds

The report states that torture, abuse and malnourishment were commonplace at these homes.

‘Shtisel’s’ Michael Aloni to Star in ‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem’

Aloni will next lead the cast in Yes TV’s adaptation of “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” a multi-generational, historical story.

Tiffany Haddish, Howie Mandel, Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried to Take Part in Lucille Ball Virtual Festival

The National Comedy Center’s annual Lucille Ball Festival goes virtual this year, with many MOTs among the artists taking part.

Hollywood

‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel Starring Jennifer Grey Announced

It’s official: A “Dirty Dancing” sequel is coming, and it’s starring Jewish actress Jennifer Grey, who played Frances “Baby” Houseman in the 1987 original.

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

Podcasts

Jacob Poushter: On The Global God Divide

Shmuel Rosner and Pew researcher Jacob Poushter discuss his latest study, which raises the question: is belief in God necessary for good morals? Jacob Poushter...

Monthy Recap: Criminal (in)Justice, Virtue Flagging and Why Seth Rogen’s Wrong

Naor and Eytan talk about the events that took place in Israel during the last month.   RSS Subscribe Two Nice Jewish Boys · #205 - Monthly...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x