In what was the last required public meeting on the L.A. City Council’s draft redistricting map,
District 8 Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson made another impassioned motion to have USC and Expo Park back into the Eighth District.
“USC and Expo Park, which has been in the Eighth District for longer than most of the council has been alive, got taken out of the Eighth District and put in the Ninth District,” said Harris-Dawson of the L.A. Council’s 2010 vote to move the assets into the Ninth District.
“I cannot walk out of here not having put this before each and every one of you. At least the African American Museum ought to be in the one Black district.”
The California African American Museum is located in Exposition Park, which also includes the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Natural History Museum and Banc of California Stadium and the now under construction Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
The councilman was backed in his plea by members of the community. For one caller it was a matter of black equity. For another, it was a majority Black district retaining those key financial assets. A representative from the Community Coalition, who noted that this was the time “to undo the harm done 10 years ago and do justice.”
But just as many called to support those assets staying in the Ninth District, a position Councilman Curren Price vehemently defended.
“The fact is, CD9 is still the most impoverished district in the city … of both Black and Brown folks, but still the most impoverished,” Price said, adding “it certainly doesn’t make sense to take assets from a district that’s showing some process, some development.”
Harris-Dawson’s motion—garnering just three votes—did not pass. On December 10, the L.A. City Council will vote to finalize the new redistricting map.