Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is redistricting?

Every person in the City of Los Angeles lives in a City Council district, which is defined by certain streets and neighborhoods. We have the opportunity to elect a city council member based on what district we live in. For example – Boyle Heights, Pacoima, Venice, or South LA are each in different Council districts, and residents in those communities vote for different people to represent them.    

Every 10 years, the entire country goes through a process called redistricting to redraw the maps that determine each district.  As communities get smaller or bigger, and people move in and out, it is important that the districts are defined fairly and equally. According to the U.S. Constitution, all electoral districts within a given redistricting map must contain approximately the same number of people. The maps drawn will determine the allocation of political power and representation at every level of government (city, county, state and federal) across the nation for at least the next ten years. 

Why should I care about redistricting?

Where district lines are drawn may determine where residents can vote, whom they can vote for, and even how responsive elected officials are to your requests.  

Past redistricting efforts have divided Asian, Black, and Latino communities to prevent them from electing their own representatives. The maps were drawn so that communities of color were split up in ways that they never had a majority – and thus, could never vote for one of their own people.  

Representation is power. Who represents you in City Hall can mean more affordable housing, cleaner streets, and better parks. And making sure your district is drawn in a way that gives you fair representation can make a big difference for you and your family.

How can I participate in the redistricting process?

Before the lines are redrawn the commission will conduct a series of 19 public hearings. There will be one for each City Council District and four regional meetings. 

We are committed to conducting an open and transparent process that respects the voices of all of LA’s residents. There are several ways you can participate: 

  • Attend one of 19 redistricting public hearings, which will be held virtually throughout the city between July 1, 2021, and September 25, 2021.
  • You can register for the virtual hearings at redistricting.lacity@lacity.org. Once you register you will receive a Zoom link that will allow you to join the public hearing online from your phone, computer, or other devices. 
  • The will be one public hearing in each Council District and four regional meetings. 
  • Submit your testimony in writing to: redistricting.lacity@lacity.org 
  • Create your own map at: redistricting2021.lacity.org

Who decides how the districts are drawn?

The Mayor and City Council have appointed an independent citizen’s commission to advise them how to draw new districts that reflect the interests of the hundreds of communities in Los Angeles that make it unique. The 21-member commission is made up of diverse citizens from every part of the city. The Commission is committed to making sure that everyone has equal and fair representation in City Hall.

Once the commission has completed the public hearings we will take the information you provide along with the data from the Federal Government and draw new maps. When we have finished the maps they will be presented to the community online via public hearings to ensure we get your feedback. We will then revise the maps and send them to the City Council for approval. 

You will be able to participate in every step of the process including when the maps go to the City Council for approval. 

I’ve heard it doesn’t matter whether or not I participate because the maps are already drawn. Is that true?

No, that is not true. You may see maps emerge during our initial public hearings. These are not official maps. They are maps created by communities of interest or other interested parties and will be taken into account as we redraw the City Council District lines. The City of Los Angeles Redistricting Commission has not developed any maps. Anyone can submit a map for our consideration by logging on to redistricting2021.lacity.org.The commission has not drawn any maps. The public input phase of the process will run from

I’ve never participated in this process before, how can I make a difference?

Representation matters especially on the City Council. They make most of the decisions about resources and amenities that impact your daily life. They are responsible for building roads, providing public transportation, fire protection, policing, affordable housing, parks, and many other resources that make a city function. If you can’t hold your City Council representative accountable, then it will be hard to get the resources your neighborhood needs to thrive. Use your voice to make the Council accountable to you. 

How do I give testimony if I don’t really understand the process?

Testifying is easy just think about your neighborhood and what is special about it.

  • Let us know about the shopping districts, schools, parks churches, and ethnic communities that make your neighborhood unique.
  • Tell us what streets and boulevards define the boundaries of your community.
  • Explain why it is important for your community to remain whole.

Where can I go to learn more about redistricting?

You can visit our website at:  laccrc2021.org for more information. In addition, Common Cause has a variety of detailed materials that explain the redistrictin process that is easy to understand. You can check them out at: https://www.commoncause.org/california/page/local-redistricting-2021/

How do I know that my community will be listened to?

Many of our Commissioners come from communities that were separated by political lines. We understand that representation matters, so we are committed to a fair and transparent process that respects and honors diverse communities. We will provide ample time and multiple opportunities for you to participate. Let us know what is important to you and your family. You won’t have this opportunity for another 10 years.

I keep hearing the term community of interest, what does that mean?

A community of interest is a neighborhood, or group of people who have common policy concerns and would benefit from being maintained in a single district. If you belong to a group of neighbors who are advocating for a new park in your area, or a cultural committee organizing a cultural festivities like Fiestas Patrias, or the Lunar New Year Parade – then you are a community of interest.