Reporting Ed Mertz
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A plan by city lawmakers to divide a council district populated predominately by Asian residents was roundly criticized by residents and community activists on Wednesday.
KNX 1070′s Ed Mertz reports on an effort that critics say is intended to split Koreatown in half.
Members of the Korean American Coalition and Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council packed City Hall to demand city leaders reconsider a new redistricting proposal.
“You’re taking Koreatown and you’re dividing it,” said one resident.
Opponents of the plan want to have Koreatown located in one City Council district, which for many is District 13, which includes Filipinotown and Pico-Union led by Councilman Eric Garcetti.
But some fear that Garcetti may be too preoccupied with his mayoral campaign to focus his attention on protecting Koreatown’s unity, with one critic naming him as one of two councilmen holding the reins of power.
“We got two dictators: Kim-Song [City Council President Herb] Wesson and Kim-El Garcetti,” he quipped.
And it’s not just Koreans pushing for a united Koreatown.
“Because when I am walking the streets of L.A. and somebody spits at me and tells me to go home, I am seen as an Asian and I want representation,” said one woman.
A final vote on the redistricting map is scheduled for next week.