Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Janice Hahn On Redistricting, " I Don't Know What I'm Going To Do"

If the final CA congressional redistricting maps survive legal challenges, newly-elected Congresswoman Janice Hahn will find herself between a rock and a hard place or, more specifically, between 36-year Congressional veteran Henry Waxman and angry African-American constituents.

The new maps  redraw Hahn and her hometown of San Pedro into a new "Gardena-Compton" district tailored to represent African Americans. The district she currently represents, CA-36,  would hug the coast from Palos Verdes in the south to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Malibu to the north - the majority of Henry Waxman's current district.

According to the LA Weekly, African American activists are already sounding alarm bells over the prospect that Hahn could potentially cut their SoCal representation in Congress from three seats to two.

In an email making the rounds today, activist Basil Kimbrew accuses Hahn of having "disrespected and betrayed the black community." Kimbrew claims that Hahn told him she will run for the Gardena-Compton seat, which also includes Hahn's home in San Pedro.

Kimbrew goes on to say that African-Americans who worked to elect Hahn in her special election were "duped" and "tricked" -- and would have been better off supporting Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

In another article, Hahn sounded none too happy with the situation.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do." she told LA Wave, "The commission has taken my district out from under me. The 36th District in which I have lived and worked for many years and was elected to represent no longer exists. They removed my base — the Harbor, Wilmington, San Pedro (where I live) — and put them in the new Compton District..... My supporters who worked hard to get me elected are accusing me of abandoning my people. I’m not abandoning them; they’re being taken away from me and put into Compton!”

If Hahn did chose to run in the new Gardena-Compton district, she'd also be facing off against CA Assembly member Isadore Hall, who's announced his intention to run in the district and has already racked up a number of community endorsements.

Hall and Richardson could potentially split the African American vote and allow the well-funded Hahn to make it to the general election under California's top-two primary system.

The Commission is schedule to vote on the adoption of the maps on August 15th.


  1. after looking over these visualizations i've come to the conclusion the members of the Citizens Redistricting Commission have spent a good deal of their time sniffing glue.......