On March 8th, residents of L.A.’s Koreatown community showed up in droves to see through that their voice would become part of Council District 13 for increased self-determination and representation in city government. About 200 Korean Americans wore yellow t-shirts written “I (Heart) Koreatown” after responding to a last-minute call for action to attend the morning council session. The issue at hand is that Koreans say they aren’t being included in the city’s democratic process even though according to the latest census numbers, Koreans make up 13 percent of L.A.’s population. Koreatown is currently split among four council districts and because of the split, it is difficult to make a strong stance.
With the current redistricting plan, Koreatown would be split into two council districts which is not satisfactory with the Koreatown residents. As of March 23rd however, Koreatown has lost the redistricting battle.
Although the battle has been lost, civil rights attorney Do Kim has remarked that “the redistricting battle has reignited Korean civic participation like nothing else in recent years.” The next course of action is to now file a lawsuit against the new L.A. City Council district maps as there have no other recourse.
[Photo Courtesy of Ruxandra Guidi/KPCC]