Councilmembers to host community meetings about redistricting process

Councilmembers Rae Gabelich and James Johnson, who represent the eighth and seventh districts respectively, will host community meetings next week to provide information and acquire public input on the City of Long Beach’s redistricting process.
Gabelich will conduct her meeting on Tuesday, June 28 at 6:30pm at the Expo Building, 4321 Atlantic Ave. Johnson’s meeting will be Thursday, June 30, at 7pm at Bixby Knolls Christian Church, 1240 E. Carson St.
According to a press release issued by Gabelich’s office, the City Council is tasked with redrawing the Council district boundaries based on the populations from the 2010 US Census numbers. The Council, on a 5–4 vote, approved a motion to prepare a redistricting map that would move the Bixby Knolls and New Bixby neighborhoods from the 8th district to the 7th district. This plan would also split the Bixby Knolls commercial corridor down the middle of Atlantic Avenue.
“This meeting will be an important opportunity for community members to learn about the redistricting process and how the current proposal will impact you,” Gabelich said. “I encourage everyone to share your opinions about the proposed redistricting plan.”
A press release from Johnson’s office stated that the Council’s proposed map shows two changes in the 7th district: smoothing the boundary between the 6th and 7th districts so that it does not zigzag back and forth across Magnolia Avenue; and reunifying the Bixby neighborhoods, which were split in the 2001 redistricting process.
According to Johnson’s release, in March, the Council unanimously approved a set of guidelines for the process that included keeping communities together, making districts compact, and avoiding splitting census tracts that are currently unified. The preliminary map adopted by Council a few weeks ago complies with these principles, as it unifies a community that is currently split into two districts (the Bixby neighborhoods west and east of Orange Avenue), avoids splitting neighborhoods that are currently unified, avoids splitting census tracts, and makes districts more compact. 
The redistricting maps and background information are available at longbeach.gov/redistricting.
To contact Gabelich’s office, call (562) 570-6685 or email district8@longbeach.gov. To contact Johnson’s office, call (562) 570-7777 or email district7@jamesjohnsonlb.com.

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