Supervisor Knabe facing county redistricting, weekend closure of I-405

Steven Piper
Staff Writer

Los Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe oversees a geographical area stretching from Avalon on Catalina Island to Hacienda Heights in northeast LA County, and the demands of his job are as diverse as the areas that he represents.
In a July 8 newsletter, Knabe explained the current events of the fourth district, including this weekend’s closure of interstate 405 and the county’s redistricting process, an effort that has been taking place separately from the City of Long Beach’s recent endeavors to reshape its nine districts.
So far, there are two proposals to redraw the county’s fourth district, and one of them would move the cities of Signal Hill and Long Beach from Knabe’s representation into the third county district, which is represented by Zev Yaroslavsky. The second of the two plans– referred to as the benchmark plan– would only move 150,000 constituents, leaving Long Beach and Signal Hill under Knabe’s supervision.
“There are actually two plans that will be reviewed at Wednesday’s [Boundary Review Committee] (BRC) meeting,” said Fourth District Press Deputy Cheryl Burnett. “The first plan is referred to as the benchmark plan… The second plan has more significant changes. Overall, 3.4 million people across the county would be reassigned. It would move Signal Hill and Long Beach into the third district.”
Following the federal census, the County of Los Angeles– consisting of five districts– must undergo a redistricting process every 10 years in order to ensure equal representation. Knabe’s office has been urging constituents to submit letters of opinion to the County’s BRC, suggesting that they should voice a desire for their locality to remain under Knabe’s supervision. A pre-drafted letter can be found on the county supervisor’s website, knabe.com.
The last BRC meeting and opportunity for public comment on proposed maps was on Wednesday, July 13, and by the end of July the BRC will adopt a final redistricting plan, which will be proposed to the Board of Supervisors when a majority vote– six of the 10 members– is reached. The final redistricting ordinance is expected to become effective this September.
Meanwhile, drivers should be aware of the 53-hour shutdown of Interstate 405 between the I-10 and 101 highway. The freeway must be closed to protect the public while the Mulholland Bridge is demolished. Work will start Friday, July 15 at 10pm, and it will continue until Monday, July 18 at 5am.
Detour maps are available on Los Angeles County’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (METRO) website, metro.net/around.
As chair of METRO, Knabe has made sure to spread awareness of the upcoming delays. “For the last year, I have had the honor of serving as the chair of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority,” said Knabe in the newsletter. “I came into this role focused on safety and customer service and the pursuit of a balanced transportation plan for the entire Los Angeles County region.”
The planned improvements for one of the nation’s busiest freeways are expected to improve the flow of traffic from the San Fernando Valley to the Los Angeles Basin.
In other business, the federal Department of Labor has provided more funding to help unemployed youths find a job through the County’s Youth Summer Jobs Program. According to the newsletter, nearly 27 percent of youths in the county are unemployed. The additional federal funds are expected to create an additional 3,000 jobs.
In a trilateral effort, multiple levels of government are banding together in order to offer young people food and snacks in local parks. The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, the United States Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Education are supplying 220,000 lunches in 47 parks starting last week.
Those interested may sign up to receive Knabe’s newsletter at knabe.com.

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