LA could choose proportional representation to elect multi-racial diversity. And no, an independent redistricting commission will not fix it.

by Steven Hill, LA Progressive

When I first heard about the latest hot mic scandal revealing raw, naked racial politics in Los Angeles, the lyrics and melody to an old Sly and the Family Stone song popped into mind:

“There is a yellow one that won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one, that won’t accept the white one
Different strokes for different folks”

The hopefulness of the lyrics compared to Angeleno reality was jarring. My mind seemed to be groping for a more tranquil corner as a respite from the surly, shocking diatribes of the three Latino elected officials and a top labor leader, sneering against Blacks, gays, Whites and an innocent three-year-old child (see direct quotes below).

Los Angeles City Hall, Downtown Civic Center

There are three lessons to learn from this raging racial tempest. Much media coverage has been devoted to two of the lessons, but the third remains unrecognized.

The first lesson is that racism from any quarter is ugly and unacceptable, especially from elected leaders.

The second lesson is that the redistricting process is nasty and crooked, especially when left in the self-interested hands of those same elected leaders. No big city should allow that.

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