Op-Ed: Racial divides in Los Angeles politics are wrong morally and pragmatically
When it comes to racial divides in city government, Los Angeles has a problem.
In the last decade, the mayor’s office and two of the city controller’s and treasurer’s offices have experienced a surge in African-American representation. It may be even more apparent when you look at the mayoral and city controller positions and the two at the treasurer and controller levels.
But on the ground in the city, it looks as though we’re not having as much success as a city.
The recent council election results show that an African-American candidate can win a council seat. But what’s troubling is that this is on an 11-1 vote (I’m a 5-3 Republican, the others are Democrats. Still, an 11-1 edge out of 12 total is not good). To me, it is troubling that the city has such racial divides, such divisiveness and that there’s a potential for these racial divides to have an impact on our city, especially given the current state of our country and the role of the federal government and the federal judicial system.
I believe that it’s important to look at where these divisions have taken place in our city and how they may impede the quality of life for those in the African-American community.
First, the racial divides in the city.
The last election results show us that there’s a gap in terms of representation across our city. This gap has existed for decades. This is more true with African-Americans in the city. And from my perspective and from my own knowledge of how it has transpired, it has been more of a long-term structural issue, not one that has been caused out of a desire to elect one or another Democrat or Republican.
You can look at the current state of California, and we have the most significant gaps in terms of racial representation in the state. The state of California sends about 60 percent of its legislators to Congress, and it has one of the highest rates of political representation of any state – which is a problem for our democracy.
We have such a large gap in terms of the rate of African-American representation in our city. That’s pretty troubling when you think about the role that