New Election Maps Chop Up 5th District

By: 
Bill Pearl

In an action that will affect Long Beach elections for the next ten years, LB’s non-elected Redistricting Commission is preparing to cut portions of ELB’s 5th Council District out of El Dorado Park areas, moving them into the 4th district and attach Cal Heights and part of Bixby Knolls to District 5. [“E” on map.]

On Nov. 18 the commission will consider adopting one of two maps (basically similar). The commission could also change parts of one of the two maps or choose a different map or schedule another meeting to make changes.

Both maps cut CD 5 incumbent Councilwoman Stacy Mungo and two announced challengers, Gerrie Schipske (CD 5 Councilwoman 2006-2014) and Michelle Dobson out of the 2022 election cycle ... unless they move their residences.

Mungo has signaled she’s mulling moving to seek a third council term. In her Nov. 13 “Neighborly News” newsletter, Mungo stated in part: “For those who know me well, you know my previous residence is still in Cal Heights.While I continue to enjoy serving and have grown from all you have taught me and requested of me, moving back would be a big decision. My family and I will need to decide what is best once we know the lines are final.”

Schipske may be mulling a different response. Rather than move, she wrote in a Nov. 14 Nextdoor.com comment that she may enter the 2022 mayor’s race to to give the Eastside a voice.

New CD 5 candidates are expected to surface in the coming weeks from within the newly drawn 5th district.

Both maps expand CD 4 northward to take large parts of what had been CD 5 including El Dorado Park South neighborhoods. CD 4 incumbent Councilman Daryl Supernaw doesn’t face re-election until 2024. [“D” on map.]

At the Nov. 10 commission meeting, Eastside Voice president/founder Corliss Lee was the only podium speaker to support keeping CD 5 basically intact.

Under a 2018 City Charter amendment (ostensibly to minimize or prevent political influence in drawing district lines), the Redistricting Commission is legally required to respect communities of interest and geographically contiguous areas. Some have questioned whether stretching CD 5 to connect physically separated areas west of the airport violates that principle.

The sole legal remedy in the City Charter to challenge the ultimately adopted map is a court challenge (petition for writ of mandate.)

Bill Pearl is the publisher of lbreport.com, an online, local news source since August 2000.

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