First published in the Jan. 27 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The recent state redistricting process will change La Cañada Flintridge’s congressional and state representatives this year while placing the city in regions with major Asian American populations.
Specifically, following this year’s elections, LCF will no longer be represented by state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman or Rep. Adam Schiff. However, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, an LCF resident, will continue to speak for the city’s district in the California Legislature.
The new maps of the state’s political districts, which an independent California commission draws following each U.S. Census, largely place LCF with its San Gabriel Valley neighbors to the east. The California Citizens Redistricting Commission submitted its final maps — which will remain in effect for the next decade — in late December. Besides setting the stage for a change in cities’ representatives following this year’s elections, in some cases, the new maps alter the voting populations of each district, potentially strengthening or weakening certain groups’ political influence.
The boundaries, which go into effect with the June primary elections, situate LCF in Assembly District 41, which include Pasadena, La Verne and Monrovia, but not Glendale, Burbank or La Crescenta-Montrose. LCF is currently in Assembly District 43.
State Assemblyman and Pasadena Democrat Chris Holden represents much of the area in the city’s new Assembly district, though his term ends this year. Representatives of Holden’s office confirmed that he will be running for reelection to his final term.
LCF will remain in the 28th Congressional District, but the boundaries will shift away from Burbank and Hollywood to include Pasadena, San Marino, Arcadia and other cities. U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, a Monterey Park Democrat, said she is running for reelection this year to oversee the district.
Portantino’s state Senate district, which will remain the 25th district, will lose Burbank and Sunland-Tujunga while gaining Arcadia, Monterey Park and Rosemead. His term will continue through at least 2024.
Two of the new maps place LCF in boundaries with noticeably concentrated Asian American voting populations. About 11.5% of voting-age citizens in Senate District 25 identified as Asian, according to Census estimates available at the time of the 2011 redistricting process. But an estimated 30.3% of voting-age citizens of the newly drawn Senate District 25 identify as Asian.
Similarly, Congressional District 28 had an estimated citizen voting-age Asian population of about 12% around the time of the 2011 redistricting, whereas the redrawn district has an estimated 35.3% population for the same category. The Hispanic share of the population also increased from 18.2% to 23.7%.
However, because the population estimates were reported in 2011, it’s unclear how much of the shift resulted from redistricting rather than demographic changes that have occurred since then.
And in the case of the changed state Assembly district, Asian Americans’ share of the population may have actually decreased. About 13.4% of voting-age citizens in Assembly District 43 identified as Asian, while the same population has an estimated share of just 12.5% in the new district. However, Hispanic voting-age citizens increased their representation from 17.8% to 26.2%.
Nearly one-third of LCF’s population identifies as Asian, according to 2020 Census estimates, not including those who identify both as Asian and another racial group.
State law requires the CRCC to draw district lines by certain criteria, with the foremost guidelines being that boundaries must have roughly equal population and comply with the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits redistricting that discriminates on the basis of race. The CRCC also cannot draw boundaries based on communities’ relationships with their current political representatives.