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New district maps signal vast change

'This is when the craziness is really going to start,' says one former lawmaker.

June 10, 2011|By Bill Kisliuk, bill.kisliuk@latimes.com

The potential for sweeping change among the region’s political districts was brought into sharp focus Friday with the release of preliminary redistricting maps by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Among the changes proposed in the first draft of redistricting:

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) no longer would represent part of Burbank, while Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) might have to compete with Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) in a realigned San Gabriel foothills district under the proposed new maps.

Burbank no longer would be split into two congressional districts and Glendale would share an Assembly representative with Pasadena under the legislative maps

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The proposed maps also move the ground under Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) so that his home is no longer part of the district that includes Glendale and Burbank.

While La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta would be in the same congressional and state Senate districts as Glendale and Burbank, they would be in a different Assembly district — one that also includes Sierra Madre, Azusa and Upland.

Lawmakers affected by the proposals emphasized that the draft maps are not the final word.

“I’m not saying goodbye to anybody yet,” Sherman said. “I think the maps are going to change massively.”

Former Assemblyman Dario Frommer said the redrawn lines could prompt reactions ranging from lawmakers retiring or relocating, to lawsuits alleging that the new maps infringe on the voting rights of minorities.

“This is when the craziness is really going to start,” Frommer said. “I think you are going to see a lot of movement and some retirements. There is also tremendous potential for litigation and that could upset the entire map.”

According to the preliminary maps, Sherman and Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) would live in the same congressional district. Meanwhile, no incumbent lives in a new, heavily Latino congressional district that would include San Fernando, Tujunga, North Hollywood and Van Nuys.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) would represent all of Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge under the proposed map, as well as a string of communities along the Foothill (210) Freeway. But the new district would cut Pasadena, where Schiff has his district office, in half.

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