Op-Ed: L.A.’s Legislators Use Power to Intervene in Local Issues

It’s no secret that Los Angeles politicians wield an inordinate amount of power in the State Legislature. But, as columnist Dan Walters notes in a recent Sacramento Bee op-ed, their influence is increasingly a two-way street.

“No legislative session is complete without some effort by Los Angeles legislators to intervene in a local matter, often big-footing those on lower rungs of the political ladder,” Walters writes.

He gives two examples. First, there’s Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León’s bid to stack the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s governing board with “environmental justice” advocates in light of a recent shakeup orchestrated by California Republicans. The move, he writes, is reminiscent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s effort to pack the Supreme Court with New-Deal friendly justices. De León is also seeking to give the state Air Resources Board power to overturn regional air board decisions.

The second example cited is a bill introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara that would create an independent commission to redraw the five L.A. County Board of Supervisor districts. While these processes can be highly beneficial, Walters sees Lara’s move as a mere power grab.

Read the entire op-ed here.


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