downtown Los Angeles skyline with residential neighborhoods in foreground

Reforming the L.A. City Council to Give Diverse Communities a Voice

UCLA Luskin’s Gary Segura spoke to the L.A. Times about a proposal to expand the Los Angeles City Council in an effort to boost representation and discourage unethical behavior. Nearly a century has passed since L.A. residents approved the current number of council districts, 15. New proposals would increase that number to somewhere between 21 and 31. “Los Angeles is a complex city, far more diverse than most cities in the United States,” said Segura, a professor of public policy. “With huge numbers of ethnic and racial populations, it has become increasingly difficult to give different communities a voice.” Any change would require voter approval. Opponents of council expansion often cite concerns about higher costs, but “the truth of the matter is we spend very little on governance in Los Angeles,” Segura said. Even if the council more than doubles in size, the cost of staff, office space, cars and other needs would represent less than 1% of Los Angeles’ annual $13-billion budget.


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