Editorial: Why L.A. needs a larger City Council
Why Los Angeles needs a larger City Council
The Los Angeles City Council’s membership has long been the subject of criticism, with the council routinely being described as dysfunctional or broken. While many of the criticisms have been rooted in the council’s inability to agree on matters of public importance, they also reflect that the council has repeatedly failed to adequately represent the diverse neighborhoods that make up L.A.’s population.
This failure of representation has, in turn, led to increased resentment and, in some instances, violence. In the last decade alone, five City Council members have been hit with multiple campaign finance violations, and in all four cases that came before the council, at least one of the Council members was censured by the electorate. The censure rate, however, declined over the years and the censure rate is not as high as it has been in the past decade. The council has shown little interest in reforming itself, instead electing new members to the council with their own political agendas, which leaves the residents of L.A. with little recourse for electing those they feel have failed them.
At the same time, the council did make some changes that are positive, albeit incremental, which the author of this editorial, Michael D. Januzzi, argues need to be taken further. These changes include:
Eliminate the term limits for candidates running for either a second consecutive, or seventh consecutive term, which would bring the number of term limits in California down to just four.
Put the term limits up for legislative candidates, which would remove the term limits from the current council members.
Put the term limits up for council candidates, which would remove the term limits from the current council members.
The reforms that the council is seeking should also be looked at in the context of the city’s governance and administration. When looking at the governance and administration of cities with one form of government, like Los Angeles