Dear Editor:

Concerned Citizens of the 10th District have been absolutely compromised when every district in the City of Los Angeles has a representative on the City Council except for us. Yes, 14 out of 15 leaves a mathematical answer to the question that many people in the city have been asking. How many districts are excluded from voting in the city? The answer is One district- and that district is the 10th District.

It is unfair and unjust, and Ray Charles could have seen this if he were here. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said after his campaign in Birmingham that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This statement best represents the position we find ourselves in. The 10th District concerned citizens know what discrimination is and when we experience it, we resist it. We need to have a representative at the City Council table. We want to have the same representation that every other council district and every other business and resident is afforded in the City of Los Angeles.

We need an appointed representative that has the power to speak and vote and represent us until the removed Councilman Mark Ridley Thomas has resolved his legal case with the federal government. We understand that to take away his right to prove his innocence is unacceptable. Yet, we need to have a vote at the table to register our influence on voting on citywide issues before the city council. This appointment will not violate the position of people who voted for the suspended Councilman of the 10th District who is waiting for his trial. An appointment will allow the Concerned Citizens of the 10th District to be made whole, while waiting for the suspended Councilman of our 10th District to prove his innocence.

When we receive a temporary representative, it reflects our best effort to be treated fairly by having a vote on citywide issues, like the budget, in the city where we live. We cannot imagine this occurring in any of the other  areas of our city. We should not wait another week for this delay of justice. The world of delayed court dates should not adversely affect one of Los Angeles’ most vibrant multicultural communities. A strong diverse contingent of this very community came out in support of the city council’s decision to appoint Wesson.

We applaud Council President Nury Martinez, for her efforts in securing us a representative and we hope that President Martinez and the other concerned Councilmembers will advocate for representation for the 10th District. We trust these leaders will not ignore the 10th District, nor do we believe they will shy away from the challenge of fairness and justice to people they represent either directly or indirectly. We believe the courts already know the disadvantage the residents of the 10th District experience everyday by not being represented on the council. We often wonder if the City Attorney’s Office can represent our needs before the courts in the way they represent the other 14 districts in the city. Therefore, we demand representation and restoration of former Councilman Herb Wesson as the appointed temporary 10th District representative as was voted on by Los Angeles City Council.  As the former representative of the 10th District, I cannot think of anyone who better knows the district than Councilman Wesson.  His appointment as the “interim” councilmember would give us a voice and the vote we deserve right now, while insuring that when Councilman Ridley-Thomas resolves his legal issues there is no confusion about who is our council representative.  This appears to be an easy fix and all the legal wrangling and political jockeying that has been going on over the past several months does nothing to help our district but continues to leave us unrepresented, and silent on the very issues that impact our district and that we as the residents of the 10th District care about the most.