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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Toward a Greater East Side: California Political Boundary Law and Southeast Los Angeles County

  • Author(s): Sprague, Ian Flannigan
  • et al.

My paper discusses the ineffectiveness of California state law to address socially inefficient municipal boundaries. By focusing on the recent struggles of a group of industrial suburbs in Southeast Los Angeles County that includes the City of Vernon, the paper demonstrates how a fragmented municipal topography worsens socioeconomic decline, hazardous land uses, and a lack of political accountability.  Next, I analyze California statutory and constitutional law on the subject, demonstrating its ineffectiveness in encouraging boundary modifications to address the inequities facing the communities of Southeast Los Angeles County. Finally, I suggest legislative and constitutional modifications to encourage greater political accountability and socioeconomic equity in California’s municipal topography.

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