El Cerrito News
August 31, 2016
by Carol Chen, Council Member, Cerritos and Immediate Past President, Los Angeles County Division League of California Cities
In my term as president of the Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities, I knew that I had a responsibility not only to my own constituents, but also to my fellow local elected officials. I knew that they would hold me accountable for my actions and I thought carefully about the specific needs of my community in order to tailor decisions I made to meet their needs. This responsibility and accountability is why representative governance is important. It informs the choice by communities to elect leaders who know and care how they are affected by governmental actions.
SB 1387, a bill before the state Assembly as we speak, threatens the representative system of California government, a system that was expressly created so that every community maintains a voice in the state’s actions. This bill would increase the number of representatives appointed by Sacramento politicians on the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Board, when Sacramento Leadership already appoints three members. The increased number of state-appointed members weakens the ability of this regional board, reducing local power by so much that the board can hardly be considered a local governing board anymore.