Correspondence

Fighting the Good Fight

“Save your fundraising mailing lists, for the San Fernando Valley shall rise again.”  For now, secession has failed.  In the November 2002 elections, a referendum to separate the Valley from the City of Los Angeles and to create the City of San Fernando Valley passed 51 to 49 percent in the Valley but lost 67 to 33 percent in the total Los Angeles vote.  “My reaction is, the Valley won,” said Richard Close, one of several leaders of the Valley secession movement.  For Close, the narrow win in the Valley was “a moral victory.”  Keith Richman, a Republican state assemblyman from Granada Hills in the Valley, felt much the same way.  He would have been mayor of the new city, had it been created.  Out of a field of ten, he received nearly 53 percent of the vote.  The second-highest vote recipient received less than 12 percent.

An analysis of the election and of exit polls reveals two inescapable facts: First, as long as the entire City of Los Angeles is allowed to vote on the secession of the Valley, the creation of a separate Valley city is doomed; second, white residents of the Valley voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession.  The first point is being discussed at length publicly.  The second point is usually mentioned only in private conversations.

The Valley is a cash cow for the City of Los Angeles.  Some months before the election,...

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