Los Angeles City Council District 15 is one of the electoral districts of the Los Angeles City Council and the only one to keep its boundaries generally the same since the districts were formed in 1925.
The 15th District was designed at its origin to represent the Los Angeles Harbor and Shoestring districts of the city, and over the years it has done so, although its northern boundary has been shifted to the south in keeping with changes in population. It has been the second-most stable in council membership.
Present day district
The 15th district encompasses all of the city's southern area and the Port of Los Angeles. This includes the communities and neighborhoods of San Pedro, Wilmington, Vinegar Hill, Harbor City and the Harbor Gateway. Watts borders the district to the northeast.
A new city charter effective in 1925 replaced the former "at large" voting system for a nine-member council with a district system with a 15-member council. Each district was to be approximately equal in population, based upon the voting in the previous gubernatorial election; thus redistricting was done every four years. (At present, redistricting is done every ten years, based upon the preceding U.S. census results.) The numbering system established in 1925 for City Council districts began with No. 1 in the north of the city, the San Fernando Valley, and ended with No. 15 in the south, the Harbor area.
The northern border of the 15th District was set in the following locations in these years:
1933. Stretches from Manchester Avenue on the north to and including Los Angeles Harbor on the south. Major eastern boundaries of the shoestring are Figueroa Street and Normandie Avenue and western limits are Western and Vermont avenues.
1937: Manchester Avenue.
1940: Irregular line with Manchester Avenue at the highest plane.
Not only geographically, but also representationally the district has been one of the most stable. There have been only nine council members since 1925 — seven men and two women. None served fewer than four years. The thirty-year incumbency of John S. Gibson, Jr., was the second-longest of any Los Angeles City Council member, after John Ferraro of the 4th District. The officeholders were:
Access to most Los Angeles Times links requires the use of a library card.
- Tina Daunt and Seema Mehta, "Council Districts Drawn to Benefit Valley, Latinos," Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2002
- "First Map Showing City Council's Districts," Los Angeles Times, January 16, 1925, page 1
- "Here Are the Hundred and Twelve Aspirants for the City's Fifteen Councilmanic Seats," Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1925, page 7
- "Council Areas' Lines Changed," Los Angeles Times, December 29, 1928, page A-1
- "City Reapportionment Measure Gets Approval," Los Angeles Times, January 19, 1933 With map of all districts.
- "Do You Know Who Your City Councilman Is?" Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1935, page 22
- "New Council Zones Defined," Los Angeles Times, January 7, 1937, page A-18
- "Proposed New Alignment for City Voting Precincts" (with map), Los Angeles Times, November 30, 1940, page A-3
- "Los Angeles' Realigned City Council Districts," Los Angeles Times, September 21, 1986, page B-3 (with map)
- Dean Murphy, " 'Mr. Gibson':A Councilman of Deep Faith, Hard Work," Los Angeles Times, April 26, 1987 With a map.
- District 15 website