Editorial Note: Although every effort has been made to insure the accuracy of the material in this presentation, the scope of the material covered and the discussions undertaken lends itself to the possibility of minor transcription misinterpretations.
Chairman Philibosian introduced Mr. Chris Dickerson, Press Deputy to the County Mayor and Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Antonovich. Mr. Dickerson’s presentation is part of the EEC Commission’s decision to have each of the supervisor’s offices discuss their districts. Chairman Philibosian mentioned that Mr. Dickerson spent 27 years as a journalist; as the City Editor of the Signal Newspaper in Santa Clarita, California; and on the Fifth District’s staff for almost a year.
Press Deputy Dickerson thanked Chairman Philibosian and commented on the overview of the Fifth District and on questions regarding the Census Report. The Fifth District is the largest in the county. The First District, represented by Supervisor Molina has 215 square miles; the Second, Supervisor Burke: 157 square miles; the Third, Supervisor Yaroslavsky: 432 square miles; the Fourth, Supervisor Knabe: 822 square miles; and the Fifth, Supervisor Antonovich: 2,851 square miles.
Press Deputy Dickerson noted that the latest census figures indicate that the Fifth District has approximately 2,067,100 constituents. However, a document published by the Federal Government indicates that there are 1,969,497 constituents. The Fifth District is not only spread out, but is also demographically diverse. The areas consist of “the cowboy and western history loving residents” in the Santa Clarita Valley; the “hearty souls who brave the high desert winds” in Palmdale and Lancaster; the “movers and shakers” in the entertainment industry in Burbank, and the economically and ethnically diverse areas of Glendale, Pasadena, La Cresenta, and the San Fernando Valleys.
The district mission, according to Press Deputy Dickerson in the home office and in the five field offices, is to be at the service to this diverse constituency. Some of the population may be lost to other districts due to the reordering of the population, depending upon the census results. The Federal Government reported that 513,823 residents describe themselves as being Hispanic. There were other categories such as non-Hispanic-American-Indian and non-Hispanic-American-Indian, white: 12,113; non Hispanic-Pacific-Islander, non-Hispanic-Pacific-Islander, white: 3,028; non-Hispanic, some other race, white: 30,814; then non-Hispanic-other multiple race, where more than one minority race is listed: 12,810. Those were people of all ages. Subsequently, the census has been broken down into under eighteen and 18 or older.
Next, Press Deputy Dickerson remarked that utilization of regional airports was a major focus of the Fifth District. The expansion of LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) was considered not viable. There are many facilities available in the Palmdale/Ontario/Plant 42 area for both freight and passenger. LAX has problems accommodating both of these areas, due to the estimated population increase (1M constituents in the Fifth District over the past ten years).
Vice Chair Lucente asked if these comments referred to the Palmdale and Burbank Airports? Press Deputy Dickerson answered that it did not specifically refer to Burbank, because it has it’s own challenges. Palmdale is the facility that is totally underutilized, and is the focus.
Chairman Philibosian asked if ground transportation issues are linked to the Palmdale expansion. Press Deputy Dickerson replied that the Fifth District would like to consider a regional above ground transportation system that utilizes the existing freeway system and that could extend to the Antelope Valley. Press Deputy Dickerson mentioned that there were packets of updated statistics and maps dealing with the five districts of Los Angeles County available for distribution. Chairman Philibosian thanked Press Deputy Dickerson for his presentation and asked him to remain for any further questions.
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