6 November 2002
And then there was one
Apparently Los Angeles isn't going to be split down Mulholland after all. While a slight majority of residents of the San Fernando Valley voted to secede and form their own city, the measure was rejected by the rest of L.A. by a two-to-one margin. Pollsters speculate that the western portion of the Valley, more affluent, was far more willing to say goodbye to L.A. than the east. Still, things will be different in the City of Angels, if only because the Valley has made it quite clear that business as usual is not acceptable on the far side of the Santa Monica Mountains. Will Los Angeles grant more autonomy to the Valley, or to Hollywood, which also lost a secession vote? The structure of city government, I think, is likely to change substantially over the next few years.
What's the relevance to Oklahoma? Consider its capital. Oklahoma City has 510,000 people spread over 604 square miles. The North Canadian River runs south of downtown, effectively dividing the city in two, and each half scorns the other. (In the early days of the 20th century, these were, in fact, two separate cities.) City services have yet to be extended to areas annexed decades ago. "It can't happen here," we are assured. I'm not so sure.