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The San Fernando Valley Secession Movement The citizens of the San Fernando Valley will soon be facing one of the most important issues in their history With an estimated 36 million residents in Los Angeles the city has more population than 25 states combined Los Angeles is so large geographically that the cities of St Louis Milwaukee Cleveland Minneapolis San Francisco Pittsburgh and New York City will fit within its boundaries see Fig a The San Fernando Valley has 12 police per 1000 residents while the rest of the city has 22 assigned per 1000 residents The Los Angles City Council meetings are held downtown more than an hour driving from many parts of the Valley making it difficult for Valley residents to be heard For these and many other reasons the decision facing the residents of the San Fernando Valley is To secede or not to secede By examining the history viewpoints of decision makers and citizens and also the current status of secession one can better understand the complexities of this issue The idea for the valley to secede is not a new one The movement has roots that go back 20-25 years In 1975 Hal Bernson who at this time owned a blue jeans store in the Northridge Fashion Center Larry Calemine a real estate developer founded CIVICCThe Committee Investigating Valley Independent CityCounty By 1978 after CIVICCs campaign gave the residents of the Valley the sense that they were being slighted and ignored by the City of Los Angeles The campaign died CIVICC put the citys shortcomings on paper for the first time commissioning a study that concluded Valley taxpayers were being shortchanged when it came to receiving city services said Bernson after he was elected to City council in 1979 In 1993 Paula Boland R-Granada Hills a former CIVICC member started an effort in the California State Assembly by authoring a bill that would take away the power
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