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2 MORE AREAS TALKING SECESSION.

Byline: David R. Baker Daily News Staff Writer

Joining movements under way in the San Fernando Valley and Eagle Rock, activists in San Pedro and Wilmington launched a petition drive Wednesday to study seceding from Los Angeles.

Members of the group HarborVote started collecting signatures on petitions that call for a report on forming an independent city comprising the two seaside communities.

Their drive is patterned after the one nearing completion in the Valley, and features similar complaints about Los Angeles government.

``Every small community suffers the exact same problems: lack of services, lack of response,'' said Frank Fasullo, HarborVote co-chairman.

He said residents feel frustrated trying to get the attention of a city government based more than 15 miles away. He noted that their communities share a councilman who also represents other widely disparate neighborhoods, and is only one vote on the 15-member City Council.

The move comes less than a week after Eagle Rock activists launched their own petition drive. Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment, which has started the movement, will finish collecting signatures next month.

The secession efforts have drawn steady opposition from Mayor Richard Riordan, who has said he will campaign actively to hold the city together.

Like all secession-study drives, HarborVote's volunteers must gather signatures from 25 percent of the area's registered voters in 180 days. While that standard means Valley VOTE must collect 135,000 valid signatures to trigger a study, HarborVote needs only 15,000 because the population in its area is smaller, Fasullo said.

In its editorial pages, the Daily News has strongly endorsed Valley VOTE's drive for a public study of secession. The newspaper also has contributed $60,000 to the petition-gathering effort.

For more information on HarborVote, the public can call (310) 831-6844 or log on to the group's Web site: www.harborvote.com/LA, a spokesman said.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 29, 1998
Words:308
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