LOS ANGELES – Voters beat back efforts by disgruntled residents to carve new cities out of Los Angeles' suburban San Fernando Valley and its fabled Hollywood, soundly defeating secession efforts placed on Tuesday's ballot for both areas.
The efforts were spurred by secession leaders' dissatisfaction with their share of city services and, in the valley's case, a feeling that city officials in general did not respect them.
Had their efforts succeeded, the sprawling San Fernando Valley, with more than 1.3 million residents, would have rivaled Phoenix as the nation's sixth-largest city. The shrunken Los Angeles, without its famous Hollywood sign and other glitzy landmarks, would have dropped from second to third place, behind New York and Chicago.
With 62 percent of precincts reporting, valley secession was failing 68 percent to 32 percent, or 252,453 no votes to 117,197 in favor. Hollywood secession was being defeated 73 percent to 27 percent, or 256,645 no votes to 96,705 yes votes.
Los Angeles officials and anti-secession supporters began celebrating early in the evening as both secession efforts quickly fell behind.
"It definitely feels good to know that the rest of the city feels that we are better off united than divided,'' said City Council President Alex Padilla, a resident of the valley's Pacoima section.
Supporters of secession countered that they had won by bringing the issue to a vote, no matter the election's outcome. They also vowed not to give up.
"Clearly, we feel we've already won by moving these issues forward into the dialogue of Los Angeles,'' said Jeff Brain, head of Valley Vote. "We will continue. This is a movement ... and we will continue one way or the other to move forward.''
Within the valley, secession was leading by a small margin, 52 percent to 48 percent, or 73,225 yes votes to 67,187 no votes. Within Hollywood, secession trailed 71 percent to 29 percent, or 8,559 no votes to 3,555 in favor.
The initiatives needed to win a majority of votes in both the proposed new cities and the city as a whole.