Zev Yaroslavsky

Keep a cross off the L.A. County seal

Keep a cross off the L.A. County seal

When I was a boy growing up in Boyle Heights, I had an unobstructed view of the City Hall tower from our apartment on Breed Street. Each year during the Christmas season, our city lit up its seat of government in the shape of a cross. I remember wondering why the city was favoring one religion over others, including my own. In 1978, the California Supreme Court ruled that lighting the City Hall tower in the shape of a cross was a violation of the "no preference" clause of the state Constitution, and the city was prohibited from displaying the cross again.

As a Los Angeles County supervisor, I was confronted with an analogous issue. The...