Board » Transition to By-Trustee Area Election System & California Voting Rights Act (CVRA)

Transition to By-Trustee Area Election System & California Voting Rights Act (CVRA)

FINAL DECISION
 

At the April 16 Regular Meeting of the Board, the Board held it's final Public Hearing and Adopted Resolution No. 3810 Approving and Adopting a Final Trustee Area Plan for the District Transition to a By Trustee Area Election System by a vote of 4 to 0, with one member absent, the Board approved the Avocado Map as the District's adopted trustee are Scenario with Trustee Areas 2, 3 & 5 scheduled for election in November 2024 and Trustee Areas 1 & 4 scheduled for election in November 2026.

 

NEXT STEPS

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, Alameda County Office of Education's County Committee on School District Organization will hold a special hearing to consider the reorganization proposal. The special hearing will be held at the San Lorenzo Unified School District Boardroom.  The time is still to be determined.

BACKGROUND


At the Tuesday, February, 6, 2024 Regular Meeting of  the Board, the Board held a Public Hearing on this matter and consider adoption of Resolution No. 3802 initiating transition to a "By-Trustee Area" election system commencing with the 2024 Governing Board Election. Please see the timeline below for opportunities for public input.

 

BACKGROUND: In 2002, the California legislature enacted the California Voting Rights Act ("CVRA"), which prohibits the use of at-large elections of governing board members for a school district if it "impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election…."  (Elections Code § 14027, emphasis added.)  Under the CVRA, the only election system that provides an accepted “safe harbor” from a potential CVRA claim is a “by-trustee area” election system.  Under a “by-trustee area” election system, a school district is divided into separate trustee areas and one governing board member is elected by the registered voters in that particular trustee area, rather than the community at-large.  San Lorenzo Unified School District (“District”) currently employs an “at-large” election system for the purposes of electing Governing Board members.

REMINDER: Last chance to provide input before Board adopts Trustee Area Election map.  The final public hearing is on Tuesday, April 16th at 7:00 p.m. at the District Office Board Room.  Visit the Board page on the website to review the map options (NOTE: These maps have no impact on school attendance).

 

UPDATE: 3 Additional Trustee Area Map Options Created

To date, the District has conducted four public hearings as part of the District's transition from "at-large" to "by trustee area" elections.  Based on feedback and discussion at the map public hearings and public Board workshops, the demographer created three additional map options named Avocado Map, Lemon Map, Plum Map.  The original 4 draft trustee area maps will remain under consideration along with the newly released map options – totaling 7 options under consideration. 

Features of the three additional map options include:

  • All three new maps are under 10% deviation and are contiguous. All three new maps have one area with a strong Asian-American presence of 46% CVAP in Area 2.  All three new maps have an Area 1 with a strong African-American presence between 26% (Avocado) and 27% (Lemon and Plum). All three maps have an Area 5 that is predominantly Latino. This is 47% in Plum, 48% in Avocado, and 50% (majority) in Lemon. 
  • All three new maps keep the Washington Manor neighborhood of San Leandro whole in Area 2.  All three new maps keep Castro Valley whole in Area 1.  All three new maps also keep Area 4 entirely in San Lorenzo, and within the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association.  All three new maps unite Hayward and the Hayward Acres community in Area 5. 
  • Given their populations and geography, San Lorenzo and Ashland must be divided.  Ashland is always divided between Trustee Areas 1 and 3.  Avocado and Plum have one division of Ashland.  In the Lemon Map, a small portion of Ashland north of Cherryland and below the 238 Freeway is in Area 5, and is essential to creating the Latino-majority district by CVAP in that map. 
  • Areas 4 and 5 always include a majority of their population within the CDP of San Lorenzo.  As mentioned earlier, Area 4 is always entirely within San Lorenzo, and Area 5 keeps the Hayward Acres community of interest within San Lorenzo whole. In Plum, all of San Lorenzo is divided between Areas 4 and 5.  In Avocado and Lemon, the part of San Lorenzo east of Hesperion and north of Hacienda is in Area 3 for population balancing. 
  • Cherryland is kept whole in both Avocado and Lemon.  In the Plum map, Cherryland is split to link communities in Ashland and Cherryland, and avoid an additional split of San Lorenzo.

All 7 maps are available for review on the District’s website.

As always, we encourage your continued participation and input during the last and final public hearing on April 16th.  If you cannot attend and wish to review and/or comment regarding the proposed map options under consideration, please submit your comments and feedback to [email protected], or comment via telephone at 510-317-4690.  All map preference feedback will be relayed to the Board prior to its discussion and adoption of a map option.  The final date for any new map to be created or revised is April 9th.

 

We look forward to your continued participation!

 

PUBLIC NOTICES & TIMELINE

 

Timeline of Live Feedback Opportunities (Prior to Creation of Map Options)

Date

Place

Time

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Public Hearing Notice

District Office Board Room*

7:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Public Hearing Notice

District Office Board Room*

7:00 p.m.

 

 

Timeline of Live Feedback Opportunities (After Creation of Map Options)

Date

Place

Time

Map Release 

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Public Hearing Notice

District Office Board Room*

7:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Public Hearing

District Office Board Room*

7:00 p.m.

 

 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Public Hearing

District Office Board Room*

7:00 p.m.