California Voting Rights Act [CVRA]
California Voting Rights Act [CVRA]: Transition to by-Trustee Area Voting
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Transition Affect Where My Student Will Attend School?
No, this transition does not in any way impact the boundary area designating which schools students attend.
Why Choose to Move to By-Trustee Area Voting?
Recently, many cities, school districts and other public entities have had their election systems challenged under CVRA, leading to very expensive and divisive litigation. The Covina-Valley Unified School District’s Board of Education’s preference is and has always been, to avoid expenditures that do not directly benefit the children, families, and communities we serve. While C-VUSD believes its elections have not been racially polarized, a move to by-trustee area elections enables us to move forward without the potential of having to defend CVRA litigation in the future.
What’s the Difference Between At-Large and By-Trustee Area Elections?
Covina-Valley Unified School District has always had an at-large election system, where voters of the entire city elect members to the Board of Education. The District has initiated the creation of election areas (trustee areas) that would be roughly equal in population and in compliance with State law, the Federal Voting Rights Act, and the United States Constitution. Using data from the 2010 Census, the District’s demographer, National Demographics, Inc will create conceptual trustee area scenarios that divide the District into five new voting areas.
What is the Impact of CVRA?
At least 137 other school districts have changed their election method and the only county not using by-district elections was forced to change. Many others have settled out of court by agreeing to change to a by-district election method. Others have defended the at-large method in court resulting in very high legal costs. A few examples of these are:
- Palmdale: $4.7 million
- Modesto: $3 million
- Anaheim: $1.1 million
- City of Compton: six-figure settlement
How Can I Get Involved and Influence the Election Areas?
The process will include hosting a series of public meetings to collect community input regarding the proposed area maps and allowing community members to view the conceptual trustee area scenarios and provide comments. Following community input, it is anticipated that the Board of Education will choose the final map at a meeting in the Fall of 2017.
What is a Community of Interest?
A community of interest is a neighborhood or community that has shared interests, views, or characteristics. Some possible community feature/boundary definitions include:
- School attendance areas
- City borders
- Natural neighborhood dividing lines, such as highway or major roads, rivers, canals, and/or hills
- Areas around parks and other neighborhood landmarks
- Common issues, neighborhood activities, ,or legislative/election concerns
- Shared demographic characteristics
- Such as similar levels of income, education, or linguistic isolation
- Ancestry (Not race or ethnicity)
Who Creates the Trustee Area Maps
National Demographics, Inc will create conceptual trustee area scenarios that divide the District into five new voting areas. The demographer will ensure that the proposed maps comply with FVRA and CVRA requirements as well as consider the feedback from the community during the community meetings and public hearings.
DETAIL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES REGARDING THE TRANSITION TO TRUSTEE AREAS:
- At the regular meeting on Monday, February 21, 2017, the Covina-Valley Unified School District listened to a presentation on the CVRA. This presentation was prepared by attorney firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, and National Demographics Inc.: Tiffany Tran and Dr. Douglas Johnson presented
- At the regular meeting on Monday, February 21, 2017, the Covina-Valley Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved Resolution No. 16-17-31: Resolution Initiating Process of Establishing Trustee Areas and Elections by Trustee Areas. With the Resolution’s approval and the implementation of the actions approved in the Resolution, C-VUSD will ensure that it is in compliance with the California Voting Rights Act [CVRA]. The act expands the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 and addresses whether or not elections using an "at-large" (district-wide) method impair the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election. A copy of the Resolution may be found by following this link:
- Resolution 16-17-31 - Resolution to Initiate the Process of Establishing Trustee Areas and Elections
- At the regular meeting on Monday, May 1, 2017, the Covina-Valley Unified School District Board of Education listened to a presentation from National Demographics regarding the composition of trustee areas. After the presentation, a public hearing was conducted on the matter.
- Presentation Regarding the Composition of Trustee Areas
- Draft Resolution Regarding Composition of Trustee Areas
- Public Hearing Information Regarding Trustee Areas 5/1/17
- At the regular meeting on Monday, May 15, 2017, the Covina-Valley Unified School District will listen to a presentation on CVRA regarding communities of interest. This is the same material presented on May 1st and will precede the second public hearing required before draft maps can be created. The community is invited to come give the Board of Education their input regarding communities of interest.
- At the regular Board of Education meeting on June 19, 2017, a discussion was held on three draft maps. Below are the draft maps provided to the District by the National Demographics Corporation for consideration:
Draft Map - Green Draft Map - Orange Draft Map - Purple
- At the regular Board of Education Meeting on August 21, 2017, NDC presented the Board of Education with three additional maps for consideration. The Board of Education approved Resolution 17-18-05 and selected Draft Maps Green and Green II to present to the public at the community meetings.
Draft Map - Green II Draft Map - Orange II Draft Map - Purple
- Community meetings will be held on the following dates to discuss the change to the Trustee voting method:
- September 6, 2017 - 6:00 p.m. at South Hills High School
- September 12, 2017 - 6:00 p.m. at Covina High School
- September 13, 2017 - 6:00 p.m. at Northview High School
- At the regular Board of Education meeting on September 18, 2017, a presentation was given on the feedback received at the community meetings. Resolution 17-18-08, Approving Draft Trustee Area Maps for Discussion at Public Hearings, was approved to present draft maps Green and Green II at two public hearings.
- At the regular Board of Education meeting on October 16, 2017, the first of two public hearings were held regarding Draft Map Green and Draft Map Green II.
- At the regular Board of Education meeting on November 6, 2017, the second of two public hearings will be held and the Board of Education will adopt a final map.
- At the regular Board of Education meeting on November 6, 2017, the second of two public hearings was held and the Board of Education adopted the Green II Map and recommends that Green II Map be sent to the Committee for consideration and adoption.
- A public hearing and presentation will be held on March 8, 2018, at the Hanes Center (220 W. Puente Street, Covina, 91723 at 6:30 p.m.)
Green II Map with Detailed Streets