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Dublin Unified School District and Community Continue Transition to “Trustee-Area” Elections

September 14, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–On Monday evening members of the community offered their thoughts on how Dublin School Board district lines should be redrawn for future elections. This action was in response to a demand letter that alleged violations of the California Voting Rights Act. As previously reported, this is not a new phenomenon. The movement away from “At-Large” to “By-Trustee-Area” elections has gained significant momentum in the golden state. Almost all school districts that have received a demand letter have made active movements to change – rather than to fight/fund what could become lengthy litigation.


On July 24, the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees passed a resolution to comply with the demand. This decision set off a chain of events that continue today as compliance must be met by October 22 (90-day deadline). There are two key elements of this process. First, the district is required to provide ample opportunities for public review and commentary. Starting on September 12, DUSD will host three consecutive open session meetings where the map options will be examined and potentially tweaked. The second element involves the actual maps. The Cooperative Strategies organization has been enlisted by DUSD to provide demographic data and mapping options. The goal was to produce at least five options from CS with two additional options coming from the public.

At its heart, passage of CVRA paved a path to make it easier for minority groups in California to prove that their votes are being diluted in “at-large” elections. There are critics of CVRA and they would argue that it unnecessarily makes race a primary factor in elections. Nonetheless, the map options for the five Trustee regions must be drawn with a goal of equal population that includes a variance that does not exceed 10%. Given the topography and citizen distribution throughout Dublin – this is not an easy task. Adding further intrigue to this situation is that the terms for Trustees Megan Rouse and Dan Cherrier are expiring in 2018. The final map adopted may have very significant impacts upon their ability to run for re-election. In the short term, the next three public hearings will be held on September 12th, 18th and 26th. At the third session, the board plans to adopt a map option.


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