First published in the Dec. 10 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
The South Pasadena Unified School District invites the public to weigh in on its proposed districting maps for Board of Education members next week, the second to last chance to do so before it adopts the districts.
The board will have the public hearing on the maps during its meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14. The hearings are part of the districting process, which will now occur every 10 years following the release of the U.S. Census. Stakeholders may attend in-person to give input on the decision or they may submit written comment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The board meets at the district office, located at 1100 El Centro St.
Until now, SPUSD board members have been elected at-large, meaning that all registered voters in the district would vote for every candidate, typically two or three at a time. The district’s first election under districts will be next year, when three seats will be up for their regular election cycle, and one will be up for a two-year special election. The board will continue to have five seats.
SPUSD will now join the City Council in having the city’s two governing bodies be apportioned by district and not at-large. Under the new system, candidates will have to live within the districts they are running in, and voters only cast ballots in the districts they live in.
The maps have been prepared in accordance with the California Voting Rights Act to reflect areas of roughly equal population and proportion to demographics and other socioeconomic factors.
Because SPUSD has 26,991 residents according to the latest census, each of its political districts must have around 5,400 residents. The board is also considering other factors such as population by voting age, voter registration numbers, recent voter turnout figures and the ages, races and primary languages of residents. Household income and the distribution of housing — i.e., single- or multi-family, rented or owned.
Broader factors considered when drawing these political boundaries include preserving distinct neighborhoods in a contiguous manner.
After this upcoming meeting, the school board will again have a public hearing at its Tuesday, Jan. 11, meeting before finally selecting a map. These districts will remain in effect through the 2030 census, after which they are to be adjusted to account for population shifts.
The board previously had related hearings in September and October.