Editorial from long-time community member
On September 15, 2017, the Dublin Unified School District released four additional by trustee map options incorporating more recent Dublin population estimates of 53,000 while also using the 2010 census of 46,000. The updated population data was incorporated in response to community feedback (provided case law, etc.) regarding populations changes over the last 7 years. The original 7 draft trustee area maps will remain under consideration along with the newly released map options.
There are two more public hearings including September 19th at 5:30PM at District Offices and September 26th. Also, feedback can also be emailed to DublinUSDCVRA@coopstrategies.com.
The stated intent of the change to by-trustee-area voting is to increase minority representation on the Dublin Unified School Board.
I believe a key question that must be considered is how to balance
(1) board consistency (by allowing all incumbents the opportunity to run), and
(2) transformational change in board composition to better represent the significant and growing minority community in Dublin.
I believe that:
- Only the latest four maps published should be considered because only these incorporate more recent population growth. While this data doesn’t fully reflect recent growth, it is an improvement over just using the 2010 census and better reflects the growth in minority populations. The incorporation of such data has a had a major impact on the maps and better aligns with the objectives of CVRA.
- The change to by-trustee-area should only be implemented along with trustee term limits. These term limits can be modeled after the City of Dublin’s.
- All five trustee areas should be up for election (even though this is beyond the minimum requirement) to allow for more rapid impact of the increased influence of minorities as intended by the CVRA to be implemented.
With this comprehensive approach (term limits, all five seats up), I believe only map Pink A allows voters to balance board consistency and transformational change that would align to the intent of CVRA.
Dublin Unified Board of Trustees approved a resolution at the July 24 Special Meeting to initiate the process of transitioning the District from “at-large” elections to “by-Trustee-area” elections beginning with the Board election scheduled for November 2018.
The Board’s approval of this transition begins a 90-day, legally mandated process in which community input is taken, public hearings are held and map options are developed and presented for the physical division of the city into five “by-trustee-areas”.
One Board Trustee, who resides in the trustee-area, will be chosen by voters residing in that particular area. A third-party demographer will lead this process on behalf of the District and will determine the parameters for an equitable division of the city by population using legally permissible data points.