From "At Large" to a "By-Trustee Area" Elections
Paso Robles Joint Unified School District is transitioning from at-large elections to by-trustee area elections. Beginning in November 2022, residents will vote for a single Board of Trustee candidate residing in their newly drawn trustee area. The public is invited to provide input on the district formation mapping during public hearings. On April 25, 2021, the Board affirmed the process of converting the method by which Board members are elected. Under the current "at-large" system, all registered voters within the District's boundaries vote for any candidate for all Board member seats. Under the new proposed system, candidates will be elected by “trustee areas.” This means only voters within a given trustee area can vote for candidates who reside within that same area. The intent of this proposed system is to offer greater opportunities for Board representation by candidates who might not otherwise be elected under an at-large system.
What is the CVRA?
The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) prohibits the use of an election system “that impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election.” Elected entities can be sued if their election systems result in racially polarized voting. If a court finds against an elected entity, the elected entity must change its election system and pay substantial attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses.
What is the difference between "At Large" and "By-Trustee Area" Elections?
PRJUSD currently has an "at-large" election system where voters of the entire city elect all members of the School Board. A “by-trustee area” election system will carve PRJUSD's district into seven (7) "by-trustee areas." Voters in each "by-trustee area" will choose their School Board representative, who must also live in that "by-trustee area."
The Paso Robles Joint USD held the first of three Public Hearings on May 25th at 6:00 p.m. regarding Trustee Area Scenarios. FOUR (4) different Trustee area scenarios were presented and discussed. The second Public Hearing was held on June 8th at 6:00 p.m. where area scenarios were discussed at length, where now, only two maps remain for discussion, Scenario 2 and Scenario 4, see maps below. The third and last Public Hearing on Trustee Area Scenarios is scheduled on June 22nd at 6:00 p.m. The district also provided the public a mapping tool that allowed the community and anyone that wanted to create their own maps to their liking and share it with Cooperative Strategies for review and potential option to vote on such map. The online mapping tool was accessible to the public from April 27 - June 15, 2021.
CONCEPTUAL TRUSTEE AREA - SCENARIO 1
CONCEPTUAL TRUSTEE AREA - SCENARIO 3
Public Hearing Notices/ Aviso de Audiencia Publica
April 27, 2021 - General Waiver Request/pedido de renuncia general
June 22, 2021 - Trustee Area Scenarios - Third Public Hearing
PUBLIC MAPPING TOOL
(Tool managed by Cooperative Strategies)
As part of the creation of voting areas, the district provided a public mapping tool that allowed the community and anyone that wanted to create their own map(s) to their liking. The tool would share your map directly with Cooperative Strategies for review with the potential option to be voted on. The online mapping tool was accessible to the public from April 27 - June 15, 2021.