By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Victor Valley College (VVC) is preparing for a likely change in the way Board of Trustee members are elected and will be addressing the number of Trustees who represent the High Desert at a Special Meeting on Redistricting, scheduled for January 10 at 5pm. The Special Meeting will be held on the 2nd floor in the VVC Student Activities Center, Building 44.
The current Board of Trustees stated intention to pursue a possible transition from “at-large” to “district area” elections requires continued public input into the process. It is imperative that the community is aware of the process; have opportunity to view and comment on potential redistricting maps; and have the ability to question and provide input so our Board of Trustees can make “community based” informed decision(s). We are currently about three quarters through the process, although the most challenging component is still ahead of us. After having a first look at what potential boundaries might look like at our November board meeting, it was clear more time and community input was required to further study geographic boundaries and select one of the voting area configurations.
A number of redistricting maps will be available for viewing at the Special Meeting. Some based on city boundaries, others on school districts and still others on highways (major roadways). The maps were drawn based on official 2010 U.S. Census data, the most recent data legal to use in a redistricting process. These maps can also be located online at www.vvc.edu/redistricting .
Victor Valley College Board of Trustees
SPECIAL MEETING – REDISTRICTING
Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 5pm
Student Activities Center, Bldg 44
Victor Valley College Redistricting Questions and Answers
. When will the new district boundaries take effect?
Approved changes would affect the November 2018 elections. This includes changing from “at‐large” elections (where trustees are elected by a county‐wide vote) to “by‐trustee‐area” elections (trustees will now be elected solely by the voters in the district they represent). Trustees who were elected in 2016 will continue to serve through 2020.
. Why is VVC doing this now?
The Victor Valley Community College District has not redistricted since its establishment more than 56 years ago. The at‐large system has, over the years, resulted in the election of a membership to the Board in fair and open elections, and no one has demanded that the District change its method of election. However, the “at large election system” may be subject to challenge under the California Voting Rights Act, which became law in 2002. The VVC Board of Trustees felt that this was an opportune time to address the change to “by‐trustee area “ elections and ensure compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act (“one person one vote”) by redrawing trustee area boundaries using current data from 2010 Census.
. If VVC tries to the best of its ability to meet the provisions of the California Voting Rights Act, will VVC be protected from lawsuits?
Under the California Voting Rights Act, by‐trustee‐area elections are considered a safe harbor.
. What sort of population numbers must new district boundaries be based on?
The new trustee districts will be drawn based on 2010 Census data. Based upon current data available, each VVC District should have a population of approximately 75,000 – 78,000. As we enter this process, current populations of each district are listed on maps located at www.vvc.edu/redistricting .
. When the redistricting process is complete, when will board members be subject to residency requirements?
Any candidate running for election or re‐election to the VVC Board of Trustees in 2018 will need to live in the district they seek to represent. The three members who were elected in 2016 will continue to serve until 2020 and then will run in their new districts.
. How will the redistricting process make sure VVC districts continue to represent existing communities of interest?
VVC has and will be conducting public hearings to give voters a chance to give input in the redistricting process. These forums are being advertised to the public through traditional media (newspaper, radio, etc.) as well as by social media (internet, Facebook, etc.).
ABOUT THE VVCCD:
The Victor Valley Community College District (VVCCD) is one of 72 community college districts within the California Community College system, the largest educational system in the world, which encompasses 114 community colleges. The VVCCD has for 56 years provided its communities and students with quality and affordable career training, certificates, associate’s degrees, and preparation for transfer to four-year colleges or universities through Victor Valley College (VVC. For additional information on the VVCCD, please contact Robert A. Sewell, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at 760-245-4271, Ext. 2395 or by email at email@example.com.