Q: Why does PUSD have to switch to voting districts?
A: The District was one of many public agencies to receive a receipt of demand under the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. Under this demand, PUSD will have to convert from an at-large election system to a by-district system. At least 150 school districts, 28 community college districts, and over 66 cities in California have undergone or are undergoing this change.
Q: How are the trustee areas up in 2018 versus 2020 decided?
A: The number of trustee areas up for election in 2018 and 2020 must match the number of current Board Member terms ending in each of those years, so for Poway Unified there will be 3 trustee areas up for election in 2018 and 2 in 2020. If a single current Board Member resides in a given trustee area, that trustee area is assigned to the same election year as the resident trustee. If multiple Board Members whose current terms all end in the same year reside in a given trustee area, again that trustee area is simply assigned to the year their current terms end. If there are multiple Board Members in a given trustee area, and one or more of those Board Members’s current term ends in 2018 and one or more of those Board Members’s current term ends in 2020, then the trustee area is assigned to 2020. Whenever there are multiple Board Members in a single trustee area there must also be one or more trustee areas with no resident current trustee. Once the trustee areas with resident Board Members are assigned to election years, then the ‘vacant’ trustee areas are assigned to the remaining election year dates by Board preference.
Q: What is a community of interest?
A: The California Constitution defines a community of interest as a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation. Examples of such shared interests are those common to an urban area, a rural area, an industrial area, or an agricultural area, and those common to areas in which the people share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.
Q: What are some factors to consider when drawing maps?
A: 1. What are the boundaries of your neighborhood or “community of interest”?
2. Do you want your neighborhood or school attendance boundary united in one trustee area, or with multiple Trustees elected from it?
3. What neighborhoods do you think make sense to be with your neighborhood in a trustee area (or areas) because of common issues (i.e. same school)?
4. What other “communities of interest” do you see in the District?
Q: Can the number of students in each trustee area be indicated in the online tool and in the trustee area data?
A: Unfortunately that is a technically complex and time-consuming project, and the state-mandated timeline for this project does not give us enough time to do that. But the demographic data available in the trustee area demographic reports do report the percentage of households that have a child under age 18 living at home. Obviously not all children under age 18 living at home are going to Poway Unified schools, but that data does give a rough count.
Q: What does Census Block mean?
A: The online map making tool divides the District into Census blocks, the smallest unit of measurement used by the Census. Think of a census block as being roughly equivalent to a city block (although the census blocks are larger in less populated areas). It’s best not to split census blocks when creating your maps.
Q: What do the acronyms and categories mean on the demographic sheets?
These are standard categories included in the Census. Not all of the categories are relevant for creating district maps. Acronyms include:
VAP: Voting age population
CVAP: Citizen Voting Age Population
CVRA: California Voting Rights Act
NDC: National Demographics Corporation (the firm hired by the city to create the maps)
Q: Do I have to submit a complete map?
A: No. You can draw boundaries for just the district where you’d like your neighborhood to be or any part of the city.
Q: Can I submit more than one map?
Q: What happens to the maps?
A: Once submitted, maps are considered public records. The District will post all legally-compliant submitted maps on its website. The Board of Education will hold Public Hearings regarding the content of the draft map or maps at its October 12 and November 9 meetings.
Q: Where can I learn more about districting and redistricting?
A: There are a number of online publications and guides to redistricting. You can start with this one from MALDEF and the NAACP
, or this (long) one from the Brennan Center
, this one from the League of Women Voters
, or this FAQ from the California Independent Redistricting Commission
Q: Need help?
A: Contact the District’s demographers at National Demographics Corporation: PowayUSD@NDCresearch.com
(email) or 818-254-1221 (phone and fax). **NOTE: As of 12pm Thursday, November 9th, public comments can no longer be accepted via email, to give Board members adequate time to receive and read them in advance of the final hearing.**