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Chaffey Community College District
The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) prohibits at-large methods of election if they impair the ability of voters who are members of a race, color or language minority group covered by the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA) to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election. As a result of the CVRA many districts are considering shifting from at- large elections where board members are elected by all voters to "by district" elections where candidates must live in specific districts and only voters living in those districts are eligible to vote.
The process of shifting from at-large to district elections is called redistricting. All local governments that elect by district must, every ten years, redraw their district lines to assure that all districts have nearly equal population. Local redistricting involves any county, city, school district, community college district or special district that is divided into districts or divisions. These local government agencies are required to review their current district boundaries with new population figures from the most recent census and engage in a redistricting process right along with the state. The CVRA applies to all community college districts that conduct at-large elections in their district.
This shift brings with it some unique challenges. There are no existing boundaries for the public to react to. Incumbents may not be evenly distributed. New issues like population balance and maintaining cities and communities of interest have to be considered.
When drawing district boundaries, the primary purpose is to ensure that approximately the same numbers of people are in each district consistent with the principal of "one-person, one-vote." The Supreme Court ruled in 1963 in Reynolds v. Sims that the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment applies to local districts.
The Supreme Court has subsequently found for local districts that substantial but not absolute population equity is not required. Rather they have looked at the total deviation between the districts (the difference between the size of the largest and smallest district). For the District the total deviation is 9.0%. This is less than the 10% that the Supreme Court found in Larios v. Cox, 300 F. Supp. 2d 1320 (N.D. Ga. 2004) would shift the burden of proving legitimacy to the governmental agency.
The Chaffey District covers 821,959 persons according to the last census. Thus with five districts, each should ideally cover approximately 164,392 persons. The difference in the size between the largest and smallest district should be less than 16,439 people.
Voting Rights Act
The federal VRA is the other significant federal law as relates to redistricting. It protects the voting rights of minority groups who have historically had their voting power diluted by the redistricting process. Section 2 of the VRA applies nationally and thus would apply to the Agency.
Under the case Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U.S. 30 (1986) the Supreme Court established a three part test before a group could make a claim under Section 2. The first is that, "the minority group must be able to demonstrate that it is sufficiently large and geographically compact to constitute a majority in a single-member district." Such districts are referred to as majority-minority districts. A jurisdiction may be compelled to draw such districts if a protected class can meet the other two tests under Gingles, namely that the group is politically cohesive and the white majority votes sufficiently as a bloc to enable it to defeat the minority's preferred candidate.
Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP)
The District has a substantial Latino Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP). A preliminary analysis shows that at least two districts can be drawn that are Latino majority-minority districts. Therefore, the Chaffey District is considering prioritizing drawing two districts with a Latino CVAP over 50%.
There are multiple options for drawing such districts but fundamentally drawing two Latino districts requires drawing one district centered around Ontario and one district centered around Fontana.
Finally, a review of the demographics of the District show it is not possible to draw a Black or Asian majority-minority district.
The Federal and California Voting Rights Acts require that certain criteria be satisfied. The are:
The Districts should be of relatively equal size.
The Districts should be contiguous and not have any gaps between Districts.
The Districts should maintain communities of interest such as ethnic or language origin group, neighborhoods, and any other special areas.
The Districts should be as compact as geographically possible.
The Districts should, wherever possible, preserve the current trustee areas and boundaries.
Below is the option for drawing five districts. Districts are given letters instead of numbers pending Board approval. The total deviation for the districts is 6.9% which is within acceptable limits. This option draws two 50%+ Latino CVAP districts. It also minimizes city splits to a significant degree. In order to create a Latino Majority District in Districts C & D, areas that had high density Latino Voting Population were added to those districts in order to increase the Latino Voting percentage above 50%. Certain areas with low density Latino Voting Population were appropriated in other districts to maintain the requirement of 50% or higher.
Under the plan three cities are split. One (Fontana) is larger than a district and must be split. The other two (Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario) are split to comply with the VRA, balance districts without splitting other cities. No incumbents live in the same district under this scenario.
District A consists of most of Rancho Cucamonga, the northern portion of Fontana and the unincorporated county area surrounded by those two cities.
District B consists of Montclair, Upland, a portion of Rancho Cucamonga and unincorporated county areas north of Upland and south of Montclair.
District C consists of most of Fontana, a portion of Rancho Cucamonga and that portion of Rialto covered by the District.
District D consists of most of Ontario and a portion of Rancho Cucamonga.
District E consists of Chino, Chino Hills and unincorporated county areas surrounded by those two cities.
FONTANA Fontana is split along HWY-210 with the northern portion in district A and southern portion in District C.
ONTARIO Ontario is split along HWY-60 west of Campus Avenue and along Riverside Drive east of Campus Avenue. The northern portion is in District D and the southern portion is in District E.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA Rancho Cucamonga is split into four different districts. About three-fourths of the city is in District A. District D covers areas south of Red Hill Country Road. The area roughly bordered by HWY-210, Haven Ave and Foothill Blvd (except the area previously described in District D) is in District B.
The area bordered Hwy-210, Etiwanda Avenue and Baseline Rd is in District C.