The Santa Clarita Community College District, which operates College of the Canyons, changed the method by which members of the Board of Trustees are elected starting with the November 2016 election. Trustees are now elected to represent specific areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
The district changed its election system after its election practices were challenged in a lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit was settled, and the terms of the settlement provided for changing the way district elections were conducted. In addition to implementing by-trustee areas, the district eliminated the numbered-seat trustee election system and moved its elections from odd-number years to even-number years.
The Board of Trustees set criteria to be used in drawing proposed boundary areas. It hired a demographic consultant to develop maps of proposed boundaries for trustee districts. The board held three public hearings to give members of the public an opportunity to view and comment on the proposed boundaries. That feedback was used to make adjustments to the maps to keep neighborhoods intact. The board approved a final map, which was submitted to the state Chancellor's Office for approval by the Board of Governors (BOG) of the California Community Colleges. With BOG approval secured, the new areas were implemented in time for the Nov. 8, 2016 election.
The Board of Trustees used 10 criteria (listed below) for drawing the boundaries. The criteria were contained in Resolution 2015/16-08, which was approved on the board's Sept. 23, 2015 meeting agenda.
- The boundaries of the trustee areas shall be established so that the trustee areas are equal in population as defined by law.
- The boundaries of the trustee areas shall not be gerrymandered in violation of the principles established by the United States Supreme Court in Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630 (1993), and its progeny.
- The boundaries of the trustee areas shall be established so that the trustee areas do not result in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen to vote on account of race or color as provided in Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act.
- The boundaries of the trustee areas shall observe communities of interest, including: rural or urban populations; social interests; agricultural, industrial or service industry interests; and the like, insofar as practicable.
- The boundaries of the trustee areas shall be compact, insofar as practicable.
- The boundaries of the trustee areas shall be created to contain cohesive, contiguous territory, insofar as practicable.
- The boundaries of the trustee areas may observe topography and geography, such as the existence of mountains, flat land, forest lands, man-made geographical features such as highways, major roadways and canals, etc., as natural divisions between districts, insofar as practicable.
- Unless otherwise required by law, the trustee areas shall be created using whole census blocks.
- The boundaries of the trustee areas may avoid the pairing of incumbents in the same trustee area, insofar as this does not conflict with the constitution and laws of the State of California and the United States.
- The boundaries of the trustee areas shall comply with such other factors which become known during the redistricting process and are formally adopted by the Board of Trustees.
The trustee elections that were scheduled for November 2015 were moved to November 2016. And, the trustee elections that were scheduled for November 2017 were moved to November 2018. Subsequent elections will continue to be held in even-number years.
The district moved its election dates to coincide with statewide general election dates, which occur in even-numbered years. More people tend to vote in statewide elections, so moving district board elections to even-numbered years will likely lead to increased voter participation in district board elections.
- Michael Berger represents Area 1, which will be on the November 2022 ballot.
- Edel Alonso represents Area 2, which will be on the November 2020 ballot.
- Steve Zimmer represents Area 3, which will be on the November 2020 ballot.
- Michele Jenkins represents Area 4, which will be on the November 2020 ballot.
- Joan MacGregor represents Area 5, which will be on the November 2022 ballot.
Yes. By law, the population in each area must be equal, within a 5 percent variance.
In 2021, the board will use data collected in the 2020 Census to evaluate trustee areas and make any needed adjustments.
Updated July 31, 2020