We are PUSD parents and we urge you to vote “Yes” on Measure A on Tuesday, June 5. If passed by voters in Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre, Measure A will change the way we elect School Board members. Currently, candidates run for office on a district-wide “at large” basis. Under Measure A, School Board members would be elected from seven geographic districts.
If passed, Measure A will:
- Save the district more than $200,000 every election year – funds that will go into classrooms.
- Give voters a stronger voice by bringing the School Board closer to neighborhoods.
- Make the School Board more responsive and accountable to the community because each School Board member will have few constituents.
- Make it easier for individuals to run for the School Board because they can run from a smaller geographic area rather than the entire Pasadena/Altadena/Sierra Madre district, which requires much more effort, time and money to reach all those voters. This should attract a larger pool of candidates.
- Make it easier for School Board members to act collaboratively, because they won’t be running against each other, but running from separate districts.
- Comply with the requirements of the California Voting Rights Act of 2003. If the current “at large” system is challenged in court, the school district could face millions of dollars in costs and then be forced to change the process anyway. Measure A gives voters – rather than judges -- an opportunity to bring about this needed change.
Measure A has been endorsed by a large and diverse group of civic leaders, including Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, former Sierra Madre Mayor Bart Doyle, Dr. Sandra Thomas (Altadena Town Council chair), Bill Podley (past chair, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce), Roberta Martinez (Pasadena Latino Coalition), Yvonne Brown (NAACP), Stella Murga (Pasadena Youth Center), Bob Harrison (former president, PUSD board), Antranik Zartarian (Armenian Community Coalition), George Brumder (Pasadena Educational Foundation), Joan Fauvre, Ken Chawkins, Pasadena City Council member Steve Madison, Diana Peterson-Moore, Pixie Boyden, Dr. Victor Gonzalez, Richard Moon, Chris Chahinian, Bernardean Broadous, the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and United Teachers of Pasadena.
A diverse volunteer task force, comprised of residents of Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre, spent the past ten months meeting, discussing, planning and reaching out to the community for input. They held dozens of community meetings and did a remarkable job of getting input from many people who represent all segments of our communities. They considered all of the various demographic facts and figures and have created seven equal districts. The task force made a point of not drawing the geographic district boundaries to protect existing School Board members. Despite this, the School Board voted to approve the task force’s consensus recommendation.
Measure A will be a positive change for our community and our students. We urge you to vote "Yes."
Peter Dreier and Terry Meng