.

PUSD Redistricting Task Force Wants Your Input

The Pasadena Unified School District has scheduled a series of community meetings in January and February to discuss the new sub-regional district boundaries.

The Pasadena Unified School District Redistricting Task Force will begin the task of drawing geographic sub-regional district boundaries in January, 2012. the task force has scheduled four meetings to get community input to ensure the maps are representative of the communities of Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre.

The scheduled meetings are

  • Tuesday, Jan. 3, 6 p.m. at Jefferson Elementary School, 1500 E. Villa St., Pasadena
  • Tuesday, Jan. 17, 6 p.m. at Mountain View Cemetery, 2400 N. Fair Oaks, Altadena
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6 p.m. at Western Justice Center, 55 S. Grand Ave., Pasadena
  • Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m. at Al-Kebulan Cultural Center, 1435 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

Readers can download a flier in English and Spanish.

Background

The Pasadena City Council moved in January to create a task force to look at dividing the Pasadena Unified School District into seven sub-regional districts, each with its own elected representative.  Instead of being elected at large, as is currently the case, PUSD board members would each stand for election in one district, and voters would vote on only one seat.

The PUSD Redistricting Task Force is composed of nine members with two from Altadena, appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.  The remaining members are appointed by Sierra Madre City council (one member), Pasadena City Council (three members), and PUSD (three members). 

The task force was charged with developing language for an amendment to the City of Pasadena Charter related to PUSD and drawing new sub-regional district boundaries.  Boundaries will be based on demographic data collected in the 2010 census. 

Will Altadena get its own district?

In reporting on the meeting where the plan was first aired in January, Patch reported that PUSD board member Ramon Miramontes expressed concern that the districts, based on eligible voters rather than voters who actually send their children to public school.  Areas in which a large portion of children attend private school might have equal weight with areas that send most of their children to public school.

"I don't think this will necessary and automatically lead to a more inclusive board," Miramontes said. "Altadena won't automatically get a more inclusive voice." 

At the same meeting, Altadenan Bob Harrison said that another concern could be that the districts could split Altadena into multiple seats, not giving the town one board member directly accountable to it. 

While the new boundaries have yet to be drawn up, both PUSD board member Ed Honowitz doubted that Altadena and Sierra Madre would each get a separate district. 

“I know there’s been some discussion floating around [asking], 'Does this mean there would be an Altadena sub-district or a Sierra Madre sub-district?''” PUSD Board Member Ed Honowitz said. “There’s, like, 200,000 people within the district, and if we divide it evenly by seven it’s not going to fall exactly like that. There won’t be a separate city of Sierra Madre representative, for instance.”

When will this happen?

The plan is scheduled to go to a vote in the PUSD attendance area in a special election on June 5, 2012. 

 

Related articles:

navigio December 29, 2011 at 02:48 AM
This feels like arguing over leftovers. I hate to say it, but there is no way this new election process is going to do anything but disenfranchise even more people. While we now have the option of finding a board member from among 7 who we agree with, we will now be forced to take the one we are given, and if we dont agree with them, too bad. While I understand the goal of the voting rights act, it will not contribute to community engagement, in fact just the opposite. I also dont understand the point of a separate district for Altadena and Sierra Madre, even if it were possible. Altadena parents have more in common with Pasadena parents than they have in common with other Altadenans, at least when it comes to education. Sierra Madre is somewhat different, but even then segregating that representation doesnt seem like it would be productive. The two decisions that might be relevant are - whether to allow proportional representation to take into account non-citizens - whether to allow proportional representation to take into account primarily private school regions These both come down to the question of whether to divide representation based on population or based on public school attendance. I think both should be included and proportionately so. It is a mistake, imho, to believe that any part of the community does not have a stake in what happens in our public schools. Believing that will only widen the divides that already exist in our communities.
Richard January 07, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Navigio, please do consider attending a meeting. It will answer a lot of the questions you're asking, and correct a lot of the misunderstandings you seem to have.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »