Board set to vote on approval of new election area


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Victor Diaz and Victor Diaz

Pete Moye’
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The Cerritos College Board of Trustees is set to vote to approve one of three plans to change the system by which its members are elected, changing it from an at-large election to a district-area election, on Wednesday.

According to Cerritos College President Linda Lacy, each plan that was created has met state standards for equal representation of all ethnic groups throughout the district.

“It’s a process that’s been going on for several months; there are several stipulations in the law that are looked at to make sure all the areas are well-represented with the ethnic groups within the district and community,” Lacy said.

The proposed plans that were brought forth to the board during its Nov. 2 meeting state that single-member election districts will be drawn so members of minority groups can choose the representative of their choice under the conditions that a group is large and compact enough to form a majority in a single-member district, the group is politically cohesive and there is a history of racially-polarized voting in that group.

The plans show the district being divided into seven areas, spanning cities including Downey, Cerritos, Norwalk and Artesia.

Board Member Bob Hughlett stated during the board’s Oct. 5 meeting that the plans that are currently set before the board were put in place before the lawsuit was filed against the Cerritos Community College District by former board candidates Tom Chavez and Carmen Avalos, as well as fellow plaintiff Edward Zuniga.

“The Board of Trustees is committed to do the right thing under the California Voting Rights Act and that is why we are taking action at our meeting tonight and why the process was begun weeks ago before the plaintiffs filed their lawsuit,” he said.

Board Member Jean McHatton believes that the board will act positively after a plan is chosen and approved.

“I think people on the board will act professionally and will move forward with whatever happens,” she said.

McHatton went on to say, “I feel like those on the board have strengths that they bring and that they will look at the redistricting plan and move forward.”

The plans can be viewed here