Trustee Redistricting Process


Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) completed the process to transition from at-large to by-trustee area elections effective September 9, 2021. EGUSD has seven (7) trustee areas and with the change to by-trustee area elections, each of the trustees is required to reside within a defined trustee area and each trustee is elected only by voters in that trustee area. This type of voting is referred to as by-trustee area or by-district voting.

Every ten years, after the U.S. Census data is released, school districts are required to evaluate whether their current trustee areas have approximately equal populations using the new census data. With the recent 2020 Census data release, EGUSD has begun the process of evaluating each of its trustee areas for population balance. The variation in total population among trustee areas cannot exceed 10%. If the total peak variation is less than 10%, no changes are needed. If the total peak variation exceeds 10% then trustee area boundaries will need to be adjusted. This process is referred to as redistricting. Trustee areas must be made as equal in population as possible and practicable to provide equal access to political representation consistent with the one person, one vote constitutional principle. Based on the 2020 Census data it is clear that EGUSD will need to make redistricting revisions to its trustee areas.

The redistricting process is governed by the U.S. Constitution, federal law and California law. Please note that redistricting applies to voting areas only and does not impact school attendance boundaries.

EGUSD is working with professional demographers, National Demographics Corporation, to draft and revise maps for consideration by the public and the Trustees. Proposed “revised maps” will ensure appropriate population balance and will incorporate feedback received by the Trustees and the community. Members of the public will be able to provide input about boundaries, as well as possible revisions of maps.

The redistricting process will be transparent and community members will have multiple opportunities to provide their input on the proposed revised maps. The Board of Trustees will ultimately adopt a resolution establishing revised trustee boundaries by February 28, 2022, the deadline established by law. After adoption of a new map, it will be sent to the County Superintendent of Schools and the County Registrar of Voters. The County Registrars of Voters will then adjust precinct boundaries before the filing deadline for the November 2022 trustee election. The new map will be used for the first time for the November 2022 election, when three EGUSD Trustee areas will stand for election.

The proposed timeline, below, includes multiple Board meetings and dedicated time for community input to meet statutory deadlines for map adjustments following the delayed release of the 2020 Census Data. These deadlines and the procedures outlined below are subject to change.


Trustee Areas Existing and Draft Maps

Part of this multifaceted election system transition includes the public posting and review of draft Trustee Area maps as they are prepared and presented to the Board.  The availability of these maps has been shared in Districtwide communications, Board Agenda postings, Board hearings and published in the Sacramento Bee and Elk Grove Citizen newspapers. The following links are provided for members of the public to review the draft maps as they are developed:


Trustees, Trustee areas, and terms of office:

  • Area 1: Anthony (Tony) Perez (2024)
  • Area 2: Dr. Crystal Martinez-Alire (2022)
  • Area 3: Sean J. Yang (2024)
  • Area 4: Gina Jamerson (2022)
  • Area 5: Beth Albiani (2022)
  • Area 6: Nancy Chaires Espinoza (2024)
  • Area 7: Carmine S. Forcina (2024)

Proposed Timeline*

November 16, 2021
Regularly Scheduled Board Meeting
Discussion of redistricting requirements and proposed timeline.
December 7, 2021 Draft maps posted on District website and public notices published in the Sacramento Bee and Elk Grove Citizen newspapers.  Information will also be shard in community and staff outreach communications.
December 14, 2021
Regularly Scheduled Board Meeting
Demographers present 2020 Census data and map options to balance population, along with key demographic data.  Community and Board feedback.
Mid-December/Early January Community input meetings.
January 18, 2022
Regularly Scheduled Board Meeting
Staff presents summary of input from the community.
January 26, 2022
Scheduled Special Board Meeting
Board considers community input and map possibilities.  Potential map adoption.  Community and Board feedback.
Optional
February 1, 2022
Regularly Scheduled Board Meeting
In case the Board determines it is not in a position to vote at the January 26, 2022, Board meeting, the Board can consider adoption on February 1, 2022.
Optional
February 15, 2022
Regularly Scheduled Board Meeting
In case the Board determines it is not in a position to vote at the January 26, 2022, or February 1, 2022, Board meetings, the Board can consider adoption on February 15, 2022.
February 2022 Send final resolution and map to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters and the Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools.
February 28, 2022
Statutory Deadline
Statutory deadline for completion of the redistricting process.
July 6, 2022
Statutory Deadline
Deadline for the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters to complete implementation of the new map.
November 8, 2022 Election of trustees using new map.

* These deadlines and the procedures outlined above are subject to change.


Redistricting FAQs

What is redistricting and why is it needed now?
Every 10 years, a new U.S. Census is conducted, and the population counts are then used for redistricting. Trustee areas must be relatively equal in total population using the new Census counts. After new Census data is released, all jurisdictions must evaluate whether their current trustee areas have equal populations using the new counts. If not, trustee area boundaries need to be population re-balanced. The redistricting process is governed by the U.S. Constitution, federal law, and California law. For school districts, the key law is Education code section 5019.5.

When will the new trustee area map be used?
The new trustee areas will be in effect for the November 2022 election. The deadline for adoption of revised districting maps (February 28, 2022) allows time for the County Registrars of Voters to adjust precinct boundaries before the filing deadline for the November 2022 election.

What criteria are used to create trustee areas?
Federal and state laws require that the trustee areas be nearly equal in population using the most recent Census counts. Some deviation is permitted, but the rule of thumb is that the difference between the most- and least-populous trustee area should not exceed ten percent (10%) of the “ideal” trustee area population, which is one seventh of EGUSD’s total population. Courts have generally accepted this standard for population equality in school districts.

Federal law also requires that election districts be drawn to respect protected race/ethnic groups so that their communities are neither divided nor overly concentrated in individual districts. Protected groups are race/ethnic/language groups, including Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans (as well as some others).
School boards may consider the following criteria when developing trustee area maps:

  • The boundaries of the trustee areas shall be established so that the trustee areas are at least as nearly equal in population as required by law.
  • The boundaries of the trustee areas shall not be gerrymandered in violation of established legal principles.
  • 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 by the federal Voting Rights Act.
  • The boundaries of the trustee areas shall be compact, insofar as practicable.
  • The boundaries of the trustee areas shall be created to contain contiguous territory, insofar as practicable.
  • The boundaries of the trustee areas shall observe communities of interest.
  • The boundaries of the trustee areas shall take into account visible features, such as topography and geography, including mountains, flat land, forest lands, man-made geographical features such as highways and canals, etc., insofar as practicable.
  • The boundaries of the trustee areas shall consider avoiding pairing two or more incumbents in a single trustee-area, to the extent legally allowable.

Who creates the maps and how can the public participate in the process?
The District has contracted with a professional demographer, National Demographics Corporation, to draft and revise maps for consideration by the public and the Trustees. Revisions of these draft maps will be based on feedback received by the Trustees and from the community during the public hearings and meetings. Members of the public will be able to provide input about trustee area boundaries, as well as possible revisions of maps. The redistricting process will be transparent, and everyone will have the opportunity to suggest map revisions.

What Are “Communities of Interest”?
Recent California legislation (for the state legislature, cities, and counties) requires that communities of interest be considered when drawing maps, and when possible, our demographers will do this, too. A community of interest is a geographical area (such as a neighborhood) that would benefit from being in the same district because of shared interests, views, or characteristics. Downtown areas, historic districts, and housing subdivisions are a few examples of areas that could be communities of interest (there are many more).

Sometimes, populations with similar demographic characteristics are considered communities of interest. These characteristics can include the population’s race/ethnic composition, the language spoken at home, the area’s median income (and other socioeconomic characteristics), and the type of housing (for example, those in a particular housing development or retirement community).

Defined regions like cities, school districts, and school attendance areas may sometimes be considered communities of interest. Geographic characteristics can identify communities, such as those on one side of a mountain range, highway, around a park, or another publicly-recognized region.

Has the pandemic affected the redistricting process?
Because of the COVID pandemic, the Census Bureau was about six (6) months behind schedule in releasing census data. This means that the District has about half the amount of time to redistrict as it did in the past. As a result, timelines may be condensed.

The District may provide virtual meetings rather than in-person meetings, or have “hybrid” meetings, in which some people attend in-person while others participate virtually. The manner in which board and community meetings take place is subject to change.

What data are used when drawing maps?
Maps for election district boundaries will be based on the total population counts from 2020 Census data, and data that comply with federal and state laws, as adjusted by the California Statewide Database (SWDB), which assigned prison inmates to their pre-incarceration home addresses. The state legislature, county boards of supervisors, and city councils must use these adjusted numbers for redistricting.

When drafting maps for consideration, the demographers also use estimates of the Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP, citizens 18+, by race/ethnicity) from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, (ACS) to check for Federal Voting Rights Act compliance. Estimates from the ACS survey are also used to help identify communities of interest.

Who decides which map to adopt?
The final decision regarding which map to approve lies with the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will adopt a resolution establishing election district boundaries by February 28, 2022. The County Registrar of Voters will then adjust precinct boundaries before the filing deadline for the November 2022 trustee election.

When will the process begin and end?
An overview of the process was presented to the Trustees and members of the public in open session on November 16, 2021. Draft maps will be provided by our demographers and the District will hold community input meetings. In either January or February, the Board will make a final decision. The Board must adopt a map by February 28, 2022. Members of the public are encouraged to provide comments about the draft map(s) and/or indicate other ways they suggest trustee areas be drawn.

A detailed proposed timeline is provided above, which includes multiple Board meetings and dedicated time for community input to meet statutory deadlines for map adjustments following the delayed release of 2020 Census Data.

How long will the new trustee area boundaries be in place?
By law, election district trustee area boundaries must be evaluated after each decennial census. The 2030 U.S. Census redistricting population counts are expected to be released by approximately April, 2031. If the trustee areas adopted based on 2020 census data still have balanced total population counts, the trustee area boundaries will not need to be adjusted. If the total populations are not population balanced, the trustee area boundaries will need to be adjusted so that the 2030 population is distributed evenly in each of the seven (7) trustee areas.

May redistricting maps respect incumbency so that there is only one governing board member in each election district?
Avoidance of head-to-head contests between incumbents is permitted, but only after criteria prescribed by federal and state law are met. Boundaries that take incumbency into account must be reasonable and meet legal requirements.

What will happen to current members of the Board of Trustees if election district boundaries change and a trustee no longer resides within their trustee area?
Should this occur, Board Members would continue in office until the expiration of their current terms and their successors are elected. The first elections using the new boundaries will be in November 2022. Because Board elections are staggered (some trustees elected in 2022 and the rest will be elected in November 2024), therefore the new map will be completely implemented in 2024. If a current trustee’s term ends in 2024, but the new map puts them in a trustee area where they do not reside, they will continue to sit on the Board until the 2024 election, even if they live in the same election district as a Board member elected in 2022.

What is the California Fair Maps Act of 2019 and does it apply to our District?
The California Fair Maps Act of 2019 (AB 849) applies to cities and counties, but not to school districts and special districts. However, EGUSD might use some Fair Map Act guidelines when it is reasonable to do so.

Where can I learn more about redistricting, “Communities of Interest” and other parts of this process?


Additional Pertinent Information