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Citrus Trustees Approve Area Redistricting Maps

Trustees approve of plan that keeps Azusa, Glendora mostly whole while adhering to state laws under Voting Rights Act.

After much discussion and revisions over many months, the Board of Trustees approved required changes to trustee boundary areas.

The approved plan reduces much of the prior gerrymandering and eliminates "backpacking" of Trustee Area 2, where it crept over the mountains from Claremont and to the west to include Azusa.

The approved plan also keeps the cities of Azusa and Glendora mostly whole, something board members and community leaders previously defined as crucial.

"We're drawing lines within a few different criteria," said Paul Mitchell, head of Redistricting Partners. "We've created two majority-minority Latino seats. We've preserved stability for the whole district. We have kept Azusa whole and we have maintained the population of each district within the five percent range. This plan represents a balance of all criteria."

Districts now near the maximum margin of error needed to maintain proper population levels, all coming in just under a 5 percent deviation.

The changes are made in conjunction with the census and are required under the California Voting Rights Act.

At a September , proposed changes split Azusa into three districts, while one of the latest proposals had Trustee Area 4, which includes Glendora, "backpacking" over the mountains west to include Duarte, Monrovia and Bradbury.

Doris Blum, Glendora Unified board vice president, favored Trustee Area 1 boundaries encompassing only Glendora.

"Combining Monrovia and Bradbury with Glendora would incorporate two communities having interests that are potentially different from those of Glendora," Blum said. "If Glendora is kept whole, we will be better able to have a voice in the issues that are important to our community, as we work to articulate the needs of our student population within a close working relationship with the college."

Councilmember Karen Davis echoed Blum's comments.

"I don't necessarily think that the redistricting to add those two other cities, while they are tremendous cities, would best serve the purpose of Citrus College and the Glendora community," Davis said. "Unfortunately, in some of the other maps that affect us in terms of state and the national level, Glendora has been diced up a bit," Davis said.

According to Redistricting Partners, the firm in charge of redrawing trustee boundaries, Citrus' districts experienced very little growth over the last decade with Latinos experiencing tremendous growth, generating a need to create majority-minority districts.

Such districts give national minority groups a greater voice by giving them greater voting power through redistricting. Boundaries must also establish a maximum population of 45,000.

"I think that it strategically positions the citizens of Azusa to have a stronger voice at Citrus," said Azusa resident Barbara Dickerson at the Nov. 15 board meeting. "It also opens the conversation for the dialogue."

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