PUSD could carve up voting districts with class in mind

PASADENA – While the battle over
whether undocumented immigrants can vote in Pasadena Unified School
District
board elections seems to have cooled in recent days, a more
contentious voting fight is brewing, according to sources close to
the district.

The Charter Reform Task Force, the
group charged with changing the voting mechanism at the PUSD, will
begin drafting voting district maps.

Just like the fight over state
legislative and congressional maps, the PUSD voter maps could shift
power on the board.

Imagine districts carved up for
underrepresented minorities, such as blacks, Latinos, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Armenians.

But more than race matters to current
board members, who say they are more concerned with bridging the class divide on the PUSD board.

PUSD board member Ramon Miramontes told
Notes from Northwest Pasadena that he “sees more commonalities
among social and economic communities of interest than commonalities
along racial lines.”

Board President Renatta Cooper has
openly questioned whether lines could be drawn, for example, to
create a majority Latino district given the dispersal of Latino
residents and voters across the city.

Perhaps the PUSD has borrowed a page from the Tale of Two
Cities
narrative forwarded by Peter Dreier for clues in how to deal
with its elections.   

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