DUBLIN – The Trustees of the United School District of Dublin (DUSD) have approved redesigned boundaries of constituencies that could pit two of them against each other for the same seat in November.
At a meeting on Feb. 22, trustees voted 3-2 to approve a new map that moves about 3,000 residents from Zone 4 Trustee Gabby Blackman and Zone 1 Christine Pelham to Zone Trustee 2, currently represented by Megan Rose.
Because guardians must reside in the area they represent, the new lines move Pelham’s house to Rose’s jurisdiction.
“I’m very disappointed,” Pelham said. “I don’t think we needed to be brought together.”
Pelham and Rose voted against a card that Blackman, chairman Dan Cherier and trustee William Cuo chose from six potential cards to divide the county.
“I think it’s the cleanest,” Sherrye said of the map. “I think that’s right.”
In 2017, Dublin’s school system moved from general elections, when voters from across the district elect all five representatives, to “district elections,” where residents vote for only one representative from their communities. Each of the five areas was to have the same population.
The change came after a lawyer sued the statewide election authorities, arguing that the general election violated California’s suffrage law by reducing the right of minorities to choose representation.
First introduced in 2018, the DUSD lines demanded adjustments following the 2020 census, which showed that the district’s population grew from approximately 46,000 residents in 2010 to more than 71,500.
Although four of the five protected areas have grown significantly, the population of Zone 4 has almost doubled to 17,500 people, creating an imbalance in the population.
During a series of public meetings, the trustees, together with the demographer, developed six different maps, each containing 14,000 people. In addition to the population, the California Electoral Rights Act required them to create areas where minorities – in this case Asians and Latinos – had enough residents to potentially elect their representative to the council.
On the approved map, each of the five territories contains a large number of Asian populations ranging from 30% to 71%. The new Zone 2 creates the largest number of Latinos – 17%, the third after whites – 41% and Asians – 30%.
Scherer said the new map maximizes the Latin American population in Zone 2.
Although he felt bad about the political impact of the changes on Pelham, Sherry said: “I feel very good about this decision.”
Pelham said she favors another card – Scenario 4 – because it would achieve the board’s goals and would allow continuity for guardians.
The changes have set up a strange election process this year.
In November, Scherrier will be re-elected to Zone 5 along with Kuo, who was appointed to replace his wife Catherine in Zone 3 after her March 24 death. Rose’s place will also be re-elected if she decides to run again.
If Pelham chooses, she can run for a seat in Zone 2 if Rose refuses to run or run against Rose if Rose applies for re-election. In that case, if Pelham loses to Rouse, she will remain in the Zone 1 chair because she was elected in 2020, and her term remains two years.
Rose did not respond to a request for comment. Pelham said she had not made any decisions about her election plans.
“It’s not about me,” Pelham said. “It’s about the district and the kids.”
Changing territories on maps can be productive for election season