In 2015, an amendment to the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) required that all district-based entities, including community college districts, provide equal representation to their constituents through the elimination of “at large” districts. These amendments aimed to eliminate discrimination and vote dilution by ensuring that for every region in a district, there will only be one representative. An additional requirement of the amended law is for district board members to better reflect the demographics in their regions to ensure that boards accurately represent their constituents and respond to their population’s needs.
District compliance with the CVRA requirements is currently determined based on data collected from the 2010 Census, and will eventually be determined using data from the 2020 Census. Currently, over half of community college districts may be out of compliance and will be required to make revisions to their boundaries. With 2020 Census data not being available until 2021, out of compliance districts can currently be exposed to litigation based on 2010 Census data.
In order to meet the law’s requirements, districts must redraw their lines or restructure their regions to reflect their changing demographics and ensure one representative for each region. The Foundation for California Community Colleges is partnering with Redistricting Partners to help community college districts in their redistricting efforts by providing the back-office support and expertise districts need to restructure.