Trustee Elections

  • The following requests are from the trustees to be considered in creating additional maps. Based on these requests the demographer has produced from 1 - 3 more maps for final consideration on January 21st. The new maps are on the website for review.   Please see the link below.



    Map draft Scenario C border between area 3 and area 1. Suggested border already uses Boyes Blvd. and Carriger Rd. Can we extend/continue Boyes Blvd. boundary to the west to Carriger Rd.? And use Carriger Rd. south until it meets up with where Carriger Rd. is already being used as boundary line? This would create contiguous west/south boundaries and leave neighborhood whole in area 3 (rather than divided between areas 1 and 3).

    Can we develop the demographic numbers (table format) for current school boundaries? 

    Can we get 2020 census prediction that may help us to select a map that is less likely to need major adjustments after the 2020 census?

  • To view all draft trustee voter area maps click HERE

    A public hearing will be held on January 21st at the District Headquarters at 6:00 PM to receive comments on the additional maps presented.  The Board will then select one of the proposed maps for adoption.

  • IMPORTANT NOTICE - The maps being proposed are for the areas our trustee will run for election to the school board.


  • FAQ – Frequently asked question on change to Trustee Voters Areas and the California Voters Rights Act (CVRA)


    1. Why is SVUSD doing this?


    SVUSD has received a complaint that protected classes of voters are disenfranchised by the current voting system; this is not the first time the District has received this type of complaint. A demographic study has revealed that this allegation can be addressed by switching to trustee area elections rather than at-large elections. To properly support the voting population in the District and avoid legal liability and significant potential attorney’s fees defending a CVRA lawsuit, a conversion to voting by trustee areas is the fiscally responsible and legally defensible approach.  As seen in the local newspaper, Press Democrat, all other public entities in Sonoma County that have received a CVRA complaint are also moving to voting by trustee areas.


    1. Why so fast


    The Elections Code sets the timelines for conversion, and it is very tight. The District is conforming to this timeline to protect the District from a potential claim, which could cost, at a minimum, $30,000.


    1. Why not go to voters - why the waiver process- how normal is this?


    The waiver is guaranteed in the Education Code, it's a fairly routine process that is used for many different requirements, not just transition to trustee area voting. Our legal counsel has recommend a waiver because the allegation is that protected classes are disenfranchised by the current voting system, and there is a concern that if the transition were placed on the ballot, the "at-large" system of voting would result in maintenance of status quo. This would not resolve the issue or protect the District from liability if the proposal was voted down. 


    1. Why approve the waiver at the county level


    Once the public hearings are complete and the County Committee approves the maps, the District can submit the application for a waiver. However, the Education Code, unrelated to the waiver request, requires that the County Committee hold a public hearing on the conversion and approve the District's maps. The County Committee approval is a precondition of the waiver being granted.  And the District Board has already passed a resolution approving seeking a waiver.



    1. What is the difference between the total pop and the CVAP?


    Total population is a demographic number of all persons, not just voting aged persons, within the District. Current total population numbers are based on the 2010 census. The voting aged population can be used to determine boundaries, but that does not take into account growth or changes in population. Most demographers use total population when creating maps for this reason.


    1. What criteria should be used on choosing a map?


    The CVRA requires only that the proposed trustee areas not abridge or dilute the voting rights of protected class members (defined as a class of voters who are members of a race, color or language minority group). Education Code requires that the population of each area is, as nearly as possible, the same proportion of the total population as the other areas (Ed Code Section 5019.5). The District will be required to address in their presentation to the County Committee any variations from this standard. 



    The Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) Board of Trustees passed a resolution that starts the process of moving the district from its current hybrid election process to voting by separate trustee areas process.

    Current voting process: Each trustee must live in one of the 5 elementary school attendance boundaries to run for the seat assigned to that school attendance area. The trustee is then voted in by all voters in the district call an “At-large” election. 

    New voting process: The school district will be divided into 5 equal-sized voter areas. These areas will not be the same as our current school attendance areas. The trustees will be voted in by the voters in each of the 5 voter areas. 

    The change to separate voter’s areas is being driven by two issues.

    • The desire of the SVUSD board of trustees to be compliant with the California Voters Rights Act. (CVRA). Here is a link to the act.       CVRA
    • The SVUSD board of trustees is also concerned about the potential legal and financial exposure if the district was to be sued for noncompliance with CVRA. This concern is the main driver to the time frame the district has taken to get the change in our voting process. We have asked for a legal option on the risk, it will be here as a link. Legal Option


    To create the maps that properly identify appropriate voters areas SVUSD has engaged a demographer to assist in this task. You can link to the contract for the work. 

    Voters Demographic Study


    Following is the timeline we will be using. This timeline enables the new voters' areas to be in place for the November 2020 election cycle.


    Conversion Step


    Public Hearing #1 (pre-map) Resolution Waiver

    December 3, 2019

    Public Hearing #2 (pre-map)

    December 17th, 2019

    Publish draft map(s) of proposed trustee areas

    December 20, 2019

    Public Hearing #3 (proposed map(s))

    January 7, 2020, Board Meeting

    Public Hearing #4 Select and refer map to County Committee

    January 21, 2020, Board Study Session

    County Committee Public Hearing

    January 27, 2020  SVUSD Board Room 

    Submit Waiver Request to State Board

    Immediately following County Committee Public Hearing on January 27, 2020

    State Board Meeting Date

    May 6-7, 2020

    Deadline for Specification of Election

    July 3, 2020

    Deadline for County Superintendent to transmit to Election Commission

    July 6, 2020

    Election Day

    November 3, 2020