Hearings Set for Proposed Changes to SMMUSD Board Member Election Process

A petition proposes dividing the district into seven geographic “trustee areas”

The Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization has slated two hearings to gather public input regarding the legality of a voting map to alter the election process for Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board members. 

The petition proposes dividing the district into seven geographic “trustee areas,” where candidates residing in a specific area would run once every four years, and voters in that area would cast their votes within that timeframe. This shift would mean that voters could only elect one of the seven school board members every four years.

The Santa Monica City Charter currently dictates at-large school board elections, and any change in the election method requires a vote to amend the City Charter unless there’s a violation of voting rights that necessitates lawful map adjustments.

“The map submitted as part of the petition not only targets sitting incumbents, including a long-serving Latina, but in two areas, it combines parts of Malibu with Santa Monica that are very different from one another and don’t logically match. They are not even adjacent to each other,” said Alicia Mignano, current School Board Member, in a post by SMMUSD.

These hearings, set for Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 6 p.m. in Malibu and Saturday, Feb. 10, at 9:30 a.m. in Santa Monica, will exclusively focus on the legality of the proposed electoral map.

The hearings will be available both in-person and virtually. Individuals can contact the county committee office at 562-922-6110 for guidance on providing written comments, requesting translation services, or addressing questions.

in Hard, News
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