El Monte Union High School District

Community Committed to College & Career

District Formation Process

El Monte Union to Hold Second Public Hearing, Discuss Shift to By-Trustee Area Formation

EL MONTE – The El Monte Union High School District is continuing its efforts to gather community input and boost voter participation as it begins the process of shifting from at-large elections to by-trustee area elections, holding its second in a series of public hearings on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

The shift means that instead of residents voting for any board candidate on the ballot within the District’s boundaries, residents will vote for a single candidate residing in their newly drawn trustee-area, usually one-fifth of the entire District. The change will go into effect November 2022.

“El Monte Union is a community united in our mission to prepare students for college and careers, and this redistricting process is a part of that mission,” Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “This change is not only a reflection of our commitment to being transparent and fair, but is a welcome addition to the many other historic events that have shaped our diverse community.”

The public will have the opportunity to discuss district formation criteria during a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Sept. 1 in the District Board Room, 3537 Johnson Ave., El Monte. Community members can also participate virtually, by going to the EMUHSD website and watching the Board of Trustees live stream. Issues to be discussed could include creating compact, contiguous districts, preserving existing political communities and equal population sizes, and ensuring each high school’s attendance areas are represented by multiple board members.

Professional demographers from NDC will draw possible trustee area maps based on those criteria and present the maps during a public hearing at the regular board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 6. El Monte Union community members will be able to provide input and testimony regarding the proposed trustee areas.

During the first public hearing on Aug. 18 community members heard from representatives from National Demographics Corporation (NDC) – which will draw several maps based on community input and ensure they meet legal and regulatory criteria – and VMA Communications, Inc. ­– which will conduct widespread community outreach to increase awareness and ensure the process is transparent, inclusive and community-focused.

The District will subsequently host a series of open houses/workshops in the fall. Residents will review and provide input regarding maps and corresponding election plans and learn about the process for selecting a map. More information on these specific dates will be forthcoming.

Revised and additional maps will be reviewed during regular board meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 3 and Wednesday, Dec. 8. The board anticipates narrowing the number of maps for review on or by Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Once the public has provided input, the school board expects to select a final trustee map on Wednesday, Feb. 2.  The approved map would then be presented to the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization for approval.

El Monte Union to Host Information Session Regarding By-Trustee Area Elections

EL MONTE – The El Monte Union High School District will launch a series of public meetings to gather community input as it begins the process of shifting from at-large elections to by-trustee area elections.

The transition means that residents will vote for a single candidate residing in their newly drawn trustee-area, usually one-fifth of the entire district, instead of voting for any board candidate on the ballot within the El Monte Union District boundaries. The change will go into effect November 2022.

The process will be divided into two parts. First, the District will initiate a community information program beginning in May, which will share details about the transition through postcards, a website and community meetings held in the morning and in the evening Thursday, May 13.

The second, more formal part of the process, will begin in August. The District will hold public hearings, and work with a professional demographer, who will develop several map options with five districts that meet legal requirements and best align with the criteria established by the Board of Trustees.

At that point, the District will hear formal comments on map priorities from the community and receive public input regarding voting area boundaries that will ultimately help define the new by-trustee voting areas.

This change has been initiated by the Board to strictly adhere to the California Voting Rights Act, which calls for a shift from an “at-large” election system – where all trustees are elected by voters of the entire school district – to a system where the Board is divided into five trustee areas and candidates are elected by voters of each specific area.

“Our District is proud to be proactively beginning this important and historic process, ensuring that we adhere to the California Voting Rights Act and maintaining a fair election system that upholds representation, diversity and inclusivity,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “Every decision the EMUHSD Board of Trustees makes is always with the best interest of the students at the forefront. Transition to a By-Trustee Area Election formation will not change the way our District prioritizes its students and will help us to ensure that every part of our community is represented.”

The District will discuss districting criteria during public hearings, the first of which will begin Wednesday, Aug. 18 during a special board meeting. More information regarding this transition and the upcoming information sessions can be found on the District’s website: https://emuhsd-by-area-trustees.com