Visions of Altadena and Sierra Madre's potential voting future in the eyes of the Pasadena Unified School District were on display Saturday at the , as the presented maps and talking points about its work to date to an audience of about 20 people.
The nine-member task force was assembled in January 2011 to look into the division of PUSD into seven sub-regional districts, each with its own elected representative. Voters would then vote on one board member representing their district instead of voting on all seven members of the board as they currently do. Saturday's presentation was the task force's latest effort to gain feedback from the public regarding four draft maps outlining the districts.
"Our goal is one person, one vote," said districting task force chairman Ken Chawkins, whose presentation in hard-copy form along with the draft maps of the districts can be seen to the right of this article. "This could offer a much more poignant voice" for residents.
All four maps would feature two districts in Altadena, but in two of the maps, the community appears to be especially dominant in its two potential districts. Sierra Madre's draft map visions feature either a district that would stretch west toward Altadena or south as part of a "southeastern" district.
Some members of the audience triggered discussion regarding the specifics of how the representation in each district would work, such as what would happen if two people ended up being in the same district, or what to do with the aspect of kids going to school in different districts where they live.
"In a sense, you'd have two people you could go to," said task force member Roberta Martinez. "You can go to the person who represents the area in which you live, and then go to the person who represents the area where your child goes to school. So hopefully, you'd have two advocates focused on your interests."
Bart Doyle, the Sierra Madre representative on the task force, said he plans to present the task force's work to the Sierra Madre City Council on Feb. 14, and that the nature of how the representation would work is a question that the task force should be ready to address at every presentation.
Altadena as Wild Card
, a point that task force member Bernardean Broadus mentioned after the meeting.
"The general theme is, 'This is great', because of how everything is currently structured for more centralized representation," said Broadus, one of Altadena's selected task force members. "The concern that I have is there's not as much participation from the Altadena community. I'm looking for more of that."
Broadus added that the Saturday afternoon timing of the meeting could have played a factor, especially in light of a well-attended evening presentation she made several nights ago. She thinks that could be more of the norm as the process moves forward.
"I believe that because we're moving on to the finalization of the maps, people are going to start coming out in droves, because we're going to have much more information out there," she said. "We're all moving at a rapid pace now."
Chawkins said the task force hopes to have finalized language and the closest possible ideal to a single draft map by March. PUSD voters would then vote on the redistricting plan in June. Historically, approval is far from automatic, as Chawkins noted in his presentation that a similar plan fell at the hands of voters roughly 10 years ago.