FUESD ignores community input


Last updated 2/14/2019 at 6:38am

Let’s set the record straight regarding the FUESD elections maps article of Feb. 7.

FUESD’s attorney, Daniel Shinoff, said that three maps were initially submitted for consideration and that our community map was submitted later. Not true. At the time of the Jan. 16 Community Workshop, meant to get community input, the demographer NDC presented only two maps, 101 and 102. Every community member at that meeting was against both maps and asked for a third map that would not favor the current trustees.  

We submitted the community map that night, thinking it would be the third map. However, when our map was posted the following night, NDC included a fourth map, map 103, still favoring the trustees and worst than their other two demographically.

Shinoff also stated that "Respecting the will of Fallbrook's voters in recent board elections by maintaining continuity . . . is a. . . legally defensible consideration when creating maps based on community input."  No one has said or implied that the trustees shouldn't be allowed to serve their terms.

We believe they should. But to create maps that gives them the advantage in future elections and deprives the Latino district an election until 2022 or longer, delaying the remedy of CVRA violation against the Latino population, is wrong. And was not legally defensible in the Jauregui vs. City of Palmdale case. The judge was clear in his decision against the city for trying to use that criterion of incumbent protection above others. Not only did Palmdale have to change their map but also they had to conduct a new election and they had to pay $4.7 million.   

Shinoff speaks of taking into consideration "community input" in creating the maps. We feel that the input the community gave was ignored in its entirety. There was not one person at any meeting or public hearing that spoke up in support of any of the maps submitted by NDC, only the Favela/Ortiz/Stamos Community Map was supported by the community present, the community that this violation affects.  

One board member stated that she "spoke with many, many people" about the maps, another said, "there were lots of emails sent to the district" in support of the trustee-favored maps. We ask, "Who are these people? Why didn't they bother to come to the meetings? Why do their comments carry more weight than those who came out in the rain and cold to each meeting? Do these people who emailed even live in Fallbrook?" No, we do not believe map 103 was created with community input, and certainly not by the community affected by the CVRA violation. 

Meanwhile, down the street other jurisdictions are having their public hearings. There we are seeing open, participatory, engaging conversation, and genuine interest and commitment to doing the right thing by the Latino community. What a difference from the FUESD’s attitude and thus, their process. Amazing! This gives us all hope. Thank you FRHD and FUHSD for your example and leadership!

Leticia Maldonado/Stamos


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