Perry Alvarez, a parent, didn’t have experience drawing maps. And he didn’t have any background in studying demographics. Yet his map is the one chosen by Oceanside Unified School District trustees to decide the way they are elected in the future.
Alvarez’s work defining five new election districts was selected on a 3-2 vote of trustees last month.
Until now, trustees have been elected “at large” — from the entire school district.
Actually, Alvarez is not opposed to that method of electing trustees, but he realizes that they don’t have much choice without enduring a costly lawsuit.
Malibu attorney Kevin Shenkman threatens to sue governmental entities like cities and school boards, saying state voting laws demand they elect by smaller districts within the whole, thereby presumably giving minority residents a chance to elect a representative from their own neighborhood when they might not be able to do so “at large.”
Oceanside trustees had all kinds of maps designated by colors from which to choose. There were orange, green, purple, yellow and maroon options as well as maps titled Libby and OHS (Oceanside High School) and, of course, the winning “PAlvarez” map.
Alvarez, born in Northern California but raised in Oceanside, attended Ditmar and San Luis Rey elementary schools, Jefferson Middle and Oceanside High.
He and his wife, Raquel, have been active at Garrison Elementary School, where their son, Michael, 10, will be a fifth-grader in the fall. He said they helped found a booster club when the PTA floundered.
“We’ve never gotten involved in any kind of government,”…
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