January 12, 2018

(Los Angeles, CA) - MALDEF sent a letter to the Victor Elementary School District in Victorville today warning that its at-large system of electing Board of Trustees members violates the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (CVRA).

In the letter, sent to Victor Elementary Board of Trustees President Clayton Moore, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) says the district’s current at-large system dilutes Latino voting strength and prevents Latino voters from electing candidates of their choice.

U.S. Census figures show that Latinos comprise 32 percent of the citizen voting-age population in the area covered by the Victor Elementary School District, which according to its website oversees 17 schools. Nevertheless, as MALDEF’s letter to the district points out, none of the five current district trustees is Latino, and no Latino candidate has ever served on the Board of Trustees.

“School district boards have a special obligation to ensure that they represent the interests and concerns of all residents who send their children to public schools,” said MALDEF president and general counsel Thomas A. Saenz. “In Victor Elementary School District, the current elections system fails to meet that mandate, and the district must change its system to ensure better representation of the entire community the district serves.”

Under the CVRA, cities that have racially polarized voting must switch from an at-large election system, in which members are elected by all voters, to a district-based election where voters who live in each district select the candidate of their choice.

“At-large elections are notorious for diluting the voting power of Latinos and other racial minorities,” said MALDEF staff attorney Tanya Cecena Pellegrini. “District elections are more representative of the electorate and help Latinos and other underserved communities elect candidates of their choice. That is why we are asking the Victor Elementary School District to convert to district-based elections. Having fair and democratic elections will help the entire school district thrive and prosper.”

Read MALDEF’s letter here.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund