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Home » Santa Clarita News » Education » COC Board Agrees To Settlement In Voting Rights Act Lawsuit
COC Board Agrees To Settlement In Voting Rights Act Lawsuit

COC Board Agrees To Settlement In Voting Rights Act Lawsuit

College of the Canyons governing board agreed Wednesday to terms for the settlement of a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit, according to a report out of closed session. 

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The terms of the deal were filed Tuesday confidentially at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles, according to a court official.

Rosemarie Sanchez-Fraser and Jim Soliz discuss their California Voting Rights Act lawsuits (Click the photo to link to video)

The lawsuit alleges the Santa Clarita Community College District was holding at-large elections in violation of the CVRA.

Related article:  Report Cites ‘Some Vulnerability’ To Voting Rights Act Lawsuit

The lawsuit asserted Hispanic voters were disenfranchised by the existence of racially polarized voting in the Santa Clarita Valley, which attorneys sought to prove with the results from several previous ballots measures, in addition to demographic studies.

“The board has given directions to its attorneys to finalize settlement,” said governing board President Michele Jenkins. She added that the terms would not be disclosed until both sides finalized the terms.

The Board of Trustees for two community college campuses in the Santa Clarita Valley were hit with a lawsuit claiming their elections were unlawful back in June 2013.

COC officials held out for several months longer than its Santa Clarita Valley counterparts that were hit with a similar lawsuit, the city of Santa Clarita and the Sulphur Springs School District.

Related article:Santa Clarita Officials Discuss California Voting Rights Act Lawsuit

Community College officials expressed an intention to fight the lawsuit, agreeing to a settlement conference the morning trial was to begin last week.

COC governing board members instructed their counsel to seek a court-supervised settlement conference last Tuesday.

Both the city and the elementary school district settled their lawsuits in February with slightly different terms.

Related article: Sulphur Springs School District To Adopt Districts As Part Of Lawsuit Settlement

The Sulphur Springs School District approved a move to districts for their elections, whereas the city is moving its elections to November and employing a cumulative voting method.

Palmdale officials, who recently lost an appeal on their CVRA lawsuit case and a $3.5 million settlement, said they would seek a review of the most recent decision with the state’s Supreme Court.



















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COC Board Agrees To Settlement In Voting Rights Act Lawsuit

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About Perry Smith

Perry Smith is a print and broadcast journalist who has won several awards for his focused, hyperlocal community coverage in several different regions of the country. In addition to five years of experience covering the Santa Clarita Valley, Smith, a San Fernando Valley native, has worked in newspapers and news websites in Los Angeles, the Northwest, the Central Valley and the South, before coming to KHTS in 2012. To contact Smith, email him at
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