It has been known for some time that the Los Altos School District GG Parcel Tax passed with a comfortable 70+% approval among your LASD neighbors. In the LASD school board race, the union-favored candidate, Bryan Johnson, enjoyed a ~4% margin over challenger Tanya Raschke among your LASD neighbors.
But what can we say about the pattern of precinct geographic variation in support for Trump, Bryan vs. Tanya and for the GG tax? How are your very nearby LASD neighbors voting?
Los Altos School District is a diverse governmental jurisdiction made up of much of City of Los Altos, much of the City of Los Altos Hills, parts of the City of Mountain View, a bit of City of Palo Alto up near Skyline, and some unincorporated County areas west of Foothill Expressway. And why were there ~4000 fewer voters participating the in LASD board election than in the GG tax election? What areas leaned more Trump and less Tanya?
Map Use Instructions: The map below is embedded in this article. You can also go to google and see it full screen. Whichever way you choose, first you should zoom in/ enlarge. On a Mac, click/hover over the icon for the pop up of statistics to appear. On an phone or tablet it takes two clicks. Click on the icon. Then click on the horizontal bar at the bottom of the screen.]
On the google site for full screen… click on this link: [Google MAP LINK ]
Does Trump correlate with Tanya?
Lalahpolitico has mapped each of the 30 LASD precincts in the Nov. 2016 election to whatever City it belongs in or with “County” if the precinct area is unincorporated. As shown in Table 1, the range of support for Trump among your LASD neighbors across all the 30 LASD reporting precincts ranged from 28.38% down to 8.08%. [We focus on the Top 5 and Bottom 5 LASD precincts ranked by their support of Trump.]
Lalahpolitico measured Board Candidate support by the win/loss margin of Bryan Johnson. For example in precinct 2343, Bryan garnered 304 votes to Tanya Raschke’s 229; that is to say, Bryan had 57.04% of the votes to Tanya’s 42.96%; therefore, Bryan’s win margin is 14.07% (rounding). When Tanya wins a precinct, Bryan’s win margin is a NEGATIVE percent.
Similarly, Lalahpolitico measured GG tax support in a precinct by the percentage the GG YES votes exceeding the tax passage threshold of 66.7%. Did a precinct contribute to victory with a positive margin or hold it back with a negative margin?
Table 1 – Most and Least Trumpy! Both favor Tanya
In Table 1 above — of the Top 5 Trump precincts — 4 pulled for Tanya with wide margins. However, in the Bottom 5 Trump precincts, 4 pulled for Tanya with even wider margins .
The Top 5 Trump precincts seemed to be a small drag (~ negative 1.0%) on passage of GG. The Bottom 5 Trump precincts were a boost ( ~ 7.0%) to the passage of GG parcel tax.
The top 5 Trump precincts list does include ALL 3 of the City of Los Altos Hills precincts within LASD, all of which seem to love Tanya, but don’t like school taxes quite so much. Why? There appear to be plenty of LAH voters who are still bothered by the 1999 bond spending/construction fiasco that opened a Covington Elementary School, bothered by the closing and then later reopening of the Bullis Purissima campus, and now are bothered by the delay and lack of transparency around planning to spend the 2014 Measure N bond funds.
In the bottom 5 Trump precincts, Lalah notes Mountain View, at least the NEC part, loves Tanya — but unlike LAH and the unincorporated Country Club area– also loves school taxes.
In the top 5 Trump precincts, Precinct 2376 has the distinction of being the MOST negative LASD precinct on GG out of all 30 precincts. In the bottom 5 Trump precincts, Precinct 2427 has the distinction of being the MOST positive LASD precinct on GG out of all 30 precincts [except for an anomalous 6 house MV precinct which is being annexed to City of Los Altos in 2017.] Perhaps the simple explanation for LAH being parcel tax avoidant and MV being parcel tax loving is… the prevalence of owners vs. renters?
FUN FACT: In some precincts, 1 out 4 of your LASD neighbors favored Trump. In other precincts, only around 1 out of 10 of your LASD neighbors favored Trump.
LASD Reporting Precincts vs. Home Precincts
Per the Registrar’s web site, there are actually 68 unique “home” precincts with the LASD jurisdiction, but for a given election about only half or less are voting/reporting precincts. For the Nov. 2016 LASD election 30 of the 68 precincts were voting. If you go to the Registrar election results web page, all the detail tables for LASD races list 30 precincts, not 68.
If you go to registrar web site to check out the detail map of your home precinct, by typing in your residential address, you may discover that your precinct number does not match any of the 30 “precincts” on the Registrar’s 2016 Election Results Map of LASD voting. It won’t be in the list of precincts on the Registrar’s voting results table. This means your home precinct was combined with one or more other precincts for reporting purposes.
Lalahpolitico has not been able to get a definitive list of which of the 38 orphas “home” precincts are rolled into which of the 30 polling/voting precincts at this time. Thus, I can’t provide you with definitive boundaries of your voting precinct. But perhaps by looking at the above Registrar map for the Trustee election results or the map for the GG election…. and by looking at the .pdf of you home precinct, you can zero in on your reporting precinct.
Nerdy, Wonky Election Results
Continue to read the rest of this post or go directly to the custom google map of Trustee results… which includes pop up details where you hover your mouse over the candidate photo icon.
Chart Key for “City”
Cty = County, that is unincorporated precincts, plus also a Palo Alto precinct up towards Skyline with 59 voters. A NEC PA precinct is placed into MV
LA = City of Los Altos jurisdiction
LAH = City/Town of Los Altos Hills jurisdiction
MV = City of Mountain View jurisdiction
total = total votes tally across all 30 LASD reporting precincts
Key for Geo =
Geo = N, C, or S. Lalahpolitico’s classification of the location of a reporting precinct in the North, Central, or South part of LASD. The dividing line for N is area N or west of ElMonte. The dividing line for S is east or south of Miramonte. C is both sides of Springer/Magadlena. [When a reporting precinct has a funny shape, or crosses the N,C S boundaries, I tried to assess where most of area of the precinct is situated.]
Voter Turnout vs. Lalahpolitico’s “Voter Participation” – Voter turnout for a specific race is the usual definition. The percentage of registered voters who cast a vote in that race. Lahla’s voter participation is different. I take the number of votes your LASD neighbors cast for President as a measure of the total number of people who cast a ballot, even if they left the other parts entirely blank. [Yes this is an assumption.] So GG election “participation” is the percent of people who cast a ballot for President, who also cast a vote in the GG election. Hint: Registered voters > total votes cast for President > total votes cast in GG election.
Trustee Win/Loss % – Lalah defined in terms of victor Bryan Johnson. It = (Bryan%of votes – Tanya% of votes). For example, (BJ 51.9% – TR 48.1%) = 3.8% margin of victory by BJ. Or for example in another precinct, ( BJ 47.0% – TR 53.0%) = -3.0% margin of loss by BJ.
GG Margin % – This is defined in terms of the 2/3 YES for passage requirement for tax measures. Lalah defined this = (%YESvotes – 66.7%). For example ( YES votes 74% – 66.7%) = 7.7%. Or another example, (YES votes% 65.7% – 66.7%) = -1.0 %, a negative margin. [Yes, 66.7% is not exactly two-thirds.]
Chart 1 – Votes FOR and AGAINST GG tax grouped by City
Chart 2 – City Support FOR GG tax as Percentages
ANALYSIS OF GG TAX RESULTS
Support for GG was pretty darn strong. Looking at Chart 2 above, City support ranged from a low of 66.05% in LAH precincts to a high of 71.88 % in MV precincts. LASD-wide it crossed the substantial barrier of needing 66.7% for passage. Undoubtedly, the LASD Board decision last summer to share the tax proceeds with the charter – a sharing which seems to be the statewide direction per the State courts – undoubtedly helped GG to win passage.
With ~15% of LASD students currently enrolled at Bullis Charter School, and with plenty of charter alumni and relatives of alumni proliferating throughout the area, NOT sharing the tax with the charter would have been suicide for GG. Opposition in LAH and MV areas would have been strong. Thankfully, instead BCS parents and LASD parents were united in staffing the GG election phone bank in large numbers.
Ironically though, the GG phone bank calls may have alerted those voters who always vote NO on new taxes…to get up and go out and vote NO on GG.
Why else would 3,528 of your LASD neighbors who voted in the GG election, not bother to vote for either Trustee? Perhaps all they knew was that they wanted no new tax? They knew the Trustees — whoever the heck these individuals are — were doing a terrible job with Measure N and should be punished? They had no idea who was running for Trustee? They were more interested in avoiding taxes or kicking the nameless, faceless trustees in the seat about Measure N…than in trying to change the direction of the School District by selecting a Trustee? [Lalahpolitco realizes people are busy, and it is all but impossible to be an informed voter across the entire ballot. When you are not informed about an issue/race, not voting on it seems very ethical to me. ] [See Charts 5,6 7 for details.]
Chart 3 -Votes FOR Bryan and Tanya grouped by City
Chart 4 – City Support FOR Bryan and Tanya as Percentages
Chart 5 – LASD Registered Voters and Votes Cast
Chart 6 – LASD Voter Turnout Percentages
Chart 7 -LASD Voter “Participation”
LALAHPOLITICO Bottom line
We live in an area of smart, educated people. And it shows in our high vote turnout and participation rates of our LASD neighbors. In LASD, about 85% of registered voters turned out to cast a ballot for President. Of those who turned out, about 94% also voted in the GG election. In other words, almost all LASD area voters who voted in the Presidential race, also voted in the GG election.
Does this mean that our area’s voters are as informed, opinionated and invested in local school issues as they are in national issues?
Sadly no. Lalahpolitico believes the GG tax election just attracted its fair share of the the “no new tax” voters…about 30% of any tax measure the experts say.
More encouraging, of those LASD area voters who turned out, almost 80% (78.29%) cast a vote in the school Trustee election. Lalahpolitico would like to think these voters had some basis for choosing between Bryan Johnson or Tanya Raschke. If so, in that case, it shows that the “LASD School Borg education industrial complex” is in danger of eventually being dismantled by voter action.
People are wising up about the antics of the LASD School Borg? Maybe? Only 654 votes out of 17788 cast kept challenger Tanya Raschke from victory over the School Borg endorsed Bryan Johnson. So close…Maybe next time?
On the other hand, is the glass half empty? The Trustee vote outcome is so close to 50/50 perhaps a lot of your LASD neighbors just flipped a coin to choose. And 3,528 voters who voted in the GG election didn’t bother to pick either candidate — figuring it wouldn’t make any difference at the local public schools at all. Sigh!
My “City” classification grouping of precincts does seem to predict some of the direction of Trustee voting outcomes. However, the classification dichotomy I didn’t perform…Precincts that were Ill- Affected by the bungled 1999 bond and or by the 2007 attendance area redraw vs. Precincts that were Not Affected … would be even more predictive. In the Ill-Affected group would be… all of LAH precincts, the University-Orange Ave. precinct, NEC precincts and the North ElMonte area MV precinct that got sent from Almond to Springer in 2007. The other MV precincts — those always in the Springer area — are mainly ok with the rule of the “School Borg” and accordingly voted more for Bryan Johnson.
And finally…don’t forget….in some precincts, 1 out 4 of your LASD neighbors favored Trump. In other precincts, only around 1 out of 10 of your LASD neighbors favored Trump.
link for Lalahpolitico’s custom Google Map
Map Use Instructions: First you should zoom in/ enlarge. On a Mac, click/hover over the Trustee icon for the pop up of statistics about that Precinct Number to appear. On an phone or tablet it takes two clicks. Click on the icon. Then click on the horizontal bar at the bottom of the screen for the statistics to appear.]
Santa Clara County Registrar of Voter Election Results Page
Registrar’s precincts maps pdf downloads
An excel workbook with my massaged precinct level data is available by request.
My Prior LASD election posts about the “School Borg”:
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