The Long Beach Community College District leaders will consider a redistricting map during a special Tuesday meeting that would draw one trustee out of her district.

Trustee Sunny Zia, who represents the Downtown area, would not be eligible to run in the Area 3 district in the November election. Zia has feuded with some members of the five-member board over the past few years.

In a message Tuesday, she said the new map—presented with 24 hours notice—is a “purely political ploy.”

“It would be refreshing if my colleagues would spend even one-third of the time and money they spend looking for petty ways to mess with me instead of focusing on improving things at the college district for our students, faculty, and local community,” Zia said in a text message.

Trustee Uduak-Joe Ntuk, who serves as both the president of the board and of the ad hoc committee that proposed the new maps, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Zia said that she would prefer not to run against another member of the board if she’s drawn into a new district, but added she would “cross that bridge if I come to it.” Zia could potentially be drawn into the new Area 2 that is represented by Trustee Vivian Malauulu who isn’t up for reelection until 2024.

The board is scheduled to consider two maps Tuesday night. Both would change the shape of the Area 3 boundaries that Zia currently represents, but one would remove her home from Area 3.

The board presented the map at a special meeting Monday morning, providing the public just a day to review changes to draft maps that were initially shared with community members in December. The college has until Feb. 28 to submit documents for its final map.

Unlike the Long Beach City Council, which had its lines drawn by an independent commission for the first time in history this year, the LBCC board of trustees will draw and adopt its own political boundaries. The process of redrawing political boundaries must be completed every 10 years after the national Census is completed to ensure equal representation of voters.

The maps being presented Tuesday are different from any previous versions and are a big departure from the college’s current map, which has been in use for the past decade.

Stacey Toda, a spokesperson for the college, said Tuesday’s meeting will allow the board to provide guidance for a final map to be drawn and the vote to adopt a final map will take place at the board’s regular meeting scheduled for Feb. 23.

Two proposed maps that could be adopted Tuesday night by the Long Beach Community College board of trustees.

Zia and the board have clashed multiple times over the past few years, with the board voting 3-2 to censure her in 2019 for alleged repeated incidents of unprofessional behavior toward colleagues.

More recently, Zia and members of the board were tied up in court after the board sought to block Zia from closed session meetings regarding a costly investigation it launched after it fired its superintendent-president in March 2020.

The report, which has been blocked by the board’s legal counsel from being made public, has cost the college over $350,000 as of November, when a judge dismissed the board’s attempt to bar Zia from closed session meetings.

Based on an analysis provided to the board in October, the district’s five area boundaries were nearly within the 10% total deviation that is required to maintain fair representation between the most populated and least populated areas of a given public body.

Zia’s Area 3 was the least populated with 97,058 residents and the college’s Area 5, which includes much of East Long Beach, was the largest with 108,963 residents.

The ideal population that would make all districts equal population was calculated at 103,682, meaning that in order to meet the 10% deviation requirement between the two either Area 3 needed to grow or Area 5 needed to shrink.

The proposed maps still have Area 3 as the least populated area for the college, but one map proposes shifting the district slightly east and losing the Port of Long Beach. The map that would remove Zia cuts out the entire portion of Downtown from Area 3 while creating two vertical districts that split Area 2 and Area 3 with a north-south boundary that runs to the east of Long Beach Boulevard.

They would also create a more sprawling Area 5 that could span from East Long Beach to the Virginia Country Club and Los Cerritos neighborhoods near the city’s western border.

Editors note: The original story has been updated with a statement from an LBCC spokesperson. 

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.