Coast Community College District Pattern of Discrimination Challenged

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July 12, 2017

From: Fred M. Whitaker of Cummins & White, LLP –Chairman – Republican Party or Orange County Shawn Steel: Shawn Steel Law Firm – Republican National Committeeman – CA

For Immediate Release
Coast Community College District Pattern of Discrimination Challenged

The Coast Community College District, which was recently caught discriminating against the free speech rights of its students, in favor of abusive faculty, also discriminated against its own voters in favor of the establishment.

Fred M. Whitaker and Shawn Steel are pleased to announce that the Coast Community College District (CCCD) agreed to the demand presented by William Hoang of Cummins & White, LLP that the CCCD immediately cease “at-large elections” even though there are five separate geographical Trustee Areas.

In 2016, Mr. Vong Xavier Nguyen unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Jerry Patterson, CCCD Trustee, in Trustee Area 2 (Westminster, Garden Grove and Fountain Valley). Mr. Nguyen would have won in District 2 where he lived, but lost 2 -1 in the CCCD “at-large” election to long-time incumbent and professional politician – Jerry Patterson. A large number of Vietnamese-American voters are concentrated in Trustee Area 2.

Mr. Nguyen retained both Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Steel’s law firms to challenge the CCCD’s discriminatory “at-large election” policy. Suit was threatened in a letter to the Board of Trustees on May 18, 2017, claiming the CCCD was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. Data was offered to the district showing that there were a large number of Vietnamese American voters being disenfranchised.

Jack Lipton, General Counsel for CCCD, responded to Mr. Hoang by stating that the Board of Trustees agreed to “[adopt] a motion to commence the process to change the method of election for trustees to the ‘by-trustee area’ method.” Mr. Lipton stated that the motion will be voted on July 19, 2017 at the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting.

CCCD has a population size of 642,032, with three community college campuses. The three colleges are Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Golden West College in Huntington Beach, and Coastline Community College in Fountain Valley.

For further information please contact:

Fred M. Whitaker at (949) 852-1800

Shawn Steel at (949) 551-9000

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