Redistricting to Shift Voting Districts;
Citizen Engagement Limited

Seng Yang

photo by Leslie Layton

Seng Yang, program director for the Hmong Cultural Center, says he’d like to know more about what redistricting might mean for Butte County’s Hmong community.

by Leslie Layton

CHICO, Calif.—For the past 24 years, Republican Congressman Wally Herger has represented a swath of Northern California, seldom facing opponents who have had the financing or support to present a serious challenge. Yet, throughout the Northern Sacramento Valley, residents say they’re eager for competitive campaigns that address high unemployment and poverty rates, immigration reform and health care.

Redistricting, now underway by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, has given some hope to Democratic Party strategists that they might be able to better compete in conservative central California. But the voting maps released last week by the redistricting commission would also reduce the number of Latino voters in the district represented by Herger. That concerns some Democrats, who see ethnic diversity as the future of the party. read more

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Mr. Vig’s Lesson: Failure Not Acceptable

Bernie Vigallon

photo by Leslie Layton

by Leslie Layton

For the past 20 years, Fair View High School Principal Bernie Vigallon has roamed his continuation school campus and beyond, busting pot-smokers and herding kids to class. At the end of the school day, he often visited families, sometimes bought them groceries and on one occasion, pulled a student who was missing the critical days prior to graduation from a den of methamphetamine use.

Vigallon, who during his 30-year tenure in the Chico Unified School District came to be known as “Mr. Vig,” retires June 3 as Fair View principal and as director of alternative education for the district. In the latter position, Vigallon built a program that now serves 500 students — kids who suffer from alienation or abuse, who struggle with learning issues, or who became immersed in delinquency or drugs. read more

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