Anaheim City Council Didn't Approve Ward Elections Last Night--And That's a Good Thing

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Click here for our Anaheim police shooting and subsequent desmadre archives

I'm far away from my beloved Anaheim right now, in the salt mines working on...something...but I couldn't help but to check in on the Kabuki theater that was last night's city council meeting held at my alma mater, Anaheim High--specifically at the Cook Auditorium. Oh, what a charade! The business owners boarding up their businesses with boards because they thought there would be riots! The pre-manufactured signs! The city council majority--Harry Sidhu, Gail Eastman, and Kris Murray--saying they agreed with the idea of carving up Anaheim into wards for city council elections...then voting against Mayor Tom Tait's proposal to put it to the voters this November! The chants! The outraged liberal speakers! The outraged conservative speakers outraged at the liberal speakers! The Very Important Latino speakers professing to speak for the very people they've screwed in the past! The sad media reports!

Oh, the hilarity!

But in all this, a glimmer of hope.

As I've stated before, turning Anaheim's council elections into a ward-specific format won't solve the bigger problem at hand: that the city's politics are held captive by not just corporate interests, but a Democratic Party that doesn't give a shit about the city and has actively neglected recruiting actual human beings in favor of tools like Jordan Brandman, who has gone on record as opposing ward elections but will no doubt change his tune soon supports ward elections--and ain't that problematic? And the loyal opposition pushing for ward elections is hardly any better: You know politics in Anaheim are shady as shit when Los Amigos--the very group who's suing Anaheim to force ward elections--endorsed Republican John Leos in 2010 for the Anaheim council, and that hosts of his kick-off this year included Amin David and Jose Moreno, the plaintiffs named in the ACLU suit. And where does Leos live? Anaheim Hills, where Moreno and David says there's too much power! Dem hills ain't bad when your crew's up there, eh? Man, you can't make this stuff up...

Anyhoo: the glimmer of hope.

OF COURSE ward elections weren't going to be approved last night--anyone really thought that Sidhu, Eastman, and Murray understand what's going on in the city? But putting forth the ward system right now would unleash a land grab of Sooner proportions for the Democrat and Republican machines alike, thereby inflicting on Anaheim a bunch of politicians hand-picked by the powers-that-be that would continue business as usual. You know a system is sketchy as shit when Disneyland is pushing for it. Yaktivists: you really think a ward election is the silver bullet to Anaheim's problems when The Mouse is behind it? You know they'd find seven wabs to do their bidding faster than Disney freaks lining up for the latest Goofy pin.

This is your time, Anaheim residents. The likelihood of no ward elections for this cycle just gives ustedes time to make Anaheim right. Build a coalition--not just of Latinos, but good gabachos and chinitos and Arabs and--gasp!--conservatives who might not share the progressive politics of OCCORD but despise City Hall and have the voting power and knowledge of the city to make change happen (Cynthia Ward, that's you!). Unite behind two candidates this election--Duane Roberts would be my progressive choice, and get someone more libertarian-skewed to join the fun and balance the politics. A coalition Keep the racialist stuff to a minimum--again, this is a coalition, not La Raza Unida Party (yes, Latinos are the majority of folks disaffected in Anaheim, but I'd rather have a righteous gabacho next to me than some vendido. People power, not pendejo power). Start meeting NOW, and don't let any current electeds sway you, or campaign money--it's all a farce. Build a people machine, so when ward elections do come, you'll remain safely away from the corrupting influences of the Democrats and Republicans alike. You know the city better than anyone, better than Johnny-come-latelys to the desmadre--now, own it.

Pollyanna-ish? You betcha! But I never thought Anaheim residents would wake up to the cancer afflicting City Hall--and here we are.

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42 comments
phantom25
phantom25

Leos doesn't live in Anaheim Hills. 

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

Freedom for Anaheim Hills. Freedom for Anaheim Hills. Freedom for Anaheim Hills!

rotoro91
rotoro91

Although I have lived in Anaheim for 20 years, I have not closely followed the city politics. I have enjoyed Gustavo's writings. I read one of his books, loaned from the Placentia library. I was surprised though, negatively surprised, as to how he treats people like  Amin David. I have a high respect for Mr David. To call him a "vendido" for being on the same side or supporting Pringle in the Gigante thing is too much. Even that radical guy from Hermandad Mexicana , Lopez I believe his name is, who was also in the Santa Ana School District, welcomed Pringle. What's wrong with people realizing they were wrong and made a significant change in their outlook, Pringle in this case? Call Mr David a "vendido" es una falta de respeto (disrespectful, gavachos). Que vato Gustavo...Regarding John Leo's, I did not know he is a Republican,  I hardly know him but sounds like a Republican. However, it seems he does not live in the hills. At the East Anaheim council meetings he talks like he lives next to the 57 freeway, near Ball Rd. Anyway, it is open for debate who really is advocating "pendejo" power. 

chezvern
chezvern

So, 'Tavo.  Given what I wrote below, if you don't disagree - which is that even if the council had approved putting the question of district elections onto the ballot this November, (and had the public said yes) there still would have been two years to build the exciting coalition you describe for Nov. 2014 .... given that, are you sure you don't want to rethink your basic premise, that the three fascists' smackdown of democracy was "a good thing?"

 

PS I know you've got a grudge against the "vendidos" who started this thing, but who cares - a good idea is a good idea!  Not to mention an inevitable, and financially desirable one, given the ACLU's record.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano

@UNITEHERE11 @elrandomhero @eastla_nancy Which part--the one where Anaheim's Latino "leaders" sold out Latino voters?

madebutante
madebutante

I know what a vendido is. Something Mexican-American cops don't like to be called. I found out!

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

From the OCR today:

 

The investigation revealed the man was walking on Sycamore (in Anaheim) when a silver compact vehicle with tinted windows and several people inside drove up to the man, Dunn said. The occupants asked the man what gang he was from and the victim said he was from a local gang, he said.  "That's when the shooting occurred," Dunn said.

 

Why isn't Smith or Cruz protesting this shooting?  Where's the outrage now?

 

http://www.ocregister.com/news/gang-367953-shooting-dunn.html

allen107
allen107

Sheesh Gustavo!   It cannot be possible that you are the ONLY voice of reason.  Isn't there someone somewhere who you find credible.  Your all encompassing cynicism and outrage tends to weaken your voice and get you a rep of a Limbaugh.  As a longtime participant of Los Amigos and admirer of the work that gets accomplished, I need to remind you and your audience that Los Amigos does not support candidates.  It didn't even support Amin David or Jose Moreno in their respective school board races.  You're not supposed to argue with the fellow who has a barrel of ink - but your ink is yellowing.

chezvern
chezvern

Let's see ... for one thing there never WAS a danger of "ward" or district elections happening for this cycle.  Tait/LoGal/OCCORD were trying to get the QUESTION on the ballot this November ... it still woulda not gone into effect till '14.  I agree that there's no time to get decent candidates in the new districts in three months ... but who was ever suggesting that?

 

When you look closely, the positions of the three corporate naysayers on Council, Disney, and Brandman are the same:  WELL, district elections look like maybe an idea whose time has come.  Let's create a big committee, with people WE pick, and study the SHIT out of it for a long long time, then MAYBE put it on the June 2014 ballot (low-turnout natch) to let the people decide.  Anything to hang on to their power a few more years, you know.

 

I agree about the weak crop of candidates.  Not surprising that the unions and Amigos would back their pal Leos from the Hills while also backing districts, don't see a huge hypocrisy there.  Agree that Duane is the best!!!  And we still have to learn a lot about Mr. LoGal.

Whophantom
Whophantom

"People power, not pendejo power"...Hey, if it can be done in the Phillipines, it can be done in Anaheim. Love the way u think Gustavo!

saveanaheim
saveanaheim

When and where did Brandman state the he OPPOSED ward elections?

 

saveanaheim@gmail.com

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @Mitchell_Young It'll never happen. The rich folks in Anaheim Hills like the low tax rates thanks to Disney's presence in their town.

crinna.robin
crinna.robin

 . Anaheim hills would shrivel up and die without the resort district and lower Anaheim would flourish getting all the money back that Anaheim hills siphons off. Good luck fighting wild fires without the rest of Anaheim. Oh and your water and power are subsidized by Disney as well. Hope you like SC Edison and the rolling blackouts you have been spared.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @rotoro91 Supporting Pringle is akin to supporting the devil—NEVER acceptable. And Nativo did the partnership with Pringle because he got paid off—politicking at its worst. If you want to support that, be my guest!

chezvern
chezvern

 @rotoro91 I first met John Leos at a big Labor Day union bash in 2010, where he had a booth for his council race that year;  Correa and Solorio endorsed him.  I asked him why he was a Republican, and he came up with two reasons:  he loves guns, and he supports capital punishment.  I told him, well, some Democrats love guns and support capital punishment.  I suppose the subtext is, he doesn't think Democrats are "tough" enough on crime.  And maybe he thinks he has a better chance winning office in Anaheim as a Republican.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @chezvern Yes, it's a good idea. I hold no grudges other than against liars.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @20ftjesus Maybe because this isn't a case of government run amok? I swear, the "why aren't they protesting (gang shooting)" is one of the weakest arguments in the conservative block...

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @allen107 Oh, please. When Leos is trumpeting David and Moreno's endorsement, it's de facto Los Amigos—any pendejo can see that. And speaking of credibility, how does David and Los Amigos have any given they supported Curt Pringle and started this mess in the first place?

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

 @crinna.robin Yeah, like all those other high property value, good school, moderately affluent cities in the 'C -- e.g. Tustin, Lake Forest, etc.

 

You see, having a low wage, fairly low skill, service industry oriented economy puts money in, but also takes a lot of government expenditure. That's why development economists always saw tourism as a bad road to economic improvement.

rotoro91
rotoro91

 @GustavoArellano 

Nativo was a "caudillo", the guy did a lot of good and bad things in the name of la raza . I understand that he is now a retired "revolutionary'.  But please Gustavo, educate me why Mr Amin and Los Amigos are vendidos. What Pringle did in Santa Ana was wrong,  he admitted and it seems he changed his positions regarding latinos, including the hard working immigrants. Did not he? Are you interested in having people coming over to our side and broaden the support for our causes?  Or you rather have pure "progressives" in your "people's power"? On another note,  what is Loretta, Lou Correa, Solorio saying and doing about the issues raised by the Anaheim incidents, other than marching in silence one day. BTW I was one of the pendejos I participated in that demonstration. I did not realize that even Kris Murray had marched....Oh well, live and learn. Do you know if anything is being done to help the four people still detained for protesting in our city?

rotoro91
rotoro91

 @chezvern 

Thanks for the information. I don't think I would vote for him then, even if he were a Democrat. Now is he a resident of Anaheim Hills or East Anaheim? Is East Anaheim considered part of Anaheim Hills?

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

 @GustavoArellano Fair enough, but it's just a question and I really want to know the answer out of curiosity.  I'd also like to see stats on how many homicides are due to gang members vs. police.  (I don't know; I asking for reals.)

chezvern
chezvern

 @gabrielsanroman Are you saying that because they prefer 8 districts instead of six, Gabriel?

 

I was there WITH Eric and a shitload of 'em.  A dozen of 'em or so spoke out in favor of the districting initiative.  Their messaging was unfortunately unclear, as they were backing Tait's six-district initiative (which had taken them by surprise) while waving pre-made signs saying "eight."  This gave that bitch Kris Murray an opening to say "See, you people aren't even united behind this!"  To which they responded with a chant (ok, I started it, but they joined in)  GO WITH SIX, GO WITH SIX!

 

Somewhat of a fail there, I admit.  Stay tuned for my story.

chezvern
chezvern

 @rotoro91 It was funny, rotor.  Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman were both there... and both of them sticking close to what looked like bodyguards.  Jordan was sticking close to Claudio Gallegos, and Kris was sticking close to Todd Spitzer.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @rotoro91 This council is all the work of Pringle, and it could've been averted if Los Amigos had stood against him when he had the chance. Live and let learn? Not in a million years.

rotoro91
rotoro91

 @chezvern Thanks for the follow up. I am learning about the city politics, and it is  confusing ,specially on the latino leadership. I tried Arellano, but he is stuck on los "vendidos and Pringle", without explaining why. 

chezvern
chezvern

 @gabrielsanroman I.E., OCEA's sell-out of "Take Back Anaheim."  This puts Leos in a very awkward spot.

 

Then there's his bad judgment in accepting as a campaign manager, for a long time, the hilarious confabulator Rich Olquin, who - didn't you know?  - is an undercover CiA black-ops guy who owns an island and speaks 16 languages fluently, and for a time was working for Hoagy, Leos, Chuchua, AND Lucille Kring!  (Apparently until I outed him in Voice of OC comments.)

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

 @chezvern He's from the Hills and went to Canyon. His campaign photo ops are next to health insurance company lackey Lou Correa and Chief John Welter -- I'm sure that last one will really help connect with the Latino community these days!

 

I know he has stances on transparency and rolls with the Take Back Anaheim crew which has *some* good platforms but I'd really like to know where he is on OCEA's sell out of the private sector working class to secure a public sector deal with the city.

 

The "heart of Anaheim" stopped beating around April against the Giveaway Three!

chezvern
chezvern

 @rotoro91 Well, I don't know ... so I believe I will call the motorscooter up and ask him.

 

OK.  He lives near South St and Rio Vista in Central Anaheim.  He did GROW UP in the Hills, so he says "they should be mad at my parents, not me."

 

He also wants to emphasize that his two kids are in the Anaheim School District, whereas if he lived in the Hills it would be the Orange School District.  His family's been in Anaheim for over a hundred years.

 

I'll emphasize here that I don't know who I would support for council up there besides Duane (who probably doesn't have much of a chance.)  I'll be meeting and interviewing Mike Galloway soon, and if his politics are similar to his wife's and he has half a brain, he goes right to the top of the list for me!

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

 @chezvern Hearing Altman on AirTalk, I guess they ended up rolling with the 'go with six' at the end. Either way, everybody knew, that at the end of all that time, there was just going to be a pair of 3-2 fuck yous!

cynthia241
cynthia241

 @gabrielsanroman 

Well, actually, the people of Anaheim WILL be putting their civil rights up for a popular vote. The change to Districts is a change in the City Charter, which requires a vote to do. People making these statements water down their credibility, because they appear to have no clue about how the process works. Even if the City fights the lawsuit and loses (as expected when looking at the previous suits brought by ACLU) and the court orders us to adopt a District system, it will still end up on a ballot, that is the law. 

chezvern
chezvern

 @gabrielsanroman Oh.  Martin Lopez quote notwithstanding.

 

It was agreed that one way to settle the suit and make it go away (with only minor fees owed to ACLU) would be to put this on the ballot and hopefully pass it.

chezvern
chezvern

 @gabrielsanroman   Um, yeah.  They do want to settle the lawsuit.  That is not in question.  That goes hand in hand with the fact that they want district elections, and favored putting Mayor Tait's new improved proposal on November's ballot, although that was a late development.

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

 @chezvern Vern - OCCORD was handing out press releases at Cook Auditorium. It's pretty clear where the organization is. Settle the lawsuit. "We don't put our civil rights up for a popular vote" is the quote from Martin Lopez.

 

Tait is actually not a good listener. Otherwise there would be more direct conversations between himself, city officials and the litigants.

chezvern
chezvern

 @gabrielsanroman Well what happened yesterday, happened.  OCCord - Eric Altman, right?  I asked him before the meeting where they were standing and he didn't have a clear answer at that point.  "Everything is in flux now."  ON July 24 Mayor Tait was gonna propose FOUR districts.  That was not good enough for them.  Mayor Tait listened.  If you'll all notice, he IS a very good listener.  He moved it up to SIX.  The big OCCORD contingent there yesterday was clearly in support of the compromise, and outraged by the council vote against.  But they did muddy the waters with their "8" signs.

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

 @chezvern No I'm saying that because of my report on the press conference last week where the community coalition called on 8 districts to be created and for the lawsuit to be settled quickly.

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