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One talking point made by advocates of single-member council districts for Anaheim is that is it not a political project of the Left – notwithstanding the fact that the organizational and political heft behind the push for council districts is coming from a coalition of left-wing political organizations and figures such as OCCORD, UNITE-HERE, the Democratic Party of Orange County, the Orange County Labor Federation, the ACLU, Dr. Jose Moreno, Amin David, Vivian Pham, etc. The smattering of Republican supporters serve as a tissue of bi-partisan camouflage.

Take this flyer for a “Rally for Anaheim” rally to be held March 22 at Little Peoples Park on March 22. The rally is being organized by two left-wing non-profits, OCCORD and Orange County Congregation Community Organization – with special guest Mayor Tom Tait:

occord rally for anaheim english

The Facebook page invites people to come and “Show your civic pride and join us to learn more about district elections in Anaheim.”

One of the organizers listed on the flyer is Marisol Ramirez, a director of OCCORD and an organizing intern for the militant UNITE-HERE Local 11. Here is Ms. Ramirez at last summer’s anti-police rally (organized AnswerLA.org and now-Anaheim Council candidate Donna Acevedo) waving a Party for Socialism and Liberation sign saying COPS: George Zimmermans With A Badge:

OCCORD Director Marisol Ramirez holding party for Socialism and Liberation sign saying "Police Are George Zimmermans With A  Badge."

Marisol Ramirez holding a Party for Socialism and Liberation sign saying “Police Are George Zimmermans With A Badge.”

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On July 3, when the Anaheim City Council re-visited the issue of placing single-member council districts on the June 2014 ballot, OCCORD – which has been spearheading the effort with its godparent union UNITE-HERE — was essentially a no-show.

Instead, OCCORD released a video in which four of its regulars said they weren’t coming because the council is ignoring their voices – as if it is City Council’s duty to two the OCCORD/UNITE-HERE line. One of them even complained the council meetings were a “circus” – which is ironic since it is OCCORD and UNITE-HERE who create the unruly circus atmosphere by jeering and booing opposing points of view.

Personally, I suspect the automotons OCCORD and UNITE-HERE turn out were probably burning out and unwilling to show up, so the left-wing group turned lemons into lemonade with a video claiming they would be no shows because the Corporatist Power Structure ignores the Will of the People.

Almost three weeks after the fact, OCCORD is organizing a “picket” of tonight’s council meeting, claiming the City Council “ignored” the recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Committee that OCCORD and UNITE-HERE spent months mightily trying to manipulate into supporting the division of Anaheim into eight single-member council districts.

Of course, OCCORD’s claim is a selective one that doesn’t hold water.

As this blog has noted time and again, the 10-member CAC split on the question of single-member districts versus at-large elections – five members in favor of each. At the final meeting one of the members who had voted for single-member districts had re-considered and joined with other members in an attempt to add another recommendation for electing the council at-large from residency-based districts, but were shut down by the bloc appointed by Mayor Tom Tait and former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway.

In the end, the report that was unanimously adopted by the CAC called for placing before Anaheim voters the following options:

– Electing the council at-large

– Electing the council from single-member districts

– Expanding the council to 6 members

– Expanding the council to 8 members

If OCCORD were honestly and genuinely alarmed that the CAC was being “ignored,” they would be picketing for all four questions to be placed on the June ballot. Of course, they and their allies are doing no such thing because OCCORD could care less about what the CAC actually recommended. They only want the CAC recommendations they agree with placed on the ballot — which makes their denunciations of the council majority’s actions totally hypocritical.

But what else is new?

One last thing: I hope no one from OCCORD, UNITE-HERE or anyone else who speaks tonight in favor of single-member council districts attempts to link Sunday’s march with a alleged community support for carving Anaheim up into eight districts. No one at the protest said anything about council districts except Donna Acevedo, who worked it into her speech to the crowd – whose collective response was total indifference; and in any case, the vast majority of marchers weren’t from Anaheim, and they were far more interested in tearing down the police than in anything else.

The Magic Single-Member District Unicorn is not happy.

The Magic Single-Member District Unicorn is not happy.

In a vote that is sure to annoy the liberal elitists on the Los Angeles Times editorial board, the Anaheim City Council voted 3-2 to reject placing single-member council districts on June 2014 ballot. Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman and Councilmembers Lucille Kring and Kris Murray voted in the majority.

In doing so, the council moved forward with implementing a residency-based district system (yes, OCCORDobots: “single-member” isn’t the only type of district) that preserves at-large voting, and gives voters the opportunity to increase the council to six members.

Also going down in flames was the ex poste facto proposal to impose a Form 700 financial disclosure form filing requirement on members of the temporary, advisory Charter Review Committee. It was a transparently political ploy directed at former Mayor Curt Pringle, who has declined to serve on the CRC. There was no coherent, compelling argument for applying to the CRC, and it died on a 4-1 vote.

I watched much of the meeting online but missed the council discussion on the council res-structuring agenda items. I did see the impressive presentation by demographer Dr. Peter Morrison. You can review his Power Point here – and I really recommend that you do.

The bottom line: more Latinos on the City Council is inevitable. The demographics are inexorable, and even if no change is made to the structure of the City Council, sheer weight of numbers will lead to the election of more Latinos in the not too distant future.

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At the May 28 meeting, Mayor Tait asked staff to come back with resolutions putting the recommendations of the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to a vote of the people. The left-wing coalition pushing for eight single-member council districts have been calling for the same thing.

The draft resolutions on the June 11 City Council agenda do not reflect the recommendations of the CAC. The CAC’s final report called for placing “the question of a potential change in the city election system, particularly the question of district or at-large council member elections to a vote of the citizens of Anaheim.”

Remember that this recommendation was unanimously endorsed by the Citizens Advisory Committee members — including the appointees of Mayor Tom Tait and former Councilmember Lorri Galloway.

It is vital to also remember that five of the 10 members of the Citizens Advisory Committee members opposed single-member council districts — and one of the five who initially voted for single-member districts later tried, unsuccessfully, to switch his support to at-large council districts.

In other words, only a minority of the CAC is committed to single-member council districts, while a majority of the CAC wants to continue electing councilmembers at-large?

So why is it that none of the draft ballot questions give Anaheim voters the option — as explicitly called for by the CAC — of choosing to continue electing councilmembers on an at-large basis?

Why are Anaheim voters being denied the opportunity to vote on keeping the at-large system? If the mantra of “let the people decide how they are governed” is truly the mantra of the single-member council district advocates, surely they will not object to giving the people the option to decide they want to continue being

Those who have been advocating for single-member council districts have attempted to arrogate to themselves the moral high-ground of “letting the people vote.” If that truly is their guiding principle, then surely they can have no objection to amending Resolution 1 so it is faithful to the explicit recommendation of the Citizens Advisory Committee?

Opposition to doing so will give lie to all the professions of allowing the people to have their say.

Jason Young liarAnaheim Blog readers remember Jason Young, gadfly wedding videographer with a court record.

Jason is about as subtle and nuanced as a sledgehammer. Jason’s favorite tactic is accusing people of being “liars” – an interesting approach from someone convicted of burglary and identity theft.

Today, Jason unsheathed his stiletto in an attempt to slash (figuratively speaking) the newest member of the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee, Amanda Edinger.

I’ll not link to Jason’s attempt at character assassination. He posts screenshots of some comments Mrs. Edinger has made on Facebook and uses them to falsely claim Mrs. Edinger is anti-immigrant. In other words, the guy who continually accuses other people of being liars shows himself to be exactly that: a liar.

Amanda Edinger’s comments reveal that she thinks the federal welfare state is too big and that too many people are dependent on it; that immigrants who are in this country illegally should not be given amnesty; that immigrants to this country should learn English; that the federal government should be able to control the border; that individuals should strive to be self-sufficient. All of these are views that are squarely in the mainstream of American political thought.

But Jason Young, in a deeply dishonest act, smears her as “anti-immigrant.”

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The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting will convene for its final meeting this Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Anaheim City Council chambers.

The CAC members vote on the draft report to the ciy council.

You can read and/or download the draft report here.

Anaheim Blog readers know the answer to that question: a left-wing coalition of unions and a non-profit union-offshoot group.

Still, it’s revealing to view demonstrations of the profoundly radical world-view that animates these activists.

Here’s OCCORD Community Organizer Yenni Diaz posting on the OC Labor Federation Facebook page:

Yenni Diaz May Day
Do you see that red graphic Ms. Diaz shares in her post? Here’s a larger version of it:

anti-poliice graphic

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Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray has been a voice of reason and sanity on the issue of single-member council districts — which, it should be noted, would limit the representation currently enjoyed by Anaheim voters.

As it stands, every Anaheim voter gets to vote for their Mayor and for all four Councilmembers. Switching to single-member districts would limit each voter to a vote for only the mayor and the one council member elected to serve their geographic area.

Here’s Kris Murray’s op-ed that ran in yesterday’s OC Register:

Anaheim Elections: Residents, Not Special Interests, Will Determine Anaheim’s Governance

Whether you believe Anaheim should be broken into single-member council districts or that residents have the right to elect their entire City Council, the process of determining such a change matters. Both the ACLU and Mayor Tom Tait pushed for swift action to place a ballot initiative in front of Anaheim voters before the community had any opportunity to play a part in the process. As it turns out, if the council had approved the ballot initiative proposed by Mayor Tait last year to divide Anaheim into single-member districts, it would have been a violation of state law.

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Earlier this week, a commenter posted a link to this April 2, 2013 article from UnionWatch.com. It should serve as a wake up call to conservatives and those who occupy the sensible center that the drive for single-member council districts in Anaheim is not an isolated event, but part of a broader campaign for the unions and their left-wing political allies to expand their political influence in local government.

They are looking to make Anaheim their beachhead in Orange County. If Anaheim goes, next on the target list will be Orange, Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Westminster, Garden Grove, etc. Those Republicans in Anaheim and Orange County who either support single-member council districts or yawn at the prospect of them really need to wake up and smell the left-wing coffee. And those Vichy-types who want to run up the white flag because they’ve swallowed the propaganda that the ACLU lawsuit is unbeatable…well, they need to get spine-up and fight.

Here’s the article – it is a must-read:

Unions Will Control Mid-Sized Cities with California Voting Rights Act

by Kevin Dayton

Unions firmly control the political agenda in California’s largest cities, but civic leaders and citizens in some of the state’s smaller cities are still resisting the union political machine.

Some of these cities, with populations from 100,000 to 250,000, include Escondido, Oceanside, Murrieta, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Clovis, Elk Grove, and Roseville. These are cities where a dominant faction of elected and appointed officials generally puts a priority on efficiently providing basic services at a reasonable cost to their citizens.

Not surprisingly, city councils in some of these cities have attempted to enact home-rule charters or have exercised rights under their home-rule charters to free themselves from costly state mandates. This greatly agitates unions, which have long worked to attain their unchecked control of the agenda at the capitol.

Union officials want California’s cities to submit fully to state laws regarding collective bargaining for public employees and government-mandated wage rates (“prevailing wages”) for construction contractors. As reported in www.UnionWatch.org throughout 2012, public employee unions and construction trade unions spent huge amounts of money to convince voters in some of these cities to reject proposed charters.

Obviously unions don’t want to spend $1 million in dozens of cities every two years to defeat proposed charters, as they did in Costa Mesa before the November 2012 election. And soon they won’t have to spend any more money.

Unions are now implementing a tactic to alter political control of these smaller cities. It is likely to succeed in turning almost every California city with a population of 100,000 or more from fiscal responsibility to “progressive” governance based on theories of social justice.

Unions and their attorneys are masters at exploiting the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to attain unrelated economic objectives that benefit unions. And now unions are using the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (Election Code Section 14025 et seq.) as a tool to ensure the adoption of union-backed public policies at local governments.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

“The Orange County Labor Federation, during its last two strategic planning sessions prioritized achieving district based elections…”

OC Labor logoThat statement should be cause for alarm as the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) winds up its work next month. As Anaheim Blog has documented, a highly-organized coalition of left-wing unions and a satellite non-profit are working every angle to carve Anaheim into eight single-member council districts, and better position themselves to enact liberal policies that diminish property rights and economic liberty.

Keep in mind that the OC Labor Federation’s point man on this issue is its political director, Julio Perez — and CAC Chair Vivian Pham was a donor to Perez’s failed 2012 Assembly campaign.

Here it is from the OC Labor Federation website:

tait portraitVivian PhamReading Matt Cunningham’s coverage of the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee process ought to be an eye-opener for anyone concerned about the future of our city. It has put all other media coverage combined to shame.

Sad to say, it has largely been hijacked by a confederacy of highly-organized and well-funded liberal pressure groups with direct representation on the CAC, courtesy of Mayor Tom Tait and former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway.

Take a look at the CAC Chair, Vivian Pham. When Tom Tait appointed her, she had only lived in Anaheim for two years, according to voter records sent to me.

Two years! Anaheim is more than a century-and-a-half old. The CAC is making recommendations to the City Council about how our city will be governed for the next century. And the Mayor appoints a new arrival with no understanding of the history, culture or political landscape of Anaheim? Shouldn’t that make Cynthia Ward go into “tilt” mode?

Pham is a liberal Democrat who, in her day job as a “community development officer” for Wells Fargo Bank, has shoveled almost one hundred thousand dollars into the coffers of OCCORD, the group leading the lobbying effort targeting the CAC.

Conflict, anyone?

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Vivian Pham

Vivian Pham

The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) on Elections is chaired by Vivian Pham, a liberal Democrat who had only lived in Anaheim for two years when Mayor Tom Tait chose her last fall as one of his two appointees to the CAC (the other being another Democrat, Bill Dalati).

I eventually came to the opinion she was almost certainly coordinating with the left-wing coalition, led by OCCORD and UNITE-HERE Local 11, that is lobbying the CAC to recommend electing the City Council by single-member districts. After all, in her capacity as its Community Development Officer, Wells Fargo has funded OCCORD’s activities to the tune of at least $80,000. Furthermore, it is hardly a secret Pham is solidly in favor of single-member council districts.

Other observers of the CAC process have reached the same conclusion, and any doubts I may have had pretty much evaporated during last week’s CAC meeting (you can watch the video here).

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