Tonight is the first meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee On Elections and Community Involvement. it will take place at 6:00 p.m. at the Brookhurst Community Center, 2271 W. Crescent Avenue.
Here is the committee’s mission per this press release from the City of Anaheim, the committee’s duties:
The Committee will provide advice to the City Council, including recommendations on:
- Potential changes in the City’s election systems, including election by district
- How to encourage voter registration
- How to identify and engage community groups in elections and in local government decision making
- Language assistance programs; and
- Other techniques to promote full participation in the electoral process.
Here’s the committee’s agenda for tonight’s meeting, along with a list of committee members and other related documents.
The proximate cause for the creation of this committee is the lawsuit filed by the ACLU under the California Voting Rights Act on behalf of local left-wing activists Amin David and Anaheim school trustee Jose Moreno, who want councilmembers to be elected by districts, rather than at-large, as is currently the case. Their contention is Latinos have been underrepresented on the City Council, and they want council districts drawn that will elect Latinos.
The stick being wielded is that if the city fights the lawsuit and loses, it has o reimburse the other side — a bill that could reach millions of dollars.
It is important to note this entire effort to re-structure how Anaheim is governed is litigation-driven — there has been no popular groundswell from the citizenry demanding council districts. The political goal is to guarantee seats for liberal Democrats on the council of Orange County’s largest city. The effect would be to carve the city into ethnic enclaves.
It is an attempt by left-wing pressure groups to bludgeon the city into submission with legal blackmail, in order to secure in the courtroom what they have failed to win at the ballot box. The Central Valley-based litigators who wrote the CVRA benefit financially by reaping legal fees from the jurisdiction they target – it is a racket they carry out across the state.
Although there have been elements of resistance in Anaheim who favor fighting the lawsuit, the more common reaction has been supine defeatism reinforced by the mantra that the lawsuit is supposedly impossible to defeat — which is a very questionable assertion. In other quarters, we’ve seen weathervane opportunism as some who had opposed districts suddenly see the issue differently.
Outside the city, conservative and GOP leaders are, for the most part, either unaware or unconcerned. The OC Register editorial board, which ought to know better, is oblivious to the dangers of shifting to council districts.
The committee is supposed to come back in May with recommendations for council action.
This is a big story, with ramifications not just for how Anaheim is governed, but for the rest of the county.