Maybe Jose Moreno Should Sue His Own School District

Megaphoning for socio-ethnic justice for a peacefully diverse environment.

There are three plaintiffs to the ACLU’s lawsuit against the City of Anaheim, seeking to force the replacement of the current at-large council election system with election by districts. One of them is Dr. Jose Moreno, a member of the Anaheim City School District Board of Trustees.

The basis of the lawsuit is that Anaheim’s current system violates the California Voting Rights Act because not enough Latinos have been elected to the council of a city that is 50% Latino, and believe a district-based system will ensure the candidates of the right ethnicity are elected.

Which leads me to ask: why doesn’t Moreno sue the Anaheim City School District? After all the Latinos are the dominant ethnic group in the district. The vast majority of the students are Hispanic. And yet, four of the five members of the Board of Education are white:

Mighty white.

This week’s election changed nothing. Two union-backed candidates, Al Jabbar and John Santoianni, went down in flames. Board of Education member James Vanderbilt was re-elected, and will be joined by a former ACSD principal, Bob Gardner, who is also unarguably a white guy:

Bob Gardner.

If matching the ethnic composition of a jurisdiction’s elected officials with that of the residents is the sine qua non of representation — which is the underlying rationale of the ACLU/Moreno’s lawsuit — then shouldn’t Moreno lead by example by suing his own school district for being so unrepresentative of the community? Are not the same conditions that exist in the City of Anaheim also present in the Anaheim City School District — only more so? The ACSD’s Board of Trustees is elected at large — and is whiter than the Anaheim City Council.

What argument could be made against Moreno suing to implement trustee districts, other than being indecorous and not very cricket?

No comments

  1. Maybe you should find something better to do with your time Matt.

  2. Jeremy should keep posting to Save Anaheim and let us have one rant free blog!

  3. God help me I am going to agree with Matt Cunningham. If Dr. Moreno is serious about the representation of leadership reflecting the community, then he needs to lead by example, not with a lawsuit, but by voluntarily dividing the School District into represented districts for elections.

  4. Stand for Anaheim

    Jose Moreno is nothing more than an opportunistic gadfly. He cares more about his own positioning and attacking those who do nothing wrong. What has he ever done? You make a fantastic point, Matt. If he really cares about this and not his own political positioning, he would challenge his own district. On a related note, it is sweet justice that his horrible slate (Al and John) lost. Seeing him without power is a sweet thing.

  5. Actually, James Vanderbilt is Latino—not that facts matter to Cunningham. And I say this as someone opposed to Moreno and anything that comes out of his mouth.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      I appreciate the correction, because the facts do matter to me. Unlike certain OC Weekly scribblers, henceforth I will not continue repeating the same error or misrepresentation in the face of numerous corrections.

      Furthermore, this was an honest error. I’m guessing from your comment that Vanderbilt’s mother is Latina. I figured Vanderbilt was Anglo based on his name and Anglo appearance — although I should know better than that given that my children are Latinas, even though they look very Anglo.


    Is this blog the work of the good Dr.? Dr. Moreno? He uses tricks to make himself look like the good guy fighting for the underdog. How can he be on the side of a man fired from the Anaheim School District whose teaching credential was suspended? Isn’t he there to protect our kids? He and his friends have not allowed the man who is the interim superintendent right now to even apply for the job. So Stand for Anaheim is wrong. He has power and he uses it to attack good people who do not agree with him. He lies and he ignores PTA moms who are not under his spell. Dr. King, the interim superintendent, is his latest victim. And this victim’s big mistake according to Moreno and his puppet, Jeff Cole, was protecting our kids by denying this “volunteer” access to our local school. He uses the “racist” label to scare those who don’t agree with him. So why doesn’t anyone ask this man and this board, why is the District not hiring the man or even interviewing the man who according to many has brought a sense of stability in these tough economic times to my children’s school. Moreno is after all one the scariest people in OC. Just ask Gus Arellano.

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