OC Democratic Party Endorses Single-Member Council Districts; OC GOP Still Asleep At The Switch

As Orange County Republicans snooze, blissfully ignorant of the dangerous possibility of council districts being imposed on Anaheim (or in some cases, providing misguided support for them), the OC Democratic Party is lending its voice to the left-wing coalition pushing for them. This just came over the transom from the OC Dems:

DPOC Calls On The City Of Anaheim To Enact Elections By Single-Member Districts

Santa Ana, CA – 2/21/2013 – The Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) calls on Anaheim to enact elections by single-member district for the 2014 election cycle.

In June 2012, Anaheim community leaders and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the City contending that Latinos are effectively shut out of the current electoral process. Currently, council and mayoral elections are conducted through an “at-large” system.

“The DPOC reaffirms the California Democratic Party’s support of single-member district elections in cases where underrepresented groups’ electoral success would be enhanced by the adoption of single-member districts. It is time for the City of Anaheim to settle the lawsuit and place a districting plan on the ballot as soon as possible,” stated DPOC Chair Henry Vandermeir.

Until the November 2012 election, at least three of the five members of the council lived in the eastern part of the city known as “Anaheim Hills.” Moreover, the area of the city west of Euclid Street, known as “West Anaheim” and where more than 125,000 people live, has not had a resident elected to the council since 1998.

2012 DPOC- endorsed candidate and now Councilmember Jordan Brandman, has called for the City to move to single-member districts for the 2014 election cycle.
Vandermeir hopes that, “The entire Anaheim City Council will join Councilmember Brandman and others in calling for single-member district elections and develop a system that promotes equal representation among its residents.”

Note: Because Anaheim is a Charter City, voters must approve any districting plan in order for district elections to be enacted.

There is much to say about council districts, but I’d like to point out that the single-member district system being pushed by the OC Democratic Party, Mayor Tom Tait, OCCORD and others is the least representative option.

Under such a system, Anaheim residents would be governed by a council the majority of whom they had absolutely no voice in electing. How on earth can anyone rationally claim that is more representative, more democratic than Anaheim’s current at-large system?

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  1. Santa Ana’s ward system seems to work. Council members are elected by voters “at large” throughout the City – but must reside within a defined Ward area.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Junior: Mayor Tait and Councilman Brandman want to get rid of the at-large voting — which I think is a terrible idea. Contrary to its advertised purpose, it diminishes voters voice in their own governance.

      The OC Dems and the local Left like the idea becuase they think it will make it easier to elect liberals to the council.

  2. The current Anaheim City Council is pretty geographically balanced through the City, but they should consider candidates coming from specific wards, but being elected at large, as Junior said. The question is… how many council seats? four? six? The council should take its time, get key stakeholders involved and figure it out.

    I’m glad they didn’t rush it through in the last election like Tait and Galloway wanted to. Now it’s time to take a close analysis.

  3. Splitting the City into districts for the sole purpose of elections is a blatant attempt to elected people base on their race, and will only divide our city.

    I like voting for all members of the City Council. I want all 5 members of the City Council to be worried about earning my vote, not just one.

    • How about electing all council members “at large” – but with the requirement that a candidate must reside in a particular district? Works for Santa Ana.

      • Matthew Cunningham

        Because that would not suit the purposes of those pushing for singlke-member districts. For most of them (in my opinion), this is aboout engineering specific outcoomes, not “representation.”

        • It sounds like a pretty good compromise to me.

          • Matthew Cunningham

            If the organizations and individuals pushing/litigating for single-member districts were interested in compromise, I might agree with you.

            This is a political play, Junior, pure and simple, by lefties who are trying to win in the courtroom what they’ve failed to win at the ballot box.

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