A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Jose F. Moreno, in his capacity as head of Los Amigos, issued a call for the City of Anaheim to hold a series of public forums at which “residents, community organizations and stakeholders” — i.e., scripted participants recruited by Los Amigos and allied interests — could “provide input in the characteristics that their city needs in a new City Manager.” My suspicion is the real purpose was to have the city do the work of organizing events to which Moreno could invite the media to report on what he and his comrades had to say.
So, it is interesting that when it came to pushing out Dr. Roberto Baeza, the popular and effective principal of Benito Juarez Elementary School, Moreno – in his capacity as the de facto jefe of the Anaheim City School District Board of Education — had no interest in having the affected stakeholders (parents) provide input on keeping the principal they have and want to keep.
It’s sort of like how Moreno agreed to be lead plaintiff in the ACLU’s lawsuit against the City of Anaheim for allegedly not electing enough Latinos to the City Council, but takes no such action against his own Anaheim City School District Board — which has had proportionately fewer Latinos elected to it.
And then there was time a few months ago when Moreno supported a non-Latino — Al Jabbar, who was crushed last year in his candidacy for ACSD Board — for a vacancy on the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees over more qualified Latino. That’s strange given that Moreno believes so strongly in having an elected body direct;y curious — and like the ACSD, the Latino proportion of AUHSD residents is higher than the City of Anaheim.
And who was that more qualified Latino candidate? Dr. Roberto Baeza.
So, given a choice between walking the talk and backing a Latino for the Board of an overwhelmingly Latino school district, Moreno supports a non-Latino political ally (who is on the executive board of the big-spending Orange County Employees Association union, which could be politically useful to Moreno down the line).
For the record, I have no time for the idea that representation is or should be a function of race. But it is Moreno who has made that his criterion — one he a pattern of diverging from when it is politically convenient.