Community Activist Gloria Ma’ae: Give Voters the Option of At-Large Council Districts

At last week’s Anaheim City Council meeting, Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) member Gloria Ma’ae spoke eloquently on how the UNITE-HERE/OCCORD coalition had manipulated the CAC process. She described how half of the CAC committee strongly desired the opportunity to recommend that the City Council also place on the ballot the option of expanding the City Council to 6 members who are elected at-large but nominated by council district (as in Newport Beach, Santa Ana and the Orange Unified School District):


The Tait/Galloway bloc on the CAC — who had been resolutely committed to 8 single-member council districts from the very beginning of the CAC process — absolutely refused to countenance further discussion (aided, inexplicably, by CAC member Keith Oleson). CAC members Vivian Pham, Martin Lopez, Bill Dalati – these were folks who couldn’t say enough about having a robust discussion (I don’t include the ridiculous Larry Larsen who said little for most of the process).  Vivian Pham even invited the obnoxious, noisome kook William Fitzgerald to make a formal presentation to the CAC.

Yet when five of their colleagues wanted the opportunity to discuss also recommending a six-member council elected at-large from council districts as an option for the City Council’s consideration, those four would have none of it. I noted this on Facebook while watching this shutdown of discussion in action:

Briceno FB pro-silencing discussion

Note how UNITE-HERE second-in-command Ada Briceno’s approval of this silencing of discussion. So much for the Left’s commitment to tolerance and inclusion.

Hopefully, the mayor and the members of the Anaheim City Council will not imitate these strong arm tactics. They are elected officials and are not bound by the CAC’s recommendations. It is they who constituted the Citizens Advisory Committee, and not the other way around.

But if the City Council decides it must give such weight to the CAC’s recommendations as to put them before the voters, it should also demonstrate awareness that at least half of the CAC also wants the voters to be given the option of electing their council from district while retaining the right to vote on all council candidates. It’s there in the video of the May 9 CAC meeting for those who care to watch it — and upon watching it, there’s no denying the reality of what I have described above and what Gloria Ma’ae explains in the video.

To ignore that reality and confine themselves narrowly to the CAC’s formal recommendations would be to deliberately short-change the ability of Anaheim voters to decide what kind of government they want.


  1. Read about my criminal record here.

  2. Sick of politics

    Thank you Gloria !!!

  3. Proud Colonist

    Gloria was one of the most thoughtful members of the committee who seemed to keep an open mind throughtout the process. She is a Latina who lives in the downtown area and she isn’t buying what OCCORD is selling – so instead of giving her comments any consideration, they work to discredit her because she believes a strong economy and an open elections process is good for her and her neighborhood. Very sad that we have a culture in Anaheim where people cannot disagree without being attacked – Tait/ACLU/OCCORD supporters are working overtime to discredit Gloria and for what? Disagreeing with their position on this issue. It is laughable that Cynthia Ward and other Tait spokespersons say that noone is coming to support council policies, thus the populace must agree with Tait – the facts are noone will come to council to speak their mind for fear of being denegrated by his supporters. Gloria is a prime example – good for you Gloria for being brave and speaking your mind despite their intimidation tactics.

  4. I’m sorry, when did I say that? I will own my statements, but I am not going to be smacked for something I never did. You will never catch me saying anything against Gloria Maae, I adore the woman, she is decent, honest, ethical, and wants the right thing for Anaheim. I do not happen to agree with the choice of the Santa Ana model, I think it is all of the bad of Districts and none of the advantages. But I truly believe she worked hard to come to the conclusion she did and I respect it. I also have thanked her for putting her time and energy into serving her community. So before you start ripping on me for something I didn’t say, do your homework please.

    • Cynthia, do you agree with Donna Acevedo that there is an “epidemic of police violence” perpetrated by racist cops? Do you agree with her that the Anaheim police murdered her son? Do you agree with her that the DA should end the gang injunctions?

      Donna Acevedo believes all of that. And you have attached yourself to her. You stood side-by-side with her at her press conference, and participated in her press conference. So you owe an explanation as to whether or not you agree with her radical manifesto.

      Please stop ducking the issue.

  5. West Anaman, I am not sure what “issue” it is you think I am ducking. The post here is about Gloria Ma’ae, someone I like and respect, I cannot recall ever saying anything unkind about her and I would seriously object to anyone else saying anything unkind about her. I have been looking but I do not see any blog posts “discrediting” her as Proud Colonist accuses, so I am not sure what it is I am supposed to be doing wrong.

    Now if West Anaman wants to talk about issues in the Police department, i believe that is another post elsewhere and I have certainly shared my views over at OrangeJuice, why should I have to repeat myself for your enjoyment?

    As far as the CAC and Keith Olesen, I am not sure why Matt’s knickers are in a twist about Keith’s “inexplicable” aid to the “pro District” people. What Keith was clearly against was the effort to put the Santa Ana model on the ballot, because Keith hates districts. That is why he was chosen, right? To skew the Committee and maintain the at large election system that ensures that only those with enough money for mail to a city of this size have an ice cube’s chance of running. Keith has never been shy about sharing his hatred of Districts. He and I have discussed this for years.

    The only benefit to Districts is that it reduces the stranglehold that big money has on elections, and Keith never felt that was a good enough reason to support them, saying, (paraphrased but pretty close) “you think these people are selfish a-holes now, wait till you give them their own *blanking* fiefdoms to rule over” …. I believe he also said something about the potential for dumping toxic waste sludge in the other guy’s District. (a cheerful optimist he is not)

    So the Santa Ana model would blend all of the negatives Keith would hate and none of the positives that even begin to balance the negatives. His refusal to discuss that is absolutely in line with the beliefs he has stated publicly at Council and on the Colony email group, where Kris and Gail have most certainly heard him. Why the surprise?

    Keith Olesen is many things. He is infuriating, endearing, and shocking, but the one thing he is NOT is easily manipulated. The only thing more steadfast than his loyalty is the absolute commitment to his own convictions. He is one of the few people on this planet whose respect I truly coveted, the loss of his friendship over stupid politics is a regret i will take to my grave. Anyone who thought he would roll over and suddenly accept the Santa Ana model because it protects the special interests that put him on that Committee doesn’t know him, and anyone who thinks they can get him to back down by bullying him online is even nuttier. No, it is not inexplicable, it is simply Keith, and I am thrilled to see he is still in there after watching the mental gymnastics needed for him to backflip in support of Murray’s previous manipulations. There is hope for humanity after all, even if KO would argue otherwise.

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