I’m at the Anaheim City Council meeting, where they are considering various proposed ballot measure regarding the size of the council and the method of electing it.
The most striking thing about tonight is the sheer thuggishness of the crowd assembled by OCCORD and UNITE-HERE. I’ve been around politics a long time, and I have rarely seen not only such mob conduct, but mob conduct that is so obviously being condoned and encouraged by the leadership of these organizations. It is a clear attempt to intimidate others from expressing opinions not sanction by this militant union and it’s off-shoot non-profit.
It’s been a chaotic council meeting, with the rules of public conduct changing from minute to minute. The union mob just feeds on the disorder.
UPDATE: Joanna Sosa from “Take Back Anaheim” stopped just short of calling for an armed uprising.
UPDATE: the director of Latino Health Access is calling for single-member districts, and think they will lead to improved public health. I’m amazed at the magical properties its advocates ascribe to single-member districts. She said she works in Santa Ana and that at-large districts don’t work in Santa Ana. She said single-member districts would ensure those districts receive services.
She might want to look at the example of Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, who is relentlessly being isolated by his council colleagues. Guess what would happen in an Anaheim of single-member districts? A councilmember who fell afoul of his/her colleagues – as Pulido has with his – would suffer the same fate. Or, I should say, their constituents would pay the price – and the rest of the council would suffer no repercussions at the polls.
UPDATE: one of the OCCORD speakers is complaining they aren’t being heard, which is probably because her OCCORD/UNITE-HERE comrades have been making so much noise in the council chamber.
She also complained that no one told her she needed to sign a “time card” to speak – notwithstanding that the issue of “time cards” (speaker cards) has been brought up repeatedly.
UPDATE: one of the comical aspects of tonight’s meeting is the assertions of a number of the OCCORD/UNITE-HERE speakers denying they are being coordinated by those groups, while simultaneously the big UNITE-HERE staffer signals them which message placard to hold up.
UPDATE: Jose Moreno is up and saying, among other things, that the lawsuit in which he is lead plaintiff was filed because councilmembers wouldn’t (he says) “engage” with him on the issue. The question that comes to my mind is: if they had engaged with him and still declined to support single-member council districts, would he NOT have filed the lawsuit? Or is the real issue that he did not receive the answer he wanted?
UPDATE: Jose Moreno just told Kris Murray that because just three Latinos have been elected to the city council in 150 years, then he considers his vote to have been “diluted.” The inescapable logic of that statement is that he believes representation is a function of race – otherwise why would his vote have been diluted?
Then, a few seconds later, he said the opposite: that Latinos having adequate representation on the council doesn’t mean they have to elect Latinos.
Which is it?
Moreno then said that in the various school districts serving Anaheim, he pointed out he’s the only “Spanish-speaking, Spanish-dominant, Latino-surnamed” on their elected boards.
Does anyone else find that zoological approach to classifying people by race and language unsettling?
Moreno then challenged Lucille Kring and Gail Eastman when they said that a trustee on one of those boards by the name of Trujillo was a Latina. “Are you certain of that? Are you certain of that?” he asked them repeatedly. The Ethnicity Police are in the house!
UPDATE: The Council just voted 3-2 against the proposed charter amendments (Tait and Brandman voting “yes”). The OCCORD/UNITE-hERE remnant erupted in a chant of “no fake districts, no more delays!” and marched out of the chamber and out to the courtyard. As I type, OCCORD honcho Eric Altman is exhorting the comrades.
Now they’re yelling “We’ll be back” – although I think I am the only one who heard them.
UPDATE: Kris Murray is moving an alternate motion (if I heard it right) to place on the June 2014 ballot a measure to increase the council to six members, elected at-large from residency-based districts.
The question was called and the vote was 4-1 in favor (Mayor Tait being the lone dissent).