Is there anything that the “two Anaheims” crowd will not transmogrify into a racial issue? After reading yesterday’s Voice of OC story on the budgeted funds to renovate the Anaheim Tennis Center, it would seem the answer is “No.”

According to the Voice of OC, there is “outrage” in Anaheim that the proposed city budget includes $6.4 million for improvements to the Anaheim Tennis Center, which is adjacent to Boysen Park in the flatlands of central Anaheim.

Why the outrage over the city investing money into improving a city-owned recreation center in the flatlands? Haven’t the city’s left-wing activist elements been alleging that Anaheim Hills gets all the goodies and the Flatlands get zip?

Little Peoples Park

Little Peoples Park

The “outrage” is that the budget doesn’t (according to the article) funding for Little People’s Park, a 1-acre playground near downtown. And now that the Anaheim Left has revived Little People’s Park as an icon of alleged Latino repression (due to a rock-throwing incident with the Anaheim police in 1978), what we have now is an attempt to turn Tennis Center funding into a racial issue.

The article claims Latinos are “outraged,” and quotes two Latino activists to prove it.

There’s the underlying assumption in the article — spoken and unspoken — and that tennis is a white person’s game, and not for Latinos. Isn’t that an example of racial stereotyping?

“I don’t know anybody that plays tennis,” said Marisol Ramirez, a 21-year-old resident of west Anaheim. 

Well, that settles it. Yank the funding!

council district unicornRamirez continues:

“If they would have approved district elections, then we would have a better sense of our priorities in each of the districts.”

The Voice of OC article fails to mention that Ramirez is on the Board of Directors of OCCORD, which is leading the political push for single-member council districts along with its parent organization UNITE-HERE Local 11. So it’s not exactly surprising Ms. Ramirez would use this invented controversy as an opportunity to pitch OCCORD’s pet political project.

It’s not until the 15th paragraph of the article that we come across this rather important bit of information: the funding for these renovations can’t be spent on Little People’s Park:

[City of Anaheim spokesperson Ruth Ruiz] said funding for the tennis center improvements and those for Ponderosa Park come from the Platinum Triangle development and are to be specifically used for improvements that are geographically close to the Platinum Triangle.

“These funds cannot be shifted to projects outside the sphere of the Platinum Triangle development area,” Ruiz wrote in an email to Voice of OC. “As with a lot of projects in the CIP [capital improvements program] their inclusion in the CIP is not an automatic guarantee those projects will be built in a certain budget year.”

Since the article is ostensibly about funding for Tennis Center improvements, shouldn’t that key information be front-loaded for readers, rather than buried?

How many Anaheim residents use the Tennis Center? What’s the socio-economic demographic? To what extent is it utilized by youth tennis players or schools?

Those are good questions — and the article provides no answers. In fact, the only people not quoted in the article are people who use the Anaheim Tennis Center.

The Anaheim Tennis Center isn’t entitled to this funding. How much money, if any, the city should spend renovating it is a legitimate policy question and open for debate. However, that debate should be based on need and available resources. Race and ethnicity should have no place in it, because the city should seek to serve all of its citizens without regard to their race, ethnic or social status. The Mayor and City Council should steer clear of basing budgeting decisions on ethnic considerations or racial politics.