Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring

Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring

“We need a mayor who unites and does not divide us. I will be that mayor.”

That was the theme and cadence of Councilwoman Lucille Kring’s announcement speech for mayor, made at a kick-off event this morning in front of Angel Stadium and attended by approximately 50 supporters drawn from the grrassroots, the business community and public safety.

Kring’s speech was based on a riff of calling for Anaheim to have a mayor who would embrace certain policies and attitudes – neighborhood improvement, restoring civility to the council chamber so all feel welcome to speak, etc. – followed by the refrain, “I will be that mayor.” it was an effective speech.

Kring gave her speech from the dais on a riser under giant baseball hats, flanked by her husband Ron, Councilwoman Kris Murray, Anaheim Chamber of Commerce president Todd Ament, Tony Bruno (general manager of the Sheraton Park Anaheim, and representatives (I’m almost positive) of the Anaheim police and firefighter associations, who have endorsed Kring for mayor (the APA endorsed Tom Tait for mayor in 2010; I’m pretty sure the firefighters did, as well).

Todd Ament kicked off the event, introducing Councilwoman Kris Murray, who offered a very strong endorsement of Kring and along with some criticism of Mayor Tait. Murray introduced Kring, who launched into the aforementioned peroration, much of which is reproduced in the following press release from the Kring for Mayor campaign:

Joined by Anaheim’s finest including representatives of the 355 member Anaheim Police Association, 172 member Anaheim Fire Association, city council colleagues, residents, and business leaders, nine year Anaheim city councilwoman Lucille Kring today kicked off her campaign for Mayor.   The election will be held in a year on November 4, 2014.

In the shadow of the nationally recognized hats of Angel Stadium of Anaheim Kring said, “This campaign will be a celebration of what is good about Anaheim.  We are a national leader in so many areas, it’s about time we had a Mayor willing to be a positive voice for this community.”

“How many cities can brag about a world class police department or a fire department that is the envy of our region?  How many cities have close to 20 million visitors every year staying in over 20,000 hotel rooms supporting our local economy?  We have the largest convention center on the west coast – and it will be expanding next year,” stated Kring.

“I want to continue the Resort District vision where 5% of our geography generates 50% of the city’s budget.  Our successful Resort District generates the revenue that funds much of our municipal services, including public safety.  New hotels, ARTIC, and the convention center expansion promise a robust Resort District that brings economic stability to our city,” declared Kring.

“Anaheim offers over 150 churches of all denominations for families to worship.  Every time I attend a community meeting it strikes me that Anaheim’s residents are the most generous in the region.  We are a diverse city, hence our strength.  When people are suffering we reach out through our abundant service clubs and faith-based community.   As Mayor I will seek out those that need a boost, and work within our service clubs, businesses, and churches to help.  However, I believe that local governments’ role should be limited in scope,” stated Kring.

“As we climb out of this long recession, I will be supporting our police department’s return to pre-recession levels.  We added 13 officers in this budget; I want to add more next year.  We saw the importance of a well-funded police department in last year’s civil unrest.  Our gang population continues to grow – our police department staffing needs to keep pace,” stated Kring. 

“I will re-shape the debate we have been having for too long.  As Mayor I will work to forge compromise and consensus on the city council.  I will build a team that is always mindful of our purpose as elected officials.  Problems will be solved with decorum and mutual respect – we can disagree without being disagreeable,” concluded Councilwoman Kring.

There was a good media turnout: Martin Wisckol and Frank Mickadeit from the OC Register and Adam Elmahrek from the Voice of OC. Cynthia Ward also showed up: taking pictures, confabbing with Elmahrek and presumably thinking of something unkind to write.

It is never easy to knock off an incumbent mayor, and Kring’s quest to replace Mayor Tom Tait will be an arduous one. At the same time, she starts off with a strong coalition – much of which enthusiastically supported Tait in 2010.  It’s a three-way race among the incumbent mayor, an incumbent councilmember and a former councilmember, and some have support bases that are now torn betwixt and between – which makes for a lot of moving parts.