For those still under the false impression that the push for single-member council districts (aka by-district elections) in Anaheim is not a political project of the Left, here’s some news: Eric Altman, founding executive director of left-wing advocacy group OCCORD, is leaving that post to run the campaign for the by-district initiative on the November ballot.
A message from Ada Briceno, chair of OCCORD (and second-in-command of radical UNITE-HERE Local 11, from whence OCCRD sprang) on the OCCORD website announces the news:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of OCCORD, it is both with great sadness and with great hope that I write to inform you that Eric Altman, the founding executive director, has decided to step down after nine years of successful leadership. Eric Altman will transition from his role as executive director in July 2014 to focus on the Anaheim campaign for district-based elections. We thank him for his time at the helm of OCCORD and look forward to continuing to work with him to empower low income residents and create a more inclusive Orange County.
You can the read the rest here.
Altman will presumably be paid by the “Committee for District Elections, sponsored by One Anaheim,” for whom the treasurer is the OCCORD operations manager and which seems to have the same address.
Altman was a senior organizer for UNITE-HERE when he founded OCCORD in 2005. The two groups are closely intertwined and even have offices in the same building in Garden Grove. In 2012 alone, UNITE-HERE funded OCCORD to the tune of $66,000 (OCCORD also received $2,500 from the Nurses Association of Canada).
OCCORD goal is to move Orange County leftward, politically – and single-member council districts are a vehicle for achieving that goal. The advocacy group has advertised itself to prospective employees as “a leader in the emerging movement to reclaim Orange County, California, from the extreme laissez-faire policies” that aims to “reframe the debate about our regional economy and the role of government in our society.” Let’s just say OCCORD’s view of the “role of government in our society” bears little resemblance to that of the Founding Fathers.
OCCORD has been laser-focused on bringing single-member council districts to Anaheim. It lobbied the Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections intensively, to the point where Altman was allegedly texting talking points and instructions to CAC Chair Vivian Pham during the CAC meeting where recommendations to the city council were voted on. As Briceno’s announcement put it:
“After a two-year organizing and advocacy campaign in Anaheim, OCCORD’s grassroots leaders and coalition partners won a major victory when the City Council agreed to put the issue of district elections before Anaheim voters in the November 2014 general election.”
OCCORD itself states that “Our programs, which began in Anaheim, are designed to be replicated in cities throughout Orange County.”
Who knows – at some point, Republicans outside of Anaheim might finally wake up to what the Left is up to in Anaheim (with the regrettable collaboration of a few Republicans), and what the consequences of failing to oppose this campaign will have for Republicans and conservatives county-wide.
It’s interesting that Altman isn’t taking a leave of absence, but leaving OCCORD altogether, since the left-wing advocacy group is advertising for a new executive director and lead organizer. Perhaps that means “One Anaheim” is going to be a permanent, full-time political advocacy operation with Altman at the helm, or perhaps he has something else lined up post-election.