Anaheim, Where are Your Progressive Latino Candidates?

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Anaheim is a majority Latino city. This has been known to residents living here long before the Los Angeles Times made it “official news” last year with its article “In Disneyland’s shadow, a rising new demographic.” (quick commentary: why do Latinos always have to be in the “shadow” of something: immigrants in fear of ICE raids, brown people of a pinche theme park!) That journalistic effort also pointed out something else that has been glaringly obvious; despite the majority numbers, Latinos as a political demographic, wield little power in the city. The article went on to state:

Unlike Santa Ana, Maywood or Huntington Park, which have all-Latino city councils, the new majority in Anaheim has made few political gains.

“We don’t have the juice up there in the City Council,” said Amin David, leader of Los Amigos, an Orange County Latino advocacy group that meets in Anaheim once a week for breakfast. “We don’t even have an entree. For anything to happen, of course, it takes three votes, and we don’t get much progress.”

As we wind down the year and find ourselves closer to the November elections, it is useful to return to this political question. The position of Mayor of Anaheim and city council seats will be up for grabs in the coming months. Many candidates have already filed, few among them Latinos. A quick look at the City of Anaheim’s 2010 Unofficial Candidate List shows a pool of sixteen of which only three are Latino. Apparently, Republican Brian Chuchua claims his last name is of a Russian, not Latino, lineage. A population representing over 50% of the city’s residents has less than 25% of its demographic represented in the running (and none for Mayor!)

Digging a little deeper, potential progressive Latino representation is even thinner. City council candidate Thomas “Hoagy” Holguin, as readers might recall, supported the return of notorious immigrant basher Harald Martin to the Anaheim Union High School District Board a few years ago!

This year’s election is enough to lament, Anaheim, where are your progressive Latino candidates? A city awaits…

About Gabriel San Roman