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New friend of the blog, progressive Anaheim councilwoman Lorri Galloway, asked us to post this statement in response to a Voice of OC article that came out yesterday morning, regarding the setbacks suffered by her “Let the People Vote” initiative. This initiative, which polls resoundingly well with voters from across the political spectrum and is spearheaded by progressive Democrat Galloway and Tea-Party Republican Tim Whitacre, would specify that any further subsidies like the huge, controversial, recent “bed tax giveaway” would have to be approved by Anaheim voters. The initiative has recently suffered two major body blows through no fault of its proponents or popularity, but it IS going to happen, and the Orange Juice Blog is going to do what we can to help it happen.
Statement from Lorri Galloway, In response to yesterday’s Voice of OC article by Adam Almahrek:
I want to share statements that I gave to Adam that were not included in his article.
Adam approached me. I did not seek him. He wanted me to comment on statements from trusted inside sources that there was a deal made to get the votes needed for the AMEA contract using our initiative as leverage.
- Although I have always been an outspoken advocate of our wonderful city employees, I did not collude, in any way, with Nick Berardino to obtain a contract for Anaheim employees. I did not direct or author any hit pieces against any council members.
- My involvement with Berardino was solely because he offered to advance the “Let the People Vote” initiative. I welcomed his support and am grateful for his help.
- The statement that there was no community support for the initiative is false. Thousands upon thousands of signatures have been obtained. Signature gatherers report that people are anxious to sign and many are angry to know that $158 million of taxpayer money was given to one private developer with no public input. Community leaders, residents, students, citizens of all ages come to city hall week after week to voice support of “Let the People Vote”. To say that there is no community support is saying that their voices don’t count.
- The “Let the People Vote” initiative is not dead. Multiple polls were conducted that show tremendous support, averaging 85% approval. Just because OCEA pulled out, does not mean we die and go home.
- Our initiative is truly meant to be the voice of the people. I personally have nothing to gain by spearheading it. That is not true for others. Obviously, it could be a tool used by unions for their own purposes. One hotelier and his consultants have millions to gain and millions of reasons to fight against the people’s initiative. Other hotel developers see the potential to benefit from the same type of deal.
- A Disney representative and the Anaheim Chamber president meeting with the head of the union for Anaheim municipal employees says more than anyone could ever attempt to deny.
- An inside AMEA member close to negotiations verified to me that a deal was, in fact, made that involved the guarantee of the votes needed for a contract in exchange for stopping the union actions.
Well, we hope that straightens out some issues – keep your eyes on the Orange Juice Blog for more news on this vital initiative in the OC’s largest functional city!