Brandman’s Betrayal of Anaheim Latinos in 2016, Part 2: ‘Disenfranchised Latinos’ — or Whites? UPDATE: DPOC Condemns!


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Protecting the rights of voters who never sued over lack of voting representation over those of Latinos because conservative white Republicans they don't favor have been representing them just fine.

Protecting the rights of voters who never sued over lack of voting representation over those of Latinos because conservative white Republicans they don’t favor have been representing them just fine.

UPDATE, 10:00 p.m.: The DPOC Central Committee unanimously condemned Brandman’s vote on Monday night and urged him to reverse his stance and support a 2016 election for District 3 when the Council votes on the next public hearing on December 8.  Brandman did not attend the meeting and no one spoke on his behalf.

Much more can (and will) be said about what happened last Tuesday on the Anaheim City Council, where Democrat Jordan Brandman and his two Republican colleagues in the Council majority decided that the lawsuits that led to the election that led to a redistricting plan that both Republican Brandman allies had opposed WAS NOT designed to ensure self-determination of Latinos as quickly as possible.

Instead, they said, it was intended to ensure that members of the “near east side” — mostly between Euclid and Magnolia could have their own representation as soon as possible — despite that they have generally gone along with the majority members of the City Council elected at large far more than have Latinos.

Furthermore, they said, Central Anaheim (comprising District 3) was already well represented because Councilman James Vanderbilt, a conservative Republican whose mother is Chilean — and who to his recollection has never before, prior to last week been identified from the Council dais as “Latino” —  is a completely adequate representative of Latinos on the Council.  Vanderbilt himself seemed astonished by his suddenly being grabbed and brandished as a shield to ward off change that he himself favored, despite that it means he would probably have to move if he wanted to be re-elected to Council in 2018 — because, like his ally Mayor Tom Tait, he felt that ensuring Latino self-representation in the sole district in Anaheim his a majority of Latino voters was absolutely what justice required.  His colleagues, however — including the Council’s only Democrat — assured him that this was not so.  (Their thoughts on the ability of half-Cuban Latino Ted Cruz to adequately represent the overwhelmingly Mexican Latino community of Central Anaheim are not as yet known.)

It would be great to have time to review the arguments at issue here, but the business of today is an effort by party activists to get the Democratic Party of Orange County — reportedly over the objections of its Chair, Henry Vandermier — to vote on a resolution condemning Brandman’s action and calling upon him to vote to have elections in the sole Latino majority district, District 3, as well as the two Latino-plurality districts, District 4 (47% Latino electoral pool) and District 5 (44%), to exercise their right to choose their own representatives during the 2016 Presidential election year rather than the 2018 Gubernatorial election year (when Latino turnout is markedly lower.)  And for that purpose, I don’t want to simply give DPOC members access to arguments.  I want to give them access to facts.

Here are paraphrases of the public comments made by 15 speakers from the public, followed by closer-to-verbatim transcripts of the initial speeches of the Council Members.

 

Anaheim Public Hearing on Approving Recommended Map and 2016-Voting Council Districts

Public Comments:

  1. Bobby Donaldson

Rec 1, 3, 4, 5 for 2016. Important b/c Dist. 4 to have South Anaheim to have a strong voice. Is a diverse neighborhood, lots of people in South Anaheim feel not being taken care of. Problem with parking, people having to walk 8 blocks.

  1. Martin Lopez

Thanks for Rec map. Lives in Fairwood Village in D4. Ponderosa and South have been neglected. South Council District Mtg is in shoddy place. Request 1, 3, 4, 5. 3 meets CVAP. 4 is 47%, 5 is 44%.

  1. Arturo Ferreras

Been volunteering with city for 6 years. From D4. Wanted one voice in South district. 1, 3, 4, 5. This is what led all of our struggles.

  1. Alandro Campos

Lives in District 4. On Cerritos near Euclid. Pics to help visualize safety problem no one has complained about. She’s partially blind. No sidewalk either way. Uneven dirt. She tried walking it. Difficult. Saw schoolkids walking next to cars. Build sidewalk.

  1. Minerva Gomes

Here with OCCCO. Been here over 31 years, organizing faith-based leaders. Thanks Kris Murray speaking on shelter. Thanks for approving judges’ maps. Support Latino communities [3, 4, 5]

  1. Cecilia Lopez

District 1. Works with OCCORD. Supports 1, 3, 4, 5. Apartments falling apart. People afraid to complain.

  1. Jose Robles

Consider 5th district. Between 57 and 91. Just served with gang injunction. Those affected know the most about it. Suspension of some 4th Amendment protection there. Want rep focused on that area, who might inform residents about such things. Another area north of La Palma So of Orangethorpe between State College and East Street. People not as informed as should be about what it means and how to fight it – and what it will mean for them and their children. 5th District needs a rep.

  1. Oscar Reyes

Author of People’s Map. Process started because a few communities felt disenfranchised. They reside in 3, 4, 5,. He resides in 5, went to school in 3 and 4.

  1. Denis Fitzgerald

Should have occurred 4, 6, 8, 10 years ago. Why not? Disneyland and White Supremacy. All 5 are white and Disney puppets. Tait and Vanderbilt vote against Disney? No, if their vote is needed, he will vote with Disney, then later apologizes. He benefits financially. Vandy was a swing vote re the admissions tax – can put on ballot. All 18 SOAR advisory committee members are white; all of them get compensation to be Board members: get 6 people admitted. Todd Ament; Larry Slagle (yellow cab); Mitch Caldwell (longtime planning comm’r, only $2-3MM home in flatlands) & company gets roofing conflicts; Craig Farrell; Frank Feldhaus; Jimmy Kennedy, perjures for Disney; Paul Knox, etc.

SPEAKERS WITHOUT CARDS

  1. Mark Daniels

West Enders included: Mariam Kaywood, Irv Pickler, Frank Feldhause. Been a while. He also wants 1, 3, 4, 5.

  1. Rabbi Jonathan Klein

Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Work on access to opportunity, unequal level of access. Attend to enfranchisement. L&M, focused on who has been able to get voices heard, or not. Makes sense to reinfranchise those who have been disenfranchised. Know that 3, 4, 5 have the brunt of the Latinos who have been disenfranchised. Also, District 1 has been excluded over time. Frame unabashedly that those voices denied access that their voices been heard. Want to level the skewed scales.

12. Ada Briceno, Interim Exec Director of OCCORD

Echo 1, 3, 4, 5, especially last three. Bring representation to those who have not been able to speak out. Including 3, 4, 5 helps them be heard.

  1. Rudy Gaona

Thank you for service, even though people beat you up. Thank you for Veterans Day. Kring, you were a great MC. Thank you. Lives in District 2. [Kring thanks you for service.]

  1. Greg Diamond [1:33:57]

Supports final map. People have talked about why you should go with 3, 4, 5 – plus 1, given popular support expressed here. I’ll talk about not why should, but why may have to do that. This all comes out of settlement of a lawsuit that talked about the ability of minorities, specifically and primarily Latinos, to elect candidates of their preference. Not to go with 3, 4, and 5 would defer for two years, for no good reason, ability of those people to make that self-determinative choice. I don’t know if anyone would plan on suing you over that; I’m just saying that I think that they would have a case that your failure to act to remedy the problem now , as opposed to in 2018, would be a significant problem.

The other reason that my understanding is nobody else has mentioned – and if so I apologize for the redundancy if so – is that we know very well that Presidential turnout is larger in Presidential election years than in Gubernatorial election years, so called “midterm elections.” For you to choose to put the districts where historically lower-turnout Latino Districts in the years when they are less likely to be represented in the voting population would again I think call into question your good faith in deciding how to implement what you agreed to in the settlement of the ACLU case, I believe it would be called the Moreno case.

Meanwhile, that same question of the difference in voting in Presidential elections in 2016 versus midterm elections in 2018 is also a good reason for you to have District 6, Anaheim Hills – which is going to be represented directly by a resident, Councilmember Murray until 2018, presumably – is that that is a year when turnout would still be expected to be high in that district. And therefore in District 6 you would still get a good sense of how the people who would normally vote in a Presidential election would be voting in that district as well. That frankly, if I recall correctly, District 2 is probably the one more similar than District 1 to District 6 in that sense – I’d need to go back and check those numbers – again, that’s a reason that everybody should be happier when the Presidential election is in the middle of the City and the Gubernatorial elections are at either end of the City.

I’m glad that you have gotten to this point. I think it’s a wonderful moment for the City for you to be doing this. You had a unanimous vote on the other one, which was good – but now is the moment, frankly, whether or not that unanimous vote represented a real commitment to the principle that underlay this change that we’re seeing, or whether you just sort of went with that because you could think of a cute way to circumvent it. I hope that that’s not the case – I don’t believe it’s the case, I believe that you’re going to be responding to the popular will today – and I think that that will make Anaheim a stronger, more unified, and better city. Thanks for your attention.

15.  Victoria Michaels

People are speaking. Redistricting process is historical. Now have opportunity to show them that you are listening. Remember promises made when you wanted votes? Now we want your votes. We want 1, 3, 4, 5 in 2016. Listen to the people, vote what they’re requesting.

COUNCIL COMMENTS:

VANDERBILT: In terms of rationale that people have been stating, perhaps emphasizing that this is a call of the people, I think that the logic has made sense to me for a long time. So my individual beliefs have been consistent with what I’ve heard – which I’m glad to hear, because that affirms what my thoughts were and I feel consistent. Any position I take is a combination of what sounds like a rational approach and based on my perception of the city as well as the comments we had tonight. Until tonight we haven’t heard much from the public; most of the focus has been on the maps, and people have been quite excited about both the process and the outcome, and I hope that they’ll feel the same once this process is complete.

[ADDRESSES Qs to CITY ATTORNEY, TO COME]

TAIT: I wasn’t quite sure how to proceed tonight. I thought about randomly selecting from a hat, that seemed like it might be a fair way to do it – but then there’s a lot of public comments on this, and it’s rare that we get public comment where everybody says the same thing, where their sense of fairness is 1, 3, 4, and 5. This districting in large part came about because of an issue of disenfranchised voters and the California Voting Rights Act, so the comments ring quite true to me that now if we were going to exclude some of these districts then it would at least look bad, but maybe at the worst legally we would be in jeopardy of not having these elections being legitimate. Particularly District 3, which is the heaviest concentration of Latino residents. So for that reason I’m going to make the motion, in the interest of fairness – and again by 2018 everybody will have district representation, but we’re just talking about order at this point – and I think that now’s the time. So I’ll make the motion that we start in 2016 that the districts numbered 1, 3, 4, and 5 are up in 2016 and I’ll also introduce the maps as recommended by the panel of judges. This is a historic day, long-waited for, it results from a lot of work from a lot of people – and it’s a day to celebrate. So I will make that motion. [CITY ATTORNEY clarifies it.] [APPLAUSE]

VANDERBILT: I’ll second.

TAIT: Is there discussion? Councilmember Murray.

MURRAY: I understand that we had several people come up tonight and make some recommendations. It’s clear that there was some organization to that and some folks who put some thought to it. But I think there’s a perspective to be considered as well. In 1 and 2, there are no sitting members today. In 3 we have the only sitting Latino on our Council today — who was elected by the people, even though it was at large – and he’s not up for election until 2016 [sic]. In 4, while we do have a sitting member there, it is the second largest plurality of a seat for the Latino population of our city and 5 does not have a representative today. And while I’m at large I do live in District 6. So they do have representation.

I think the purpose of drawing these lines and establishing by-districts was to ensure the entire city had representation. And therefore I would like to make a substitute motion that we take 1, 2, 4, and 5 in 2016 and move 3 and 6, who have sitting representation today, to election ’18 – and therefore in the next cycle every district would have sitting representation in it.

KRING: I’ll second that.

[CITY ATTORNEY clarifies this is an amendment.]

MURRAY: And then we’d have 3 and 6, and then in the next election – and true to the spirit and intent of the law – every citizen and resident in the city of Anaheim would have a by-district representative. And I think that is the purest sense of what we could move here tonight.

TAIT: So I would – I’m not inclined to accept that –

MURRAY: But I have a second, is that right?

TAIT: – but I guess we’ll have a chance to vote on it. [PROCEDURAL DISCUSSION]

TAIT: My problem with this is that Distict #3 is the only district drawn with a majority of Latino Voting Age residents. There was a lawsuit brought, that we basically spent way too much time on, and after two years and a couple of million dollars in legal fees, brought to a vote of the people, but the lawsuit was based upon lack of Latino representation or disenfranchisement. Now, I think we’ve delayed this vote for two years longer than it should have been. And to now not include District 3, the most Latino district in the City – to put this off another two years until 2018 – just doesn’t seem right. Doesn’t seem right to me. [EXTENDED APPLAUSE, GAVEING.] Councilmember Brandman.

BRANDMAN: I want to talk a little about history. I want to talk about Area 1, which has not had a Councilmember elected there since, if my history is correct, Miriam Kaywood in 1986. District 2: Irv Pickler last elected in 1990, Frank Feldhaus last elected in 1992 and 1998. And they were the choices of those districts. District 3 – he may not have been a resident of District 3, but he was certainly the choice of 3 – Richard Chavez in 2002. Lorri Galloway, while a resident of Area 6, was the choice of District 3 in 2004 and 2008. Gail Eastman, a resident of Area 3, was the choice of Area 3 in 2010. And I was the overwhelming choice of Area 3 in 2012. And Councilmember Vanderbilt is a resident of Area 3 and was elected in ’14. Area 5 has not had a Councilmember that I can think of … at least in the last 20 years. Lou Lopez may have been a resident of that district, I wasn’t able to firmly confirm that. That means, by my math, Area 3 has been represented by two Council members since 2010. And it was also represented by the Mayor for 14 years from 1988 to 2002 when Tom Daly was Councilmember and then Mayor. Area 1 and 2 have not.

Now I will be very clear: I would prefer that these also be separate motions, but that’s not the way it went tonight, and that’s just the way it is. But: my reasoning for settling the lawsuit was to guarantee that there would be be full neighborhood representation as soon as possible. Based upon what I had just said, the mos equitable for neighborhood representation throughout the City – and I don’t think you’d get an argument from, depending on what numbers you look at, the over 150,000 people who live west of Euclid, who haven’t had a Councilmember elected since 1998, that the most equitable plan is 1, 2, 4, and 5.

Now, would I like to have 3 up? Of course I would love to have #3 up. But 3 has had representation, for, on this Council, two Council members beginning in 2012 ’til now. And they will continue to have a representative until 2018. I would also remind everybody that I was the top vote-getter in this district in 2010 for School Board and 2008 when I was elected for School Board and Councilmember Vanderbilt has been elected to that area for school board three times before he was elected to Council. And he has served it very well. And I think he will continue to serve it well. In fact, I know exactly how many Neighborhood Council meetings he has been to since he got elected to City Council, which I would say is more Neighborhood Council meetings than all of us have been to in that period or time. And I think he is very well committed to fully representing 3. So based upon all of that, the most equitable plan to ensure that every single district has a sitting Council member resident representing them is 1, 2, 4, and 5. And that is what I am comfortable with. Thank you.

TAIT: Mayor Pro Tem.

KRING: I also concur with Councilmembers Murray and Brandman. And if you look at this: I take notes on every single person who comes to the microphone and speaks. There were 10 of you who came up to the microphone and specifically asked for 1, 3, 4, and 5. We haven’t heard anything from people in 2 and people in 5. So I don’t think that there’s – we’re not hearing from those. And I think this whole thing was to be equitable. And this whole thing was to make sure that every single person felt that they had someone who was representing them that would be sitting on this dais. And the only way that you can do that is 1, 2, 4, and 5. Remember that there were many other maps – Mr. Diamond discussed that he had a map up here with Mr. Chuchua – and some of those maps had two majority Hispanic districts. And it was the will of the community to go with the Reyes Map that had two minority [sic] Hispanic and one majority. And as was mentioned several times, that Section 3 is well represented by Councilmember Brandman and Councilmember Vanderbilt, who happens to be half-Hispanic. We seem to always forget that he is half-Hispanic. So we do have a Hispanic Councilmember here who represents the majority of the Hispanics in the city of Anaheim, so I’m very comfortable supporting 1, 2, 4, and 5.

[I’m going to try to get a couple of more posted before I leave for the meeting, but this covers at least everyone’s first speech.]


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)