Weekend Open Thread: December Letter to Anaheim Democrats (and democrats.)


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This Saturday – tomorrow, December 7, noon to 1:45 at Haskett Branch Library – is a Democrats Club meeting NOT TO BE MISSED.  Most of us will be especially looking forward to hearing all about the deal between our city’s secret negotiators and the Angels baseball team, from our Councilman Dr. Jose Moreno.  And we will be voting on a resolution protesting the abuses of power of the Anaheim Council majority, which is printed at the end of this letter.  But first let me tell you about our two featured guest speakers:

1. PAULETTE CHAFFEE, candidate for OC Board of Education District 4.

The OC Board of Education oversees the OC Department of Education, which “offers support services to 27 school districts and more than 600 schools and 20,000 educators serving over half a million OC students.”  For the past few years this 5-member board has been held hostage by a 3-member rightwing majority that has been holding the department’s budget hostage, and greenlighting all new charter schools that get rejected by the local districts.

We are hoping to flip that majority this year, by helping Andy Thorburn beat the worst of the board, Ken Williams, in the 3rd district.  But we won’t get a majority if we lose our own 4th district (which has been held by retiring moderate Jack Bedell) to the very conservative charter-school advocate Tim Shaw.  We had three Democrats in the race – not a good sign – and Dr. Vicki Calhoun who had been scheduled to speak tomorrow has dropped out of the race.  So tomorrow we will hear from Paulette Chaffee, who is the only Democrat besides Jordan Brandman to be running against Mr. Shaw.  (And Jordan declined our invitation, he doesn’t like us 🙁  )

2. SUE GUILFORD, League of Women Voters, on the “Schools and Communities First” Initiative.

If we can get the signatures to get this qualified in time, this will be one of the most important initiatives on the 2020 ballot.  Many of us have been pointing out for years or decades that 1978’s Prop 13, sold as protection against runaway property taxes on homeowners, sneakily included big businesses, causing our state to lose billions in revenue every year, and California’s deteriorating schools, public services and infrastructure have been the result.  The term “split roll” has been used for the concept of reforming Prop 13 so it continues to protect homeowners while getting back to taxing big businesses, but so far it’s been politically dangerous for politicians to even sound like they are tinkering with Prop 13.

This is the latest attempt, named “Schools and Communities First.”  It proposes to;

  • Reclaim $12 billion a year for K-12 schools, community colleges and local communities;
  • Close commercial property tax loopholes that corporations and wealthy investors use to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes;
  • Protect all homeowners and renters by maintaining [Prop 13] tax protections for ALL residential proptery; and
  • Ensure strict accountability so that money goes directly to our schools and communities.

Sue Guilford of the League of Women Voters will speak to us tomorrow about how we can each help make this great reform happen next year, and how we can speak about it to skeptical voters.  Don’t miss that!

3. BONUS SPEAKER: COUNCILMAN DR. JOSE MORENO on the Proposed Angels Stadium deal.

If you’ve read the local news this week, you know that details of the (until now very secretive) proposed deal between Anaheim and Angels baseball over the Stadium and surrounding property – our most valuable public property – have finally been announced.  And as expected it sounds like a very bad deal for us Anaheim taxpayers (although admittedly not as bad as the $1 a year for 66 years that almost happened in 2013).

Questions Jose might help us answer:  Exactly how bad is the deal?  Is there any way we can help make it better, before Council hurriedly votes on it Dec. 20?  Is there any way we can stop it?  How much of these secret negotiations, by politicians in debt to the Angels, was illegal?  And is the deal bad enough, in a way the average Anaheim voter can understand, that it could be used as one more reason to recall Mayor Sidhu?

Speaking of the possibility of recalling Mayor Sidhu:

At the end of the meeting we will be hearing, from a few of the elderly residents of Rancho La Paz Mobile Home Park, on what they have been going through lately.  And they have already taken it into their hands to begin collecting signatures for a Sidhu Recall.  The reasons to Recall Sidhu are adding up as quickly as the reasons to Impeach Trump:

  • Hundreds of STR’s enshrined here forever.
  • An inexorable drive toward gentrification and driving out Anaheim’s working class, starting on Pauline Street.
  • The draconian silencing of the Latino Council minority.
  • More and more signs of shameless Pay to Play Politics.
  • And now an Angels “deal” that should have got us taxpayers at least another $200 million, as well as a team name change to Anaheim Angels.

Before we print, for your consideration, this meeting’s resolution on LAST MONTH’s abuses of power by the Sidhu Majority, we’d like to remind you not to miss THE LONGEST NIGHT, part of the National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day, on Saturday Dec. 21, 4-6 pm, at the Anaheim Cemetery.  Vern Nelson’s brand new “Songs of the O.C. Homeless” will be premiered there, featuring a lot of great singers and musicians including Brian Dehn and his “Solstice Singers” choir, Anne Marie Randle-Trejo, and Elisha Martinez.

Whew – that’s a lot, and we haven’t even talked about the upcoming Democratic Central Committee elections, or Ashleigh Aitken’s run for Supervisor in the Anaheim Hills District.  For now, see what you all think about this resolution on the Council’s behavior LAST MONTH.  And see you tomorrow!

Vern Nelson, Vice-President Emeritus.

Proposed Resolution of the Anaheim Democrats Club, Dec. 2019

WHEREAS at the October 29, 2019 council meeting, Mayor Sidhu tabled and refused to allow discussion on a properly agendized motion to protect Anaheim’s vulnerable senior renters at Rancho La Paz Mobile Home Park by applying to them the rent cap protections of AB 1482, and was supported in this by Councilmembers Faessel, O’Neil and Kring;

WHEREAS at the same meeting, Mayor Sidhu tabled and refused to allow discussion on a properly agendized motion to protect Anaheim’s renters from no-cause evictions during the last two months of 2019 before AB 1482 takes effect, and was supported in this by Councilmembers Faessel, O’Neil and Kring;

WHEREAS at the same meeting, Mayor Sidhu tabled and refused to allow discussion on a properly agendized motion to set a date to release the appraisal of the Angels Stadium and lot, Anaheim’s most valuable public property, and was supported in this by Councilmembers Faessel, O’Neil and Kring;

WHEREAS at the same meeting, Mayor Sidhu tabled and refused to allow discussion on a properly agendized motion to allow a 30-day public review period for any deal between Anaheim and Angels baseball, and was supported in this by Councilmembers Faessel, O’Neil and Kring;

WHEREAS at the November 5, 2019 council meeting, Mayor Sidhu tabled and refused to allow discussion on a properly agendized motion to create a desperately needed, much more comprehensive and effective set of campaign finance laws for Anaheim, and was supported in this by Councilmembers Faessel, O’Neil and Kring;

WHEREAS the Sidhu council majority has for the past year made it more and more difficult for the Latino council minority to bring forth any matters that are important to their voters and constituents, and this comes after years of both Kring and Sidhu fighting to prevent or delay the enfranchisement of Anaheim Latinos through district elections;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

The Anaheim Democrats Club dedicates itself, as its highest priority, to replacing this anti-democratic (with a small d) Sidhu Majority as soon as possible, by defeating Councilman Faessel at the ballot box, replacing Councilwoman Kring with a representative of the people of Anaheim, and recalling the increasingly dictatorial and secretive Mayor Harry Sidhu.  With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

P.S. Weekend Open Thread it UP, people!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.