All-Latino City Council in Santa Ana attracting a lot of attention

Amy Taxin wrote an interesting article in today’s OC Register, regarding the emergence of an all-Latino City Council in Santa Ana. Here are a few worthy excerpts (with my comments in italics):

  • “If you want to get an Hispanic elected, this is really the only game in town in terms of being able to cultivate future Hispanic leaders,” said Manuel Ramirez, vice chairman of the Hispanic 100, a political action group that encourages Hispanic candidates. (I disagree with my old friend Ramirez on this one – there are a number of cities in the OC with substantial Latino populations, such as Anaheim, Fullerton and Placentia. And Ron Garcia was the number two vote-getter in the general election this year in Brea! That said, Santa Ana may be the only city where we can elect an entirely Latino City Council).
  • The rising number of Hispanic candidates came to the forefront of debate in Santa Ana two years ago when Pulido reportedly told business leaders he was concerned that an all-Hispanic council would not bode well for diversity. (City Councilman Carlos Bustamante told me then that Pulido was not backing him because the Mayor told him that “there were already too many Latinos on the City Council.” I think Pulido learned from this. He compromised Bustamante right away – turning him into his new Boy Friday now that Jose Solorio is gone. Pulido will learn to function with Latino council members – he will buy their loyalties or outright threaten them (Mike Garcia) in order to get his way).
  • But there are differences between Hispanic politicians who feel they represent well-established communities and those who feel they represent more recent immigrants, as well as differences along party lines, said Louis DeSipio, a political science professor at UC Irvine. (We all heard Pulido tell us, at one of the few candidate’s forums he bothered to show up for, that we don’t need any more affordable housing in Santa Ana. We also know that he, along with his council cabal, cut the city library budget to the bone, forcing the library director to close libraries and cancel the bookmobiles. Clearly Pulido is not in place to serve recent immigrants or those who don’t earn six-figure incomes).
  • “Santa Ana is a tremendous training ground for people,” said Orange County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro. “They have to run for election. They see issues of multiculturalism. They see issues of growth and taxes, and so on and so forth. Every issue is really featured in a microcosm in Santa Ana.” (True – and Pulido has yet to come across a new tax he won’t support. His idea of growth appears to be randomly placed skyscrapers that will permanently ruin our traffic. And why exactly don’t we have ANY movie theaters in Santa Ana? Check out Brea’s and Fullerton’s downtown and see what can happen when a city has vision and doesn’t just bow down to one developer – such as Pulido amigo Mike Harrah).
  • Pulido, who won re-election this year to a seventh mayoral term, said he supported three Hispanic candidates this election cycle but didn’t think the council would necessarily become all-Hispanic. Pulido faced criticism from residents two years ago when he told the Chamber of Commerce he didn’t think an all-Hispanic council would enhance diversity. “I wouldn’t want non-Latinos to feel they’re not represented,” he said this year. (Not to worry – Pulido, Bustamante and new Pulido puppet David Benavides are there to serve the non-Latinos. However, new council members Michele Martinez and Sal Tinajero will serve everyone – they will actually question what needs to be question and focus city efforts where they need to be focused. I am fairly confident that they won’t automatically bow down to special interests the way Pulido and company have over the years).

  • “When people think it is going to be an all-Latino council, they believe all Latinos think alike,” said newly elected Councilman Sal Tinajero. “Once you get over the all-Latino part and people start to ask

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