Minorities now a majority in Orange County

How much longer will Orange County remain a “red county?”  According to the U.S. Census, minorities now make up the majority in Orange County.

The graphic above, courtesy of the O.C. Register, tells the story.  Latinos now make up a third of Orange County residents, and Asian residents make up 16% of the residents.  When you add in the “other” category, it means that minorities are now the majority in Orange County.

The recent success of Vietnamese American politicians like Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Orange County Board of Education Trustee Long Pham indicates that the earlier success of Assemblyman Van Tran was no fluke.  The County’s Vietnamese American voters have become a force to be reckoned with.

But what about the County’s Latinos?  They are losing seats to their Vietnamese American counterparts.  Will that trend continue?  I think part of the reason for this is the utter failure of the DPOC (Democratic Party of Orange County) to develop good Latino candidates in their stronghold, Central Orange County.  Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido has successfully compromised every Santa Ana Council Member that gets elected.  The result is a distinct lack of progressive leadership on our Council.  And Latino voters can’t get excited about that.

And the fact is that too often the DPOC has recycled candidates like Tom Umberg rather than support or develop minority candidates in Central Orange County.

So the County will remain red for awhile, unless the DPOC can get it’s act together.

This year the DPOC can actually undo some of their past harm.  There are a number of Latino Democrats running for office that deserve support.  Let’s see if the DPOC endorses a few of them instead of backing Pulido and his allies, like RSCCD candidate Mark McLaughlin.

What about Latino Republicans?  Well, there are none of any note running in Central Orange County.  The cupboard is quite bare.  SAUSD Trustee Rosie Avila was born in Guatemala, to German parents, so she is not exactly a Latina.  And she is running for Congress against a Latina, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, on a platform of stopping gay marriage.  Plus Avila is reliably anti-immigrants.  She will be a very hard sell to area Latino voters.

I am running for the Santa Ana City Council as a Decline to State candidate, but I lean Libertarian.  I am a social moderate and a fiscal conservative.  I think that mix will appeal to area Latino voters, but I won’t be promoting either the local red or blue party.  I will be promoting putting the people back in our local government.  I think that is something more local candidates should do.

These new demographics do indicate that change is not just coming to Orange County, it is already here.  All the more reason to improve the Santa Ana City Council and SAUSD.  If we fail in Orange County’s most diverse city that failure will have major implications on the rest of the County.  Perhaps it already has when you consider the growth in gang activities not just in Santa Ana but all over the County.

Overall change can be good for Orange County.  We certainly have a very diverse bunch of restaurants in our County!  I for one love Vietnamese food, and there are plenty of great places to get a bowl of Pho in Santa Ana and other area cities.

Some will complain about the demographics changes in Orange County.  I say go for Pho and you won’t be sorry!

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.