Orange’s City Council May Not Want Betty Valencia, But It Needs Her




I received two emails today regarding a rally and march taking place tomorrow (Tuesday 1/8) in support of appointing Betty Valencia’s to Orange’s City Council.  I don’t know which came first, or if both came from a separate source, so I’m just printing both.

From Karen Hinks‘s WE LEAD OC:

It’s a brand new year! Welead OC wishes you the very best 2019 has to offer. We hope you had an opportunity to rest up after hard-fought campaigns — it’s time to get back to work!

Tomorrow, January 8th, please join Welead OC as we stand with Beatriz (Betty) Valencia. 

Please come out to support Beatriz “Betty” Valencia for Orange City Council. Discussion regarding the vacant seat is agenda item 7.1

Options include:

1) Appoint a qualified individual to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term; or 2) Call for a Special Election and direct staff to prepare the appropriate Resolution; or 3) Conduct a Special Meeting prior to February 9, 2019, to deliberate further on the matter.
We demand a fair process, and call on the Orange City Council to respect the will of voters by appointing Beatriz “Betty” Valencia to the open seat vacated by now Mayor Mark Murphy. In November, Valencia finished third in an eight candidate race with two vacant seats, making her the highest vote getter not to secure a seat. The current four-member city council can appoint someone to the third seat or hold a special election that would cost up to $450 thousand. Betty Valencia would be the first qualified openly LGBTQ person and first immigrant to serve on the council, as well as the first Latina woman.

We will gather around the fountain at Plaza Square (Orange circle) at 5pm sharp for a sunset sing-along with Betty, followed by a candlelight procession to City Hall (candles will be provided) for a short rally before 6pm meeting.

Park at or near City Hall, 300 E. Chapman Ave, and walk two blocks west to the fountain at Plaza Square (the Orange Circle)


5pm – Sunset sing-along around fountain at Plaza Square (Orange circle)
5:15 – Candlelight procession to City Hall
5:30 – Rally at city hall (statement from Betty)
6pm – City Council regular session commences

Please wear red in support. Hope to see you there!

From the National Women’s Political Caucus (with slight rephrasing and reorganization):

Betty Valencia is seeking to be appointed to the Orange City Council. Betty came in third out of eight candidates to be elected to two City Council seats.  When Mark Murphy’s seat became vacant when he won the Mayoral race, this opened the door for Betty to fill this seat.  The Orange City Council has the opportunity to appoint Betty, rather than spend $450k on a special election.

At the December 11 City Council meeting, a right-wing racist & bigot pulled a knife after opposing the appointment.  Watch the video here.

On Tuesday, January 8 at 5:00 pm, there will be a candlelight “Circle of Love” at the Orange Plaza. Betty will bring her guitar and we will sing, then rally and hear a few words from Betty.  The message is, “We want a fair process.”  Then we will march to city hall.

Please come down and support Betty, even if you don’t live in Orange. The more the merrier.  Let’s show Orange that we want change.

Wear Red in support of Beatriz “Betty” Valencia for Orange City Council.

RSVP on the Facebook page, where you will also find details of where to park, etc.

I don’t think that any hard-and-fast rule demands that the third-place finisher in an election necessarily is the obvious choice to appointment.  I think that it should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  In this case, I think that it’s critical that the Orange City Council appoint Betty Valencia for one big reason:

Because they apparently don’t want to.

According to Vern’s earlier reporting, the Republican-dominated City Council wants someone like them, “someone they can work with.”

Well, that may be what they want, but it’s not what they need.  What they need is someone who doesn’t approach governing from the same assumptions as they do, someone who can call them on their in-group dominated perspective when there are valid reasons to challenge it.

Betty Valencia is willing and able to do so.  Sitting in the deep minority of a city council where the majority thinks the same way about things — but a significant portion of the population does not — is a pretty rough job.  Betty is willing to do it, though, and to point out where the majority is blinkered in ways that could lead to problems including litigation against the city if they run roughshod over their own citizens (as city councils sometimes do.)  They should appreciate the value that she — and probably no one else applying — can bring to the City Council.  It may not lead to a city where everyone in government thinks the same way — but that’s good.  Show up and let them know that good governance means going outside of their comfort zone — and that they don’t need a new election to have a damn good idea of what the city councl is currently missing — and who can fill that deficiency.

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. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)