Weekend Open Thread: Vern’s September Letter to Anaheim Democrats




Happy Labor Day, Anaheim Democrats!

This month, September 2019, is a huge month for Anaheim Democrat activism.  Hence it’s no surprise that our next meeting, Saturday the 7th at Haskett Branch Library, is, even more than usual, NOT TO BE MISSED.

It’s hard to overstate how ANTI-DEMOCRATIC (small-d but all caps) our current five-member Council majority is, from their constant betrayals of the people of Anaheim in favor of their wealthy benefactors, to their chronic and illegal secrecy, to their muzzling of dissenting voices on the dais.

Hence I submit that this Club’s number-one priority this coming year must be TAKING BACK THE COUNCIL MAJORITY for good government and democratic values.  That means taking district 4 from the termed-out nightmare Lucille Kring, and beating the kleptocratic Stephen Faessel in district 5, with GOOD Democrats – meaning Democrats who really stand for Democratic values!

This Saturday our featured speaker will be Jeanine Mercado Robbins, a very strong Democratic candidate for District 4 and a Club member.  You probably already know Jeanine from her activism against STR’s (short-term rentals), for housing and human rights for the homeless,  and other important local issues.

Relatedly,  we’ll be voting Saturday on our own resolution against STR’s, a destructive special interest that helped bankroll the election of our current majority, and in return got their phase-out rescinded.  [The resolution is reprinted at the bottom of this letter, in case you need to see it again.*]

Wait, isn’t September also the month that we Anaheim Democrats vote for our new executive officers?  Damn, you’re right!  And this time we have at least two great candidates for each of the five offices … and it’s not too late for you to nominate someone else, or yourself!

  • President: Ed Lopez (incumbent) vs. Steve White
  • Vice-President:  Joese Gloria Hernandez vs. Vern Nelson (incumbent and the writer of this letter;  NB Vern will vote for Joese.)
  • Recording Secretary:  Marisol Ramirez vs. Jorge Gavino
  • Roster Secretary:  Wes Jones vs. Ashleigh Aitken
  • Treasurer:  Steve White (incumbent) vs. Wes Jones.

Rest assured that with any of these candidates the Club will keep its good-government and progressive values, while adding to the ranks of Democratic voters in Anaheim!


A high point of most of our meetings, including this one, is Councilman Dr. José Moreno‘s update on recent and upcoming Anaheim issues, and the questions and discussions that follow. This time around José is sure to discuss his efforts to make the City’s negotiations with the Angels transparent and in the people’s interests – probably a quixotic endeavor with only one ally on the dais (Denise Barnes.) But remember, the last attempted Angels swindle (2013-14) was stopped when Mayor Tait was only one vote out of five – because he had the People with him, just as we must stand behind José and Denise!

And one of the two September Council meetings (probably the second one, September 24) will be D-Day for José’s grand project to Clean Up Anaheim Government! When the public finally sees all the accumulated evidence of the Sidhu Council’s corruption, the effect will be staggering. Again, José’s and Denise’s efforts at reform will probably be equally quixotic, but it’s vital that we TRY, that the People know about it, and that YOU AND I are part of it! (We’ll send out a special mid-month update with more details as D-Day approaches.)

Now, if we do take District 4 next year, we still won’t have a majority, and we’ll still be just as screwed, if we don’t also defeat Steve Faessel in district 5.  Although he manages to come off as smoother and more likable than his fellow kleptocrats, Faessel still votes lockstep with them on every important issue.

Well, one brave man who has thrown his hat into the ring to run against Faessel is Democratic Club member and activist Kenneth Batiste – you may know Kenneth from his stirring oratory at Council meetings.  He’ll be announcing his candidacy at Saturday’s meeting.



Club Meeting, Saturday Sept 7, 12:15 to 1:45 pm;
Haskett Branch Library, 2650 W. Broadway

City Council Meetings – Tuesdays September 10 and 24, 5pm!

Monthly Anaheim Democrats Mixer – to be announced!

“Anaheim First” events to check out and make your voices heard:

District 2 Town Hall – Wednesday, September 4 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Brookhurst Community Center, 2271 W. Crescent Ave, Anaheim 92801

District 3 Town Hall – Wednesday, September 11 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
The Ebell Club, 226 N. Helena Street, Anaheim 92805

District 4 Town Hall – Wednesday, September 18 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Ponderosa Library, 240 E. Orangewood Ave, Anaheim 92802

District 5 Town Hall – Wednesday, September 25 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Calvary Baptist Church, 2780 E. Wagner Ave, Anaheim 92806

District 6 Town Hall – Wednesday, October 2 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
East Anaheim Community Center, 8201 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim 92808

*Appendix: Resolution on STR’s
to be voted on at our Sept 7 meeting (in case you missed it)

WHEREAS Short-Term Rentals (STR’s) negatively impact the integrity of Anaheim neighborhoods, causing disruption in the lives of the residents who’d purchased homes in a regulated R-1 (residential) zone;

WHEREAS the Anaheim City Council previously voted, responding to over 1600 resident petitions, to BAN NEW STR’s from R-1 zones while phasing out the existing ones;

WHEREAS the current City Council majority, after having received over $100,000 in campaign contributions from STR owners, overturned the previous Council’s phase-out, and will now allow indefinite operation of Anaheim’s 200 existing STR’s while granting them a monopoly;


  • The Anaheim Democrats Club calls for an immediate re-instatement of the phase-out of existing STR’s in our city;


  • Pending phase-out, existing STR’s must be subject to stringent regulations enforced in a timely manner;


  • A public list of each STR and its address must be made available online including any infractions and permit revocations.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.