After months of map making, debates and meetings, Anaheim single-member districts are another step closer to reality. Last week, a panel of five retired judges approved a layout carving the city up into six boundaries roughly representing 50,000 residents each. Eligible Latino voters form a majority in one, a plurality in two others. Single-member districts are slated for the November 2016 elections. With voters approving the electoral reform last year (along with expanding the council to 7 members), the "People's Map," as it's been christened by activists, goes next to Anaheim City Council on October 6 for discussion. Will the council majority tamper with it? Will re-drawing the map on Anaheim elections lead to progressive paradise?
Assuming things stay as they are, the Weekly provides an actual resident's guide (as opposed to one bloviated about for months by bloviating bloviators from Brea) to the new districts in Anacrime!
District 1: Hookers and Blow District
The first of Anaheim's districts is the furthermost west side of the city. Its godforsaken terrain stretches from the 5/91 freeway intersection to a residential glob surrounding Beach Boulevard between Lincoln Avenue and Ball Road. District 1 is home to barrios, white working class housing tracts, seedy motels, hookers, pimps, drug dealers and Neptune's Lagoons! West Anaheim used to be politically relevant, electing its last council member in 1998. Since then, it's become a mirror reflection of Stanton. Mexis nearly double gabachos but not in eligible voters. The West Anaheim Neighborhood Development Council (WAND) is probably priming candidates in the Esther Wallace school of hate.
Local notorious gang: Barrio Pobre Most likely complaints to city hall: Potholes, prostitutes and Mexicans
District 2: Falafel District
Even though District 1 is post-apocalyptic Anaheim, District 2 is downright boring. It's the least exciting slice of land to be divided up by the reform mostly forming a rectangle bounded by Euclid Avenue and Brookhurst Street from Loara High School to the 91 freeway. It's only redeeming quality is keeping the Brookhurst Street corridor--home to Little Arabia--intact. Perhaps the ethnic enclave will finally find a council champion for official designation. If not, it will be unofficially known as "South Buena Park."
Local notorious gang: Folks Most likely complaints to city hall: Hookah bars and Mexicans
District 3: Downtown District
Central Anaheim is the most politically interesting of them all. It's where the 2012 riots erupted with Disneyland fireworks exploding overhead. Mexis wallop gabachos in sheer population and have a majority edge in eligible voters. But this is home, too, for the Colony District, a historic neighborhood that's the political powerhouse of the Anaheim mainland. Gentrification is rampaging with hipster businesses and town homes going up everywhere. Is the district boundary enough to strike a blow to their influence on who gets elected to city hall? Jose F. Moreno (The F. stood for 'fourth' place in 2014) lives just north of its Euclid boundary, but outside piles of cash are sure to pour into the Pringleista ranks.
Local notorious gang: Anaheim Police Department Most likely complaints to city hall: Homeless people and Mexicans District 4: Disney District
The next two districts in Anaheim are interesting for having Latino eligible-voter pluralities centered around its biggest economic shiny objects. In District 4, this translates into Disneyland and the resort area. The dominate corporate power in town, the House of the Mouse has been able to line the pockets of council members to do its bidding. The latest egregious example of this is when the city traded 30 years worth of entertainment tax exemptions in exchange for a billion-dollar investment that turned out to be a Star Wars addition to the theme park. If Disney's been able to pimp an entire city, one pesky district won't be too hard for them. One rule applies here: What the Mouse wants, the Mouse gets!
Local notorious gang: AVLS Most likely complaints to city hall: Abandoned shopping carts, overcrowded apartments and Mexicans
District 5: Beer Me District!
Newcomers of Anaheim politics really took to heart the notion that all power resides in the Hills. But the mainland is striking for how gross inequalities are never far apart. Consider District 5: The Platinum Triangle where Angel Stadium and the Honda Center reside share the same electoral terrain on opposite sides as Anna Drive, site of the days-long Mexi rebellion against police after the 2012 deadly shooting of Manuel Diaz. The 57 freeway the district rides along is home to pretty nice middle class digs. Sunkist Street is no Magnolia Avenue! And the district boasts bougie breweries key to Anaheim's longing to become the beer capital of OC. Latinos may form a plurality of eligible voters, but household incomes between 75k-200k are nearly 40 percent alone. Pencil this one in for the vendidos.
Local notorious gang: Eastside Anaheim Most likely complaints to city hall:Homeless people in the Santa Ana River bed...and Mexicans.
District 6: YorbaHeim Hills!
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Last but not least is Anaheim Hills, the stretch of land folks drive by on the 91 freeway and say "Fuck, I'm still in Anaheim?" Well, technically. The bastion of white flight within city limits, District 6 is gabacho majority everything. It screams YobraHeim Hills with horse trails, large estates and residential streets with speed lumps. Here is home to Ronald Reagan Park. The only interesting political battle for the sole council seat of Anaheim Hills will be between Republicans who hate or love current Mayor Tom Tait. (With an occasional corporate Democrat tossed in).
Local notorious gang: Any Republicans hanging out in groups of three Most likely complaints to city hall: Not enough golf parks, Bruno doggie statues and gold-paved roads. (Oh, and Mexicans, except when they're landscaping, then they're just fine!)
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2