I'm far away from my beloved Anaheim right now, in the salt mines working on...something...but I couldn't help but to check in on the Kabuki theater that was last night's city council meeting held at my alma mater, Anaheim High--specifically at the Cook Auditorium. Oh, what a charade! The business owners boarding up their businesses with boards because they thought there would be riots! The pre-manufactured signs! The city council majority--Harry Sidhu, Gail Eastman, and Kris Murray--saying they agreed with the idea of carving up Anaheim into wards for city council elections...then voting against Mayor Tom Tait's proposal to put it to the voters this November! The chants! The outraged liberal speakers! The outraged conservative speakers outraged at the liberal speakers! The Very Important Latino speakers professing to speak for the very people they've screwed in the past! The sad media reports!
Oh, the hilarity!
But in all this, a glimmer of hope.
As I've stated before, turning Anaheim's council elections into a ward-specific format won't solve the bigger problem at hand: that the city's politics are held captive by not just corporate interests, but a Democratic Party that doesn't give a shit about the city and has actively neglected recruiting actual human beings in favor of tools like Jordan Brandman, who
has gone on record as opposing ward elections but will no doubt change his tune soon supports ward elections--and ain't that problematic? And the loyal opposition pushing for ward elections is hardly any better: You know politics in Anaheim are shady as shit when Los Amigos--the very group who's suing Anaheim to force ward elections--endorsed Republican John Leos in 2010 for the Anaheim council, and that hosts of his kick-off this year included Amin David and Jose Moreno, the plaintiffs named in the ACLU suit. And where does Leos live? Anaheim Hills, where Moreno and David says there's too much power! Dem hills ain't bad when your crew's up there, eh? Man, you can't make this stuff up...
Anyhoo: the glimmer of hope.
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OF COURSE ward elections weren't going to be approved last night--anyone really thought that Sidhu, Eastman, and Murray understand what's going on in the city? But putting forth the ward system right now would unleash a land grab of Sooner proportions for the Democrat and Republican machines alike, thereby inflicting on Anaheim a bunch of politicians hand-picked by the powers-that-be that would continue business as usual. You know a system is sketchy as shit when Disneyland is pushing for it. Yaktivists: you really think a ward election is the silver bullet to Anaheim's problems when The Mouse is behind it? You know they'd find seven wabs to do their bidding faster than Disney freaks lining up for the latest Goofy pin.
This is your time, Anaheim residents. The likelihood of no ward elections for this cycle just gives ustedes time to make Anaheim right. Build a coalition--not just of Latinos, but good gabachos and chinitos and Arabs and--gasp!--conservatives who might not share the progressive politics of OCCORD but despise City Hall and have the voting power and knowledge of the city to make change happen (Cynthia Ward, that's you!). Unite behind two candidates this election--Duane Roberts would be my progressive choice, and get someone more libertarian-skewed to join the fun and balance the politics. A coalition Keep the racialist stuff to a minimum--again, this is a coalition, not La Raza Unida Party (yes, Latinos are the majority of folks disaffected in Anaheim, but I'd rather have a righteous gabacho next to me than some vendido. People power, not pendejo power). Start meeting NOW, and don't let any current electeds sway you, or campaign money--it's all a farce. Build a people machine, so when ward elections do come, you'll remain safely away from the corrupting influences of the Democrats and Republicans alike. You know the city better than anyone, better than Johnny-come-latelys to the desmadre--now, own it.
Pollyanna-ish? You betcha! But I never thought Anaheim residents would wake up to the cancer afflicting City Hall--and here we are.