Latino Activists Set Their Sights Next on Garden Grove for District Elections Reform

Anaheim's going to the district elections drawing board. Fullerton's got two complaints for the reform involving a Latina city council candidate and Asian-American voters. What Orange County city is next on the Latino yacktivist hit list? The California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and its SanTana Council began their push for district elections in Garden Grove late last month.

Now they are bringing in some legal muscle. No, not the American Civil Liberties Union, but the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Cue the next cheesy slogan: Lock and load, Garden Grove!


“It is always better to work together having a carrot in your hand, rather than a stick,” Santa Ana LULAC policy director Arturo Montez told council members recently. The Centralia School District board member (that doesn't serve Garden Grove) managed somehow to win his seat despite the lack of district elections–imagine that!

MALDEF joined the fray sending a letter on Wednesday to Garden Grove city officials. It charges that at-large elections dilute the Latino vote in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. The legal group notes that despite the fact that Latinos make up 37% of the city's population, there are no Latinos on the current city council. MALDEF's research states that's been the case with the dais for the past six decades and perhaps even longer.

They've given Garden Grove officials until July 3 to respond lest a CVRA lawsuit be filed. Mayor Bao Nguyen and council member Kris Beard are said to be supportive of the reform.The two are representative of what councils have looked like recently: Vietnamese and gabacho.

But how threatening can the LULAC push for district elections in Garden Grove be? The national organization has what it likes to call a “Corporate Alliance” advisory board with big business bastards the likes of Walmart and the Walt Disney Company represented! Finding a brown-skinned politico from the lackluster LULAC ranks to genuflect before developers shouldn't be too hard.

This is the same organization that locally called for Anaheimers to be patient and curb future planned protests (not rioting mind you, but plain ol' protesting) during its summer of discontent three years ago. The powers that be in Garden Grove gotta be shaking in their boots!

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2

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