Slow Walking Election-by-Districts in Anaheim City School District

Readers know Anaheim City School District Trustee Dr. Jose Moreno as the lead plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit against the City of Anaheim demanding the city shift straightaway to electing the city council from single-member districts. Not in the near future after careful study and analysis of past elections, demographics and other deliberations – but right now. In Moreno v. Anaheim, Moreno asked the court to force the city to impose single-member districts immediately — no studies, no “letting the people vote” (that would be discriminatory against Latinos).

Contrast that tempis fugit mentality with Moreno’s approach at the Anaheim City School District, where the conditions that Moreno et al claim necessitate single-member districts in council elections are even more emphatically present in the ACSD.

In fact, Moreno seems to be doing his level best to slow walk the election of the ACSD Governing Board from single-member districts. Last year,he supported punting the matter until the 2020 Census. His leadership on the issue in his own district makes Moses and the Hebrews’ wandering in the Sinai seem like a study in haste.

Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman finally forced the issue by invoking the state education code at the January 13 meeting of the ACSD Governing Board and requesting they agendize a vote on moving to single-member districts, which led to a February 24 vote (items 9a.2 and 9A.3) on hiring the Dolinka Group to conduct an analysis and to consider a move to single-member districts. The board deadlocked 2-2 (Moreno and Vanderbilt voting in the affirmative), and so the items were table until the March 10 meeting, when board member Sandy Blumberg would return.

This could be seen as Moreno finally putting his money where his mouth is, until one considers the proposed timeline in the Dolinka Group proposal for converting to single-member districts:

dolinka group timeline

Even if the Dolinka Group contract and its long, drawn-out process were approved at the March 10 meeting, single-member districts would not be done until after the November election – when Moreno will be up for re-election.

In any case, on March 10, the ACSD Governing Board voted 3-2 against moving to electing themselves from single-member districts: Moreno and Vanderbilt voting “yes” and Jeff Cole, Bob Gardner and Sandy Blumberg voting “no.”

Insiders I have spoken to think this vote is fishy, pointing out that Cole has been a steadfast vote on the board for Moreno. The consensus among observers I’ve talked to is the vote was orchestrated so Moreno could deflect charges of hypocrisy by voting for single-member districts without having to actually seek re-election under that system. Moreno can say “I tried” and run for another term under the at-large system he decries as disenfranchising Latinos.

Will OCCORD, OCCCO, UNITE-HERE and the rest of the left-wing cast of characters show up at Monday’s ACSD Board of Education meeting to chant “It’s Time, Anaheim” and lambaste the board majority for denying “authentic representation” to Latino residents of the ACSD? Don’t bet on it.

The Democratic Party of Orange County has vocally backed single-member districts. Will this vote cost Cole, a Democrat, its endorsement of his re-election? Don’t bet on that, either.

Will Moreno and the ACLU sue the ACSD to demand its immediate compliance with the California Voting Rights Act? Yeah. Right.

Will there be even a murmur of criticism of the ACSD at tomorrow’s gathering of lefties in Little People’s Park to rally voter support for single-member council districts? Not likely.

The coalition of the Left isn’t particularly interested in “authentic representation” on the ACSD Board of Education, because that won’t advance their political policy agenda; control of the Anaheim City Council — or at least, a significantly increased presence on it — will.

One comment

  1. Moreno’s hypocrisy has no limits. He represents himself and only himself. The city taxpayers have had to foot $2M to settle his lawsuit against the city which was only about creating a seat for HIM on the Anaheim City Council because God knows he couldn’t get elected citywide. Kudos to Councilman Brandman for holding his feet to the fire.

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