It’s Not “The People’s Map” – It’s the Progressive-Union-Democrat Map

wallin briceno lopez feature

Tonight, the Anaheim City Council conducted its first public hearing on the draft council district maps produced by the districting commission process, including the “Reyes Map” map chosen by the panel of retired judges as its preferred alternative. It’s the first of three mandatory public hearings on this issue which the council must hold per the settlement agreement with the ACLU.

The celebratory assemblage of progressive political activists and UNITE-HERE union members who will clog the council chambers tonight will, per their talking points, refer to this map as “The People’s Map.” That’s the language of the Left in action. When progressives employ terms like “the community” or “the people,” what they mean are their political supporters: militant unionists, left-wing community organizers and practitioners of racial identity politics. It’s classic left-wing language manipulation that erases non-conforming opinions from “the community” and “the people.”

The thing is, this is not “The People’s Map.” This is the progressives’ map. It is the left-wing unions’ map. It is the Democratic map. The list of groups and individuals advocating for it is a smorgasbord of the Left.

It is the culmination of a progressive political project begun in 2012 — carried out via litigation and a political campaign organized and run by left-wing groups and Democratic campaign consultants, and heavily funded by outside progressive political interests. The goal: restructure the council election system to produce politically progressive councilmembers of a specific race and ethnicity (in this case, Latino), who will enact policies to advance progressive interests in Anaheim and Orange County.

The familiar faces mobilized by OCCORD (which has had a litigator from San Francisco helping them manage the districting process), UNITE-HERE, OCCCO et al paraded to the microphone at the districting committee meetings to push for their favored map, demanding council district lines that would elect Latinos. The explicit demands for engineering pre-determined racial outcomes in elections is astonishing to hear. Then again, I grew up in an era in which there as a broad, bi-partisan consensus that America should move away from a color-conscious society to a color-blind one. Contemporary progressivism of today embraces racialism.

Media coverage has largely missed (or ignored) this aspect of the process. The narrative that that “The People’s Map” is the brainchild of a young Anaheim substitute teacher named Oscar Reyes who decided to submit some maps is a sanitized version of the political reality. It is readily apparent from Reyes’ own account, published in, that he is a progressive activist who has been involved in this political project for quite some time, not just some guy who drew a map.

The judges serving on the districting panel, while sincere in their efforts, didn’t seem to get that the “community members” who came to their meetings urging adoption of the Reyes map were the same left-wing activists whom OCCORD and UNITE-HERE have been carting to council meetings for years. At the end of the process, Judge Wallin, the committee chair, marveled at the degree of unity he witnessed during the meetings; unanimity isn’t difficult to simulate when you flood the zone. The OCCORD/UNITE-HERE effort was the only organized effort to influence the districting process.

Give credit where credit is due: OCCORD, UNITE-HERE, Jose Moreno and their left-wing cohorts (with valuable assistance from several blinkered Anaheim Republicans) set a strategic goal. Their progressive policy agenda was consistently stymied by an at-large council election system that produced Republican council majorities (Anaheim is the largest California city with a GOP council majority). They responded by launching a long-term project to re-structure Anaheim city government along progressive lines: increase the size of the council, corral preponderance of high-propensity GOP voters into a single Anaheim Hills district, and voila! – a racially-gerrymandered by-district council system that will tend to elect Democratic majorities, and all the policy consequences that will flow from that outcome.

the peoples champagne

But was it bottled by union workers?

They’ve boxed in the city council and its just a matter of formalizing the victory. As UNITE-HERE’s Martin Lopez – who has been a key field operative in this effort from the get-go — recently opined on Facebook, “We’re almost there.” OCCORD and UNITE-HERE even brought champagne bottles to the final districting committee meeting and toasted their win with Judge Wallin.

Even so, it’s worth being mindful of the political reality of what is happening, amidst the hooey about “The People’s Map” produced by “the community.”



  1. You are correct: “The People’s Map” is not a Democratic map. It’s a Democrat map.

    In Anaheim, the good old days refer to the era during which Council members were Germans.

  2. Hugh — your use of the term “Democrat” here is considered a slur. A significant amount of research went into Reyes Map #2 and the numbers work well and can/should survive any sort of court challenge here. What map works for Anaheim then? Anaheim is majority Latino and is likely majority Democratic so having 4 Republicans on the council isn’t representative of the city’s make up. The challenge is going to be getting Latino voters to the polls on primary day and election day in non-presidential year and/or special elections.

    Matt, I believe those bottles are actually Sparkling Cider and Wallin did not toast with anyone. I think your photo is out of context here.

    • “Anaheim is majority Latino and is likely majority Democratic so having 4 Republicans on the council isn’t representative of the city’s make up.”

      Is representation a function of party affiliation and race/ethnicity? By that measure, Congress isn’t representative of the American people. The Santa Ana City Council isn’t representative of the people of Santa Ana. Using racial yardsticks to measure how representative an elected body is inevitably leads to racial bean counting (not to mention running counter to the American principle of equality). This entire exercise in Anaheim is an attempt to advantage a chosen ethnicity at the expense of everyone else, rather than treating everyone equally. It’s appalling – but the today’s progressives are so far detached from the nation’s founding principles that they are appalled unless we differentiate people based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc, etc.

      • Sick of Politics

        Couldn’t agree more Matthew. Truly disgusted by the whole process.
        Every vote counts the same, regardless of ethnicity.
        Anaheim, and California for that matter, continue to head down a perilous path.

      • Matt — I agree; Gerrymandering by Republicans has skewed Congressional majorities that don’t represent the viewpoints of the majority of Americans.

        What map do you think would have worked?

  3. Get ready for more of this “activist” based legal terrorism. The Voice of OC reported on the Santa Ana city manager having an affair with a city employee. Naturally the VOC used this information to malign the mayor, a well known enemy of the public employee backed union blog.

    But, most interesting was the comment which was swiftly removed that the address of the “open records” attorney, works from a postal drop box nestled between a .99 discount store and a Blimpies sandwich franchise in La Verne, California. The commenter did not mention which nearby apartment complex Aviles, lives in, but it is clear, we have agents of POWERFUL interests working for peanuts, as virtual foot soldiers for unions, cleverly disguised organizations and agitators.

    Peel back the onion folks that core is rotten.

  4. Republican voter registrations tops Dems by +2.5% in Anaheim.

  5. Just watched video of Greg Diamond’s public comments on the new maps. I thought it was Brian Chuchua’s maps. How many times did Diamond refer to it as “my map” or “the map I worked on?” Barely a mention of Chuchua at all. Fascinating to watch pure ego in action.

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