Anaheim Insider here.
What a difference drawing the short straw can make.
When he was running for council last year, Dr. Jose F. Moreno didn’t know that if he won he’d be running for re-election two years later, in the 2018 off-year election. He barely beat Jordan Brandman in 2016 with high turnout by Democratic and Latino voters. He can’t count on either dynamic next year.
Not surprisingly, he’s morphed from progressive firebrand candidate into a much more modulated incumbent.
Candidate Moreno supported repealing the anti-camping ordinance; Councilman Moreno back-pedaled from that promise.
Candidate Moreno supported making Anaheim a Sanctuary City. Councilman Moreno back-pedaled from that promise and now supports “Welcoming City” status.
Candidate Moreno welcomed the support of local anti-cop activists and scoffed at the idea that more police led to greater public safety. Councilman Moreno is very concerned that police staffing ratios are too low.
Here’s Candidate Moreno quoted in the Voice of OC in October 2016:
Moreno rejects the argument that adding more police officers would solve the city’s crime problems.
“This whole idea that…restoring police officers is going to create safety, it’s just not borne out of history,” said Moreno, arguing that even at full capacity, the city still faced serious crime issues.
Six month later, during the Mary 23, 2107 council budget workshop, following a presentation by Chief Quezada in which Anaheim compared unfavorably with other California cities when it came to police staffing ratios, Councilman Moreno pronounced himself very worried the Anaheim Police Department doesn’t have enough police officers:
“And I say that because I’m really concerned about these ratios. And you would think…at least for me as a resident and now as a councilperson, that we know that we are blessed with three major enterprises that attract a lot of visitors, that bring us revenues that we’ve [heard of] over the years to our city, yet we’re at the same space as Fresno, we’re the same space as Oakland, in fact lower than Oakland, close to Bakersfield.”
“Um, it’s really disappointing that a city of our size, a city of our wealth, that we are equal to Fresno. Not to diminish Fresno but they don’t have the kind of resources it seems that we presumably have.”
There’s nothing like a fast-approaching and problematic election to concentrate a politician’s mind and induce greater flexibility and capacity to re-think earlier positions.
It appears the anti-camping ordinance will be on the agenda at this Tuesday’s council meeting. Will Candidate Moreno or Councilman Moreno be voting?