Anaheim Mayor: Ashleigh Aitken Officially Announces; Lorri Galloway Poised To Enter Race

Ashleigh Aitken (L); Lorri Galloway (R)>/i>

Ashleigh Aitken (L); Lorri Galloway (R)

Anaheim Hills attorney Ashleigh Aitken officially declared her mayoral candidacy on Wednesday, while former Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway inched closer to officially joining the race.

Aitken made her public announcement via Facebook Live:

Aitken, a Democrat who is seeking elected office for the first time, cited several probems as priorities:

“We have a struggling homeless population.

We need to create more affordable housing for our neighbors.

And we need to upgrade our public transportation system so that our residents can get around our city and find a place to park.

And we need to increase public security so that all of our neighborhoods are safe.”

The same day, the Voice of OC published an article based on reporter Thy Vo’s interview with the first time candidate. In it she said homelessness will be her top priority, promising to “be a leader and hold the county to task.”

Aitken spoke in generalities, calling it a “regional problem, not an Anaheim only problem” and promised to go at the issue compassionately in order to place the homeless “into a long-term, stable situation.”

When asked about Councilwoman Kris Murray’s Operation Home Safe program to reclaim the Santa Ana River Trail from homeless squatters, Aitken declined to comment.

She also sent mixed signals on the city’s anti-camping ordinance, which radical homeless advocates want repealed while homeowners and businesses want it enforced:

“I think the camping ordinance is something that was a reaction to the homeless problem,” Aitken said of the law. “Repealing it, if it was part of a larger plan, that might work. But repealing it and not having a holistic plan…doesn’t make any sense.”

Hotel Subsidies OK If Conjoined To Forced Unionization

Aitken acknowledged the economic importance to Anaheim of a thriving Resort District and said she was not opposed to subsidies or economic assistance programs to spur development. However, she made it clear her support for such deals would be conditioned on requiring unionization of hotel workers and requiring developers to pay prevailing wage.

Such mandates would conspire to increase the cost of hotel construction and operations, and therefore the size of the subsidy.

Aitken pointed to Disney’s planned 4-Diamond hotel – one of three projects approved under the now-repealed Hotel Incentive Program – as a model because the property’s workers will be represented by UNITE-HERE Local 11:

“They provide good union jobs for a lot of our local residents. And when those things are built, there’s a benefit to the city,” Aitken said of the subsidy.

UNITE-HERE Local 11 denounces TOT tax rebates to incentivize luxury hotel development as “taxpayer giveaways” unless those agreements include forced unionization agreements – in which case they become sound economic policy in the eyes of the militant hotel workers union, which has been largely unsuccessful in organizing Anaheim hotel workers.

Aitken also gave mixed signals on the topic of a police oversight board:

Asked whether the city needs a police review commission to address public confidence in the police department, Aitken did not give a direct answer.

“There are some citizen oversight boards that have worked really well, and some that have been unsuccessful,” Aitken said. “As we develop something, we have to make sure that we do something that works for everybody.”

Aitken also pledge to work to “return to civility” and reduce “acrimony at city hall.”

The Anaheim Hills Democrat seems to be finding her footing as candidate, and her liberal politics and instincts could prove problematic going into an election where public exasperation with homelessness, crime and degenerating neighborhood conditions are the top issues. For example, Aitken recently posted on Facebook about visiting to Santa Ana River camp with other members of the OC Bar Association in order provide free legal counsel to homeless encampment denizens:

A Aitken FB homeless free legal 7-11-17 hghlighted

This runs directly counter to prevailing voter sentiment, which has turned sharply in favor of enforcement and is hostile to actions and policies viewed as enabling the homeless.

Former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway Poised To Jump In Mayoral Race
Chatter about former Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway throwing her hat into the mayoral ring for a few weeks. I spoke with her this morning. While she wouldn’t confirm a mayoral candidacy, she did say she was “preparing an announcement.” She also pointed out her finish as the second-highest voter-getter in the 2014 mayoral election as evidence she would be a strong candidate:

2014 Anaheim mayoral result

Galloway, who lives in Anaheim Hills and operates The Eli Home for abused women, was first elected to city council in 2004 with 24,856 votes (18.8%), and re-elected in 2008 with 31,694 (22.6%). Her signature issue during her two council terms was affordable housing. Galloway demonstrated an ability to collaborate across partisan and philosophical lines in order to achieve her goals.

A Galloway candidacy scrambles the mayoral calculus. Currently, there are two declared male candidates – Harry Sidhu and John Machieverna – both of whom are also Republicans. Ashleigh Aitken is the only female and Democrat currently in the race – an advantage that goes away with a Galloway candidacy. Aitken has demonstrated enormous fundraising prowess, but much of her warchest will be spent on introducing herself to voters. Both Galloway and Sidhu have been twice won city-wide council elections and are more familiar to voters.

A significant X-factor is who Mayor Tom Tait’s candidate will be. Various factors would seem to disqualify the existing field from receiving the out-going mayor’s endorsement, so it remains to be seen who he will recruit or support as his successor.

30 comments

  1. Geewizz, another bunch of champions! You’ll do the same as the no-go self-absorbed polititions have before your bid for Mayor. Let’s see how you Handel the riverbed crisis.

  2. Mayor Tait’s stock is declining rapidly as he proves his complete lack of ability to lead on issues that matter to voters. Couple that with his treatment of staff, council, and now residents who speak up for themselves and his “kindness” schtick doesn’t stick anymore either. He may actually be a liability for anyone seeking his endorsement.

    • I have agree that Tait is losing respect. His close relationship to the repulsive foursome of Moreno, Matsuda, Rueles and Jabbar is a concern on many levels. These guys are power hungry, race baiting, dirt bags that steal from the people they claim to champion.

  3. Public safety should be the number one priority for any candidate for Mayor. Mayoral Candidate Aitken considers public safety or “public security” fourth in priority. Tell that to the people murdered or seriously injured by graffiti vandal gangbangers. Many riverbed transients are service resistant due to illegal narcotics from Guinida Lane’s AVLS Transnational Terrorist Street Gang. Let’s see a list of priorities from Former Mayor Pro Tem Lorri Galloway and Former Mayor Pro Tem Harry Sidhu and if their number one priority is public safety then they should get more consideration.

  4. We do not need Lori Galloway back. She is nice but not a council person. Tom Tait has done a fine job until the awful homeless situation. The County and the cities involved should have stopped the river trail invasion before it got out of hand. We now have a disaster on our hands and no real way to stop it. The river trail needs to be cleared now. We also do not need tax incentives to rich developers to build hotels in one of the most famous places in the world. Disneyland will attract tourists and hotels like tourists. The unions demand union workers which only raises the cost of doing business. Workers should have the right to choose whether or not to pay outrageous union dues. I have been a union member as a teacher and saw how much those dues were. I choose to support my own politicians and do not need a union rep tell me who to vote for or spend money on a person I do not support. Anaheim deserves good council people and we seem to get nice people but not necessarily effective folks. We needed leaders with this homeless situation, not enablers and walk away from the issue.

    • Larry, Larry, Larry, Tom Tait barely met the minimum requirement to govern our city, allowed his insurgent voting block to terrorize meetings (even shut down a city council meeting) and failed to conduct city business. Lorri Galloway is by far more intelligent and effectively performed her duties as a council member.

    • Great points but I have to say, CM Faessel has been a real breath of fresh air for the City! If Faessel isn’t running for mayor next year, then he SHOULD.

  5. Savanna is right. Like it or not Taits legacy is the humanitarian disaster that is the Riverbed.

    He can pose with the Dali Lamma all he wants, praise people as being “civic champions” for building roads in MEXICO, But his real accomplishment was his failure, make that utter failure on the river trail.

    I agree with renaming the stretch of riverbed the Tom Tait ghetto.

    • Tom Tait Travesty Trail – Tom Tait Trash Trail. more suggestions. We should make actual signs and post them and keep posting them until everyone is gone.

  6. This is convincing enough. But it should be obvious to everyone with her views not to vote for her. We don’t need another mayor “behind the gated community” to run what is happening far from her house. FREE LAWYER SERVICES? Please. We need someone who really understands what’s happening here. We could NEVER give them enough free stuff. THINK ABOUT THE RESIDENTS WHO LIVE NEXT TO THAT DISASTER!

  7. Just to follow up on what Savanna said, it is get important to tune in and vote one year from now. This self serving quartet is trying to take control of our city and they will continue enrich themselves not the people the say they are helping. We all know that Moreno tried to hire Matsuda from the lowest rung of the admin leader to be the superintendent of anaheim elementary. They are still bitter about that loss and are undermining Linda Wagner at every turn out of spite. Next they give Liz Novak a huge buy out and prop mike up at Auhsd. He quickly promoted his friends and sister, face rueles a day free of students, pages back his board members by using district funds via the bros club to get them elected for the first time ( they were originally appointed after several failed campaigns). Next hire Morenos wife for 150 k. Next get rid of all strong and experience leaders and replace them with more friends or new kids up up from the jv team. As the district keeps losing a record number of students to neighboring public schools not charter they have created a false fear that the sky is falling and call to fight the evil charter school movement. As the district crumbles, Moreno tried to hire Matsuda as the anaheim city Manager! Wow! All of the love and peace bs is just bs these guys are cut throat power hungry scum bags that will use political skill to enrich and imorove their lives but have no idea how to run a school district much lead a city. We must vote them all out and pay close attention to who they are trying to prop up (just follow the bros and vote against their endorsement). Too bad we have to wait a full year and 2 months to do it. Si se puede!

  8. Jabbar on total power trip. Didnt think torres (ad) and Corral were into his ethnic politics enough so pushed them out. Now look at what we are left with. Administration team is probably the weakest we have ever seen at anaheim high in terms of intelligence, experience and work ethic. Nice going mike Matsuda, AlJabbar, Ryan Rueles (the most hated guy on our campus) and the guy pulling all the strings, Jose Moreno.

    • jabbar, rueles and moreno have got to GO. They are teaching students to protest yelling “whose streets”? Well it is all of our streets. We need them removed or voted out. They have broken our schools and council with their and their cohorts “leadership.”

  9. You should take a look at the video of the rueles Jabbar and moreno leading a street protest. They see the DACA issue as something that can mobilize their base, so they gathered up 20 or so students and walked around an intersection chanting “whos streets?”…..” OUR STREETS!!!” and si se puede….really silly goose crap

  10. Not only is Anaheim worse off because the Matsuda power show, so is Loara, magnolia, and kennedy. All high schools where Mr. Love and peace used hard ball and questionable ethics to make change. I dont even go into the jr highs which have also seen significant change for the worse and certainly less qualified.

  11. Loara: Agreed. Anaheim is a mess period. Schools are a mess as well as the city as a whole is a mess, because the leaders who lead us are taking us down this road to destruction. They need to all go.

  12. Tait's Uber Driver

    Since Moreno wants to propose policies in Faessel’s district, would he be receptive to policies proposed by Kring or Murray in his?

    • The ONLY true leader is CM Stephan Faessel. No disrespect for Ashleigh Aiken or Lorri Galloway, but Faessel is the LEADER this City needs. Let’s hope CM Faessel will consider running! THAT is someone we can and SHOULD vote for.

  13. I can’t lie, I have a sincere affection for Lorri Galloway.

  14. Having Seen CM Faessal at events, I assure you the man is only interested in free food paid for at the expense of Anaheim’s taxpayers. He only wants to easily pass his time and enjoy his retirement.

  15. Some Dude in Anahiem

    Do you mean the dinner events where he pays for himself and his staff to attend?

    Or, the events supporting organizations for which he has volunteered many hours like the Anaheim Museo, the Anaheim Historical Society, the Anaheim Flag Day Parade Committee, the Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade Committee or the West Anaheim Neighborhood Development Council?

    Perhaps, you are referring to the charitable events that result in him cutting checks to support the hosting organizations.

    Maybe you are referring to the weekly events (meetings, actually) up in Downtown LA where he serves as the City of Anaheim’s UNPAID representative for the Metropolitan Water District. During those meetings he makes sure that you and other residents get water free of any toxins with every turn of the faucet.

    Maybe you are referring to all those other events (meetings, actually) held by the numerous departments and committees of our city so that he knows what he’s talking about during the Council Meetings?

    Could you possibly be talking about the events (well, those too are meetings) that he holds through his district of 55,000 residents to try his best to keep them informed, hear their concerns and see what he can do to assist them?

    That man works more hours a week in his ‘retirement’ than the vast majority of people do in their careers, all for a measly $18k a year.

    You, troll, are a disgrace to the name ‘David’. You can stick your completely ignorant judgement of his character up the spot where the Good Lord split you.

    • Whoa lady (disguised as a “dude”), that’s a not so nice attack on David. David seems to be very involved and is only offering his point of view or lack of, meaning he doesn’t see CM Faessal at events. Who are you to make such vicious attacks on David? Are you Mr. Faessal’s new Rottweiler who seems to personally know what he does in detail? I would guess that you are on Mr. Faessal’s payroll. Steve needs to go back to what he does best and that is buying nuts and bolts for True Value Hardware Store. Peace out!

      • Some Dude in Anahiem

        AnaheimRocks, a better handle for you would be ‘Troll II’.

        The calendar called, it’s 2018. I hope you aren’t attacking me because my body says one thing and my heart says another.

        By the way, I do take being called a Rottweiler as a compliment. Thank you!

        I am not on Stephen’s payroll. I enjoy being retired. I know so much about Stephen because his wife and I have been good friends for years. People our age like to drink coffee with our friends and talk.

        You think I am being hard on that first troll? Well, you didn’t even correctly summarize what he wrote. Are you too cool for reading comprehension?

        You then attack Stephen yourself. Well, Troll II, Stephen’s accomplished a lot more in his career than just buying nuts and bolts. What have you done with your life?

        I am a strong believer in protecting Mother Earth’s precious natural resources. One of them is Oxygen. You are wasting it with your breathing. Please stop.

        • Some Dude: You weaken your position when you sink to their level. Before you rip into me, I like what I see with Mr. Faessal. So far he is the only council member that appears not to follow the trend, rather he does what he feels is right for most of those he represents. He is what he is. We need people like this to keep fighting for those living in Anaheim. No surface fighting for appearance sake but real go to the mat fighting. Anaheim has far worse sitting on the council with him.

  16. Not so fast counselor! What contributions have you made in pushing the homeless problem? Now you want the mayor’s job even with a history of derilectioun on your record. Get real, Ms. Aitken.

    Grant Andrews, lifelong Anaheim Resident.

  17. The records of each council member should speak for them. We have not seen enough of Mr. Faessal but so far he seems to be a man interested in what is good for all the people he represents.. We should wait and see then judge with our votes. Is the individual a man/woman of his/her word. Do they fight for what is right? Are they responsible? Are they accessible? Do they listen? Do they care?

    Will they stand up and represent us even when it is not popular?

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