On Tuesday, the Anaheim City Council voted 5-2 to make Mayor Harry Sidhu the council’s representative on the city team that will negotiate with the negotiating the Angels. The other members of the negotiating team are City Manager Chris Zapata and City Attorney Roger Fabela.
District 3 Councilman Jose F. Moreno made a futile attempt to also have himself and political ally Denise Barnes from District 1 appointed to the negotiating team. This would have positioned him carry water for for his political ally and campaign donor, UNITE-HERE Local 11 – whose interests include ensuring employees of any hotels built on the current stadium site are Local 11 members.
When the city’s Housing & Community Development Commission met the next evening, Moreno’s appointee to the commission, Ada Tamayo, lobbied her fellow commissioners to pass a resolution to mandate the following demands as part of the city’s negotiating strategy with the Angels:
- “Any housing built on the parking lot should include affordable housing.”
- “Any development deal should generate funds for an Affordable Housing Fund.”
Tamayo’s resolution called for the city council to vote on these demands at its July 30 meeting.
Tamayo is a Moreno campaign supporter and professional organizer for UNITE-HERE Local 11 – a militantly progressive union ad one of Moreno’s largest campaign donors, contributing nearly $6,000 to his three campaigns for city council. During the 2016 election, Local 11 flooded District 3 with pro-Moreno precinct walkers, playing a decisive role in Moreno’s 76-vote victory margin.
In May of this year, UNITE-HERE Local 11 and its outreach arm, OCCORD, organized a campaign rally thinly disguised as a “community forum.” It was designed to rally progressive activists for a campaign to pressure the city into adopting the union coalition’s agenda in Angels negotiations. Moreno was a featured speaker at the rally.
Moreno also championed last year’s Measure L, the “living wage” initiative which was heavily-funded by UNITE-HERE Local 11 and narrowly approved in last year’s general election. Moreno even agendized an item to give union-sponsored consultants the opportunity to testify at an April 2018 city council meeting in support of UNITE-HERE Local 11’s proposed “living wage” initiative. The measure included a provision charging the City Manager’s office with arbitrating wage disputes at affected Resort businesses – many of whose employees are Local 11 members
Improper Backdoor Influence Attempt
After some discussion, the commission took no action.
Whatever the merits of these ideas aside, policy-making is the purview of the city council, not city commissions. In addition to being entirely political, her request was improper.
It also looks suspiciously like a backdoor attempt by Moreno to go maverick and influence the city’s negotiating position on behalf of a politically powerful campaign supporter – contrary to the will of the city council, expressed in its vote the night before to anoint the mayor as their representative on the negotiating team.