Anaheim First Holds First In Series Of Town Halls

More than 100 people attended the first in a series of six town halls – one for each council district – being organized by Anaheim First, as part of its Anaheim Community Assessment to assist in city in setting priorities for neighborhood investments.

Anaheim First is a resident-driven non-profit focused on improving quality of life in Anaheim neighborhood via resident input through the Anaheim Community Assessment and ongoing discussion and organizing among residents. It is resident-controlled neighborhood leadership council with support from Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Visit Anaheim, and the Anaheim Community Foundation.

The assemblage of residents gathered on Wednesday, August 28 from 5:30 to 8:30 at the West Anaheim Youth Center for the District 1 town hall. Professional facilitators briefed the residents on the how and why of the town hall meeting, going over the various aspects of neighborhood investment and improvement the community assessment is intended to cover.

The community assessment and accompanying town halls are taking place against the backdrop of Mayor Harry Sidhu’s plan to invest $250 million in new revenues into Anaheim neighborhoods during the next decade. The assessment will help guide how to prioritize those investments.

 

Residents convened in in small groups of half a dozen at tables with oversized maps of District 1, and discussed the kinds of improvements they wanted to see in their neighborhoods, what they viewed as the primary challenges and opportunities in their part of the city. They placed adhesive squares with logos representing street improvements, parks, etc. and placed them on specific locations on the map to precisely indicate where and what kind of investments they’d like to see in District 1.

Afterward, a spokesperson for each table stood up and talked about the priorities their resident group had developed – all of which was transcribed into a mater inventory on oversized sheets of paper.

Afterward, town hall participants “voted” for those suggestions and priorities about which they felt strongest.

 

Overall, the focus of the town hall was to encourage participating residents to be vocal about what they wanted for their neighborhoods; to listen to what mattered to other residents, even if it didn’t top their own priorities; and try to arrive at a consensus.

There was a minor, unsuccessful attempt by UNITE-HERE Local 11 senior organizer Austin Lynch to disrupt the townhall. UNITE-HERE Local 11 has been actively trying to undermine the grass-roots residents group for months.

Lynch and two minions rolled into the town hall late – arriving directly from a Democratic Party of Orange County “Blue Wave Rising” campaign rally in Buena Park.  Lynch took a seat at one of the small group activity tables and hijacked the conversation as soon as those residents commenced their discussion about neighborhood priorities – trying to convince participants that Anaheim First was an Anaheim Chamber of Commerce plot to generate support “corporate subsidies” for the Angels and Disney. After listening patiently to his tirade, residents made it clear to Lynch – a resident of Bellflower – that they wanted to talk about their neighborhoods’ priorities and put stickers on the map.

UNITE-HERE Local 11’s Austin Lynch tried to hijack residents’ discussion about neighborhood investments.

Lynch then migrated over to the Anaheim police officer standing nearby, trying to convince him Anaheim First was a Chamber scheme to secure corporate subsidies for the Angels and Disney.

“That’s money that could go into your pension,” Lynch told the officer.

Lynch went on to question the competence and ability of the residents involved in Anaheim First, and even compared the town halls to his local assemblywoman’s use of the legislative franking privilege – saying she used taxpayer resources to engage in political campaigning. I’m not sure who Lynch’s state Assembly representative is.

And so it went as Lynch went from person to person trying to convince them the Anaheim Community Assessment served a nefarious purpose – with the determination of a street corner preacher trying to convince passersby they’re going to Hell unless they repent.

As the small group activity portion of the town hall wrapped up and residents got ready to report back their findings, Lynch and his minions departed.

The upshot: UNITE-HERE had the opportunity to participate in a constructive way – or at least observe the town hall with an open mind. Instead, the militant, partisan union tried to blow the town hall up.

Meanwhile, participating residents embraced the opportunity to provide their granular, ground-level input in to where the city should invest new revenues.

11 comments

  1. I wasn’t aware of these town hall meetings, but I surely would like to share some neighborhood safety issues. As a 20 year resident of Anaheim, of which almost 15 have been in our present home, there is the very unsightly & unsafe lack of a side walk, on my side of Citron street; from Sycamore going north towards Wilhelmina street there is almost a block of no sidewalk, where the uneven ground is exposed with half made chunks of side walk making it a hazard for the local high school kids and whomever risk going this way! It’s been years that my neighbors, my family & I, have been requesting for
    this sidewalk! Up tell now it’s only been a future
    project or promise that hasn’t materialized.. it’s been 14 years already! Why? When? Who? It’s probably @ the bottom of these famous improvements..
    Thx, Karl

    • Karl, I have the same problem on the 700 block of North Philadelphia street. 3 and 4 foot chunks of curbing have been missing for years. Chunks of hundred-year-old sidewalks are also missing and Scattered about

    • Peggy Kruse-Stodghill

      District 3 Town Hall
      Wednesday, September 11 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
      Distrito 3 Asamblea para la comunidad
      Miercoles, 11 de septiembre

      The Ebell Club
      226 N. Helena Street, Anaheim 92805

      All this infor can be found on anaheimfirst.org

  2. When will this be held for Anaheim Hills?

    • Peggy Kruse-Stodghill

      District 6 Town Hall
      Wednesday, October 2 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
      Distrito 6 Asamblea para la comunidad
      Miercoles, 2 de octubre

      East Anaheim Community Center
      8201 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim 92808

  3. Peggy Kruse-Stodghill

    District 2 Town Hall
    Wednesday, September 4 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
    Distrito 2 Asamblea para la comunidad
    Miercoles, 4 de septiembre

    Brookhurst Community Center
    2271 W. Crescent Ave, Anaheim 92801

  4. Peggy Kruse-Stodghill

    District 4 Town Hall
    Wednesday, September 18 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
    Distrito 4 Asamblea para la comunidad
    Miercoles, 18 de septiembre

    Ponderosa Library
    240 E. Orangewood Ave, Anaheim 92802

  5. Peggy Kruse-Stodghill

    District 5 Town Hall
    Wednesday, September 25 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
    Distrito 5 Asamblea para la comunidad
    Miercoles, 25 de septiembre

    Calvary Baptist Church
    2780 E. Wagner Ave, Anaheim 92806

  6. HenryPaulLipton3rd

    When will District 3 forum be held so Jose Moreno can defend the DCCC firing West Vice Chair Victor Valladares for pushing the OCDP to abolish ICE. Will José defend central Committee member Emma Jenson for posing in her bra and pantries to support Bernie Sanders. Asking for friends

  7. David Michael Klawe

    The District 3 Community Town Hall is Wednesday , September 11th at the Ebell Club starting at 5:30 PM

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